The options are endless when it comes to buying food vacuum sealers. Depending upon how much sealing you do, you could wind up with the totally wrong machine. Scouring the reviews and comparing prices can send your brain into an information overload making purchasing a hassle. Considering a good vacuum sealer like the FoodSaver 4400 is going to run you about $134, you may have been putting off pulling the plug on the purchase. If only there were a better way?
Well, thanks to a little food hack from J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats, there is. Costing you the price of a freezer bag, you can seal your food in an airtight bag, without purchasing a pricey vacuum sealer. I know, it sounds to good to be true, but take a look.
Here are the three basic steps.
1. Place your food inside a Ziploc freezer bag, and zip the bag closed until there is only about an inch open.
2. Next, dip your bag into a tub full of water. You'll notice as you do so, all the air escapes through the small opening.
3. Squeeze off the opening right before it's submerged in water, and that's it. You'll notice the pressure of the water forced out all the air, leaving you with a vacuum sealed bag of food.
Now that's a nifty trick if you don't want to fork out all the cash for a vacuum sealer. While they don't leave us with a comparison as to how long a water-submerged sealed bag of food lasts compared to a vacuum sealed bag using an appliance, something tells me it's pretty close.
The one thing you don't get with this method, however, is the durability you get with an appliance vacuum sealed bag. The bags the machines use tend to be stronger and less likely to leak, as they are meant to withstand a longer storage life.
When it comes down to it, it all depends upon your needs. If you're a hunter preserving meat, I'd still fork out the cash for an appliance. If you're only sealing things here and there, then ditch the appliance and submerge away.