I love to make my own baby food for our 18 months old. I don’t own any orchard, not even a vegetable garden. But I do have my favorite fresh grocer I go to where I can buy fruits and vegetables by bulk and enjoy good discount. I allot one good day to make an assortment of baby food using these fresh produce. In the long run, this method saves us money and best of all, I am sure that our baby gets the healthiest and safest baby food there is. [Read more…]
What is marination?
Have you tasted juicy ribs that had you asking the cook for a recipe? The chef will mostly likely say the secret was in the marinating. Marinating involves soaking foods in your preferred seasoning, or the chef’s secret seasoning, before cooking it.
This article will discuss the different kinds of marinade, which is the liquid seasoning where the meat is soaked. We will also talk about the benefits of marinating, especially with meat. Which food items do you marinate before cooking? How long does it take to thoroughly marinate a food item? Will using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer really cut down the marinating time? These questions and more will be discussed here. [Read more…]
Extremely useful tips for everyone
To get the best performance and durability from your vacuum sealing system, you should know how to use it properly and maintain it. Here are top tips for you to follow:
TOP USAGE TIPS
- Avoid having crumbs or liquids from being sucked into the vacuum sealer. Liquids should be frozen before putting in the bag for vacuum-sealing. Crumbs or small particles like coffee should have a filter or paper towel at the top, between the pump and the contents, so it wouldn’t be sucked in;
- Put at least 3inches space between the contents and the top of the plastic bag to have a good seal. It can also allow you to re-use the bag, because the extra space is for re-seals during future use;
- When sealing objects that are sharp or have sharp edges, like uncooked pasta, wrap them in paper towels to avoid puncturing the bags;
- Try to use the brand of bags that are compatible with your vacuum sealer brand. If they are incompatible, the bags may not fit or may not seal properly;
- Keep the bag smooth when sealing. Any wrinkles may store packets of air in it.
TOP PROBLEMS & SOLUTIONS
- The unit will not open, nor allows me to vacuum
If the unit is already on, because the red seal light is on, press the cancel button two times. Red seal light should be off to re-open or to repeat feeding the bag into the unit.
- The unit will not seal
Press the seal button then insert the bag.
- The bag cannot be inserted into the vacuum sealer
Check to make sure the other parts of the vacuum sealer are correctly in place. These include the drip tray, the bag detection tray and the foam gaskets. The drip tray should be securely snapped in place. The bag detection tray, too. The foam gaskets in the lower portion should be correctly and firmly in place.
When inserting the bag, stretch the material a bit. Activate the bag detection trays by inserting the corner of the bag in the center, then rotating it into the channel. Hold the bag until the vacuuming starts.
- The vacuum sealer will not work on mason jars
The brands have to be compatible with each other. The jar sealer has to be centered and firmly pressed into the jar lid. The rubber gasket on the jar sealer should be without food debris. The rim of the jar should have no cracks. The metal lid should not be bent. The accessory hose should be securely attached to the port and on the jar sealer.
- Which side of the bag do I put on the sealer bar?
The rough or embossed side should be facing downwards. If the bag has a curl, like when it is on the end of the roll, place the curled end down.
TOP MAINTENANCE TIPS
- Clean your vacuum sealers after every use. It will prevent any liquid drips from hardening, and make sure the ants or other pests don’t get to the crumbs first. Unplug the unit before cleaning.
- Use water and mild soap. Don’t use harsh chemicals as they may come in contact with the foods vacuum-sealed.
- Use damp rag to wipe it down. Do not soak unit in water, or get it thoroughly wet, which may happen if your rag is very wet. Use only damp rag.
Wipe down these areas: all buttons and switches, the vacuum channel, the tray that catches fluids than drain, and all other surfaces. The removable drip tray may be removed and thoroughly cleaned with water and soap.
- Rinse off the soap and dirt from the damp rag, wash it, squeeze out excess water, and then wipe down all the parts you previously cleaned. You have to remove the soap residue so it wouldn’t be sticky, which can allow dirt and bacteria to gather on it.
- Follow the second wipe with a dry rag to totally remove any excess water. Make sure the vacuum channels are totally dry, as well as every part of the vacuum sealer. Any left-over water may cause electric shock when the unit is plugged in.
TOP FOOD SAVING TIPS
You can preserve any and practically all foods through vacuum-sealing. But here are some tips to help save a few more bucks:
- Bananas that are about to turn over-ripe. Before it totally spoils, peel the banana, slice and vacuum-seal it. Then store in the refrigerator for a week or so. You can make delicious banana bread from it;
- Extra cookie dough that has already been mixed. To save it for later days, freeze the prepared mix. When you are ready to cook, just thaw and bake;
- Too much of a soup can be saved for other day’s lunches. Vacuum-seal by single portion and freeze. You can bring the vacuumed bag to work to microwave;
- Rushing off in the mornings does not mean you can’t have a good breakfast. Vacuum-seal and store bagels or muffins. Older kids can reheat this and rush off with a satisfied tummy;
- Oversupply of lemons may be preserved. Squeeze out the juice, remove seeds and put the juice unto ice trays. Once frozen, place 1-3 cubes in individual bags, vacuum-seal and place back into the freezer. To consume, thaw the frozen packet and pour out the juice.
TOP NON-FOOD ITEMS TO VACUUM-SEAL
- Guns without the bullets inside;
- Important documents like original copies of birth certificates, certificates of title of property, and the like;
- Precious metals or silver. Real silver silverware or jewelry that is not used anymore. Vacuum-sealing it will keep it from tarnishing;
- Important items or documents when you are about to go hiking or on water adventure. These are maps, cell phones, tickets and wallets;
- Clothing materials, toiletries and other travel accessories. It will save space on your bag, and liquids will not spill to your clothes.
We hope you maintain your vacuum-sealer in tiptop shape. It will serve you many more years if you do.