Vacuum sealers are widely used in packaging industries but are also growing famous in households. This is because they are the key to reduce food wastage. The main purpose of vacuum sealers is to remove oxygen present in food, keeping them fresher for extended periods.
There are other efficient food preservation methods like salting and drying, but vacuum sealing wins it all. The machines are designed with powerful vacuum pumps that can vacuum seal multiple bags at a go, making them ideal in busy restaurants. The good thing is they are not specific to just preserving food.
You can preserve other items like your important documents, especially if you look forward to camping. Well, we might all know the vacuum sealers keep food fresher for long periods, but very few understand the metrics of how they work.
In this article, I have compiled a comprehensive guide on how the vacuum sealing process happens. Keep reading to understand more.
- Best chamber vacuum sealers reviewed and buying guide.
- Best commercial vacuum sealer reviews and buying tips.
What is a vacuum sealing machine?
vacuum sealing is the process of sealing a container through a vacuum. The vacuum sealing machines work by removing air from containers and creating a vacuum before sealing them to keep food fresh for longer. That way, minimizing food spoilage.
Components of a vacuum sealing machine
Firstly, we shall look into what the vacuum sealing machine entails. That way, it shall be easier to understand how these vacuum sealers work.
The seaming head holds the lid and acts as support from the pressure that is exerted by seaming rollers during the vacuum sealing process. They come in different dimensions depending on your cans diameter.
They connect the lid of the can to its body. Creating a hermetic seal.
The base plate spins and supports the can during the double sealing process.
This vacuum pump removes gas molecules present in the sealed vacuum chamber, thus creating a vacuum.
The vacuum chamber is where the vacuum can sealer performs the sealing process.
The control panel is where you set your parameters of the sealing process.
Types of vacuum sealers
Vacuum sealers come in two types. They are:
- Chamber vacuum sealers
- External vacuum sealers
Chamber Vacuum Sealers
The chamber vacuum sealers are common in commercial settings, due to their powerful vacuum pumps. They are hands down perfect for sous vide cooking.
Their cost might be a bit expensive compared to the external sealers but they use relatively cheaper sealer bags. Let’s look at how these chamber vacuum sealers work.
How chamber vacuum sealer work
Vacuum chamber sealers have large chambers so you can seal multiple bags of food at a go. The pressure built on the inside side and outside are the same so your bag does not collapse. That makes it a plus for liquid preservation as they are not sucked on one edge but instead, stay put.
Load your contents in a bag/container
First, fold back the top part of your sous vides bag to avoid messing with the sealing area. Food spills around the area weakens the sealing bond, which results in spillage, especially for your liquids. Ensure you also use a strong bag as continued folding back may make the bag to permeate some air.
Place the bag in the chamber sealer
after you have packed your food in the bags, the next step should be placing it in the chamber sealer. Place it in a way that the open end of the package is over the sealing bar. Next, carefully tuck the package into the chamber to ensure that it is not protruding from the chamber.
Close the vacuum sealers lid
Tightly close the lid and start the vacuum pump, to start the sealing process. The air present inside the bag will have no way to escape.
Start the vacuum sealing process
Now that you have placed the food in the chamber and closed the lid, it’s time for the sealing process to start. You will need to set the pressure on your sealer’s panel, depending on the type of food you are sealing.
The pressure in the bag might contrast with the pressure around the chamber. This makes the bag puff but it shouldn’t be a matter of concern as it is quite normal.
Sealing the bag after the vacuuming cycle is over is necessary so air pressure doesn’t rush back into it. The sealing bars aid in the process. Ensure you seal your bags for 2-3 seconds, otherwise if left to seal for longer, the heat sealing bars might be too hot and melt your packaging bag.
Now that the sealing cycle is complete, the chamber will fill with air from the valves. The air pressure will make the bag collapse around the food bringing an end to the cycle.
External vacuum sealers
You will find these sealers in your local store and are popular in households. They are available in two types, the nozzle type, and the edge type external sealers. These external sealers are also considerably cheaper than the chamber sealers, so you won’t have to dig deep in your pockets.
The only downside of these sealers is that the vacuum bags they use can be a bit pricier, especially if looking forward to sous vide cooking. They also have limited functionality when sealing liquids as you have to first freeze the liquids before the sealing process begins.
Nozzle-type external vacuum sealers.
Non-chambered vacuum sealers have different models, with different capabilities. The nozzle-type has a retractable nozzle that eliminates atmospheric pressure in the bag when sealing. During the process, you should insert the nozzle into the packaging bag.
Ensure the nozzle is in close contact with the food you packaging to prevent the bag from collapsing onto the nozzle which might hinder the vacuuming process. After all the air is gotten rid of, the nozzle will retract back behind the seal bar and then the package is sealed.
Edge-type external sealers
Commonly referred to as Food saver non-chambered vacuum sealers, they are cost-efficient and do not seal the ordinary sealing bags. They have special channels or mesh bags that limit the range of products that can be applied. They are also a bit expensive than common bags.
These Food savers are not suitable for commercial use but just for household setting. They are very efficient in prolonging the life of your food. Your food is also protected from freezer burns. So, back in your mind, you might be wondering how these external sealers work. Well, let us dig straight into how they work.
How external vacuum sealers work
An external vacuum sealer works ideally the same as a chamber vacuum sealer. The external sealers draw oxygen from the vacuum bag or container directly through the open end, making it stay fresher for longer periods. After the air is extracted, the vacuum sealing process begins. The only difference is, these external sealers not suitable for preserving liquids.
Now you don’t have to keep guessing how a vacuum sealer works. understand how both the external vacuum sealing machines and the chambered ones work, it is proper to choose one that works best for your household or your restaurant. To determine which works best for you, you should understand the purposes you want the sealer to serve.
If you have any query about this post or Kitchen Chore blog just pass asking in the comment section.
Jennifer D. Simon has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Read More