It was probably in the mid-1990’s when I first used a vacuum sealer, for just “cryo-o-vacking” proteins to preserve them a little longer in the fridge or to throw them right into the freezer for later use. Now fifteen years later, we find all these new uses and techniques coming through. I guess the most obvious would be sous-vide cooking where food is vacuum sealed and cooked at a gentle temperature in a precisely controlled water bath. Other applications include rapid infusion, where you can marinate proteins in seconds, controlled bruising, or compression of porous fruit and vegetables; aeration, and in some cases a quick clarification.
Types of vacuum sealers:
The Chamber vacuum sealer, which is primarily in a commercial kitchen and creates a low pressure environment in and around the bag during the sealing process. The most significant difference is that Chamber model can be used to package liquids. Also, Chamber units feature a more powerful vacuum and therefore will result in a longer shelf life for your food. Rather than a vacuum channel, Chamber units feature a vacuum pump. The bag, filled with the product you are packaging, is placed inside the chamber and the lid is closed. The machine will vacuum and seal the bag, releasing the lid when the process is finished.
A non-chamber household vacuum sealer creates a low pressure zone only at the opening of the bag, resulting in suction that will remove not only air but also liquids from the bag. These non- chamber style vacuum sealers have both a seal bar and a vacuum channel. The vacuum channel pulls the air out of the bag. Once all air has been removed, the seal bar, which heats up, will slightly melt and seal the edge of the bag close.