Low-tech vacuum sealing

Vacuum sealing machines are a handy tool for warding off freezer burn, accelerating marination, and preparing food items for sous vide cooking. But you don’t need to buy a pricey, space hogging device to remove air from a plastic bag. There are two methods that work sufficiently well for home tasks.

The straw method: Place the food item in a Ziploc bag and seal, leaving just a tiny opening large enough for a straw. Insert the straw and suck out the air. When it is sufficiently devoid of air, quickly slip out the straw and close the bag.

The dunk method: Same as before, prepare the Ziploc bag with a partial opening then submerge the bag in a large pot of water without letting the opening go under the surface. The water will press out any air present in the bag. Carefully seal the opening and lift. Voila!

You will notice that vacuum sealing a wet or liquid product, such as meat in a marinade, is especially challenging. No problem! Simply freeze the item before sealing.