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Unread 07-14-2014, 05:34 AM   #1
va_connoisseur
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Default Just got a vacuum sealer. I have questions.

For you folks that use food savers I have a question about usage. I just purchased one and have a few questions:

1: what temp do you vac-seal things? Do I need to cool meats to XXX temp before vac-sealing?
2: when it's time to reheat, can the bags/meats be warmed in an oven? (say 350 until the meat reaches XXX temp)
3: can whole meats (shoulder or brisket) be vac-sealed?

I'm sure I will think of more but I am at the office and focus is elsewhere.
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Unread 07-14-2014, 06:20 AM   #2
New Pal Frank
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If it fits in the bag, it can be suck and sealed. I have never reheated in the oven, but you can reheat in boiling water or microwave oven.
I love mine and use it all the time.
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Unread 07-14-2014, 06:38 AM   #3
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Default Regarding vacu seal whole meats

Your item 3 in regards to sealing whole briskets etc. Most of the briskets you will cook came to you in vacuum pak.

I have not tried to rebag a cooked brisket but have done several racks of ribs.

I like to put meal size portions in a seal bag. They can be reheated in a pot of boiling water with no loss of flavor, no leftover taste.
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Unread 07-14-2014, 06:46 AM   #4
va_connoisseur
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Thanks for the responses. I goal (along with world domination) is to seal up portion sized meats for eating later during the year. Also, I figured if I do 4 or 5 shoulders now, I can bring a smoked shoulder to the upcoming football parties.

A couple more questions:
4: do you process your food before sealing? (i.e. - is there a loss of smoke flavor if your pull the shoulder and seal it?)
5: how long will sealed foods last?
6: I hear a lot about reheating in boiling water. Is that better than the microwave?
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Unread 07-14-2014, 06:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by va_connoisseur View Post
For you folks that use food savers I have a question about usage. I just purchased one and have a few questions:

1: what temp do you vac-seal things? Do I need to cool meats to XXX temp before vac-sealing?
Best results are achieved by quickly cooling the food before sealing. The cooling also helps the meat juices gel so they won't be lost during sealing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by va_connoisseur View Post
2: when it's time to reheat, can the bags/meats be warmed in an oven? (say 350 until the meat reaches XXX temp)
I would not put the bags into the oven, but the meat can be removed from the bag and panned to reheat. If your bags are approved for boiling (not all are) you can also bring a pot of water to boil, drop the bags into the water, remove the pot from the heat and allow to gently heat about 10-15 minutes. This also prevents the meat from continuing to cook. Once the meat is cooked and sealed you can safely heat in an approved bag and serve when they are reheated to a 145° internal temperature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by va_connoisseur View Post
3: can whole meats (shoulder or brisket) be vac-sealed?
Yes if your sealer will handle large enough bags. I bag whole flats to keep a uniform thickness for reheating. For winter months, I will bag whole pork butts and reheat them in the oven. Other than that I usually pull the pork in long thick strips after resting and remove the fat and gristle, then cool. I also chill the liquids separately and skim the fat and add the gelled juices to bottom of the bag before sealing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by va_connoisseur View Post
4: do you process your food before sealing? (i.e. - is there a loss of smoke flavor if your pull the shoulder and seal it?)
Nothing is as good as fresh, but most people will never know the difference, it is great!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by va_connoisseur View Post
5: how long will sealed foods last?
I had sealed foods for up to two years that got lost in the back of the freezer, all great. I rotate items and try to use the food within 6-8 months, but have had many things for a year with no loss of flavor or quality, and more importantly..... Absolutely No Freezer Burn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by va_connoisseur View Post
6: I hear a lot about reheating in boiling water. Is that better than the microwave?
The heat from the water is a gentle uniform heat, whereas using a microwave actually continues to cook the meat. Both work well, but best results for me are with the pot of water.


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Unread 07-14-2014, 07:13 AM   #6
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OK. Last question (until the next round of coffee kicks in)

7. May seem like a logical question but if done correctly, vac-sealing and freezing would seem like an ideal way to transport smoked food?

For instance, my alma mater only allows tailgating 2 hours before kick-off (only God and some idiot administrator knows why.) In theory I could smoke a few 5 pound shoulders, vac-seal this weekend. And during the season, grab a shoulder out of the freezer, head out to the stadium, then reheat in a aluminum pan for an hour to get it up to temp and enjoy smokey pork goodness during November/December. [Please excuse my thinking out loud.]
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Unread 07-14-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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VA, I started vac sealing months ago once I found out the benefits of it from this site. I let food sit until I can touch it with my hands with out burning them, and then seal it. Chicken, ribs, PP, mac n' cheese, and whole brisket (which I ate on vacation last week and it was delicious). I reheat in a pan of water @250(low and slow) for a few hours and try to keep the sealed edges out of water in case a seal breaks.
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Unread 07-14-2014, 07:55 AM   #8
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I've used my vac sealer to transport food to gatherings. Particularly a birthday party where we did a couple packers and butts a week prior.

It takes a little while to reheat from frozen, so I'm not sure your 2 hour window would be enough. I'd recommend you at least thaw the day before.

I use mine all the time. There's just 2 of us, but I'll many times do a big packer and some other things. We obviously can't eat it all, but having a freezer with some ready to go is a good thing!
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Unread 07-14-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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Use mine all the time and love it. Looks like your questions have been addressed. One "trick" I use when sealing items that have juices, sauces or other liquids....I'll put the product in the bag, place it in the freezer til it is "semi" frozen to frozen, then vac-seal.That way the vacuum doesn't suck the juices out of the bag.

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Unread 07-14-2014, 09:51 AM   #10
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Thanks for the tip code3rrt
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Unread 07-14-2014, 11:56 AM   #11
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I am loving mine that I bought on a trip to the US recently. After a slight set-back - I plugged it into a 220v socket and blew it up, but was able to get it fixed easily enough - it works wonders. I froze two batches of brisket Chilli con Carne today, and will see how they do on the reheat in hot water.

EDIT: I always do a double seal - not sure if its needed, but better safe than sorry!

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Unread 07-14-2014, 12:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CambuiAl View Post

EDIT: I always do a double seal - not sure if its needed, but better safe than sorry!


What is a double seal? Just got my machine so this is all new to me
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Unread 07-14-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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sealing it twice.

in case the first one leaks from not being complete. it happens

actually thats the reason I stopped using rolls and went back to bags. There are 3 factory sealed edges on the bags.
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Unread 07-14-2014, 01:23 PM   #14
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I prefer to cool meats before bagging and sealing as it just makes the seal go better.

One thing you'll quickly discover is that if you're vacuum sealing pulled pork or brisket that is juicy, as soon as the air gets out, the sealer will start to suck the juices out of the bag too. I prefer to keep the juices in the bag with the meat (makes it better for reheating) and so I'll either be watching and as soon as the juices start to race toward the seal strip, I'll hit the "seal" button and stop the vacuum process.

If you chill the meat overnight first, then bag and seal the cold meat (with the congealed juices), the vacuum sealer can suck and suck and you'll get a better vacuum and ensure that ALL of the air is out before it seals.


Just give it a try. You'll see what I mean pretty quick.
The juice will not only NOT be in the bag, but it can mess with the seal. Thus the need to double seal.
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Unread 07-14-2014, 01:53 PM   #15
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I am curious how y'all do a double seal...
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