Posted: Sep 17, 2012
Vacuum packing machines have rested in a place of esteem since being introduced to the commercial kitchen. These devices have a number of practical uses behind-the-scenes of a restaurant, and can not only help save money, but can occasionally be used in the production of certain menu items as well. First, let’s take a look at the difference between an in-chamber and an out-of-chamber vacuum sealing machines:
- In-Chamber Vacuum Sealers – In-chamber vacuum sealers are countertop units that have an internal chamber in which product is sealed. The edge the bag placed inside remains outside the chamber, air is removed from and then forced back into the chamber to force all excess air from the bag before it is sealed. In-chamber vacuum sealers are a necessity when sealing liquids as out-of-chamber units cannot fully remove air or can actually cause bags of liquid to burst. It is important to have an idea of how large of a vacuum chamber will suite your business needs, as each manufacturer makes a number of different size models.
- Out-Of-Chamber Vacuum Sealers – Out-of-chamber vacuum sealers tend to be significantly less expensive than their in-chamber counterparts. Meant to rest on a countertop, these vacuum sealers operate in a straightforward manner. The out-of-chamber sealer first siphons the air directly from the bag, and then seals. This variety of vacuum sealing is effective, however it is not meant to for liquids or products that can be easily crushed.
As earlier mentioned, vacuum sealers have a number of uses in back-of-the-house operations, and for a number of reasons, can help your business’ bottom line. Here are some of their most common uses, and some of the benefits they yield.
- Storage – Probably the most notable and most common use of a vacuum sealer is to seal and store food product. Most of the microorganisms that break down food are located in air, and since vacuum sealers remove air from product before sealing, they extend the shelf life of the food. Vacuum sealers stave off freezer burn, and are a great way to lower food costs. Additionally, they significantly reduce the size of product being stored, and can help make the most out of dwindling storage space.
- Menu / Food Quality - The vacuum sealer also functions to prepare foods to be cooked sous-vide style. Sous-vide cooking allows food to be cooked in a temperature controlled environment; which originally was thought to be a passing fad, but is actually becoming a mainstay in many kitchens. Food can be cooked at the temperature it will be served at, and can be sealed with herbs and spices, and this style of dry poaching will infuse their flavors in more prevalent ways than other forms of cooking. Sous-vide cooking is a great way to cook meat, as it leaves meat tender and can ensure temperature accuracy.
- Resealing - Not only can the shelf lives of food be drastically extended, but vacuum sealers are the ideal way to store leftover food product that may not otherwise have been salvaged. The life of previously prepared foods will be extended by storing it in a vacuum seal, and even recently opened products can remain practically new if they are vacuum sealed.