How to vacuum food packaging (without packaging machine)

Preserving food so that it lasts in optimal conditions for as long as possible is one of the main objectives in all kitchens since it allows us to save money and time, as well as make proper use of food resources. To achieve this, vacuum packaging can be a good option that consists of removing all the air from the inside of a container or bag to isolate the contents from the outside, and later seal it hermetically. In this way, packaged food does not come into contact with external oxygen, which is key to stopping the action of microorganisms responsible for spoiling raw or cooked food since they need oxygen as a source of energy, in addition to avoiding the oxidizing power of oxygen itself. On the other hand, in addition to allowing food to be preserved for longer, Vacuum packaging also allows better preservation since they are protected from moisture and odors, and their texture and flavor are not altered.

There are different vacuum packaging machines that can be very useful and practical, but if we do not have one (and do not want to buy it), we can also benefit from homemade vacuum packaging techniques. Let’s see how:

Immersion technique

How to vacuum food packaging (without packaging machine)

It can be carried out in three simple steps and we will only need hermetically sealed bags and a container with water. The first step is pPut the food we want to pack in a hermetically sealed bag and close it until there is only a small opening. Next, we submerge the bag slowly in a container full of water so that the air comes out (the force of the water will make the air go out through the small hole that we have left). When the water reaches the edge of the closure of the bag and there is no air left, we close it completely without removing it from the water. Once closed, we can remove it from the water and we will have our food vacuum packed.

In mason jars

How to vacuum food packaging (without packaging machine)

If we choose to vacuum pack using glass jars, we must bear in mind that it is convenient to do it when the food is hot, just after cooking it and, before starting, it is necessary to check that the glass jars close correctly and, of course, they are clean and dry.

That said, we can pack in two ways. The most used consists of fill the cans and close them well ensuring that there are no losses. Next, place a cloth at the base of a large pot and, on top, the cans, making sure they do not touch each other. Fill the pot with water until it covers the jars and boil for 15-30 minutes (the time will depend on the size of the boats). Finally, we take them out, let them cool and they will be ready to store. One way to know if the whole process has worked is to press the lid of the boat, if we do not manage to sink it, it has been.

A second, faster method is totake advantage of the heat of the cooked food that we pack to consume the air that may remain inside the jars. What you have to do is boil the food to be packaged just before filling the jars (you have to fill them to the top and only leave 2 mm unfilled). Next, quickly, we close the lid and press hard to seal the closure well. After a few minutes, the lids of the cans should make a noise (‘clap’) which will mean that the vacuum is already made.