FoodSaver® Preservation System & Bags
This post is sponsored by FoodSaver®; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Under vacuum: this is the direct French translation from which the cooking technique of “sous vide” attained its name. Simply put, sous vide is the act of sealing food within an appropriate bag and cooking it within a precise, temperature-controlled environment. The end result is a beautiful, cost-effective meal that streamlines your time in the kitchen.
There are four key physical components to sous vide cooking: the immersion circulator, water container, vacuum sealer, and vacuum bags. The circulator and container bring the precise heat, while the vacuum sealer and bags provide the ideal environment for the cooking session. FoodSaver® Preservation Systems and Bags make the sous vide technique straightforward and accessible.
Let’s discuss the various advantages of utilizing FoodSaver® vacuum sealers and FoodSaver® Bags. Vacuum sealing removes air from the bags, allowing the bag to hug the food tightly. This ensures that heat from the water is evenly distributed around the food, providing a thorough and uniform cook. Also, because the air is removed, this prevents bags from floating, an issue that can cause uneven cooking due to inefficient heat transfer into the food. Cooking vegetables via sous vide typically require high temperatures, whereas some meats require lengthy cooking sessions of several hours, so FoodSaver® Bags are rugged enough to withstand the needs of sous vide cooking without failing.
Using FoodSaver® vacuum sealer and FoodSaver® Bags also creates a cooking environment where you have zero flavor loss. The reason your kitchen smells so wonderful when you open the oven door is because volatile flavor compounds have been released out of the food and into the surrounding air. Cooking under vacuum with FoodSaver® Bags keeps all of these flavor compounds contained within the cooking environment, resulting in foods that taste more inherently like themselves. One of my favorite examples of this is carrots cooked sous vide because they end up tasting like the most carroty-carrots you’ve ever had. The counterexample to this would be carrots cooked for a long time in some kind of stew. The carrots have released most of their flavor into the stewing liquid, and, in turn, absorbed the various flavors of the stew, though leaving behind a tasty carrot, albeit a carrot that doesn’t taste much like a carrot anymore. Vacuum sealing can also affect the texture of foods. As mentioned above, the sous vide carrots are denser, with a firm bite, compared to the stewed carrots that have lost their structure and have become soft and mushy.
Other highlights of vacuum sealing and sous vide cooking are the various practical savings in time and money, in conjunction with effective meal planning. The gentle method of sous vide cooking can transform inexpensive tough cuts of meat into fork tender meals, with no chance of overcooking. When purchasing foods in bulk at reduced prices and dividing them into meal-sized portions, utilizing a FoodSaver® sealer and FoodSaver® Bags means you’ve got cost effective meals at the ready with less time spent at the store.
Vacuum sealing with a FoodSaver® Preservation System and FoodSaver® Bags prolongs the shelf life of your foods by removing air, which prevents bacteria and mold from growing. This makes FoodSaver® bagged meals last days longer in the refrigerator, and weeks, if not months, longer in the freezer. Speaking of frozen food, with sous vide you can pull FoodSaver® Bag sealed foods directly from your freezer and put them right into the sous vide bath, no defrosting necessary. Just remember to adjust the cook time accordingly when cooking frozen fresh foods. The general rule is to add an additional 1.5x to your cook time compared to cooking unfrozen fresh foods (example: fresh steak 60 min x 1.5 = frozen steak 90 min). When pulling previously cooked meals from the freezer, you essentially just reheat them in the sous vide bath.
FoodSaver® vacuum sealers and FoodSaver® Bags also keep your kitchen a more organized and sanitary space. Vacuum sealing is a practical storage method, as removing the air from the bags makes items take up less physical space. Using FoodSaver® Bags can also limit the potential for cross contamination between ingredients by creating an impermeable barrier around the food. I also recommend taking a note from the restaurant world by labeling all of your vacuum sealed bags with the name of the food and sealing date. I also like to mark the cooking time and temperature on my FoodSaver® Bags.
The ability of FoodSaver® vacuum sealers and FoodSaver® Bags to prep, seal, cook and store all in one bag make them the ideal accompaniment to any sous vide cooking setup. Do as the French, and put your food “Under Vacuum” with a FoodSaver® Preservation System and Bags, which you can find at Target.com for purchase. They’re also available on the iBotta app, and don’t forget to redeem the special offer code below!