Vacuum Sealer: The Machine That Keeps Food Fresher For Longer

A selection of fresh fish fillets

The first word in our name is the quality we prize above everything else when it comes to fish and seafood. If you cook fish regularly, you will know the difference between what’s fresh and what isn’t.

Although daily access to the freshest fish is the preserve of the fortunate few, there are a few simple measures you can take to keep any fish or seafood you have as close to fresh as possible, and the same applies to dishes you have prepared with fish and seafood.

Chief among these is having a good-quality freezer. Refrigeration technology has come on leaps and bounds in the past decade, so if you’ve bought a freezer made by one of the premium brands in the past few years you’re starting from a good position.

Ultimately, ambient moisture is the enemy of frozen food, so if your freezer can keep humidity at bay while maintaining a steady flow of air then what you store in it will keep longer.

But there is another step you can take to preserve fish, seafood and most other foods in prime condition, and it’s one we use at the very start of the process of assembling orders: vacuum sealing.

Vacuum sealers remove oxygen from food, leaving it in an airtight pouch. It is oxygen that contains the moisture that accelerates the deterioration of frozen food. Removing oxygen also prevents the build-up of bacteria and mould, keeping food as fresh and flavoursome as possible for longer. Even if you’re simply refrigerating food, vacuum sealing it will extend its shelf life more than you might think.

Save space – and money

Vacuum sealing also saves space in your freezer, allowing you to store more than would be the case if you used plastic containers, regardless of how sharp your packing skills might be.

If you have a large freezer then a vacuum sealer can also save you money. Buying in bulk is an easy step to economy, and with a vacuum sealer you can divide fish, meat and other foods into portions that will prevent waste – you can defrost the exact amount you will need.

The functions of a vacuum-sealer extend beyond preparing food for the freezer. If you’re a keen cook, you can use it to prepare fish and meat for cooking sous vide, a method that’s growing in popularity thanks to TV shows such as MasterChef and the uniformity of cooking it produces.

Affordable technology

While the machines we use at Fresh Fish Daily to prepare orders are industrial grade and far from easy on the pocket, you can buy domestic equivalents for anywhere between £20 and £300.

As a rule of thumb, the more you spend the better the appliance will be, but for a shade under £50 you can purchase a vacuum sealer that will do a brilliant job and last for a number of years. Most domestic machines are compact and store easily in a kitchen cupboard.

You will need to buy vacuum sealing bags, which you can buy in packs or, better still, in rolls that are around 30cm wide and can be cut to fit.

Once you’ve got a vacuum sealer and bags, there’s no limit to what you can freeze: fish and meat (cooked or uncooked), stocks, vegetables, chopped fruits (especially useful when there’s a glut of berries, though it’s best to freeze these first before vacuum sealing), sauces, pesto, cheese, herbs.

Do’s and don’ts

As a general principle it’s best to try to keep solids such as meat, veg and fruits in a single layer with no overlap. And, needless to say, be sure to write the contents and date of freezing on your bags so you know you’re defrosting sugo and not chilli sauce, for example.

See below for a number of recipes that are perfectly suited to vacuum sealing, whether you’re looking to fill your freezer with a fresh batch or you find yourself with leftovers.

Before freezing cooked food, always allow it to reach room temperature before freezing. After freezing, defrost food thoroughly before cooing or reheating.

Kedgeree

Fish Pie

Baked Cod with Tomato Sauce and Olives

Smoked Salmon Tart

Tuna Frittata

Freezer Favourites

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Covid-19: Update

Although the rules for self-isolation have changed across the UK, fluctuating infection rates mean the possibility of disruption to the supply chain remains.

Until further notice please DO NOT CONTACT US unless your delivery is more than 24 hours late. The packaging we use is designed to preserve the freshness of your order for longer than is normally required, especially during the colder months.

Unless your delivery is significantly delayed we are confident your purchases will arrive in exceptional condition. If this is not the case we will of course offer a full refund.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and ongoing support.

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