Sunday, June 3, 2007


Once in a while a product comes along that you wonder how you lived without. If you don't already have a vacuum sealer, go get one right now!

Cooking barbeque usually requires pretty large quantities of food. You can't cook just 1/8th of a pork butt. So unless you've got a lot of people coming to the house, you're stuck with leftovers for the rest of the week.

Don't get me wrong, I could live on just ribs and pulled pork. But my doctor doesn't think that's the case, so these treats are better left to a once every few weeks experience.

That's where the FoodSaver 2860 comes in. I bought one of these jewels last fall and I don't know how I lived without it.

Instead of dealing with heaping mounds of leftovers, I just wait until the food has cooled enough to handle, put some on a serving platter, and the rest into meal sized portions in the vacuum bags. Use the rolls, not the pre-made bags since each portion is going to be a little different in size. The meals go directly into the freezer, where they can emerge months later without the slightest hint of freezer burn. Slit open the bag, place it on a plate and into the microwave. A few minutes later you've got a dish that tastes like it just came off the smoker/grill!

I also use it to preserve large quantity items such as cheese. Intead of having a huge block of premium cheddar go moldy because we've only eaten 1/3 of it in a month, I cut the block into thirds and vacuum seal two of them. It's a better seal than when it came from the store.

The Foodsaver comes with a DVD that explains how to use it, but it's so simple that a quick flip through the manual is enough to get started. The DVD has lots of ideas for other uses.

Finally, one of the accessories is a quick marinator. Just put your food into the marination tray, add liquid, then run the vacuum pump. You can get about four hours worth of marination in 15 minutes. It's not going to help tenderize the meat in that amount of time, but if you're just looking to impart flavor and you're short on time, this is the ticket.

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