PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables are available now, and maybe you’re looking for a way to keep those garden-fresh flavors longer. As Consumer Reports explains, a vacuum sealer can extend freshness and save you money when you’re freezing food.

Vacuum sealers help maintain the quality of frozen foods by limiting exposure to air. And that can help reduce waste. CR tested seven vacuum sealers ranging from $60 to $180. They work by removing the air from a bag, then fusing the top along a heated strip to create an airtight seal.

CR knew from the previous testing that vacuum sealing does extend the life of food. Now it has tested how well the devices seal both dry and moist foods, how quickly and quietly they operate, and how easy they are to clean.

All of the vacuum sealers CR tested were excellent at sealing dry goods, but only four were better when sealing foods with liquids, like meat marinades: the FoodSaver Multi-Use, the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh, the Black + Decker Premium Vacuum Sealer and the Anova Culinary Vacuum Sealer.

Vacuum sealer

All of the vacuum sealers CR tested were excellent at sealing dry goods, but only four were better when sealing foods with liquids.

If you don’t have the countertop or cabinet space for an extra appliance, you can still take advantage of the benefits of freezing. The key is to remove as much air as possible. Your best bet is to emulate a vacuum sealer. What you need to do is squeeze as much air out of a plastic storage bag as you possibly can—or better yet—wrap your food tightly in plastic wrap or foil before putting it in the bag.

And don’t worry if freezer burn does happen. It doesn’t make the meat unsafe to eat, but it can change the taste, texture and appearance. Another tip is to label foods before putting them in the freezer and eat them in reverse order so nothing sits for too long.

 

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