How To Use An External Vacuum Sealer Properly
Last Updated June, 2019
Just like any other household appliance, external vacuum sealers to need to be operated properly to get the desired result. A large number of complaints regarding the functioning and usefulness of this product are actually a result of poor operational practice. If you are someone who has recently purchased a suction type vacuum sealer, then the topics covered in this article should help your learning curve immensely.
The Inside Of A Suction Type Vacuum Sealer Explained
If you ignore the usual bells and whistles that accompany your external suction type vacuum sealer and only focus on its basic construction, then you’ll notice that it will pertain to one of the two designs explained in this section.
In the most traditional designs, employing an outer lid and depending on the machine’s orientation, the lid will swing open accordingly. For flat models, the lid is pulled up whereas, in the stand-up models, it opens outwards and rests on the countertop.
Irrespective of the orientation, the seal strip that heat seals the bag can be found towards the outside, usually a few inches from the outer perimeter of the machine. Moving inwards (or upwards depending on the machine’s orientation), you’ll find the vacuum or suction channel easily identified by an elongated, oval-shaped rubber seal surrounding the region.
The more modern machines that boast of minimal user intervention will have the same internal setup as discussed above. However, they don’t open up to accept the bag but instead have a long, narrow slit and you need to feed the mouth of the bag into this opening.
Proper Feeding Instructions
After opening the lid, you’ll need to place the mouth of the bag into the vacuum channel. While pushing the bag’s mouth slightly into the channel, use the other hand to flatten the neck of the bag by pressing it nicely against the length of the outer rubber seal. Doing so greatly reduces the chance of the bag’s mouth slipping out from its intended position.
Then, slowly pull down the lid to lock the bag in position. Here, it’s advisable to flatten the neck of the bag that’s right outside the machine by running your fingers along its width. This ensures greater response during the suction process and also results in a nice straight seal at the end of the process.
As for compact models that need you to push the bag’s open end into the machine, the challenge is trying to ascertain how much to push until the mouth of the bag is deposited into the vacuum channel. Normally, you would have a LED indicator to tell you when the bag’s mouth is in position inside the machine. Once everything is in place, start the vacuum sealing process by pressing the requisite button on the machine.
Bags And Seals
Depending on their design, suction type vacuum sealers will accept either individual pouches, bag rolls or both. Bag rolls give you the freedom of customizing the size of your bag. A freshly cut bag from the roll will be open from the top as well as the bottom, so make sure you seal one end of the bag before filling in the constituents.
Also, it’s best to leave a few extra inches at the top as opposed to cutting a bag to the exact measurement. This allows you to snip open the bag to remove a portion of the material from it and repackage it again. Moreover, the extra length of the neck allows the loaded side of the bag to rest nicely on the counter or table top thus ensuring a smoother operation.
As far as the heat sealing aspect is concerned, make it a point to leave the bag in the machine for a few seconds after the sealed light goes off. Doing so, not only allows the open ends to bond properly, but also affords the heating element with the much needed cool down time.
The latter is very important when dealing with older or inexpensive vacuum sealers as the continuous operation can overheat the seal strip. This, in turn, can lead to substandard seal quality in subsequent batches or worse still irreparably damage the strip altogether.