By marinating your food you can add new dimensions of taste and texture to really excite your taste buds. And you know what? Your vacuum sealer is a great tool for getting foods marinated in a fraction of the normal time. If you are marinating fruits then the process is known as Maceration.
Foods that Can Be Marinated
Here’s a list of foods that can be marinated:
- Meat and Poultry
Beef, Deer, Lamb, Pork, Chicken, Turkey
Anchovies, Bass, Cod, Halibut, Red Snapper, Salmon, Swordfish, Tuna
Artichokes, Eggplant, Green Beans, Olives, Squash, Peppers, Potatoes, Mushrooms
Fruit Berries, Melon, Oranges, Peaches
- Other Foods
Feta, Goats Cheese, Mozzarella
The list is endless, and there are a large number of recipes for marinades that you can make that are available from many of the different cooking sites online that you can try.
If you don’t fancy making your own, then many marinades can also be purchased ready made from lots of different food stores.
Marinate Foods Using Bags or Pouches
I have outlined the steps of the process that you need to follow below if you are using your vacuum sealer with bags or pouches for marinating foods.
- Bag Size
Make sure that you use a bag or pouch that will leave a 1.5 to 2 inch end for sealing so that you don’t get liquid all over your sealer when vacuuming the bag
- Prepare Your Marinade
Get your marinade ready beforehand whether your own recipe or one you have found on the internet or a shop bought one
- Prepare Food for Marinating?
Most meats and vegetables take up the flavor of a marinade much better if they are sliced thinly or cut into smaller pieces. So slice your food first
- Assemble the Ingredients
Add your prepared food to the vacuum bag or pouch together with the prepared and cooled marinade
- Mix the Food and Marinade
Move the food around in the bag so that the marinade and the food are totally mixed together
- Finally, Seal the Bag or Pouch
Vacuum Seal the bag and store in the refrigerator for between 15 mins and 2 hours or so to get the best taste
Using Canisters and Marination Accessories
There are several types of canister and attachments that you can purchase to make marinating foods easier when using your vacuum sealer. All of them are attached to your sealer by means of an accessory hose.
So if you want to be able to use this type of equipment then it is important that you purchase a vacuum sealer that can be fitted with an accessory hose or advertises a retractable hose.
Some vacuum sealers don’t come with the hose but list an accessory port or canister port as a feature, these are OK too. You can get an accessory hose that will fit the port at a very small additional cost to add the functionality to your unit.
Marinating Using Canisters
Follow the easy steps to get great results when marinating foods with your vacuum sealer in conjunction with canisters.
As before, make sure that your food is sliced thinly and your marinade is prepared in advance
- Assembling the Ingredients
Add the food and the marinade to the canister making sure that they are mixed and that the food is completely covered
- Attaching the Vacuum Sealer
Attach the canister to the sealer using the accessory hose or canister attachment supplied
Start the vacuum and allow to run for several minutes then stop and release the vacuum. Repeat this process several times for the best results. By applying the vacuum several times the marinade is forced deeper and deeper into the food giving a richer flavor infusion
Note that some machines from FoodSaver®, ARY VAcMaster®, Weston Supply and others have a marinate feature to help you get the process just right.
FoodSaver® is one vacuum sealer manufacturer that markets a special Quick Marinator unit. Using this special attachment makes marinating your foods a lot simpler and less messy. The Marinator unit is attached to the vacuum sealer by means of an accessory hose. FoodSaver also supply a range of canisters that can be used too.
Weston Supply also promote a range of canisters that you can attach to some of their units as do ARY VacMaster.
How much time does it take?
Marinating with a vacuum sealer is fast and efficient. When marination takes place in the normal way by soaking in the fridge, some meats have to be marinated for days at a time to get the full benefit of the marinade flavor.
With a vacuum sealer however, this time is reduced to between 15 mins and 2 hours which is a great help if you want to take advantage of this method of food preparation.
How can a vacuum sealer marinate food so fast?
Basically, what happens is that the process of creating a vacuum around the food creates lots of voids inside the surface of the food. These microscopic spaces are like the surface of a sponge and greatly increase the surface area of the food. This means that the marinade gets absorbed much faster than usual.
Where can i get marinades from?
Its only when you start to experiment with marinating your food that you realize what a vast range of different flavors are out there.
Many different brands of marinade are sold by stores and you can have a lot of fun experimenting with all the different types before settling on a range of favorites.
If you don’t find such a great range in your local stores then look online as there are a lot of retailers that are only too happy to supply you.
If you really feel like taking a chance then just do a search on ‘marinade recipes’ and you can browse hundreds of extra special marinades that you can make up yourself for that special occasion.