Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Vacuum Sealing Mylar with Your Foodsaver

You want to protect food from air, moisture, and light.  Home vacuum sealers and their respective bags can protect against the elements.  I still prefer mylar bags for long term, however.  Mylar is thicker and more impenetrable than plastic vacuum seal bags, and protects from light.  It is tougher to tear too.  But for many dry food items, you need oxygen absorber packets in order to seal mylar for long term storage.  Unused and sealed O2 absorbers only last 6 months to a year or so, so they have to be continually purchased. Sometimes you'll notice the next day it didn't absorb all your air and you have to try again.  If only you could just get that instant satisfaction like with a vacuum sealer.  You can't seal a mylar bag in most regular (external) vacuum sealers because it lies too smoothly to allow air to suck out when it is against the heat strip.  Chamber vacs allow mylar to be vacuum sealed but are extremely expensive.  While researching options, I came across several videos on YouTube on this very subject.  Check out this possible alternative to sealing your mylar bags...

You won't be able to use cannery bags in some Foodsavers because the heat strip is too short in some models for the bag width.  In that case, however, you could cut the bag in half or just thinner and heat seal the cut edges to create a smaller bag, then proceed to vacuum the top.  Note: models that require the ends of the bag to be inserted into a slot for vacuuming and sealing may not work at all, you'd have to try and see.

Foodsavers are also good for resealing your mylar bags once they are opened.  For example, if you have a bag of oatmeal you plan to go through within the month, just heat seal it closed (forget vacuuming) so you can throw it back in the freezer(or wherever you store it) without it spilling out.  By the way, another option is to open the contents of your mylar bags and pour them into empty #10 cans for convenient opening and closing.