When a vacuum sealer can package and store your food – and make it last a whole lot longer – who wouldn’t want one?
By Linda Bloffwitch
You only need to speak to any diehard fisho who will happily tell you the benefits of vacuum sealing their catch (especially when their fridge is mainly filled with a few tinnies, and they’re not heading home for another week or two). Not only is vacuum-sealed food a fantastic way to extend the shelf life of its contents, having a vacuum sealer that runs on 240V and 12V like the one from Dometic means you can easily take it everywhere you go.
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Plug and Play
Out of the box, this vacuum sealer doesn’t get much simpler. It’s a matter of plugging it into either 240V or 12V, and you’re set. The unit is compact and light, weighing only 1.3kg, so there’s no issue with it taking up loads of space in your vehicle, caravan or camper. Besides the 240V and 12V cables supplied, you’ll find a roll cutter and removable drip tray included. There’s even a few pouches to get you going – with five, eight-inch and five, 11-inch pouches included (11-inch is the maximum width the unit will accommodate).
You can easily pick up Dometic vacuum sealer bags, which you purchase separately, and they come in packs of two, three-metre continuous rolls in eight-inch and 11-inch widths. Use the roll cutter provided with the unit to cut them to size (which also helps prevent any bag wastage). These bags are also suitable to be used in a microwave or simmering water.
You’re in Control
Vacuum sealing with the unit can be performed automatically with a simple flick of the Start/Stop button; but when you’ve got items such as breads, biscuits and soft items, you won’t want to suck the life out of the bag completely and reduce its contents to a mushy mess! Here, you only need to use the unit’s manual setting to control the vacuum pressure, which adjusts the level of vacuum in the bag.
A Few Tips
To get the most out of the vacuum sealer when packaging pre-prepared meals, I find it easier to have food at least partially frozen so the machine doesn’t suck moisture (which can prevent the bag sealing, or damage the machine, or both). Once bagged, meals vacuum-seal flat like a pancake – making them perfect to stack on top of each other in the fridge or freezer. Then it’s simply a matter of placing the bags in a billy of simmering water or zapping them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and dinner is done. It doesn’t matter where your travelling takes you when you can dish up some sensational home-style cooking in under five minutes.
In for the Long Haul
I’ve been using the vacuum sealer for a while now; and it’s one of my most valued accessories for our travelling lifestyle, given its 12V ability. It doesn’t matter what I’m packaging… it does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and without any fuss. So you could say I’m hooked on the Dometic vacuum sealer – its size, functionality and reliability have made it a great all-rounder for when we’re out travelling or even at home. RRP$249.