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Monday, October 13, 2008

One of the best investments I ever made in a kitchen appliance was the Food Saver.

By vacuuming sealing your food into plastic bags, it will not only stay fresher longer, but will help you to save time in the kitchen. And I am all about doing things in the easiest way possible.

For example, if you need to brown a pound of ground beef (or turkey) for a recipe, it is just as easy to brown five pounds at the same time and package them in individual one pound bags with your Food Saver and toss them in the freezer. The next time you need ground beef, for chili, or tacos, or spaghetti sauce, you can just pull it out of the freezer and microwave it. This saves a ton of time (and clean up) at dinner time.

I often season the turkey while I’m cooking it and then package it in 3-ounce servings so when I’m in the mood for my favorite taco salad, the meat is already pre-seasoned and pre-cooked so it’s not a major production to make it.

It’s also perfect for portion control. One of the ways I like to use it is for pre-portioning the zillions of pounds of chicken that I eat. I buy the big bags of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook them all at once, either baked, grilled or in the crockpot. After it’s cooked, I chop it all up and use my handy-dandy food scale to measure out 3 and 4 ounce portions, which I seal in the Food Saver bags. I now always have pre-cooked, pre-chopped chicken available for salads, sandwiches or other recipes that require pre-cooked chicken.

And speaking of chicken (or beef, really), we also like to add a marinade to chicken before freezing it, vacuum seal it – and then it marinates while it’s defrosting. Cool, right?

There is also a nifty attachment that comes with the machine that allows you to vacuum seal mason jars. This is great for sealing individual soup and chili portions and keeping them fresh longer than your Gladware ever could.

If you time it just right, sometimes QVC offers them on Easy Pay and HSN has been known to carry them as well.

Rival also makes the Seal-A-Meal, which looks very similar, but I don’t have any personal experience with that particular product.

The Food Saver is available in several different styles and price ranges, so it is best to do a little research and see which one will work for you. But get one - it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.


MizFit said...

did my husband put you up to this?
he has been wanting one of these for DECADES.

(Im not mean :) he just never sets foot in the kitchen so Ive not listened/been quick to purchase :))

midlife mommy said...

I just came across the unit that I'd purchased for my mom (I've been finding a lot of presents that she never used or opened, which makes me just sigh). I had my husband put it in the basement for now until I get a chance to start cooking again. Right now, I'm thinking about getting a pressure cooker.

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

mizfit - okay, I confess - there was a very small cash exchange - but my lips are sealed.

mlm - that's so sad. :( I've thought of a pressure cooker, too, but I'm such a kitchen appliance junkie that I am running out of storage space.