Most people are familiar with the concept of vacuum sealing, and may even have a vacuum sealer at home. But, have you heard of a chamber vacuum sealer? You may have seen a chamber food sealer on TV or, in the workplace, if you are in the food industry.
On the other hand, you might have experienced trying a product that has previously been vacuum-sealed. There are many products we buy that have been commercially vacuum sealed. Think cheeses, processed meats, smoked fish and even some nuts and cereals.
When it comes to buying the perfect vacuum sealers, you will mostly come across two common types. Chamber vacuum sealers and suction vacuum sealers.
In this article, we look at chamber vacuum sealers and how they work.
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An Insight Into Chamber Vacuum Sealers
Chamber vacuum sealers are specialized sealing units that are used specifially for storing liquids. Most home vacuum sealers cannot properly seal marinades and soups. So, if you are looking for the ultimate in versatility and convenience, maybe you need a top chamber vacuum sealer.
The sealer bags are placed inside the chamber machine with the edge to be sealed on the sealing strip. By using specific controls, you can easily set the required vacuum created within the chamber. This allows you to seal any solid foods, but also the tricky “wet” items such as marinades, soups and sauces.
These types of vacuum sealers evacuate air from the chamber leaving equal air pressure on both the inside and outside of the pouch or bag. This process keeps the liquid secure inside the pouch so that it is not squeezed out during the sealing process.
Without the utilization of this suction technology, not all air gets evacuated from the chamber evenly.
When you are searching for the best chamber vacuum sealers, you will come across machines of all sizes. The smaller, countertop units are great for preserving food at home, especially liquids, but also sealing food for sous vide cooking.
At the other end of the scale, there are standalone commercial units for catering and restaurant businesses.
How Does A Chamber Vacuum Sealer Work?
Compared to your regular home vacuum sealers, chamber vacuum sealing units are slightly more expensive and larger in size. However, while they are capable of doing an excellent job of sealing foods instantly in airtight packaging, they also seal liquids.
The powerful vacuum pump along with the large-sized chamber also allows it to seal several food bags at the same time. This is a major benefit to any home food preserver, but also imperative to commercial units such as a restaurant or café.
In fact, with a chamber vacuum sealer, unlike other sealing devices, the pressure within the chamber and the bag is the same at all times. This is the reason your sous vide bag will never collapse in a chamber vacuum sealer.
To start using a chamber vacuum sealer, simply pack your food in a sous vide bag, without over-filling. A reliable technique to ensure this is by folding back the bag’s top. This keeps the bag’s top clean when filling so it seals properly and keep liquids from leaking out.
Any food debris at the point where the bag has been sealed could make the bond weak. This may lead to leaks during cooking.
Loading Process Of A Chamber Vacuum Sealer:
Once you have packed the food within the vacuum sealer bag, it is placed into the chamber of the sealer. The open end of the bag should be placed over the sealing bar. Then, tuck the rest of the bag or pouch into the chamber.
It is recommended that you double check that the bag’s edge is not protruding from the chamber. Finally, firmly close the lid to engage the vacuum pump and start the sealing cycle.
Selecting The Vacuum Sealing Cycle:
Once you have placed the food item in the chamber and closed the lid, the vacuum sealing cycle will commence. For a variety of solid food items, reduce the overall pressure to around 5-50 millibars. This way, when you seal the bag, it will produce a properly sealed package.
Using 5 millibars, the bag will shrink very tightly around the food. However, at 50 millibars, there will be a small amount of air left within the bag to allow for some cushioning. Depending on the type of food you are sealing, you should decide the value of pressure to control the level of tightness of the bag around the food.
For very fragile foods, such as soft cheeses, use pressures of around 200-500 millibars to avoid crushing.
The bags are required to be tightly sealed & closed properly during the vacuum-sealing cycle so that air can not getting back into the bag. This is achieved by the heat-sealing bars.
For a strong seal, say for sous vide, the time required will be around 2-3 seconds. However, remember that the longer the bars are heated, the more the plastic is going to melt. You may need to adjust the time needed depending on the thickness of the bag being used.
Vacuum-sealing Cycle’s End:
Once the job of the sealing bars is complete, the chamber is refilled with air by a valve opening. If the bag has been correctly sealed, the air is not able to get back inside, so it is ready for storing or cooking.
Once the valve is released, atmospheric pressure makes the plastic bag close tightly around the food item and ultimately completes the sealing cycle.
Benefits of Using a Chamber Vacuum Sealer
One of the benefits of using a chamber vacuum sealer is that these machines are capable of sealing almost all types of food items. This makes them truly functional as well as versatile. They are a handy appliance for home food preserving in any kitchen.
Another major benefit of using these handy home preserving appliances is that they reduce the work needed for preparing packaged or sealed food. There is no more requirement than simply placing food into proper vacuum sealer bags, adding to the machine and pressing the lid closed.
Also, these semi-commercial units allow you to seal multiple bags at the same time. Add this to the ability to process liquids and these units become invaluable.
To be able to process packages for sous vide cooking using marinades, seal soups and stews or seal fragile foods, look to a chamber vacuum sealer.
Chamber vacuum sealers are easily included in any list of the best home food preserving equipment. They may appear to be quite expensive, however, when you take into account the variety of produce that you can easily seal, they are worth the investment.
Having a chamber vacuum sealer in your kitchen will allow you to precisely seal anything with ease. From liquids and soft foods, smoked fish and cured meats to super hard nuts. Get the best results every time and look into buying a chamber vacuum sealer.
If you are interested in learning about different types of vacuum sealers, read our Best Vacuum Sealers Reviews.