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Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit
Aug 5, 2012
by Willow Lesav
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:keeps frozen food at better quality; durable bags; easy to use pump
Cons:even a tiny break in the seal lets air in
The Bottom Line: For freezing meat, fish, veggies or even fruit, these freezer bags are wonderful for preserving quality. The kit gets you started, and hooked on the system.
We've probably all done it. You pack food up in a bag, place it in the freezer to use later on, and it makes its way to the back of the freezer, only to be found some day when cleaning the freezer out or finally deciding to dig into the cold depths to see just what made its way to the very back. Most instances of such frozen discoveries end up with us finding an ice-coated chunk of something we can't quite distinguish, and we toss it into the trash before we realize just what it is. But there is a product out there which makes freezing random pieces of meat, fish, or other solid foods easier, and enables them to last longer in the freezer with better quality. The Ziploc Vacuum Bag Kit.
Recommend this product?
When you first decide to make the wise purchase of the Ziploc Vacuum bags, you'll want to start by buying the Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit. It comes with the pump and three 1-quart bags.
The pump is rather simple, really. A blue and white plastic pump. You place it over the designated area on the bag and pump out the air until the bag is essentially shrink-wrapped around your food. The pump is very easy to use and doesn't require any kind of strength.
The 1-quart bags are pretty thick, and it has an area on the bag where you can write the contents of the bag. I suggest doing this prior to filling it, as it's much easier.
There is a designated area where you place the end of the pump, and each bag has the easy instructions printed on it.
Ease of Use
The Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit is very easy to use. After you've filled your bag, you seal it up with Ziploc's standard press seal. It's a nice, thick seal you can easily feel and tell whether or not its closed. You place the pump on the blue outlined circle and pump out all the air.
One thing to keep in mind when filling your bag is that you'll need to keep the pump area available and flat for pumping out the air. If it's not completely flat, you'll get frustrated pretty quickly. I find it's best to fill the bag only to the bottom of the directions label for the best pumping action. Also, if you're able to flatten the food you're placing in (as in flattening ground hamburger instead of keeping it in a ball), it's easier to pump the air out.
As you pump the air out, the food will flatten out some, depening on what is in the bag. The bag is pretty durable, and I've not had any issues with the holes in the bag after pumping all of the air out.
Don't over fill the bag. Use a larger bag or several bags if need-be. Trust me, over-filling just leads to annoyance.
You must ensure that the Ziploc press seal is completely sealed, or you'll end up with air getting back into the bag. If it's completely sealed, your food stays shrink-wrapped for a long time in your freezer. When you pull the food out to use it, it's not covered in ice and it shouldn't take on an unappetizing gray color.
I recommend checking your bag after a day or two to ensure it's still sealed. If you see air, press the seal again and suck the air out.
I've frozen ground hamburger, turkey burger patties, fish, chicken, and even bread in these bags all with great success. I've also used them in the refrigerator for bread, which worked pretty well. Frozen veggies also work well, but I suggest removing the veggies from their original packaging and placing them in the Ziploc Vacuum Bag for freezing. I put a half-used bag of peas into the Ziploc bag, and it didn't work as well. Next time I dumped the remaining veggies out into the Ziploc bag, and that worked much better.
Freezing liquid items in the Ziploc Vacuum Bags ins't as easy. Here's my suggestion. Fill a plastic container with your liquid. My example was spaghetti sauce. Put the lid on and freeze it just like that. Once its frozen, you can take the lid off, put the cup in a Ziploc Vacuum Bag and suck the air out. Then put it back into the freezer. Don't let it thaw out while doing this, be quick. It worked well for my spaghetti sauce, and it didn't taste at all like it had been frozen. I had it in the freezer for only a few weeks, though.
You can re-use these bags, if you so desire and as long as the seal still firmly seals. I don't use ones which have raw meat in them, but ones for veggies or bread/rolls I re-use. I just rinse them out, let them completely dry, and they're good to go.
Cost and Availability
I got my Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit many years ago, and I have no recollection of how much it cost. But it's worth it, whatever it is. Target, Walmart, and grocery stores all carry it.
The Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit is so nice. It keeps food in your freezer better for longer. Just make sure your seal on the bags is completely closed. This kit only comes with 3 1-quart sized bags, so you'll certainly want to invest in more bags. I suggest buying both a box of 1-quart and a box of 1-gallon, as the larger size comes in very handy. I recommend this kit to anyone who freezes food.
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