Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sucking Out The Air

After having tasted the wonderful burnt ends in the vacuum sealed package from Costco ... frozen no less ... I decided to break out my smoker again.  I just LOVE smoked pork and chicken.  Unfortunately it doesn't like ME all that much, so being able to keep it in the freezer is a good thing.

Previously I either put it in those blue plastic tubs, letting air and ice surround every bite, or I would use zip lock bags.  Did you know you could close that bag all but one inch, then suck the air out yourself?  Yeah, I almost choked on a small piece that came with the air one time, but it works kinda sorta.
The other trick is to place the bag in a big bowl of water.  As you lower it in, the air comes out.  Neither way is anywhere near as good as the Food Saver.  It was cheaper on Amazon than at Walmart, but I'm mad at Amazon AND the Post Office.  There were TWO choices at Walmart ... $187 or $99.  This is the cheaper of the two.  When I say cheap, I mean plastic, lightweight cheap.
Not being terribly mechanically inclined, this was my first attempt at saving the cake I brought home from breakfast.  Of COURSE we had cake!!!  Isn't that breakfast food?  A big failure!!!  Hahaha not really, I dropped it getting out of my truck in the garage.  It was a sad moment.
This smoked pork was my first victim.  It came out perfect ... smoky goodness I definitely wanted to keep in the freezer.
The Food Saver came with lots of extra bags, most WAY too large for me, but at the bottom of the pile I found these reusable bags.  Zip loks with a hole at the top to be used with the accessory tool. 

First, I had to get the handle on the far right to move up to "seal".  It wouldn't go.  Not wanting to break the thing before I even used it, I finally pressed down really hard on the face before it clicked to the "now you can seal something" position.  

Then you take the accessory tool, also good for closing bottles of wine and expensive canisters, and place it over the small hole on the bag.  Push the accessory button.  To my great surprise, it worked!!  Next up, try making a few bags from the big roll.  That didn't go quite as well.

According to the directions, I sealed the end of the bag, then pulled it out.  It said to "seal again".  Well that didn't work because I couldn't open the bag!  Next I tried sealing the bag and cutting it with the handy dandy knife thingy.  I got a bag about two inches deep.  I finally pulled the bag material WAY out, sealed it, pulled on it again, THEN cut it off.  That seemed to work.  Okay, we're in business.

I placed the pork in the bag and watched intently as it sucked all the air AND juice out and right into the machine.  I couldn't turn the off handle fast enough.  What a mess!!  I don't remember that ever happening with my old machine.  

I spotted a "moist" button, which I assumed would leave a little juice behind by not sucking the air out quite so hard or so long.  That seemed to work better, although I still had a mess to clean up.  That was some juicy smoked pork ... at least it WAS juicy before sucking the life out of it!

All cleaned up, I was feeling like I had a brand new car and I wasn't driving it.  I went straight to the store and bought two big chickens for 97 cents a pound and set the smoker back up.  Soon I'll have succulent smoked chicken to test drive in my new toy.  I can't wait!

In the meantime, it's back to the Magic Kingdom of Bingo.  Thank goodness the King and the Knights have returned, along with the Castle Lawyer.  I would say it's going to be a breeze, but I know better than to tempt fate.  


  1. Have you tried liquid smoke if you bake a chicken in the oven
    Before you put it in the oven you sprinkle a little bit on the skin and brush it around Over a little bit goes a long way and it's not expensive
    If you like to make Vietnamese pho or any soup put a couple of drops in the liquid
    Don't use a lot because it goes along way
    When you use your a smoker what kind of wood chips do you use

    1. I never thought of using liquid smoke. I'll see if I can find some. I use half hickory half cherry for pork (all hickory is just too strong) and all cherry for chicken and turkey. They also have a blend that is really good for chicken. Only pork can stand up to hickory or mesquite.

  2. Sounds like anther fun experience with the food saver these things can be a challenge. Love smoked meat of any kind, just no room for a smoker in our RV.
    Enjoy the Magic Kingdom once again and hope all goes well for you.

    1. Thanks George ... I looked for a small one for my rig too. They just take up too much room.

  3. I've never had a Food Saver but I know anyone who has them, loves them. Good luck on mastering this one!

    1. I have to say it takes some skill to use the thing. I'm working on it! Hahaha