Browsing the small kitchen appliances section is a huge exercise in self control. The practical side of me knows that half of what I see is useless and frivolous. Who needs yet another single-purpose machine to take up precious kitchen real estate? However, the shopaholic side of me cannot help but squeal “OMG! A cupcake maker for making cupcakes! And that mini deep fryer! I can make apple fritters on demand! And what about that soft serve machine with built in sprinkles dispenser!” Well, you get the idea.
However, one small appliances that I have been eyeing for years is the home vacuum sealer. This gadget totally screams late night infomercial but I can think of many practical uses in my kitchen. A few years ago, I even bought one but in the end returned it to the store because I simply couldn’t justify the purchase. This month, I finally made the plunge and I couldn’t be happier. I only wish I bought it earlier.
That bundle you see in the photo is the main reason why I splurged on the home vacuum sealer. It contains all the prepared ingredients for a slow cooker lentil soup recipe. Although I tend to prep my ingredients immediately before cooking, there is a tempting convenience factor of creating my own “prepared meals” that are ready to cook at a moment’s notice. The vacuumed seal preserves the freshness of the ingredients so even though everything is either partially cooked or cut, I do not have to worry about oxidization or spoilage for a few days. This bundle is also highly portable so I can cook more elaborate meals in other people’s kitchen without worrying about all the prep work. I can imagine sending little brother home with packages of these semi-prepared meals so he too can enjoy home cooked dishes.
I used the same system to marinate pieces of pork shoulder for slow cooker pulled pork. Not only did I not worry about leakage, the sealed package also took up much less space in the fridge. I think I’m in love with my new toy.
My vacuum sealer got a good workout in the last few weeks since it played a key role in my bake sale endeavour. All the cookies are individually packaged and sealed to ensure maximum freshness upon delivery. I know that my practice is not environmentally friendly at all but you have to understand for half of my delivery dates, the cookies were delivered in relentless pouring rain and/or high humidity conditions after rigorous travel by car or plane. Thanks to the packaging, all the cookies were as good as the day they were baked.
Although my vacuum sealer does not occupy a permanent spot on my kitchen counter, I now consider it a vital part of my toolset. Okay, what should I vacuum seal next?