Vacuum sealers are top-notch tools for preparing your sausage for the freezer. They aren't the only way to do it by any means, but they are much less expensive than they used to be, and that makes them a reasonable addition to the home sausage kitchen.
Unless your sausage making is limited to small batches, you are going to end up freezing a good part of your product for future use and...
...Until just a few years ago, your only choices for freezer preparation were the old standbys: waxed butcher paper, plastic bags, or foil.
These all work to a certain level but there's always a good chance your sausage can end up with "freezer burn".
Freezer burn happens because air gets to the frozen meat, dries it out, and allows ice crystals to form on it. That's a bad thing because it degrades the taste and texture of your sausage and shortens its frozen shelf life.
Vacuum sealers have helped to solve that problem.
How Vacuum Food Sealers Work
Vacuum sealers remove (suck) air out of the package that holds the food you want to freeze and then form a seal to keep it out. It's as simple as that.
The better the vacuum that is formed in the storage bag (or other container) that you use, the less air there will be and the longer your food will stay in good condition. Also...
...Air will eventually leak into the container to cause problems so...
The better the quality of the bag, the longer your sausage is protected.
Many of the home-model sealers available are designed to work with their own special bags. That is a good thing and a bad thing. The bags certainly do a very good job of making and keeping a vacuum, but they are much more expensive than standard plastic freezer bags.
There are sealers on the market that use standard zip-lock bags but be aware; these may be less expensive to buy and operate but they won't give as good results.
I have decided that the extra cost for the bags is worth it in my case. The bags can be reused several times, and the quality and duration of the vacuum they form is very, very good.
I've found that the best places to look for vacuum food sealers is at department stores like Sears or Target and on line at sites like Amazon and eBay (of course). I actually bought mine when they were running a special at our local Costco.
If you decide a vacuum sealer is something you want in your kitchen, expect to find them ranging in price from $35 to $200. The less expensive models are generally the ones that use standard zip bags. The one I purchased was about $125 (3 years ago) and the bags cost around $.50 each.
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