It’s In The Bag (Tip)
01/01/09 - 20:09 Filed in: FoodSaver | Prep Tip
On New Year’s Day you might be forgiven for thinking I might be describing my physical condition. But this is a quick tip for those of you with a FoodSaver. I had no intention of adding the first entry for my 2009 blog on New Year’s Day, but sometimes things just happen.
Take last night: Before I settled in for New Year’s Eve I wanted to start marinating the beef tenderloin that will be grilled for today’s supper. The tenderloin was a 5 pound (2.25 Kg) monster, longer than any I’ve made before. I didn’t really think about it when I refrigerated the meat Tuesday night, but this piece was longer than any container I had for it. It was longer than the large ZipLock bags that were my first choice. It would fit in a turkey brining bag, but that has way too much volume. It certainly wouldn’t fit in one of my marinating bowls, even if I cut the meat in half which I briefly considered. My dilemma: Anything I had on hand was way too big or too small.
This piece of meat was longer than my biggest cutting board and any normal container or plastic bag in my arsenal.
Suddenly the solution popped into my mind, and it was a beaut if I do say so myself: Use a FoodSaver bag. I was thinking I wish I could use something like a FoodSaver bag where you could make it any length. Then I thought about it a bit and the FoodSaver bag was perfect. I loaded a roll of 12” (30 cm) bags in the FoodSaver and heat sealed one end. I then pulled out enough to hold the tenderloin and cut it to length. In went the tenderloin, followed by the marinade and lastly I heat sealed the other end.
Truth in advertising: It wasn’t quite that easy, I had help holding the bag while I performed the operations. The length of this piece of meat made it tough to handle for one person. A second set of hands was particularly important when I had the marinade in the bag and I was heat sealing the second end. I moved the FoodSaver to the edge of the counter, so all but the end of the bag could be held below the level of the FoodSaver. This insured the marinade stayed in the bag and away from the end I was sealing. I also cleaned any marinade off the inside of the bag near the end I was sealing to make sure I got a good seal.
The heat sealed bag shouldn’t leak (drip plate not needed) and the meat can be easily turned onto any side.
Heat sealed FoodSaver bags were a great solution for a custom sized marinade bag for several reason.
- The rolls come in 3 widths and can be made any length.
- The bags are heat sealed at each end so you can turn them without worrying about loosing marinade through the ZipLock end.
- You can lay the bags on any side to get good coverage.
- Because you have such a good seal, you don’t need to use a “drip plate” or “drip pan” to catch any drippings.
- I believe the material of the FoodSaver bags is tougher than than even the freezer type bags. I don’t have scientific proof of this, but the FoodSaver bag material does feel thicker and sturdier.
- No messy cleanup when you are done.
The only downside: You will probably need a helper around to seal the bag. You might be able to get the food and marinade in the bag by yourself. The final seal requires supporting the bag below the level of the counter with the FoodSaver sitting right at the edge. I do believe this will always require more than two hands. Particularly if you don’t want to risk your FoodSaver going over the edge.
So if you already own a FoodSaver, here is another great use for it. If you don’t own one, here is another reason you should.
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