Steve Rinella shares some of his tips on how to properly vacuum seal game meat.
There are pros and cons to every method of food preservation, including vacuum sealing for freezer storage. Steve Rinella discusses how to get the most from the vacuum seal method.
Rinella started out being less than enthusiastic about vacuum sealing, but he’s come to change his opinion and is now a big fan of the process.
Here are some of the details of how he does it, along with a few great tips that Rinella says “have enhanced my love affair with vacuum sealed bags.”
The main takeaway here is that vacuum sealing meat for best results means paying attention to detail.
Rinella overcame his criticism of faulty sealing and punctured bag issues in a couple of ways:
- Handling packages with more TLC (Tender Loving Care). One tip I particularly like is his practice of layering sealed bags between layers of newsprint, effectively offering more insulation as well as another protective layer to discourage punctures.
- Reinforcing the seal whenever the original seal looks a little sketchy. Rinella is not afraid to add multiple seals to a single bag if the initial seal is not perfect. He also makes sure that the open top of the bag is as dry as possible in order to effect a strong seal.
Another good tip is to avoid overfilling a bag, as that too can result in a weak seal. Orienting the contents, such as sausages, in a manner that allows as much air to be sucked out in the vacuum process also helps ensure a solid seal.
Rinella tends to use traditional wrapping methods of plastic wrap and freezer paper for red meat, while he prefers vacuum sealing for fish, sausages, duck, upland game birds and meats that are more susceptible to freezer burn.
He also uses a high quality sealer, favoring the Weston Pro 2300 Vacuum Sealer for his home sealing needs. The Pro 2300 retails for around $500 on the Weston website, but I’ve seen it sold elsewhere online for around $375 and under.
Rinella emphasizes following a machine’s manual instructions and recommendations, but he’s added a few recommendations of his own to improve the integrity of the final product.
These are some great ideas to keep in mind when using your vacuum sealer for your wild foods.