With rising food prices and shortages becoming a constant global issue, means to preserve our supplies at home are all the more significant. Knowing how to vacuum seal is one solution, but which foods work best with this method?

To give you an idea, here are the things that should go in your vacuum bags. Then, scroll down below for the food items you should not vacuum seal.

Foods You Can Vacuum Seal

Most foods, fresh or cooked, can be vacuum sealed.

However, before sealing anything, clean raw items first to avoid trapping any contaminants. Also, cooked foods should be completely cool before vacuum sealing

Now, let’s check out the list of the best foods you can vacuum seal at home.

1. Meat, Fish, and Poultry

Buying meats on sale is an excellent way to save money and time. But whole chickens or sizable cuts of meat can be problematic to fit in the freezer.

To solve this, have your meats divided into meal-size portions or servings. Store in a vacuum bag, seal, then label. That way, each bag is ready for thawing as needed.

You can also vacuum seal marinated meats or fish if you like.

TIPS: Consider freezing your meats first before vacuum sealing to prevent bacterial growth and lock in juices. Also, cover bony or sharp edges with parchment paper to avoid puncturing the bag. Some food vacuum sealer manufacturers offer handy accessories called bone guards for this.

2. Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh produce in season is more budget-friendly and delicious. The problem is most fruits and vegetables will rot quickly.

This tendency explains why these are some of the best foods to vacuum seal. Using a vacuum sealer, you can remove the oxygen that reacts with the fruit or vegetable.

Without air, bacteria and mould cannot grow. Also, oxidation that affects their texture and taste cannot take place.

Vacuum-sealing roasted or mashed vegetables, fruit preserves, or dried fruits are also good ideas.

TIPS: Some delicate items like berries can be challenging to vacuum seal. However, you can flash freeze them first to avoid crushing. This method also protects your food’s nutrient value and prevents freezer burn. Read our vacuum sealing guide for fresh produce for more tips.

Woman Vacuum Sealing Eggplant Slices

3. Dry Food

It’s cheaper to buy dry staples in big bags or sacks. However, these can quickly become stale or bug-infested if not stored properly.

So, do the same vacuum sealing tip. First, portion your beans, rice, pasta, cereals, herbs, coffee, or nuts into family or single serving sizes.

Then, transfer each portion into the vacuum bags to seal. Put the sealed bags in labelled organisers or baskets and keep them in your pantry.

TIPS: Try to keep items like beans, legumes, and grains in a flat arrangement before sealing. The sealed bags should be easier to stack this way or arrange them in a neat file to save space. It also prevents air pocket formation in the bag. This tip also works for powdered items like ground spices, flour, and cornmeal.

4. Prepared and Cooked Food

Home-cooked meals are budget and time-savers. However, without proper storage, food cooked in advance can spoil fast.

Tackle this problem with your trusty food vacuum sealer. Portion your cooked dishes according to consumption needs, vacuum seal to keep air and moisture out, and label them.

Store them in the freezer, then thaw each bag in the fridge as needed. I particularly liked this method for meal prepping.

Here are some of the best foods you can cook in advance and vacuum seal:

  • Broths, soups, stews, and one-pot meals: Divide a batch of soup or stew into meal-size portions. Par-freeze them until slightly solidified before sealing to avoid spills.
  • Baby food formula: Like pumped breast milk, you can store homemade baby food in a vacuum bag to save time and energy.
  • Pre-made breakfast and snacks: Vacuum seal sandwiches, pancakes, cookie dough, and similar items to have food ready for reheating or baking when needed.

TIPS: Steam from freshly cooked food can affect the seal of your vacuum bag. So, before sealing, allow it to cool completely.

Woman Putting Marinated Chicken in a Vacuum Bag

5. Hard Cheeses

Mould in cheddar or parmesan cheese is a common issue at home. Some can also develop a dried-out exterior when exposed to cold temperatures.

It’s a good thing hard cheeses are one of the best foods to vacuum seal. Using this technique, you eliminate the air that leads to moulds while keeping the cheese protected from frigid temp.

Cheese is highly perishable and can be pricey. So, vacuum sealing is the perfect way to stretch its shelf life and avoid wastage.

TIPS: Cut big bars or slices of cheese into smaller portions so you don’t have to open and reseal the vacuum bag. I also like cutting them in small cubes or sticks for easy snacking.

Foods You Should Not Vacuum Seal

While there are best foods to vacuum seal, a few items do not suit this storage method.

Here are some of them.

1. Fresh Bananas, Whole Apples, and Raw Mushrooms

These have a natural ripening cycle that speeds up when vacuum sealed, making them rot faster.

It’s best to keep ripe bananas unwrapped in the fridge or cool area of your kitchen. Pre-cook your mushrooms if you want them vacuum-sealed.

For the whole apples, slice and brush them with lemon juice before sealing them in a vacuum.

2. Unpasteurised and Soft Cheeses

Brie, camembert, mozzarella, and ricotta grow moulds faster in a vacuum or airless environment. Vacuum sealing also makes soft cheeses dry out, affecting their spreadable texture.

Store them in their original packaging instead, or wrap them in parchment paper before putting them in the fridge.

Onions, Garlic, and Mushrooms in a Basket

3. Raw Onions and Garlic

These emit gases or fumes, causing vacuum-sealed bags to inflate. Onions or garlic in a sealed bag also results in faster food spoilage.

Instead of vacuum sealing, put them in a basket to allow air to circulate, then store them in a cool, dark place.

4. Raw Cruciferae or Brassicaceae Vegetables

Fresh arugula, Bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and radishes release gases that make them rot faster, especially when vacuum sealed.

You can still seal them in bags if you blanch them first. Once blanched, drain and cool them thoroughly, vacuum seal, then freeze.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to vacuum seal is one of the best strategies to keep your food fresh longer. You can also save time and money and enjoy other benefits once you make it a habit.

Still, not all foods are ideal for this storage method. Hopefully, this article was able to give helpful info on how to store and seal certain items properly.

Are you keen to start vacuum sealing at home? Try it with one of the best vacuum sealers from our top picks list.