Cooking

How to Get an Airtight Seal Without a Vacuum Sealer

This hack gets our, er, seal of approval
How to Use Water to Get an Airtight Seal
Photo: Anova Culinary

Now that you've brought your kitchen into the future with a shiny sous-vide machine, it's time to get cooking, right?

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Well, before you dive into perfectly medium-rare steaks and extra-silky poached pears, you're going to need to find a way to vacuum-package your foods first. And though you could go out and get yourself a vacuum sealer, those machines can be a pricy investment, especially if you've just dropped a few Benjamins on the latest in sous-vide cookware. So instead of resorting to grabbing a plastic straw (and warming up your lungs) to get an airtight seal, try giving this alternative a go:

Submerge the bag in a bowl of water.

After you've put your items in a Ziploc bag, close the top, leaving an inch or two unsealed. Slowly lower the bag into a large vessel of water; as the bag gets submerged, the pressure from the water will push out any excess air. Just be sure to completely seal the top before the bag is fully submerged.

Of course, even if you don't own a sous-vide machine yet (in which case, what are you waiting for?), this method is perfect for prepping extra chicken breasts for the freezer, getting a marinade to coat your food properly and reminding you that you should've paid more attention in physics.

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