We've got many unique uses for a vacuum sealer that will make you want to pull it out and vacuum seal your whole house!
When my mom purchased my first vacuum sealer for me when I was married, I admit that I rarely used it for more than just sealing up meat and cheese for the freezer.
It was a bit daunting, but over time, I learned that it could be used for so many more things than simple freezer preparation.
And the most epic food storage moment was when I realized that I could vacuum seal jars! Whether using a handheld device or my full-sized machine, vacuum sealing jars became a game-changer for me in the pantry. And I bet it will for you, too!
However, don't let that be the only use to limiting you on using your vacuum sealer. Here are many more ways to use it!
Unique Uses for a Vacuum Sealer
The awesome thing about a vacuum sealer for food storage, other than putting things into the freezer, is that you can preserve lots of things in different ways using your machine!
This doesn't take the place of conventional canning, but it can be used for dry goods, liquids, and even chocolate!
- Dry Goods -
- In bags - break down large bulk purchases of flour, spices, coffee beans, rice, and more into vacuum-sealed bags and store in bulk in 5-gallon food grade buckets. Or you can store them in album-like fashion on your shelves in a container.
- In Jars vacuum sealing cereal, crackers, macaroni, rice, coffee, and even marshmallows can help extend the life of your bulk dry good purchases. You can see how I use my handheld Foodsaver to seal jars here, but the concept works with a larger machine, too. You'll need to invest in the FoodSaver Jar Attachments. Your machine will also need an accessory port for a hose, unless you are using the handheld vacuum sealer.
- Oil Wine & Vinegar - when you've used a portion of wine, oil or flavored vinegars, you're leaving behind air. You can use a special stopper for most bottles that can remove that air and help extend the life of your cooking liquids.
- Chocolate - yes, in fact, you can store chocolate by vacuum sealing!
- Potato chip bags - Use the seal feature to keep them fresher, longer!
- Mailing - Sending care packages to loved ones? Military care packages? Care packages to kids at college? Use a vacuum sealer to seal protect packages from damp, and jostling damage. Cookies can be sealed in single layers. Clothing items sealed to keep them dry. Not only will this help reduce damage, but it can also help reduce shipping costs in smaller boxes.
- Marinade foods – not only can you marinade steaks and vegetables in vacuum-sealed pouches or the new zipper-top bags, but Food Saver has special containers meant to marinade larger quantities of foods.
- Homemade Go-gurts with yogurt you made from scratch. Simply use the seal function to create pouches along the width of your vacuum seal bags, then cut apart and have small tubes to fill! Seal the ends and throw them into your freezer.
- Salad mixes - you can create salad mixes and store them in a jar for meal-prepped lunches every day. Using the jar alone is great, but you can extend the shelf life by vacuum sealing the jars!
- Sous vide - the rage of preparing food that's a lot like we did back in the 70's with boil in the bag rice!
- Leftovers - instead of storing plastic containers to send leftovers home with your kids or visitors, use portion-sized vacuum-sealed bags to put food up, send them home, and no one has to remember to return a dish filled!
- Linens - keep fine linens stored inside vacuum-sealed bags to protect from dust, moisture, and friction from other pieces. The larger bags for the vacuum cleaner work well for sheets, towels, and blankets.
- Store silverware - if you don't have a proper silver chest to keep your silverware in, consider placing silverware in a cloth, then vacuum sealing it. Not only does the vacuum sealing keep air out, but it also becomes easier to store, as well! Make sure you use a silver cloth or other thin soft cloth to help wrap the silverware in so that it doesn't put pressure on the vacuum bag and break it. You can even double bag it if you'd like more protection.
- Jewelry - in the same fashion of storing silverware, wrap jewelry in protective cloth and vacuum seal it to keep it free from entanglement and damage in storage.
- Game & puzzle pieces - you can use the zipper resealable storage bags for game pieces. Not only does this help keep them together and quiet.
- Important Documents - store birth certificates and other important documents in seal-only bags to keep them waterproof. It's better than a laminating machine that makes seal permanent. They're also easy to grab and go into your grab and go bags in an emergency.
Other Unique Uses for a Vacuum Sealer
- Comics and other collectibles - Protect your comic books or other mementos. Use the seal-only feature to make water and dustproof storage.
- DIY Reusable Gel Ice Packs - mix 3 parts water with 1 part rubbing alcohol into a vacuum seal bag and use the seal function to close it. No longer do you have to worry about the zippered bag coming part. Refreeze as needed. You can make large ones for the back or even small ones for kid boo-boos.
- Waterproofing for the pool or beach. Want to keep in touch, or give read on the beach? you can vacuum seal your phone and tablet and still use them sealed!
Emergency Preparedness, Camping & Hiking
- Create MRE's - your mock 'Meals Ready to Eat' don't have to be like those from the military - but vacuum sealing foods together in a waterproof pouch make storing a little easier than random bits of containers around your emergency bags.
- DIY Spice & Condiment Tubes - much like the Go-gurt tubes above, create pouches to put spices, herbs to use along the way. Do it by meal or by a period of time. Keeps your pack clean from a zippered bag breaking, and keeps it all fresh longer.
- Waterproofing - Seal clothing and gear to keep watertight.
- Medical supplies
Share your ideas
We'd love to hear the unique ways you use your vacuum sealer!
Do you know why my dehydrated food ends up getting soft I side a vacuum sealed bag? I get the air out, they are dry, cooled and after a while, they get soft. Happened with my apple chips and even a cucumber.
Darcy Baldwin says
They shouldn't go in warm. Vacuum seal bags, especially those that are more budget-friendly, are prone to being punctured by the hard, sharp edges of dehydrated foods, or not sealing enough and having small gaps in the heat seal that eventually allow air/moisture into the bags. But if you're putting things in warm, that's the biggest culprit. Everything should be fully cooled before ever putting into a jar for conditioning and then into storage.
Kathleen Nelson says
Extra dog food in the car!
Nicole Taylor says
I want to vacuum seal my dehydrated meals for backpacking and bikepacking trips. I will freeze the meals so I can store them longer. Can I use the handheld sealer for the purpose of freezing or do I have to use a sealer with heat sealer?
Darcy Baldwin says
Not with bags or mylar bags unless you use the bags specifically created for the handheld sealer.
Jon Anothony Aparo says
I have one coming in. I have a lot of spare computer cables and plan on storing them. I'll also store some smaller electronics with their power supply. This will keep things non-tangled and easy to find.
Jennifer Moreno says
Thank you so much Darcy for this info. Can the hand unit sealer work with the Food Saver Wine Stoppers? Thanks!
Yes, they do