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6 Tips for Vacuum Sealing Fish

6 Tips for Vacuum Sealing Fish

Nothing is more annoying than spending the entire day fishing only to end up wasting most of the fish. Even if you are buying the fish, it is still very disappointing, but this should not be the case if you know how to vacuum seal it well. And the good thing is that it will last for a long time (even years) if you storage it right. With the right machine and the following tips in mind vacuum sealing fish will be very easy for you.

1. Pre-Sealing Process is Vital

Best Vacuum Sealer

As with any other type of food, what you do before vacuum sealing your fish will have a huge effect on the freshness of your fish. If you do not handle the fish well, then it may end up spoiling even if you storage it well. Ideally, you should freeze it for at least two hours before vacuuming as this will help preserve moisture and the juices on the fish.

2. Always Clean Thoroughly and Portion the Fish

Even before you pre-freeze the fish, you should clean it thoroughly with fresh water. It is also common knowledge that you should gut it and also get rid of the scales if you have the time. Always portion before you vacuum it, and this may entail cutting it or placing each fish in a separate bag in a serving portion size. Portioning ensures that you will not refreeze or have to vacuum the fish again once you remove it from storage.

3. Dry with Paper Towels

Some people will prefer vacuum sealing their fish before pre-freezing it. It can be difficult to do this because the machine will pull the moisture into the part that you are sealing and cause the process to fail. However, it is still very possible but to do it you should first dry your fish with paper towels.

4. Dry the Sealing Area

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Apart from just making sure that the bags are clean, you should always remember to dry the sealing area with a dry cloth or paper towels. Make sure that the top three inches of the bag are completely dry because any moisture will prevent you from getting a complete seal and this is regardless of the vacuum power of your machine.

5. Label Each Package Clearly

It is vital to label each package with the type of fish in it, the date of storage and also the quantity. Labeling is an important part of vacuum sealing, and you should never overlook it because it will help to ensure that you consume the oldest fish first.

6. Defrost Keenly and Delicately

How you thaw your fish is as crucial as the vacuum sealing process, and so you should never overlook this important process. The best way to do this is to move the fish to your refrigerator at least 24 hours before you cook because this will allow it to thaw without affecting its freshness and the flavors.

Vacuum sealing fish should not always be hard or messy because you can do it effortlessly with the six tips above in mind. And so the next time you go out fishing make sure no fish goes to waste. The same also applies when you go shopping, do not shy away from buying fish in bulk for a discount because you can vacuum the excess to extend its shelf life.

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Tips and Tricks for Sealing and Freezing Jars

Tips and Tricks for Sealing and Freezing Jars

How to Seal and Freeze Jars
Photo Credit: http://www.foodsaver.com/blog/archive/2015/september/how-to-seal-and-freeze-jars.html

Sealing a closed container with a liquid or solid food may be a tedious task for most people and if you have tried it then you know just how challenging it can be. However, the good thing is that sealing and freezing jars is very possible, and you only need to know how to go about it. The good thing is that it is also not very hard, and this is more so if you have these helpful tips on how to seal and freeze jars in mind.

Always Use a Straight Shoulder Jar

There are some types of mason jars for sealing and freezing food, and so this is what you should go for to make things easy for you. However, if you cannot find these particular types of jars for freezing food, then the good thing would be to go for those that have straight shoulders. It just means that you should not go for jars with curves around the neck as this will make it easy for them to withstand very low temperatures and the pressure from the expensing liquids. Jars with shoulders are the worst for freezing food because they will break due to the expansion that takes place when you freeze food, and they will also give you a hard time when vacuum sealing.

You Should Never Fill the Jar Completely

It is a common fact that you should not fill your jars completely if you want to seal and freeze them but most people often ignore this, and this is what they have trouble storing food with jars. You should leave at least an inch of space between the contents of the jar and the top. This empty area is vital as it provides room for the liquid to expand when you freeze it, and so it will not break the jar. The liquid has to expand and so if you seal it without leaving space then you can be sure that your container will get damaged.

Cool the Contents Before Sealingfood vacuum sealer reviews

You should not just pour hot food into a jar, seal it and put it in the freezer but you should instead cool it first. Give the food some time to cool before putting it into the container as this will help prevent the glass from cracking. Glass can break if you change the temperature quickly. If you pour hot soup into a jar, seal and freeze it immediately, you will cause a sudden temperature change and so the grass is likely to crack.

Freeze Before Sealing

Glass becomes very fragile when you freeze, and so you should be as gentle with your jars as possible. One way to do this is to freeze the food once you put it in the jar before sealing it. You should take the lid off and then give it some time to free after which you can safely vacuum seal it to ensure that your food remains fresh for a long time.

The above tips will help you seal and freeze food in jars safely, but they will not guarantee that you will be able to enjoy them later because you can also ruin the food when thawing. And so you will also have to be careful when melting the jars because glass will crack when you change its temperature drastically and so make sure that you do not heat the jars very rapidly.

6 Ways to Clean Your Cutting Board

6 Ways to Clean Your Cutting Board

Cutting boards are among those things in the kitchen that most people do not pay too much attention to especially when it comes to cleaning. Once you finish using it, a rinse in the sink with or without soap is what most cutting boards will get. However, these boards can harbor a lot of germs and so you should always ensure that you clean them well. Below are six of the most effective ways of cleaning your plastic and wooden boards at home.

how to clean a cutting board
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  • Hydrogen Peroxide for Killing Bacteria

Hydrogen peroxide is a perfect bacteria killer, and it is one of the most powerful things that you can use to ensure that bacteria do not build up on your board. And this is more important when you cut chicken and other types of meat. Once you disinfect it using vinegar, you should use a paper towel to rub the hydrogen peroxide on your board.

  • Lemons for Removing Odor

Odors may not mean that your board is dirty, but they are still very annoying. After cutting garlic, onion and raw and cooked meats your board will always have an odor. To get rid of it, you should rub it all over with lemon, and you can also wash it with undiluted lemon juice.

  • Vinegar is Ideal for Disinfection

Water and dishwashing detergents may be able to clean your board, but they will also weaken the wooden fibers. And so you should use white vinegar at full strength after using the board as this will disinfect it and not damage the fibers. Vinegar has acetic acid that is very effective against E.Coli and Salmonella.

  • Baking Soda Deep Cleans
tips for cleaning a cutting board
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Sometimes the wood and plastic boards may need some deep cleaning because everything else might not work very well. However, when you find yourself in such a situation, you can turn to baking soda for a complete deep cleaning. You should mix a tablespoon each of salt, baking soda, and water and then use this mixture to scrub your board clean and finish by rinsing it with hot water.

  • Bleach Purifies

You should not use furniture polish and other household cleaners for your butcher cutting board as they may be harmful. Instead, you should use a tablespoon of bleach diluted in about two liters of water to scrub the board in small circles. However, you should also ensure that you do not saturate it and immediately dry it with a towel.

  • Use Salt to Make the Cutting Board Brighter

Cleaning is not only about getting rid of germs and bacteria but also enhancing the appearance of your board. After cleaning the board with soap and water or anything else that you prefer you should then rub it with a wet cloth dipped in water with salt. The salt will make your board look brighter and lighter in color, and this also gives the impression that they are clean.

One can never overemphasize the importance of keeping all your cutting boards. And although most people may have a hard time cleaning them this is because they do not know how to do it. All the things above are readily available in most homes, and so you do not have any excuse for not cleaning your boards regularly and in the right way.

Benefits of Dehydrated Food

Benefits of Dehydrated Food

Most people think that refrigeration, canning, and use of preservatives are the best ways to preserve food, but this is because they do not know about dehydration. Dehydration is the oldest method of food preservation, and it has been around for thousands of years. As the name suggests, it involves removing all the water from the food and it yields foods that taste great and with a shelf life of months. Dehydrating food has many benefits, but the following five should convince you why you need to try it out.

benefits of dehydrated food
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It Helps you Avoid Chemicals and Preservatives

The preservatives and chemicals that manufacturers use to increase the shelf life of food and its taste are some of the leading causes of diseases. However, you can easily avoid them by dehydrating your food because you will not need to use any of them. The only thing that you need in this process is the food and a dehydrator. And the good thing is that your food remains nutritious and tasty for many months. In fact, some dried foods have a shelf life of decades while still maintaining a great taste and all the nutrients.

Food Tastes Better

Removing water from food helps to concentrate tastes and so the fruits or vegetables that you dehydrate will taste better. In most cases your food will taste better than in its original state, and so this can be a good way to improve your meals. However, it is important to note that the dehydrating process (or the method that you use) will also have an impact on the final taste.

Dehydrated Food Is Easy and Efficient To Store

Water makes up a large percentage of most fruits and vegetable and so if you take it away they become lighter and smaller than they were, and this makes them easy to store. In fact, dried foods are about a sixth of their original state. Another advantage is that you will also not need to use any electricity to power your refrigerator so that you can preserve the dried food because they do not require refrigeration.

Reduces Waste

benefits of dehydrated food
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Dehydrating food will help you to store food that would have gone to waste for future consumption. Instead of throwing out your leftover fruits and vegetables you can just take out the water and keep them for many months. You also have the freedom to buy in bulk and stock up for hard times without wasting anything.

Makes Portability Easy

Since water makes up the largest portion of food, removing it makes it light and hence easy to carry on your travels. The foods also become smaller in size and hence you can easily package it in small bags for easy transportation. A good example of this is dehydrating bananas because you can be able to fit a bunch of dried ones in a standard size sandwich bag.

This method of preserving food has been around for many years and so if you want to lead a healthy life you should buy a dehydrator and try it. This process also allows you to stock up food that you can consume during difficult times. The benefits of dehydrating food are endless, and so you should try it to enjoy them.

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Awful Smell in Your Kitchen

Removing Kitchen Odors

Food smells fantastic when on the dinner table but the next morning it will smell awful especially when it combines with other odors in the kitchen. Although most people are accustomed to the different kitchen odors, you do not have to withstand them since you can easily get rid of them. That awful smell in the kitchen is very disturbing but with the following tips in mind you will be able to get rid of it.

Ventilate Your Kitchen However You Can

Tips for Getting Rid of Awful Smell in Your Kitchen
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The best way to get rid of odors from any room is to get them outside as quick as possible. Most kitchens are well ventilated but in most cases this is not sufficient to get rid of the awful odors. If you have a vent fitted over your stove, you should make maximum use of it, but an air conditioner is perfect for getting rid of the greasy cooking smell in the air. You should also leave the kitchen door open for a couple of minutes if it leads outside as this will aid in ventilation and air circulation.

Clean Up as Soon as Possible

Most awful smells in the kitchen are a result of leaving splatters and spills for long. If you do not clean up the splatters immediately, the chances are that you will forget about them especially if they are not in a visible place. And so if you maintain a habit of cleaning up a mess when it happens you will be able to get rid of most bad smells in the kitchen. You should also wash all greasy pans immediately you finish using them because there is nothing more annoying than waking up to a pot full of smelly oils.

Use Your Favorite Spices

Simmering your favorite spices can help you to not only get rid of the bad smells but also make your kitchen smell lovely. Whole spices such as citrus, cinnamon sticks, and citrus peels have a very pleasant smell that is perfect for your kitchen. You should simmer them in hot water to create a natural air freshener that will mask any bad smells in your kitchen.

Fight the Bad Smells before They Start

Tips for Getting Rid of Awful Smell in Your Kitchen
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If you can be able to prevent the bad smells you will not have to go through the trouble of trying to get rid of them. The sources of the pungent smells in the kitchen are easy to identify since most of the come directly or indirectly from the food. One way to prevent odors is to sprinkle some salt on a fresh oven spills as this will not only prevent the bad smell but also make it easy to wipe.

Always Use Odor Removers

Vinegar, baking soda, coffee ground and oats are easy to come by in most homes, and they are all perfect for getting rid of awful kitchen smells. To absorb the bad odors in your kitchen, you should leave a bowl of vinegar, baking soda or coffee ground on the counter before you go to bed. Any of the above three will dissipate the smells by morning, and so you will wake up to a fresh smelling kitchen.

The above easy tips will be very helpful in getting rid of any unwanted smells in your kitchen, and the good thing is that they are all effortless but very efficient.