Extending the Shelf-Life of Leftovers
I live on my own. That means the food I cook is often enough to stretch over several meals. And, because I’m not fond of eating the same thing twice in a row, it either sits in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for several weeks. The taste is not always pleasant when I eventually get to the leftovers.
Vegetables present the worst-case scenario. Well before I consume a package of cauliflower or broccoli entirely, their brownish remains are fit only for the green bin.
To combat this problem, I picked up a vacuum sealer. These devices suck air from bags of food, delaying the unpleasant chemical reactions triggered by oxygen. As bacteria and mold cannot grow without oxygen, vacuum sealing constrains their production.
The Omote OM-1205 is 14.4 inches wide, 5.7 inches deep, and 3.35 inches high. This device can seal bags up to 11.8 inches in width. It weighs in at 3.17 pounds and is rated at 160 watts.
This device is composed of plastic with a brushed stainless steel upper cover. Six top-mounted buttons are used to select the required mode and seal the bag.
The vacuum sealer, a vacuum hose, five heavy-duty storage bags, a bag roll, user guide, and a red wine cork are stored within the box.
This unit is used to vacuum and seal storage bags. Air can also be sucked from specialized containers by connecting the hose accessory to the vacuum sealer. The OM-1205 incorporates a bag cutter for use with bag rolls.
- Brand: Omote
- Name: Vacuum Sealer
- Model: OM-1205
- Rated power: 160W
- Suction: -50 to -70 kpa
- Max sealing length: 30 centimeters (11.8 inches)
- Safety protection: Overheating
- Dimensions: 38.1 x 14 x 7.4 centimeters (15 x 5.5 x 2.9 inches)
- Built-in bag cutter: Yes
- Modes: Moist/dry/pulse vacuum and seal
- Accessories: Vacuum hose, wine cork, five storage bags, guide, and bag roll
Vacuum Sealing Benefits
This technique removes most of the air from bags of food, delaying the disagreeable chemical reactions generated by oxygen. Because bacteria and mold require oxygen to grow, their growth is restrained when food is vacuum-sealed.
Vacuum sealing stops fatty materials from becoming rancid. This technique also helps prevent freezer-stored items from changing color and postpones the onslaught of unpleasant odors and slimy films.
The tightly clinging bags prevent moisture from evaporating. This results in the preservation of the enclosed food’s juices and flavor.
While most conventionally stored foodstuffs last one to three days in a refrigerator, vacuum-sealed items typically survive for at least a week. Vacuum-sealed frozen food can be preserved for an entire year.
Meal or family-sized portions may be individually bagged for storage. They require less freezer space than a plastic container.
The Omote OM-1205 can vacuum and seal bags up to 11.8 inches in width. I recommend you purchase rolls of bags rather than packages of individual freezer bags. Rolls tend to be less expensive, and you may tailor the length of the bag to match the product being packaged.
A starter kit consisting of five individual bags and one roll was provided with this vacuum sealer.
Constructing a Bag
My first step was to feed a length of bag roll under the OM-1205’s cutting bar and pull the slicing tab across. Then I placed the newly cut bag in such a way that one end protruded inside the vacuum sealer and over its heating bar. I closed the machine, pressing until I heard the clicks signifying both ends of the sealer were securely locked. When I depressed the Seal button, the heating bar’s temperature rose, melting the two sides of the bag together and forming an airtight bond.
The Dry Food Test
I poured a bowl of leftover popcorn into my newly constructed bag. I then placed the open end of the bag over the sealer’s vacuum chamber and pushed the top cover down until I heard two distinct clicks.
I selected the Dry button. In this case, the OM-1205 applied its maximum vacuum, quickly removing most of the air. Then it sealed the bag.
Experimenting With Cheese
For my brick of cheese, I replicated the previous test. However, on this occasion, I cut off a length of bag material that was substantially longer than required. Whenever I need cheese, I slice open the bag, cut off the required amount of cheese, and use the vacuum sealer to purge the trapped air and reseal the bag.
The Shrimp Test
Normally I would have used the Moist button when vacuum sealing a soft and delicate food like shrimp. However, because my bag of shrimp was already frozen, I pressed Dry. As with the two previous experiments, the vacuum sealer sucked most of the air from the bag and sealed it tightly.
Working With Blueberries
I picked up a container of fresh and delicious blueberries. After constructing my new bag and adding the berries, I wavered between pressing the Moist and the Pulse button.
The Moist mode would exert less suction than Dry, ensuring the soft berries would not be crushed.
On the other hand, I could more closely control the suction by tapping the Pulse button until precisely the right amount of air was extracted from the bag. Since that appeared to be unnecessary work, I jabbed the Moist button. This proved to be a good choice.
This is the third vacuum sealer that I have tested. All three are reasonably priced and work well. The Omote OM-1205, however, does hold a couple of advantages over its competition.
When its lid is pressed firmly down, it locks solidly and provides the airtight seal required to ensure proper suction. When reviewing other vacuum sealers, I’ve noticed that sometimes one of the locks will slip and partially release during the sealing process.
While every device of this type is equipped with an accessory vacuum hose, this one also came with a cork-like device that can be used to vacuum air from a wine bottle.
If you are searching for a quality vacuum sealer at a reasonable price, the Omote OM-1205 should be at the top of your list.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Walter Shillington