I’ve never really known much about vacuum sealing. But not long ago, I started hearing a lot of people talk about the stuff they were storing. It was kind of random, really. My husband told me he knows a guy who vacuum seals and freezes just about anything and everything and that with corn, it tastes as good as fresh. I was intrigued. And I started looking around the house for something to “frisp.”
I have a small freezer, so I don’t store a lot in it long-term. But then I came upon a bounty of end-of-season blueberries; a gallon for $15. And, suddenly, I had stuff to freeze. I mean, frisp. Unfortunately, blueberries are not recommended for vacuum sealing because they’re soft (which means they’d get squished by the powerful vacuum). But you can par-freeze them so they don’t squish and that’s exactly what I did. Although when it was time to eat them—and this this was a big mis-step—I didn’t open the bag as they thawed, so many of them still got squished. Also, they just didn’t preserve well. They were not just like fresh at all. However, they were really ripe when I froze them. This is, of course, not the Frisper’s fault.
However, around the same time, I came upon another bounty…of cabbages. I love me some roasted cabbage, but you can’t have it every day. Well, you can, but you may lose friends or spouses. So I used what I needed and sealed up the rest. Then I unsealed and used it a couple of more times (I just kept it in the fridge). Perfect! The enemy of fresh vegetables is air and with that gone, the cabbages kept really well.
There are a couple of things to note about the Oliso PRO-1000. First and foremost, you use bags made specifically for the Frisper by Oliso. These Oliso bags are big-time heavy duty with a matching zipper seal at one end. On the upside, you can re-use the bags, up to 20 times (and more, depending on how carefully you seal). They just get a bit smaller with each use (so be sure to follow the instructions on where to seal the bag). And you can seal up wet or dry items; just follow the instructions and push the right buttons.
Another thing is that this vacuum sealer is small. Which is great for me because I am not only low on counter space, I am low on storage space. Being able to leave it out on a countertop means easy access to seal up items that you use frequently, but still go bad quickly (like cheese or leftovers). It’s also lightweight, so it’s easy to get in and out of the cabinet. But despite its size, it is powerful. I know for myself after mistakenly trying to seal a loaf of homemade bread (which is on the list of no-nos included in the box with the Frisper) and watching it nearly turn the loaf into a pancake before scrambling to turn it off. Fortunately, my bread sprang right back into shape. But it sure did efficiently remove the air from inside that loaf of bread. The loaf I spent two days to rise. Not one of my brightest moments.
Here’s a video about the PRO-1000 Frisper; It gives you a good idea of how it works (and why you should have one). When I asked friends, cheese and meat were among the main items stored with a vacuum sealer. I’ll also use mine to store “not dogs” (which we only eat on occasion) as well as some of the herbs and spices I buy in bulk. Green cardamom in particular can go bad (lose its potency) very quickly. And good seasonings aren’t cheap. This is also a good way to store butter used for occasional baking. I hate when butter gets that “refrigerator taste.”
Overall, I really liked this vacuum sealer. It’s actually fun to use (and fast). It’s available for sale on the Oliso website and also at Costco, where it’s currently on sale. This is what folks in marketing call “synergy.” What better place to sell a vacuum sealer than at a store that sells products in large amounts? I’ve actually added a Costco membership to my Christmas wish list, so I expect I’ll be getting a lot more use out of my vacuum sealer in the future.
Even though my blueberries got a little crushed in the thaw, they were still delicious after a couple of months in the freezer. I made this blueberry crisp (same recipe as the apple crisp) and it was fantastic.