The essential accessory for your vacuum machine: compression bags.
There are once again compression bags of all brands, sizes, and models. Here is an article that will help you choose your own.
The basic rules to follow when buying vacuum compression bags.
The first thing to do is to check what type of compression bag is accepted by your vacuum machine .
Advice, favor those of the brand of your vacuum packaging device, it is the only way to ensure the perfect quality of your welds. Some manufacturers highlight the possibility of using any brand of the vacuum bag. But in use, we had a lot of misses and therefore losses. The only machine that has really passed this test is the model from Andrew James, thanks to the double welding. ( see a comparison of the best vacuum machines )
The type of vacuum compression bag.
For machines with external suction (the subject of my blog), you will have to use bags with an embossed part (plastic formed of multiple diamonds). This is essential, otherwise, the air suction will not be done or badly. Do not take a fully smooth (cheaper) model often dedicated to the vacuum chamber machine. Unless obviously, it is explicitly recommended by the manufacturer.
Choose the type of compression bag according to your needs. There are some for non-food, for conservation only and for conservation/cooking.
Properly size your vacuum bag.
You just have to choose your preferred size and obviously accepted by your vacuum packaging device ( see article how to choose your food vacuum machine ). Do not buy pouches 40 cm wide, if the maximum capacity of your vacuum machine is only 30 cm. We advise you to always have several sizes of vacuum bags, to avoid having plastic bags half-empty (not very economical).
If your vacuum machine is equipped with a film dispenser and an integrated knife, you can buy vacuum rollers. This is very practical for adapting exactly the amount of material to the product to be packaged.
How to properly size your vacuum bag according to the product to be packaged?
It is not an exact science, unfortunately. But if you follow the instructions below, you should be able to find the right format for your vacuum bag without any problem. These formulas are valid for dry products, you need to take more margin for gravy dishes ( see the article on cooking in a food vacuum ) and liquids.
- Width of the vacuum bag = width + height of the item to be packaged and add 2 to 4 cm.
- Length of vacuum bag = length + height of the item to be wrapped and add 5 to 8 cm.
This may seem complicated or restrictive, but don’t worry, it is not necessary to measure everything surgically. With habit, we can easily do it by eye. In the beginning, do it two or three times on different sizes of bagging products, to understand the system a little and thus avoid losing material.
How to choose the thickness of your vacuum bag?
There are a few rules to follow depending on the use of your compression bags (see the article on how to use your vacuum machine properly). Thickness is expressed in micron (µm)
- For non-food, it is useless to have a significant thickness. So you can choose whatever you want.
- For food preservation only, you must choose multilayer models with minimum thicknesses of 70 to 90 µm.
- For the preservation and cooking of food, the same as multilayer models of at least 90 to 115 µm.
- Beyond 115 µm, these are very specific products that are used for example for extremely blunt items or by transport professionals.
European standards that regulate vacuum bags.
The compression bags to be in direct contact with food for human consumption, are subject to specific guidelines (Regulation EC No 1935/2004).
You must mainly check that they do not contain bisphenol A or phthalates, this is clearly indicated on the packaging of your vacuum bags. If it is not the case go your way, and prefer the European sites rather than Chinese ☺. The same goes for other vacuum accessories