Crispy Cucumber from my new Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Because I cook sous-vide so often, a vacuum sealer is a necessity in my kitchen. The simple ‘clamp’ or ‘edge’ vacuum sealer (also known as ‘Foodsaver type’ vacuum sealer) that I have been using for three years is starting to fall apart and so it was time for a new one. That was a good excuse reason to purchase a chamber vacuum sealer.

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Chamber vacuum sealers have two main advantages: they can create a stronger vacuum and it is possible to vacuum seal liquids. An added advantage is that the bags used for chamber vacuum sealers are cheaper, as they do not need a special pattern that allows the Foodsaver type vacuum sealer to work. There are two reasons why a stronger vacuum is better: it allows you to ‘cryovac’ foods at home that will extend their (refrigerated) shelf life beyond that of a clamp vacuum sealer, and it allows you to alter the texture of foods like cucumbers and melons.

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This is what a slice of cucumber looks like after vacuum sealing in a chamber vacuum sealer and then refrigerating it for a while. It is more crispy than regular cucumber.

Chamber vacuum sealers also have disadvantages: they are expensive and big. To deal with the first problem, I decided to purchase one second hand. One of the best manufacturers of chamber vacuum sealers happens to be a Dutch company, and the machines they make are very durable and used a lot in commercial settings. To deal with the second problem, I have a plan to increase the work space and storage space in my kitchen that will also provide the space for my new chamber vacuum sealer.

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To use the vacuum sealer, you simply put the food into a bag and arrange the bag such that the edge hangs over the seal bar.

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Then you close the lid.

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The machine will suck all the air out of the chamber. In the case of my Henkelman Mini Jumbo, this happens for a specified amount of time that can be programmed (I use 40 seconds). A dial shows the air pressure in the chamber.

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At the end of the cycle, normal pressure is restored and the bag is sealed.

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The normal pressure will collapse the bag around the food and then machine opens the lid.

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The vacuum sealed cucumber is stored in the refrigerators for some hours.

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The resulting cucumber is very crunchy.

(Disclaimer: I am not on the payroll of Henkelman, nor do I own their stock. I am just happy with the purchase I made.)

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28 thoughts on “Crispy Cucumber from my new Chamber Vacuum Sealer

    1. Oh no, I probably didn’t explain clearly enough that vacuum sealing the cucumber is only to crisp it up. I will not be vacuum sealing all of my vegetables. The texture of some vegetables and fruits can be compressed by vacuum sealing it. The vacuum sealer will mostly be used for sous-vide cooking.

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  1. I’m super jealous now. I just can’t justify spending the money for something like that. Even though I’m dying to make compressed fruits and veggies in the water bath!

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  2. I covet this SO MUCH. I have a few foodie friends I’m trying to talk into a “tool co-op” so that we can all share equipment and expand our kitchens, but so far, that really just means everyone borrows my Sous Vide Supreme.

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  3. I’m very jealous Stefan – I’ve been craving one of these for years but there’s always something slightly higher on the priority list as it’s such a large expense. Congratulations on your purchase!

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  4. So how does it handle liquids? It appears that if you put a bag in there filled with liquid, it would just pour out the open side before you could seal it. I must be missing something.

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    1. The seal bar is positioned higher than the bottom of the vacuum chamber, so you can arrange a bag with liquid (if it is not too much) without the liquid pouring out.

      The liquid will start to boil when the pressure drops. I have to watch it carefully and press a button at that point to stop the vacuum cycle, otherwise it will overflow.

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  5. Hi, Stefan,
    “(Disclaimer: I am not on the payroll of Henkelman, nor do I own their stock. I am just happy with the purchase I made.)” I know this was not made to be funny, but you still brought a smile to my face. Vacuum sealers are clearly great for storing/freezing food, cooking and even making water-dense vegetables crisp! This surprised me. I am wondering if a persimmon would also become crisp – or even a halved grape? Thank you for sharing!
    Be well,
    Shanna

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  6. I was wondering when you would break down and finally buy one. I can’t wait to see the new creations you come up with. You will find you use the chamber vac more than most of your kitchen tools. It will be well worth the investment. 🙂

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    1. I know I will use it a lot, as I already used my simple vacuum sealer a lot. This one is much more handy because there are no failures with juicy/moist stuff. For instance asparagus was always a problem because the old sealer would suck the juices right out of the asparagus and then the bag wouldn’t seal properly anymore.

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  7. How large of a piece of meat can you seal? Can it handle a full brisket?

    I have a pistol grip vacuum sealer. It too allows one to put liquids in your bag and seal them. I’m sure the chamber has a more powerful vacuum but that really isn’t needed for sous vide, is it?

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    1. The size of the meat you can seal depends on the size of the chamber. I own the smallest model around, but there are much larger ones as well. The powerful vacuum is not really needed for sous vide. I’ve looked up the type of vacuum sealer you mention, and it can not vacuum seal liquids like soup or stock. This is according to the manufacturer’s web site.

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  8. I leave my liquid marinade in the bags for sous vide. Just use gravity and do not fill full. The pistol will suck out a bit of liquid but as long as you do not overdo it, it does not affect the performance of the unit and the tip is easily cleansed.

    For sous vide, the other good feature is that you can empty the liquid, use it to start a sauce, reseal the meat in the same bag, then put your meat bag in your SV for further cooking or just to keep warm. I’ve not used the other two vacuum systems, but I’m assuming you cannot easily reseal their bags? The bags can also be washed and reused. I have mixed results in washing them and reusing them however.

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