We want you to get the most benefit from your ZeroPak vacuum sealer so we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers to them.
You will also find a copy of your Tips and Tricks Information sheet that you received with your machine in the FAQS drop down box.
If you purchased your ZeroPak machine in 2016 please refer to your ZeroPak Handbook.
If you have a question we have not answered please Contact Us and we will endeavour to help you as quickly as possible.
When vacuuming foods with a high liquid content try folding a paper towel into a 20mm wide strip and place inside the bag above the top of the food across the width of the bag. The paper towel will act like a filter, absorbing most of the liquid before it reaches the machine. Always have some paper towels on hand when doing things like fish or fresh chicken, pat the meat dry before placing it in the vacuum bag.
See our 'Fish Tips and Tricks' information on our FAQS drop down box here.
When vacuum sealing shellfish, use the manual mode, as described in your tips and tricks sheet that came with your Zeropak vacuum sealer to control the vacuum.
For seafood such as minced paua and whitebait it is sometimes best to freeze them first until they are semi frozen or totally frozen. Place the food in the vacuum bag and put into the freezer for a couple of hours then vacuum. For scallops, mussels, or oysters, semi or flash freeze them for a short time on a tray or flat surface then vacuum seal them. There will not be any liquid to deal with and also you have now free flowed seafood.
Use your vacuum sealer to reseal other types of food storage bags, such as frozen vegetables, potato chips, crackers, biscuits and nuts. Most bags that were originally heat-sealed can be resealed. Do not try and vacuum seal. Simply place the open end of the bag over the sealing band (below grey silicone band), close the lid and press seal.
To defrost or heat in the microwave make a small hole in the bag for the air to escape.
For reheating in a pot, bring the water to boil then reduce to simmer, place your bag of vacuumed food in the pot and reheat. This is also a great way to steam your vegetables fresh in the bag and you haven't even dirtied the pot!
Try making pouches of water and then freezing them, they make great ice blocks for your chilly bin, cold packs for injuries and frozen juice blocks in school lunches. To open the bag later just make a small cut in the edge of the bag, below the seal line, this will allow you to tear it open without the need for scissors.
Liquids with the consistency of WATER SHOULD NOT BE VACUUMED. Fill the bag to around 1/3 full, then push most of the air out of the bag with your hands and then seal the open end by placing the end of the bag below the gray band and pressing the Start/Stop button. Alternatively pre freeze the open bag of water, or fill the bag with ice cubes, then vacuum it.
When vacuum sealing liquids such as soups or casseroles it is better to work with a long narrow bag than a short wide bag, it is easier to control the liquid. Never over fill the bag, you need to be able to lay it over for vacuuming and you need a small window between the liquid and the machine. About a 1/4 to 1/3 full is ideal.
Vacuum pack your steaks and place in the fridge for 5/6 weeks. You now have lovely aged steak.
Vacuum seal your clothes for extra space, and they will be lighter too. Seal your shampoo and toiletries when travelling to stop them spilling. Shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste are known to spill when in the baggage compartment of airplanes.
Too much left over dinner? No worries, just pop it in a bag, vacuum and seal it and freeze it. Now you have an easy meal for another day that's fast to defrost and reheat - fast food the healthy way!
Stop your cheese going moldy or hard around the edges. Break large pieces of cheese into more manageable sizes, vacuum seal it in a bag and keep it in the fridge. It will stay fresh a lot longer and you can have different kinds of cheeses without wasting them.
Save the vacuum bags that the fillets have been in and use them for the bait. Pillies can roll around in an ice slurry without damage or contamination, they keep better and re freeze well if not used.
The used bags can also be washed and used for all manner of fishing gear.
Make up Ice packs by filling bags with water and freezing them, they can be re frozen and re used many times. You can custom make the ice pack to fit your Chilly bin. To do this, fill the bag about ¼ to 1/3 full, no more. This will allow you to lay the top of the bag over into the machine and close the lid, one hand on the bag and one hand to close the lid, one side at a time. DO NOT VACUUM WATER, IT MOVES TOO FAST, just seal the end of the bag, there may be some small air bubbles remaining but it will not matter.