How to Use a Heat Sealer

By George Chavez

  • Overview

    Heat sealers come in many guises. There are heavy duty, medical-vacuum, hand-held, foot-operated and impulse right angle sealers. While many sealers are industrial strength, this article concerns a homemaker's heat sealer. Heat sealers are mainly used to seal food items for longer storage. They can also be used to seal pictures, jewelry or just about anything a person wants to preserve or protect. This type of sealing has been proved to be vastly superior to placing things in simple zip-lock bags or baggies.
    • Step 1

      Choose which type of heat sealer you need. There are hand-held sealers, there are hand-held sealers with built in cutters, and there are heat sealers that combine heat with a vacuum. The bags also need to be specifically chosen. For example to seal food, you would do well to choose the heat sealer with a vacuum and bags that are made to hold food. The advantage of using the vacuum sealer is that it removes the air in the bag which means less contamination to the contents in the bag. Most sealers designed for home use are easy to use and come with simple step-by-step instructions.
    • Step 2

      Turn on the machine after carefully reading the instructions. Gather all material needed such as bags and scissors. With sealers that have cutters, the scissors will not be needed. Portion out the food, jewelry or mementos that you want to seal. It is wise to avoid overfilling the bags. There is no hard and fast rule but, if it looks too stuffed, it is. Use good judgement because if the bag is overfilled the seal may fail or the bag may burst. If food is being sealed, adhere to sanitary precautions.

    • Step 3

      You can next place whatever you are working with in an appropriate bag. Open up the heat sealer and place the bag in the receptacle per the instructions. Close the machine and turn on the button. Some machines seal and vacuum pack at the same time. Usually a timer is set and a buzzer will go off after the sealing and/or vacuuming process is complete.
    • Step 4

      Inspect the bags when you first use the sealer and periodically thereafter to ensure proper functioning. This is of course very important with food. It is recommended that if a good seal is not produced in the first process, do not try and re-use the bag. It is better to begin the procedure from the beginning.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Heat sealer
    • Heat sealer bags
    • Tip: Make sure you use the correct bags. Not just any bag will work in a heat sealer. You may end up with a catastrophe on your hands!
    • Warning:
    • Never microwave a vacuum pack bag. Always cut a small hole in it if you are going to nuke it.

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