Sous Vide bags losing vacuum

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
Hello fellow Sous Viders - My problem concerns maintaining the seal in the plastic food pouch. I have the seal-a-meal machine for vac sealing, and use a Tower slow cooker / Auber instruments P.I.D temp controller set up for cooking.

I first tried out the vac sealer on a pack of bacon - which I then froze. However, upon defrosting the bacon at a later date the vacuum appeared to be lost and the plastic film was no longer clinging tightly to the food.

I have also had a problem during the cooking of a brisket joint. When checking the water level in the pot I noticed that, once again, the bag appeared to have lost it's vacuum - although the cooking water was clear and didn't appear to have mingled with the bag contents.

Am I actually losing the integrity of the bag seal here? or is this just some function of expansion / contraction that gives the impression of seal failure?

many thanks for any input,

Pete


3 Replies So Far

I'm not quite sure about the freezing but I know cooking can release gas from the beef which can cause the bag to swell some even though the seal isn't broken.
If there had been a failure in the bath there would have been leakage of meat juices into the bath, it would therefore appear to be normal gas expansion under heat. Clamp sealers don't produce a 100% vacuum and any gas left expands exponentially during heating so even a tiny amount can cause a bag to swell a bit.
I have a SVS-branded sealer; it's a little fussy about the bags it likes. The Weston bags are pretty solid but about 1/4 of my old Foodsaver bags lose their seal. Maybe the seal time vs thickness is wrong, I dunno.

Soon I plan on getting a proper chamber vac, so hopefully that will solve the problem.


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