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Food Saver for marinating

PhiliciousPhilicious Posts: 296
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
Has anyone used the Food Saver storage containers for marinating meat?  If so, does it work well?  I have two Flat Irons in one and a flank steak in the other container that I just bought.  I will cook the meat tomorrow or Sunday night.  Just wondering if the containers were worth the $10.
Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.

Comments

  • what are you trying to accomplish? It won't do anything "extra" to make the meat take the marinade better if that is what you are after.

  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    Worth it in my opinion. They can save you when you need to marinate and are short on time. Are they incredible? No, but they do work faster than your ziplock bag. They also double as air tight storage.
  • Worth it in my opinion. They can save you when you need to marinate and are short on time. Are they incredible? No, but they do work faster than your ziplock bag. They also double as air tight storage.



    How do they acheive this?


  • PhiliciousPhilicious Posts: 296
    Cen-Tex - that is what I heard; that the suction of air out of the container draws the marinade into the meat.
    Brownie - Is that what you thought when you say "short on time?"
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
  • Cen-Tex - that is what I heard; that the suction of air out of the container draws the marinade into the meat.
    Brownie - Is that what you thought when you say "short on time?"



    That's what they say but it simply is not true (marketing!)

    This is a boring article and there are hundreds like them out there but just read the first paragraph and you'll get the idea. On top of that, a food saver is not even "under vacuum" (there is plenty of oxygen in the bags and containers- just less than if sitting out in the open or a container that does not collapse)

    I use a food saver all the time but there is absolutely no benefit in using one to marinade

    http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/9763/PDF


  • PhiliciousPhilicious Posts: 296
    Cen-Tex - thanks for the info. What are your thoughts on the vacuum seal on freezing foods?
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
  • Cen-Tex - thanks for the info. What are your thoughts on the vacuum seal on freezing foods?



    Love it. use it all the time

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    edited July 2012
    phil... using a soft-sided bag under vacuum actually won't draw marinade into the meat.  it will be under pressure from the atmosphere, actually forcing marindae and juices OUT of the meat.  the foodsaver cuts off at a certain point so that this doesn't get taken to the point where the food is literally crushed (otherwise it would be essentially flattened), but as the air in the bag is removed, the atmosphere forces everything much tighter together. instead of 'opening' anything in the meat, it is actually compressed

    this is exactly the opposite of what happens if the meat is in a hard-body container sold for the expressed purpose of vacuum marinating.  as you remove the air in one of those, the pressure against the meat is reduced, because the hardbody container does not deform and squeeze all sides of the meat. the interior of the container becomes a lower-pressure environment.

    but even in the case of the hard body container, there is an awful lot of wishful thinking that it will draw marinade into the meat.  oh, sure. it does some (although not very much.  meat doesn't have a lot of empty space in it, like a marshmallow does).  of the little marinade  that might get in, when the pressure is released, the same atmosphere that was removed (allowing the marinade to enter the meat) then returns to normal, and this forces the majority of any entrained marinade back out. 

    ignore the enthusiastic food bloggers and people selling vacuum marinators.  look to the white papers and studies done by the food industry itself.  they'd have the most to gain from such a process, and generally find minimal increase in marinade retention (meaning: no increase in marinade flavor), and no improvement in texture/tenderness (the marinade doesn't result in increased tenderness).  their conclusion, not mine.

    on the face of it, at a cook out with a beer in your hand, it sounds like a great idea. but it' not really logical in any practical way, especially with a foodsaver bag.  put a 'marinated' ('wet') kitchen sponge in the foodsaver and seal it up.  you'll suck out all the water.  there's a reason they have a drip tray in a foodsaver

    with a foodsaver bag, it's exactly opposite what you think would happen, and in a vacuum-drum-marinator thing, it is virtually ineffective.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,213
    I thought I read in cooks illustrated or somewhere that the vacuum marinators that cycle actually do something slightly more than if just soaking in marinade, with the soak method over time being fairly ineffectual insofar as getting the mix past the surface.  However, that said, the food doesn't taste any better because it's not that big a difference.  When you chew up the food, the surface flavor gets mixed in anyway.

    I do hear it looks really cool if you put marshmellos in the marinator and run it.

    Then I read another study on marinating that said marinating more than 10 minutes was a waste of time, and even detrimental if you have an acidic marinade, which turns protein into mush.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • phil... using a soft-sided bag under vacuum actually won't draw marinade into the meat.  it will be under pressure from the atmosphere, actually forcing marindae and juices OUT of the meat.  the foodsaver cuts off at a certain point so that this doesn't get taken to the point where the food is literally crushed (otherwise it would be essentially flattened), but as the air in the bag is removed, the atmosphere forces everything much tighter together. instead of 'opening' anything in the meat, it is actually compressed

    this is exactly the opposite of what happens if the meat is in a hard-body container sold for the expressed purpose of vacuum marinating.  as you remove the air in one of those, the pressure against the meat is reduced, because the hardbody container does not deform and squeeze all sides of the meat. the interior of the container becomes a lower-pressure environment.

    but even in the case of the hard body container, there is an awful lot of wishful thinking that it will draw marinade into the meat.  oh, sure. it does some (although not very much.  meat doesn't have a lot of empty space in it, like a marshmallow does).  of the little marinade  that might get in, when the pressure is released, the same atmosphere that was removed (allowing the marinade to enter the meat) then returns to normal, and this forces the majority of any entrained marinade back out. 

    ignore the enthusiastic food bloggers and people selling vacuum marinators.  look to the white papers and studies done by the food industry itself.  they'd have the most to gain from such a process, and generally find minimal increase in marinade retention (meaning: no increase in marinade flavor), and no improvement in texture/tenderness (the marinade doesn't result in increased tenderness).  their conclusion, not mine.

    on the face of it, at a cook out with a beer in your hand, it sounds like a great idea. but it' not really logical in any practical way, especially with a foodsaver bag.  put a 'marinated' ('wet') kitchen sponge in the foodsaver and seal it up.  you'll suck out all the water.  there's a reason they have a drip tray in a foodsaver

    with a foodsaver bag, it's exactly opposite what you think would happen, and in a vacuum-drum-marinator thing, it is virtually ineffective.



    Whoa- look who crawled out of his hole :))

    He is actually talking about a hard container that you can hook up to a food saver that is sold as a faster way to marinate "under vacuum". That does not change your answer other than the bag part. It another "drum-marinator" gadget (that does not spin but same idea) that's being marketed to foodsaver folks.

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,213
    Stike is exactly right about the bags.  You're not drawing a vacuum in a soft bag, you're just sucking the air and juice out of it.

    Only method I know of to distribute marinade throughout the entire meat is to include DMSO, which is poisonous, so don't try it at home, kids.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • mountaindewbassmountaindewbass Posts: 1,656
    Ive marinaide with the food saver container.. Didnt notice a difference.. But i do use the container to keep guacamole longer
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,213
    lemon or lime juice keeps fresh avocado from surface oxidizing
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • PhiliciousPhilicious Posts: 296
    Thanks for all of the input. I'll take $5 for each kid and call it even.
    Born and raised in NOLA. Now live in East TN.
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    Well it looks like I have been wishful thinking. Thanks for the info guys, glad I got mine included with the price. They are still a good way to store food, even if they do exaggerate on their advertising.
    :\">
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    If by 'hole' you mean vacation, then you are correct.

    I was talling about the hardsided containers. The dont do anything to help marinate, other than sound like they would.

    That's not my opinion. I was pointed to an unbiased study by the actual meat processing industry. Their report was the very defininition of a shrug. No significant value to marinating under vacuum. Injecting is their preferred method.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,233
    Something that is supposed to work is adding pressure. The cheapo method (which I haven't tried,) is to use something called a "Mr. Fizz." Take a 2 liter plastic bottle, slice meat so it fits thru the hole, attach the CO2 dispenser, and pressurize. I can't find the article describing it, but, if I recall, when the meat goes thru sudden depressurization, the soften tissue  accepts the marinade. Fancy Isi whipping canisters work even better, but they are a bit pricey for doing a couple of chicken breasts at a time.
  • If by 'hole' you mean vacation, then you are correct.

    I was talling about the hardsided containers. The dont do anything to help marinate, other than sound like they would.

    That's not my opinion. I was pointed to an unbiased study by the actual meat processing industry. Their report was the very defininition of a shrug. No significant value to marinating under vacuum. Injecting is their preferred method.
    That's exactly what I meant (vacation). Hope you are enjoying it. 

    I read the same stuff about marinating under vacuum when we went through all this a while back on another thread.





  • NDGNDG Posts: 857
    So would you consider a brine a marinade? My question is how the duration of the soak impacts the meat.

    Example: why do you always read warnings that state "dont leave your meat in brine for over 20 hrs (i made up that # for discussion) or else it will absorb too much salt" ? everyone uses the term absorb but from what I just read here, that is nit correct. Maybe the brine and/or marinade under long duration does that much damage purely to the outside surface area?
    Columbus, Ohio
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    'Marinade' from 'marine' implies a brine (salt), but not in our day to day usage really.

    If you threw chix breasts in ziploc of sweet barbecue sauce, no one's going to dun you for saying you marinated it. Only matters when you getdown to WHY you are soaking something. To flqvor it? Tenderize it? Cure it?

    @C~T: sorry. I knew you knew i was away. Was just replying with what i thought sounded like bantering. But which may have seemed like spanking
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BrownieBrownie Posts: 1,022
    Stike  Glad your back! I was beginning to feel a little smarter while you were away. Glad things are back to normal.
    :D
  • 'Marinade' from 'marine' implies a brine (salt), but not in our day to day usage really.

    If you threw chix breasts in ziploc of sweet barbecue sauce, no one's going to dun you for saying you marinated it. Only matters when you getdown to WHY you are soaking something. To flqvor it? Tenderize it? Cure it?

    @C~T: sorry. I knew you knew i was away. Was just replying with what i thought sounded like bantering. But which may have seemed like spanking



    al good dude. no worries here-ever.

  • apphunterapphunter Posts: 17
    One advantage I like to do while storing meat is to freeze the marinade and put it in the bag before I seal it.  I buy most of my meat in bulk from costco and then portion it out.  I put a frozen cube of the marinade in the bag that way when I take it out to thaw the marinade is already in there.
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