The Original Dry Bag Steak | Make Artisan Dry Age Steak at Home › Forums › UMAi Dry® Sealing › Sealing Questions › Why cant I get a vacuum like a regular vacuum bag?
- This topic has 27 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 10 months ago by Anonymous.
June 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm #1106AnonymousGuest
Why can’t I get a vacuum on drybagsteak material like a regular vacuum bag?
I’m not sure how good the vacuum needs to be? The corners have a little air and the seal doesn’t want to hold.
What should I do?June 16, 2010 at 4:11 am #3920AnonymousGuest
The answer is “Massage” Grasshopper.
Spend the time to massage the bag down into contact with the meat. This will help drive out the air before vacuum sealing……and make a “sealing” contact with the bag and the meat. Also….make sure no liquid has touched the bag where it is going to make contact with the sealing strip on the vacuum machine. My machine works best with the sealing control set at “4”
Fold under the extra part of the bag after you have vacuum sealed so the weight of the meat helps maintain the seal. Gently put on a rack…..and don’t touch it for 14 to 21 days.
JonJune 26, 2010 at 2:58 am #3924AnonymousGuest
Perhaps the most difficult part of the vaccum sealing is the propensity for the bag material to “clump” up in the snorkle, and block the vaccum process.
I believe Thea is going to present an “accessory” clip to insert in the snorkle to hold the bag open.
What you might try is two toothpicks inserted inside the snorkle on each side. Then slip the bag over the snorkle and move the toothpics close or on the side of the meat.
See if that helps temporariy The basswood toothpicks will remain inside the bag with the meat and presents no problem for contamination. Use clean toothpics of course.
The use of stainless steel clips is being considered, or ??. Thea can answer this better.
RRP has a “raft” of tubing that has success also.
“Char-WoodyJune 26, 2010 at 8:38 pm #3925
I agree with Char-Woody as the Sinbo senses the vacuum has been drawn and therefore goes into the sealing mode prematurely unless you grip each side of the bag near the snorkel and keep it spread open until air is out. OTOH I made a “raft-like” item of rigid 1/8″ I.D. plastic tubing and then super-glued it together like this:
I just sterilize it in boiling water before inserting it inside the bag close to the snorkel. It keeps the bag open and allows the Sinbo to vacuum the air let alone allows my hands to be free to coax all the air out. When it seals the “raft” stays inside during the aging process.
Works for me, but as I say you can also pinch the material to keep the bag open…I’m just a gadget guy at heart – and trust me Char-Woody is too!!!July 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm #3948TheaKeymaster
The single layer, flexible material of DrybagSteak is just never going to have the ease of a laminated vacuum bag for drawing a vacuum or sealing–especially if you are comparing it to the automated function of a typical household countertop seal-a-meal or other channel bag sealer. However, as the the previous posters have mentioned, you can massage out as much air as possible and find creative ways to keep the DrybagSteak material from blocking the snorkel as you draw out the air.
Remember that small pockets of air at the corners and in the divots where the bones were removed from a ribeye will not cause major issues in your aging. If the vast majority of the surface of the meat is completely well-bonded with the DrybagSteak material, you will only find that the “age” and need for trim will go a few millimeters deeper in the spots with air pockets.
it does take some patience and each person finding the technique that works for them to get the air drawn out and the material pulled in optimal contact with the surface of the meat, but we all know the results justify the fuss!!July 25, 2010 at 12:45 am #3954AnonymousGuest
I’ve gone through four bags now but I’m unable to get a good final bag/meat contact. I’ve taken a look through the forum, watched the Foodwishes.com video several times and tried the straws, ‘rafts’, massaging, etc. I actually do get a good vacuum when the machine is pulling a vacuum. It looks perfect, and the bag is completely sucked in against the meat. However, when I push down on the seal bar and the snorkel retracts, air immediately gets back into the bag and the seal locks it in. I then have large air pockets in the bag. Without good bag contact against the meat I don’t think I should continue the aging process. Has anyone encountered this problem? Any solutions/recommendations?July 25, 2010 at 1:04 am #3955AnonymousGuest
When you push down on the seal bar…..are you holding it down with pressure until the seal is complete? What temp setting are you using for the seal?July 25, 2010 at 3:04 am #3956AnonymousGuest
I would like to suggest that perhaps one should make a smaller 45 degree seal on the two outside edges of the bags prior to the final seal. Then cut off those two flaps as they are no longer of any use. The meats are inside at this point. Then insert your tube extention and press up to or over the meat and begin your final vaccum seal. Once the timer count has indicated as instructed lock down your bar and you should have a good tight vaccum. I use a clip made of larger paper clips folded into shape to give me a longer tube extention. They fit inside the extender tube, and when the vacuum is completed they remain with the meat inside the bag. You can boil them later and reuse the clips.
Try that as well.. or use two toothpicks placed inside the outer edges of the extender tube.
If you e.mail me, I can send you some photos..
Good luck.July 25, 2010 at 3:20 am #3957AnonymousGuest
I’m sealing at #4 and have also tried #5. I am putting pressure on the seal bar. The problem seems to occur during the transition when the snorkel retracts. When I get more bags I can try to vary the 45 degree seals as Char-Woody suggests, but I’m not sold on that making a difference :unsure:July 25, 2010 at 2:18 pm #3958
Here’s another thought…are you folding the bag back first so that the material to be fused together has not gotten greasy from the meat which would/could hinder the seal. As rapidly as you say the air returns and then gets sealed inside still baffles me a bit…maybe some more morning java will help!July 26, 2010 at 4:32 am #3966TheaKeymaster
Another thought… perhaps when you press the sealing bar, there is too much pressure and the snorkel tip is getting trapped. It might help to seal, release the arm, then re-seal again just a few millimeters further back as “insurance.”
We also suggest you can press the closed end against the inside wall of the fridge when you put it on the rack. Holding it there just the few days it takes for the bond to form, then moving it to leave room for air to flow has worked. As I think you understand, once the majority of the DrybagSteak has bonded with the surface of the meat, the process is well on its way. It is not a “vacuum” you need so much as simply really, really good contact.
Let’s hope we can find success for you!August 3, 2010 at 3:04 am #3970AnonymousGuest
not folding the bag over when inserting was the mistake i made with my first run. i was still able to eventually get a ‘good-enough’ vaccum seal.
i’ll definitely fold it over on my 2nd try, and i’ll be trying a “raft” like RRP put together…thanks for sharing!August 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm #3975AnonymousGuest
Thank you all for the suggestions for a rookie. And a special thanks to Thea for sending some more dray bag material after I blew through my initial batch – excellent customer care!
I now know what the problem was and I’ll share for any other newbies out there. I was getting air back into the bag as the snorkel retracted because the seal bar wasn’t getting even pressure across the entire strip. It is critical to apply even and moderately heavy pressure across both sides of the seal bar. I had been applying good pressure to the bar, but not evenly – thus the edge had just enough of a gap to allow air back in.
I just sealed an 11# strip loin and it worked perfectly. I’m also a strong proponent of the ‘raft’ accessory. The only question remaining is… Do I have enough will power to wait 28 days or will I fire up the grill after 14?August 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm #3976
Glad to hear of your success! As for going the distance of the 28 days I say it is well worth it and in fact a shame not to. Just place it on your bottom shelf and forget it, though do mark your calendar!October 8, 2010 at 6:34 am #4051AnonymousGuest
Let me tell you all. I bought the “special” vacuum machine, and if I used it once or twice that is plenty. I could never get the thing to seal with a real good vacuum. I got fed up with it. Tried using my Food Saver machine as suggested by others, a waste of time. The Dry Steak Bags that they sell here are the best thing since sliced bread if you are serious about a good steak. All you have to do is use the tightest fitting bag that you can, milk the air out, twist the bag just like you would when you reseal a loaf of bread, and tie it shut with several wire twist ties, put the subprimal in the fridge, and let the magic bags do their thing. It also helps if you stand the meat up, twist the top of the bag, milk the air up while holding the top of the bag, push down on the meat and release any trapped air out by squeezing it up through the twisted portion of the bag. Before releasing the meat, hold the bag tight. Twist tie and you are done. I have been doing this method for about 1 year now, have not gotten one bad run yet. All you have to do is get as much air out as you possible can. Doing this method you never have to worry about ruining a bag with a bad seal. You can keep trying to get the air out over and over until you are satisfied. Try it, it really works well.
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