First timer: vacuumed sealed some pork tenderloin the day I got my Anova as a belated Christmas gift; worked wonderfully. Last night I vacuumed sealed a slab of corned beef; put into the water bath once it reached 175 degrees; eventually the bag inflated with air and was floating. The seal remained intact. Tried to move the bag beneath the cylinder since there was room at the bottom of the pot. No luck. Switched the corned beef to a ziploc bag, same result. Finally removed the whole thing and began my search this morning, online, with the question about how to prevent floating bags and remembered there was this Anova website discussion group. Suggestions?
@serafine I’m guessing there was a small tear or hole somewhere near the seal…hmm. There are a lot of different ways you can avoid floating bags as some foods are more susceptible to floating than others. You can fill the bag with utensils, and I’ve also heard some people have used marbles or glass beads.
You can use a lot of things in the container to hold the food under. A small stainless cooking rack tilted at an angle (from the bottom of one side of pot to the top of the other). Also a ceramic plate at an angle. I don’t think it would be a good idea to use anything that comes between the water and the food.
I have a Luvelo vacuum sealer I got from eBay. It was my first vacuum sealer and I didn’t realise that you’re not supposed to store it clamped shut, and consequently the foam gaskets developed leaks that I didn’t notice at first, leading to incomplete vacuum seals on my food bags. Once I realised the problem I got on to Luvelo support (and their support is truly excellent, just like Anova) and the next day a complete new set of gaskets was in the mail, for less than AU$10. Once fitted I had perfect vacuum and no floating bags. Have you checked your gaskets?
Other than that, you can use a bulldog clip to fasten the lip of the bag to the top of your cooking vessel, or place a dish or small plate on top of the bag to weigh it down. I’ve heard of people vacuum sealing stainless steel cutlery in with the food but as @john.jcb says I prefer to avoid that. Maybe there was some chemical or biological component in the corned beef that emitted gas as it heated up?
I’ve been using an 18" length of stainless steel chain. It’ll keep pretty much anything submerged.
You can also use one of those expandable metal strainers (https://www.amazon.com/Norpro-Large-Stainless-Vegetable-Steamer/dp/B00004UE8F/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=anovacommunity-20&linkId=427cbf587e10b80db76e8c41b7496ca8) turned upside-down.
ALL good suggestions; and I appreciate the support. Onward to the next recipe, better prepared!
I use a 1/4 sheet rack for this purpose.
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I have some whiskey stones that I don’t use for their intended purpose (a way to keep whiskey cool without watering it down). A couple of these in the bag work great to weight it down even if it winds up with some air in it. The soapstone doesn’t affect the food at all (doesn’t react chemically and doesn’t absorb odors) so it works well.
Pie weights work pretty good if rolled in a bag and clipped to the sides of the cooking bag. Small pebbles, marbles etc. should be good too.
Spoons in the bag is okay if you remember to put the spoons in first. But then you have to wash them again after and I am dumb enough to forget they are in there till they come clattering out when I am unbagging.
I am going to vacuum pack my pie weights probably as they should work even better. Should be good until I actually want to make pie.