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Save money, time and the Earth with an impulse sealer

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Have you ever transfered food from a plastic bag into a ZipLoc bag? Do you use clips or rubber bands to seal food or other items into plastic bags? If so, those days might be over.

Enter the impulse sealer. It is a simple, elegant machine that seals bags.

How it works:

You place your bag over the heating bar, then bring down the heating arm. Once you bring the bar down, the heater is activated. It melts the plastic just enough to get it to seal it.

The knob on the front controls how long the heat stays on. Thin bags need a short period of heat so that they don't melt. Thick bags need longer. Be sure to hold the arm down for a count of five after the heater stops (you can hear the heater). This allows the nice new seal to solidify again after being melted.

What it's useful for:

  • Resealing packaged foods
  • Creating portion-controlled snacks
  • Separating and storing nuts, bolts, any household items
  • Freezing meals (including soups!) for convenient use later
  • Creating fun little packages of veggies and fruits for kids (or adults)

One gotcha

  • It's a little tricky to seal FoodSaver bags. You need to set the knob just right and be sure to hold the arm down for a count of five.

Helpful hints

  • You'll need to play around with the knob to get the right setting for each type of bag
  • Remember to hold the arm down for a count of 5 after the seal is created. Otherwise, the seal won't be as good.
  • Consider painting a white reference line on the knob. Black on black is hard to see.

Which one to get?

I've tested both the 8" and 12" model and found the 8" model superior because it heats more evenly, making it easier to create a good seal. But other sizes are available; they can be easily found in the following sizes: 4 inches, 8 inches, 12 inches and 16 inches. They range in price from around $22 to $60, although you can spend much more for industrial models.

Summary

This gadget is fun. You might find yourself organizing and sealing up all kinds of things. It makes it so much easier to make ahead healthy foods that you might lose weight. (I've lost 17 pounds since buying one.)

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