Image via Miele USA
If you’re not familiar, a vacuum sealing drawer allows you to remove air from certain containers and specialty bags so that food can be stored for 3-5 times longer than average. This works on masonry jars, as well as certain other vessels. You can even remove the air from your opened bottle of wine to preserve the remaining amount. Mostly, however, you’ll use special bags to do the job. You can buy these anywhere – Miele does not manufacture their own branded bags for this purpose.
Beyond using a vacuum sealing device to extend the life of items you wish to preserve in the refrigerator or freezer, you may also want to use it to reduce the bulkiness of stored pantry items or to create individualized portions. You can even re-seal bags of opened potato chips, snacks, and cereals in their original packaging to maintain their freshness.
One of the biggest reasons that Miele’s vacuum sealing drawer is catching on as a luxury appliance is because of sous-vide cooking (a French term for vacuum packed foods cooked at low temperatures over an extended period of time). Therefore, this is a popular combination with Miele’s steam oven. It also creates more intense flavors from marinading.
What’s fundamentally different about this unit, which retails for approximately $2,800 versus a $100 countertop version you can purchase on Amazon? The quality of the seal and the vacuum process is undoubtedly better, but beyond that, you are mostly paying for the fact that it’s more convenient.
Personally, I have never purchased a countertop version because I think the frequency at which I would bother to drag one of these out of a base cabinet to use it would be minimal. It would also just be another countertop appliance to store. However, if I had one integrated into the kitchen, I could see it becoming something I used all of the time. I use (and wash) a lot of Tupperware as well as Ziploc bags for left-overs and extra produce…then I end up throwing it out anyway because it went bad before I could make use of it.
Consider how nice it would be to make a weekly jaunt to the Farmer’s Market and then be able to store the food all week while maintaining better flavor and peek nutrition!
While this may not be for everyone, if you have the space and the budget, I think this has the potential to be an appliance that you use on a daily basis.
9. HAFELE’S MOTION ACTIVATED TRASH PULL-OUT
The Hafele booth is always a popular one at KBIS and this year didn’t disappoint. However, one of the most practical things they introduced this year is a motion activated pull-out trash bin. Consider how many times you’re working with raw meat/poultry and you need to throw the packaging away. You have to wash your hands first just so you can open the trash can, then wash them again afterward. With this handy little module, you can just wave your foot under the toe kick of your cabinetry, and the trash will automatically slide out. Check out my short demonstration video below.