In Sous Vide for the Home Cook Douglas Baldwin gives a recipe for broccoli. In brief, blanch the broccoli, cool in an ice bath, then vacuum seal as a single layer in a bag with salt, pepper, and butter.
Except this does not work with an external (non-chamber) vacuum machine. Even after draining the broccoli for ten minutes, the vacuum machine sucks so much water out of the bag that it fills the entire water reservoir in the machine, and starts being sucked into the pump. Then you curse, cancel it, dump out the water, and try again, about ten times. And still, the bag refuses to seal, because it won't leave the heater on long enough to evaporate the water that's preventing the seal.
Eventually, I figured out that hitting the vacuum button again, followed immediately by the seal button, would trick the machine into turning the heater back on, even though it hadn't cooled down yet, and finally got the bag sealed. (And, amazingly, it appears it may still work, despite having sucked water through the pump)
I suspect this isn't a problem at all with a chamber vac, but it doesn't seem like a book for the Home Cook should require a $1200 vacuum machine.
So, is there some trick to seal broccoli using a $40 external vacuum machine?
Could you cool the broccoli, drain, and then freeze it a bit until solid enough to avoid the liquid problem, then vacuum seal it as usual?
I'm sorry that you're having problems with my book. I think the problem is that you're adding water to the pouch. In the recipe, step 4 asks you to:
Vacuum-seal the broccoli, butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large pouch so that the florets are in a single layer.
This will crush the tops a bit, but it will be much easier to seal. Sorry again.
Your problem is to seal something with some water content left using a edge sealer.
On my sealer I have two buttons, one for vacuum sealing, it will start to suck and suck and suck all water and choke ....
I also have one button for only sealing, without vacuum, all it will do is start to seal.
I can press vacuum and seal just after each other, so in your situation I would have the bag hanging down, I would press the vacuum seal, then when almost all air (not all) is sucked out I would press the seal button, after a bit of practice you can get the machine to seal without much water leaking into the machine.
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