Using oxygen absorbers
Oxygen absorbers should come vacuum sealed in a pack of 10-100 depending on the size of absorber. Once the pack is opened the absorbers immediately start to work and you only have so much time before they are used up. Wait to open the absorber bag until you are ready to seal your food. Also, if you are not going to be using them all, be ready to seal the unused absorbers back up so the reaction is stopped and they will be saved to use at another time. You have several options here. If you have a vacuum sealer that is the best way to save them. Just transfer them to the vacuum bag and seal them. Another option is to use a heat sealer and reseal the bag the absorbers came in. The last option is to put them into a glass jar with an air tight lid. The lid should have a rubber seal as it must be air tight. You should not use a jar that is much bigger than needed as the absorbers will have to absorber any oxygen that is inside the jar before the reaction is stopped.
One 300cc absorber is good size for the one gallon size bags. 2000cc is plenty for the bucket size bags. If you want 2000cc it does not matter if you use four 500cc, two 1000cc or one 2000cc absorber. There is no advantage or disadvantage to using one absorber or ten, as long as they add up to the cc you are looking for.
There is a way to tell if absorbers are used up or if they will still absorb oxygen. An oxygen absorber that is still fresh will feel like it is filled with soft powder. (Somewhat like flour) Absorbers that are used up become brittle inside and feel more like they are filled with corse sand. Leave one out for a day then handle it and you will notice the difference.
One common misconception about absorbers is that you can tell how well they worked by if the Mylar bag is vacuumed in on the sides. While it is not unusual for the bag to pull in some, it is important to remember that absorbers will only remove oxygen from the air… not all air. Air is composed of much more than just oxygen, but it is the oxygen you want to get rid of. Also, absorbers added in with a very dry product can take much longer to work (days instead of hours) than if there is a tiny bit of moisture in the air. Don’t expect your absorbers to vacuum pack your mylar bags.
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