Think of the Gastrovac as a crock pot, vacuum pump and heating plate in one. Suspend your food--pear slices, for example--in a basket above a flavorful liquid, such as wine broth. Seal the machine, and hit a button to turn the cooking chamber into a vacuum. The low-pressure environment pulls all the air out of the food, compressing it like a squished sponge. Near the end of their cooking, drop the pears into the broth and restore the pressure. The liquid rushes into the cells, infusing the fruit with an intense wine flavor. And no oxygen means no oxidation--so instead of turning brown, fruit comes out as brightly colored as it was when first sliced
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