How do I vacuum seal dried food in jars?

bellsmom

I have seen many mentions of vacuum sealing dried food in jars, especially from grainlady, but I have NO idea how to do this.

Do I need a special device?
Do I need special lids?
Do I use vacuum sealer bags?

Can I use the Sous Vide sealer I got in a special deal with my Sous Vide Supreme?

I feel there is something obvious here that I just can't see/don't know anything about.
The only way I can think to do this is this:

  1. put a sealable bag in a mason jar,
  2. pour in the dried food,
  3. pull the top of the bag out of the jar,
  4. vacuum seal it,
  5. stick the sealed bag back into the jar
  6. put the lid on the jar.

I KNOW there are better ways.

Please explain how you do it.

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Comments (16)
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foodonastump

You need one of these attachments for your vacuum sealer. Not sure if your particular machine will support it. Google something like "vacuum sealer mason" and options will pop up, including on amazon. They're cheap.

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teresa_nc7

I've also sealed jars (1 pint or smaller) in my FoodSaver vacuum canister, put the lid on the canister, fix the nozzle end of the hose on the lid, the other end in the FS machine and seal. When the sealing is accomplished, I remove the nozzle, remove the canister lid, and take out the sealed jar. This worked pretty well the few times I have done it.

This process is only for dried bulk items, not fresh produce, fruit or meat. Those foods have to be canned to be safe, either by pressure cooking or by a boiling water bath.

Teresa

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grainlady_ks

1. Go to FoodSaver.com and you'll find more information and some videos. YouTube will also have LOTS of videos.

2. Dry goods stored at room temperature need to be 10% or less moisture content or you chance bacteria growth. I don't vacuum seal popcorn because it is usually 13-14.5% moisture. I also don't vacuum-seal brown sugar. The moisture from the molasses in it could support bacteria growth in the anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment. Foods I dehydrate at home must be CRISPY dry to safely vacuum-seal.

3. For best results, you need to heat process your lids in hot water for a few minutes in order to soften the sealing compound, just like when you heat them in hot water for canning. Dry the lid thoroughly. Make sure the rim of the jar is free of any food residue and place the lid on the top of the jar (the lid only, you won't need the ring). Place the jar attachment over the lid and process your FoodSaver - which pulls air out of the jar a seals the lid all at the same time.

4. Another option if you don't want to purchase a FoodSaver with the jar attachment, you can use Oxygen Absorbers, and once again, there are all kinds of videos on YouTube showing you how to use them in canning jars. Place your dry food in the jar, clean the rim of the jar. Place the appropriate number of Oxygen Absorbers in the top of the jar, add the lid AND the ring, and the Oxygen Absorbers will absorb the oxygen and seal the canning lid.

-Grainlady

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bellsmom

Thanks FOAS, Teresa, and Grainlady.

As far as I can tell, the Sous Vide vacuum sealer I have does not support the jar attachment. There are suggestions on utube for hand held vacuums that can be used with the jar attachment.
1. Some suggested a $20 brake bleeder that is pumped by hand.
2. Several showed the battery powered food saver, also about $20.
3. The Waring PVS 1000 that I linked below costs about $60, but looks like a more durable and versatile tool.

Any suggestions on which of these (or any other?) would work best and also be a good buy?

The link below is to the Waring which costs more than the food saver battery powered sealer, but looks to me like a better tool.

As always, any help would be appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Waring Pro Hand held vacuum sealer.

This post was edited by Bellsmom on Thu, Aug 8, 13 at 17:37

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grainlady_ks

I've only used my FoodSaver for sealing jars (I'm on my third one since 1986 and the next one safely stored in the basement). I have a rechargeable hand-held FoodSaver FreshSaver, but I've never tried it with jar lids. I did find more information, as well as the video linked below, using the hand-held, rechargeable FoodSaver FreshSaver as well as another battery-powered brand that may be helpful.

There was a member here who used the brake bleeder, but I've only seen it being used on a YouTube video.

I have noticed on the videos using different methods they don't always mention softening the sealing compound in hot water and that's REALLY a step you don't want to skip. An untreated lid may seal, but it's also more likely to UNseal over time than a heat-treated one. I leave the rings OFF my sealed jars and the first of each month I go through rows of sealed canning jars and see if there are any that have lost their vacuum seal and can replace the lid and know it hasn't been unsealed for very long. I do home food storage and it's important for long-term storage to make sure you keep that lid sealed on tight.

When I transfer a jar from storage in the basement to the pantry for use, I'll use a FoodSaver Universal Lid for easy in-and-out use. It's easier to use than a canning lid at that point.

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Salad-in-a-Jar

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bellsmom

Grainlady,
Thank you again for the info and tips.

First, a query: Can the FoodSaver Universal Lids be used without a hose for resealing between uses? So that the hand held vacuums can be pressed directly on the lid? I would think they could, but at $16 each (Amazon's price) I would hate to be wrong!!

Your lead to utube was very helpful. I watched the brake bleeder video again and decided I didn't want to be concerned with whether the device was food-safe or not. Probably would have been OK, but. . .

No where else have I found the tip to warm the seal on the jar lid before vacuuming. Thank you so much for that tip and for the idea of leaving the rings off the jars in storage and checking them periodically. That makes SO much sense.

I also watched the salad video. Wonderful idea. It will be great to make a large basic salad, divide it into thirds (there are 2 of us), use one for the current meal, and vacuum seal the others into two mason jars for up to a week or so in the future. Really great if it prevents the lettuce from wilting and ruining the entire salad.

So the decision was FoodSaver or Waring hand held vacuums. My Sous Vide vacuum sealer still works fine, so I didn't want to replace it. On AmazonWarehouse I found what looked the same as the current $69 Waring vacuum, perhaps without the stand, for only $27, which includes 20 bags. I decided to order that and see how it works.

I also ordered the wide mouth Mason Jar adapter, as you and others suggested.

Today I am going to Bed Bath & Beyond to look at the Excalibur and Nesco dehydrators. We have an ancient one somewhere in the basement (bought for $5 from a friend 20 years ago), but the 9 trays and timers on the new ones sound like they may be very worth while. (I am certain I saw a Nesco with a timer on Amazon but cannot find it now.) And I have a 20% off coupon, which helps.

With luck and help from you and other GWers, I should be set up to try this next week. And for less than the list price of the dehydrator alone!

First project: sweet potato treats for the dog! And a week plus's basic salad.

Thanks again to all for help.

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grainlady_ks

1. Universal Lid can be sealed with the hand-held FreshSaver - no hose or lid sealer needed. I'm glad you asked, I've never tried using the FreshSaver for that task.

The Universal Lids come in two sizes and you can use them on any "solid" container that has a smooth rim. I do have one concern using the FreshSaver instead of the FoodSaver with hose and jar sealer. When all the air is out of the container, the FoodSaver stops. You're never really sure that's true using the hand-held FreshSaver. You might want to call FoodSaver and talk to them for more information.

2. From FoodSaver user manual:
To Vacuum with Mason Jar - Always pre-soak new metal lids. Bring water to boil, then turn off. Pre-soak lids 5-10 minutes.

Helpful hint: Make sure your lids are separated during this process. When you do several lids at a time they tend to stack. I love my little Lid Sterilizing Rack for this process. You can put 12 regular or wide-mouth lids in the rack, which keeps the lids separated for maximum exposure to the hot water

3. It works great for salad greens, just make sure you do NOT vacuum-seal strong smelling vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Do not vacuum package whole avocados with their pits, but I do vacuum-seal guacamole and it will stay fresh much longer.

4. If you have a Tuesday Morning store near you, you might want to look there for FoodSaver items. That's where I got my FreshSaver. I also bought a FoodSaver there for $60 (included bags, rolls of bags, 1 canister, jar sealer and hose).

5. One thing to keep in mind with a new dehydrator, make sure it has a variable temperature thermostat. Check out the link below for more general information.

Sounds like you are ready for a new food adventure! ;-)

-Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Dehydrators

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dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m

You may already know this, and also some has been discussed:

Vacuum does not kill germs and it does not sanitize.

Vacuum is the absence of air. A typical so-called food vacuum is really a âÂÂmost-of-the-air-remover â machine. They donâÂÂt draw a very good vacuum, but they are good enough for most home food preparations. A good vacuum machine can cost you a few thousand dollars.

Therefore, itâÂÂs not a bad idea for some oxygen absorber to be included for packing dry food to retard oxidation and Rancidification, as was suggested by Grainlady. For freezer anti-freezer burn, oxygen absorber is not needed.

To vacuum soup or liquid: first a quick vacuum to get rid of small air bubbles, then freeze in the freezer, and finally bag, vacuum and seal.

None of the handheld battery operated ones work very well and they use up expensive batteries. Rechargeable ones do not last long, as you probably know. The batteries get weak after a while and you have to throw the unit away.

If you are a little handy, there is an inexpensive way to draw a very good vacuum. I will post this âÂÂRed Neckâ effective method when I get home after work.

dcarch

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bellsmom

dcarch
I look forward to the "redneck" method to draw a good vacuum. I AM a little handy.
I am also totally ignorant of oxygen absorbers.

Oh, Sigh. Another thing to check out.

Once again, thanks GW et al.

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Abby Smalle

Have you tried the Pump-N-Seal? I think it was pretty big in the early 90s but it's still around today. It required no batteries or electricity and stores easily in a kitchen drawer. I was shocked at how powerful and long-lasting the seal is. Works really great on mason jars of all shapes as well as bags (no freezer burn!)

www.pump-n-seal.com


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Sooz

Wow, Abby, you maybe work for Pump n'Seal? I'm only saying that because you've resurrected a 2013 thread, and you have no history on this site anywhere other than today with this post. Feel free to introduce yourself and I hope you're real! :O)

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Abby Smalle

Haha nope! Just a fan. I came across the thread and figured I'd offer up my two cents. I've been preserving food and canning for years now and I've been a member of Houzz since 2017. Please to meet you Sooz :-)

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Sooz

Welcome, Abby! So glad you're real! Don't be shy -- tell us a little bit more about yourself!

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nancyofnc

Abby - check out the Harvest forum - it's related to canning and preserving.

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Lars

I watched a couple of videos and decided to order this. If I like it, I will order another one for my second house, but I'll have to test it first. It seems to be able to seal jars more easily than my Foodsaver, and I need to order a replacement part for that anyway, since Kevin broke the tip on the hose attachment, and now it will not seal jars at all. Fortunately, this is an easy replacement. I am curious to see how the Pump-n-Seal will work with Ziplock bags. I would think there would be air gain when you have to pull the D-flater tube out of the bag. I ordered the wine bottle stoppers, and those should be very useful - if they work.

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annie1992

Thanks, Abby, I didn't even know this was still available, although Mother had one years ago. Like Lars I have a FoodSaver, but I have a lot of trouble sealing jars with it, and sometimes trouble sealing bags too.

I think this would work well for my dehydrated fruits and beans, etc., and probably for crackers and snack foods too.

Annie

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