Food savers pros and cons

Judy Good

I am thinking of getting one but they are pricey. Do you have one? Do you use it often? How expensive are the "bags" to buy? Is there a cheaper one that works well? I am afraid I will not use as often as I think I would.

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KATHY

I was given one as a gift years ago and didn’t think I would use it. I kept it on my counter for years and used it a lot. I moved it down into the cabinet and dont use as much but it still gets used. Bags are not cheap, I usually get the variety box at sam’s club, which I believe runs $40 but lasts me a good few months. I break down bigger packs of meat after grocery shopping or seal big blocks of cheese which keeps them longer.

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beesneeds

I used my original one for years so much... I finally had to get a new one this year. I use it mostly for freezer stuff and sealing up the stuff I dehydrate. I use bags and have the neat jar sealer attachment.

Bags can be pricey, but can be found for not so much if you don't go name brand. Rolls can be even cheaper than the pre-made bags. I think I paid 12-13 bucks for the last box of 100 count pint bags I picked up. Last 11" rolls I picked up were on sale, but I can't remember how much they were.

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donna_loomis

We have a couple of them. One is Food Saver and the other is an off-brand. Both work well. They are DH's tools. I've never used them. We buy large packages of meat and nuts and he repackages them for the freezer. So much better at avoiding freezer burn than a regular freezer bag, as they are thicker. As beesneeds said, the rolls are less expensive and better for our uses. Sometimes we need a bag a bit longer or shorter than what is pre-made.


They are too big for me to Want to keep one on the counter, but since we package a bunch of meat at one time, we don't have to bring it out very often.

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nickel_kg

We hardly use ours anymore. When we bought it, ten years ago, we lived further from the grocery store, both worked full time, and had a freezer in the basement. Freezing foods in convenient sizes was a real time-saver. But since retiring and moving to the land of many grocery stores, we gave away the extra freezer and rarely repackage food items. It's more convenient to buy what we need, when we need it than to repackage and store it ourselves. (Covid requires a bit more planning but it won't last forever.)

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Rusty

I love mine! Although I don't use it as often as I could and should anymore.

Have you checked out their website? There are a number of sizes, they don't have to be big and clumsy. Also, they often have very good special offers on them.

Bags can be pricy, but again, check their website. They often have BOGO offers, that cuts the price in half. And if you sign up for their mailing list, you will always know when the sales are. I prefer the rolls for most food storage. But there are also some 'specialty' bags that I find very handy.

They really can be quite a money saver, buying larger amounts of meats, etc., and repackaging, etc. Also for keeping pantry and refrigerator items fresher longer. Leftovers, too.

Rusty

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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

I have one of the Food Saver models and have used it for well over a decade. I mostly use it for freezing garden veggies like green beans, corn off the cob, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and sliced leeks, onions, and peppers. I also use mine to freeze twice baked potatoes when I make a 10 lb. batch a couple times a year.

I used to use it for beef until we started raising a herd of our own and the processor we take our cows to already vacuum seals the meat for us. I still use it occasionally for pork, seafood, and chicken. I find it best to flash freeze the meat on cookie sheets before sealing as that prevents the meat juices from getting sucked into the machine. I also flash freeze some of the veggies in the same way for the same reason.

The Mainstays (Walmart) brand of bags is about 2/3 the price of the Food Saver brand. I buy both the 11" rolls and 8" rolls for our use.

If you have a large garden or like to buy meat or other things in bulk I think you will use it enough to warrant the purchase. Everything keeps so much longer and with no freezer burn if you get a proper vacuum seal.

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sephia_wa

I love mine! I use it quite often. I buy large portions of meat at Costco and package them up into smaller portions. Or I make a crockpot full of something and then seal up bags of it for the freezer.

Check out Amazon - they're having lots of black Friday sales. You can find a good deal on one there.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Proteins, especially beef, and some nuts, are expensive. The bags are so thick that some can be easily cleaned and reused.

It is worth it if you have ever experienced freezer burn. My pecans I keep in the freezer...I just snip off the sealed top end, take out what I need, then re-seal.

Juicy things like smoke/roasted garden tomatoes and tomatillo salsa I don't bother. They do fine in freezer zip-lock quart bags as it is easy to get all the air out.

I use mine only about twice a month. Keep it in the pantry. Excellent for bigger cuts like brisket, holiday ham, pork shoulder, to be frozen in smaller meals for the freezer. Odd and expensive when I see some using it for flour, rice, dried beans. The bags are more expensive than the product. Though I suppose those bags could be re-used. Only waste is an inch or so cutting off the seal.

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OutsidePlaying

I use mine quite a bit, especially in summer when I am putting up tomato sauce and peppers and other assorted things from the garden. Read the booklet that comes with it for some tips. It is worth it in the long run as it saves on ziploc bags. If you cut the bags large enough, you can remove what you need in some cases and reseal the bag if you have made it large enough to begin with. also use it to reseal things that don’t go in the freezer. An example is brown sugar which i Idont I don’t use that often.

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smiling

also good for vacuum sealing dry ingredients in Mason jars, there are jar-top attachments in both the regular and widemouth sizes, it draws a great vacuum for jars of nuts, grains, anything shelf stable, and the jars are endlessly reusable, unlike the bags

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Lars

I have one in each house, and so I do use them often. I use it more for cheese than anything else, but also for a lot of dried things that are stored in the pantry. They are good for keeping bugs out and take up less space than jars.

I have the FM2435, which I believe is discontinued, but fortunately I managed to buy my second one when all that was available were refurbished ones. What I like about this model is that I can vacuum seal it using less than 1/2" of open bag space, so that when I open the bag (which I always reused), I only lost 1/2" of length instead of 1". Also, it has an accessory port, for use with the jar attachments, which are also now difficult to find. The correct hoses are also difficult to find, and the only ones that work have a green tip at one end instead of gray tips at each end. The gray tip will not fit into the machine, but it will fit into the jar attachments.

I only use bags from rolls and cut them long enough so that I can reuse them several times.

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Lukki Irish

I just recently bought a Mueller Food Saver from Amazon. Wasn’t pricey at all and it’s the bomb. I got 4 rolls of plastic 2 gallon width and 2 sandwich width and have used it several times now. It works great! I’d been wanting one for a while and I’m glad I made the investment in it. It was only 60.00 so not so expensive either.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J2SR7YT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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Fun2BHere

We don't process meat, bulk purchases or home-grown vegetables so I've never gotten very good at using mine. It seems like I always make the bag too small or the contents are too liquid to seal well. Instead, I mostly use silicone lay-flat bags that I can suck the air out of manually.

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Lars

I would add that I wrap most items in plastic wrap or butcher paper before putting them in Foodsaver bags. I use plastic wrap for cheese, and this keeps the bag clean so that I can reuse it. When we smoke a turkey breast, I cut it in half and wrap the half I want to freeze in freezer paper before putting it into the Foodsaver bag.

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Richard (Vero Beach, Florida)

I have an older model upright Food Saver and I use it a good bit.

For me, their own bags were cost prohibitive. The first cheaper roll of bags I bought tended to curl when cut which made it harder to insert into the slot. Since then though, I've been buying these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CPS32MI which work well for me so I've stuck with them. The diameter of a new roll is too big to fit inside the "roll holder" but that's fine with me. I just set the roll on the counter beside the sealer. They're much cheaper and work fine. Usually I'll do a "long" bag with several servings so I can cut it open, take out a serving or two and reseal. Like I did with this mango flesh:


I also have a non-vacuum sealer like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Metronic-Impulse-Sealer-Sealing-Machine/dp/B06XC76JVZ

Although it's not vacuum, it has it's uses. (The timer on mine is flaky but it seals fine)


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Elizabeth

I use my food saver often. I buy the rolls on Amazon and use whatever length I need. Overall, it is cheaper than Ziploc bags and prevents freezer burn Win. Win.

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phyllis__mn

I use mine sporadically but appreciate it when I do. I love it for cheeses; you can just keep them in the refrigerator and they will last for ages. Oh, I have to tell you about when I was going to freeze garlic that came in a quart size and was very "liquidy".........you have not lived until you've pressed garlic juice all over your counter, food saver and yourself!

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maire_cate

We have two - one for home and one for our vacation home but use them differently. At home I use my 10 year old Food Saver for meats, home made sauces, casseroles and freezing summer produce (peaches, blueberries, string beans etc.). I wash and re-use the bags if possible.

At our vacation home I use the canisters to prolong the shelf life of crackers, coffee beans, brown sugar, flour.

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plllog

One of the first things I learned when I first joined the Cooking Forum was to use a FoodSaver. I just got a basic model and it works great on FoodSaver bags (I get the rolls and am careful to cut just enough). It doesn't work as well--kind of hit or miss--on the bags I use for sous vide cooking, so I got a "professional" model that had been sourced by a member. I have yet to figure out how to make it work well. It's well designed on paper, but seems to falter on ease of use. I may give up and try again. Or I could perhaps use the FoodSaver on the cooking quality bags to do the basic vacuum and seal, and reinforce the seal with a soldering iron. ;)

But, yes, FoodSaver or other vacuum sealer, is a great tool.

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KatieC

We use ours all the time. Started out with whatever Foodsaver Costco had, but took it back when we brought six dozen ears of corn home and it shut down every few packages to cool off. We wound up with a Foodsaver Game Saver and it's been a champ. I found some corn from 2017 in the back of the freezer and it was fine.

I like to fill bags with leftover soup, freeze, then seal. Boil-in-the-bag leftovers. Freezing first works well for anything wet. We also seal a lot of our bulk foods...pretty much anything I think will get stale before we use it. And Costco size blocks of cheese get split and sealed.

DH gets the cheapest rolls of bags he can find on Amazon and they're fine. He double seals anything we want to keep long term.

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Islay Corbel

I had a food saver that died, so i got a really cheap machine that has been better. It has a wet and dry setting. For the rolls, it has a cutter for when you've sealed the bottom of the bag and it cuts it off the roll. It's a useful feature.

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marilyn_c

I have a cheap one....I think it was about $35. Works for me.

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joyfulguy

I don't have one.

In this part of Canada we get milk with three thick bags of more or less a quart in a larger thinner bag.

I wash the thick ones, about 6" x 11", and use them for storing various meats, garden veggies, etc., sucking out all of the air that I can by mouth and using a plastic closer like on bread bags, the ones on the milk bags are sturdier.

I found a bag of corn that I think was labelled '07 in the freezer the other day, it looked much like when frozen and was acceptably edible.

ole joyful

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wednesday morning

I bought one years ago in order to be able to prepare and package meals to take to my daughters house so that they could have a few easy dinners. It works well for that.

I also have the jar sealer and I probably have used that a bit more than the bags.

It is amazing how things like a cut up melon and shredded cheese will keep well when sealed in a jar.

I try to cut the bags bigger than they need to be so that I can reuse them. They can be washed and reused if they are left long enough in length.

I make Hubby salmon patties all ready for him to cook. I freeze them on a plate first and then seal them in individual bags. I tell him to open the bag right where it is sealed and then put the empty bag back in the door of the freezer and I will use it again the next time I make him a batch of patties. I get maybe about 4 or 5 uses from each bag before it just gets too small.


It helps to freeze some things before you squeeze it in a bag. Breads and rolls that are big enough will seal if you freeze them first. Otherwise, the vacuum will just shrink it down to a squashed mush.

I reuse the bags as much as possible because they are expensive and to cut down on garbage and waste.

I have a no frill Foodsaver and there are some issues of quality. It is not made for heavy use and I have had to fidget with it quite a few times. Of course, heavy use is not what the way that I use it. I handle it carefully and really don't expect it to last too very long.

Sometimes the higher models of a product don't really have a better quality build. Often it just has more features, but he same cheap inner workings. I felt that was true of this and that is why I opted for one of less expensive models.

If you want better quality and you have the expectation of using it to package up a whole cow or a processed deer, you will need something much more sturdy.

Overall, though, I do think that it is one appliance that I do get some use from, unlike the Cuisinart ice cream maker that I need to adopt out to a good home.


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Mystical Manns

After DH died, and I was downsizing to move, I sold my FoodSaver in one of the yard sales. I wasn't here a year before buying another one! I didn't think I'd need it, or miss it, but I sure did.

I not only use it for meats, but in the summer when sweet corn is being harvested, I blanche and package in small portions that are "just right" for me. I like the blueberries from Sam's club, much larger and tastier than what I can get at the local grocery, so buy and repackage them also, both for cereal use and muffins. Same with strawberries, as I harvest my own I'll freeze on a cookie sheet and then package for cereal use or muffins/cakes. I like the giant jar of Parmesan cheese I get at Sam,'s, and will make up little baggies and freeze them so it lasts FOREVER.

I don't have endless counterspace, so keep it on a shelf in the back room. I like the rolls, as I can cut to size. And I watch thrift stores and yard sales and will snap up bags there when I see them.

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marilyn_c

Mystical Mann's....I keep mine on a shelf in a back room too. ;)

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wednesday morning

I will often do what Lars does with wrapping first in something to prevent it from soiling the vacuum bag. Otherwise, you can wash the bags.

Glad to hear that others are also reusing their bags!

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bbstx

I have Food Saver. The actual model has “game” in the title. It was on sale when I bought it. I bought it at least 6 years ago, primarily so I could buy cheese at Costco and divide it into smaller portions, specifically St. Andre and Brie. I was so disappointed that the instructions that came with my Food Saver said not to vacuum seal soft cheeses. Nevertheless, I found other good uses for it. It is stored in the pantry.


@plllog, my FS works fine for sous vide. I use these bags.


Oh, I also use mine to store non-food items that I do not want bugs or moths getting into, like the Christmas stockings my aunt knitted all of us or the small sheaves of wheat I bought to decorate the table at Thanksgiving. In those cases, I do not use the vacuum; I just use the sealing.

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Debby

I buy 99% of my meat from Costco and it's just my husband and I, so I use it to repack all my meat. I love having it, probably one of the best small appliances I own.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I see no 'cons' towards the gadget. Minor learning curve getting the bags placed properly. Not expensive for the basic models. Bags can be re-used. I did have to buy a new rubber gasket years ago and a pain to go through 'FoodSaver' but they have them on Amazon now and much cheaper. So many have them that if you need tips and tricks, just ask. Or troubleshooting.

I've been buying bulk cheese. The gorgonzola is a young soft variety. I just wrap a bit of parchment around it loosely. The pecorino is a 3 pound wheel. They both freeze lovely. Bags reusable.




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chisue

I don't own a freezer, and I doubt I'd use a sealer that wasn't right on my kitchen counter, which I don't want.

I divvy up Costco meat and fish or a large package of bacon into servings and put them in thin baggies, then freeze in regular 'freezer bags' that I use over and over. (Yes, the thin baggies are landfill; not good, but aren't sealer bags garbage, too?) I do the same with thick-sliced loaves of artisan bread. I cut a hunk of cheese into quarters and refrigerate the parcels, to avoid exposing all of it each time we want a little.

No veggie garden, fruit trees, etc. We're 5 mins. from grocers; 15 from a Costco. I don't even have a 'pantry' -- just a large closet in the back hall. I'm nobody's 'cook' or 'baker' -- no Sue's Creations you'd want to eat a second time! haha

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

^you do not need one. Don't sweat the masses. Not everyone has the need. Read the above posts. We reuse them. So thick they are easily cleaned. Push them inside out easily with a hand and wash. Like any pot or pan. Air dry.

Those of us with gardens, fruit trees...chickens....

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aziline

I've wanted one for years. Well actually I've wanted a chamber vacuum sealer ever since I saw it on an episode of Chef and the Farmer.

After going back and forth I finally bit the bullet and bought one from Costco this year. Do I need a chamber vacuum sealer? That's probably a no. But did I want one, is it the coolest thing ever, and will I do a little happy dance every time I use it? For me that's a huge yes. The bags are super cheap and was able to get 2 boxes even cheaper from Amazon Warehouse. 2000 bags should last awhile.

Between Covid, us living more out of town, and Costco being 45 minutes away I also bought a garage refrigerator. I have been able to really cut down on shopping.

I'm not into cars or cloths but you better not come between me and my kitchen supplies :)

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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

I forgot to mention another good use for a vacuum sealer.

Today's project is to make about 10 lbs. of twice baked potatoes which is enough to last us about 6 months. I prepare them, flash freeze them on cookie sheets for a couple hours, and then vacuum seal them in 3 or 4 half portions. They take about 20-25 minutes to cook in a air fryer at 375F when we need them.

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cooper8828

LoneJack, I do the same thing when a huge bag of potatoes is 99 cents.

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twoyur

i have one and we use it quite often. My only issue with it is their customer support. A great niece was here one day when we had it out. there is a retractable vacuum line that allows the user to vacuum vacuum out the air of containers and jars. Well, shell pulled it out so far it will no longer retract . When I contacted the company about the availability of getting it serviced I was told its toast throw it out get new one because non of it will ever work now.

That was 18 months ago and the sealing of bags still works as demonstrated last night when i packaged coffee for gifts for friends



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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

Cooper - I thought I was getting a pretty good deal at $2.99 for 10 lbs. Most of them are pretty large though which is much easier to deal with when making 2BPs.

My first batch is about ready to come out of the oven and then I'll put the other batch in to cook while I'm dealing with the first batch.

I held out a few of the smaller potatoes to have baked potatoes with KC strips and shrimp on the grill for dinner.

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cooper8828

I'm doing a batch today. I also make mashed potatoes and freeze them. Meat prices have been through the roof here lately, but for some reason potatoes have been really cheap!

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petalique

Lukki, I was looking at the Mueller you said you got. I saw in the user images where some had trouble getting it to seal — made holes or gaps. Is it because of that Honeycomb texture on bag? Ever had problems like ones I will copy paste here? Can I get thickish bags? Can I do bigger a bouts of food than just three burger patties in a bag? Thanks.




And, Sleevendog, do you put cheese in fridge, or freeze?


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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

^^^amazing how well most cheeses do well in the freezer. So yes, into the freezer they go. Pre-covid we did many tests freezing. A few years ago a friend with an organic dairy farm gave us a giant wheel of his soft 'brie-style-young-gorgonzola-ish' delish. So big we froze the rest. Sold on freezing ever since. (food saver)...we may have tossed it in the garbage if we did not freeze.

Pre-covid I would visit the cheese monger and get a 1/4 pound this and that...try new things. Covid we have decided the minimal varieties we like. And buy bulk wheels. Must haves...fetta, blue, mozzarella, a parm variety, a cheddar. Some known favorite varieties like HumboltFog and Maytag we can't get right now but in 5-6 pound wheels. Cheese freaks may find it blasphemy but I like what I want and have a needy palate. Not a fan of a oily breakdown of a young gorgonzola or HomboltFog...so expensive. Like it young, medium ripe, and fluid juicy. If we freeze, it slows down the intensity ripening forward. Covid obviously plays a part in the decision to freeze.

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petalique

Thanks, sleevendog. I’m going to try that!

oh, btw, that Gorgonzola 😋

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nanelle_gw (usda 9/Sunset 14)

I had my first one for a long time, fixed the sealing tape and used it a long time more, then finally replaced it with something smaller earlier this year. I keep it in a cabinet, use knock off bags on rolls, and probably use it several times a week.

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petalique

Lars & others — what things do you vac seal in jars? But jars w Vac seal top are now hard to find, you said.

I read a lot of various reviews for vacuum sealing machines. On the $50 to $100 ones, lots of “1” star reviews, complaining that seal didn’t hold, or air left in bag or not enough suction.

I found a non-FS brand for about $85 that have good Overall reviews and people didn’t complain about the failure to see you or not enough vacuum oomph.

Well it has some sort of a auxiliary vacuum port and tubing, it doesn’t look as though it is supported with any jars or vacuum valve bags on the market and who knows what the connection with the tube is.


Well it has some sort of a auxiliary vacuum port and tubing, it doesn’t look as though it is supported with any jars or vacuum valve bags on the market and who knows what the connection with the tube is. (Image at upper left.) what is that supposed to be for if there are no available canisters, jars, or vac valve bags on the market that might fit the tube ends. Lars pointed out that, even with the FS -Food Saver brand, there are various, distinct connecting parts to the jar tubing component and that these are not interchangeable.



I guess I would use it mostly for meats or cooked food but some of the food we cook and want to freeze is soups and sauces and I’m wondering if the vacuum sealing machine works well with these things or if it’s only good for solid such as moist meats and cheeses or dried things.

Thanks


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smiling

Re the question: "Lars & others — what things do you vac seal in jars?"

In the last week, I opened a 10lb bag of whole coffee beans, and repacked them into 1 quart Mason jars, then used the flat metal lid inside the FoodSaver Jar Sealer. The beans keep very well, and this makes the whole bean purchases more economical. Jars and lids are reusable, too. Similarly packed into smaller jars were Costco sized bags of Pecans, Walnuts, and Raisins.

Can you tell I made a Costco run, Haha, first one since March!!

After vacuum sealing with the flat metal lid, I also add a protective plastic screw-on cap since I'm very, very careful to guard the glass rims of each jar, whether canning, freezing, or sealing.

One of my favorite time-savers using vacuum sealed mason jars is to make a one or even two week supply of green salads. Dressings (of course you can vary them) in the bottom of the jars, then heavier items like cheese cubes, grapes, blueberries (yeah, I like them in salads), cherry tomatoes, boiled egg quarters, then the greens and micro greens on top. Every salad can be different for variety, then vacuum seal the jar and they stay incredibly fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks! (The only thing I don't like in these jar-salads is broccoli or cabbage because it stinks up everything else in the jar.)

If you're not familiar with them, there are two jar sealers, one each for the regular and the wide mouth jars.

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petalique

Thanks. I’m a tad unclear. I thought you had to leav the jar sealing top on the jar. Otherwise, how can you keep the seal?

I like the coffee beans and salads ideas. I like fresh flavorful coffee (grind our each brew batch.)

LINK : https://www.amazon.com/vdp/bfc45b4201434fa0ae48b38d1597eef1?product=B016OL1AB6&ref=cm_sw_em_r_ib_dt_HBlPLgj1EkV2A

❓ Is this user pumping air in, or vacuuming it out?

So, must be out (duh me). Sucks air out, seal forms. He is using a nifty gadget, but the tube and vac port on the sealer would do it too?

I am new to all of this, but not newcomer to FOOD. Yum.

You don’t have to leave on the white plastic part?

The vac sealer machine I’m looking at comes with a tube and port. Looks the ends of the tubes, very simple.

Sort of like very ends of this, without the white plastic threaded pieces.

I think I understand now.


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beesneeds

Oh my no, you don't leave on the white plastic part. If your jar and lid vacuumed right, the lid will stay on when you take that white part off.

I do it a lot for storing dehydrated stuff in jars. Or shelf stable stuff like beans, grains, baking goods. When I was still working and had a lunch hour, I would often set up jars on my day off of lunch goods, and use the sealer to keep it fresh for the week. Salads are good. I also did omelettes, soups and ramen, stews. I sometimes make homemade jello cups, and I often open a big can of vegetable juice and split up into small 8 oz jars.

I don't store my vacuum sealed jars with caps or rings on them. It can defeat the purpose of knowing if your seal failed during storage just like when storing canned goods.

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petalique

Ah, his gizmo is called a Brake Bleeder (for getting air out of brake lines).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R8GSPTJPZPZTW?ref=va_cr_lb


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petalique

Thanks, beesneeds. That’s another big help and more ideas.

BTW, do you have the refrigerated the vegetable juices after? But it keep them fresh longer?

i have difficulty keeping fresh cilantro and basil nice. I could freeze it, but want fresh texture. The glass of water technique doesn’t work all that well.


I am now very hungry.

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beesneeds

Yes, you need to refrigerate after opening juice. Anything you need to refrigerate, you still do, vacuum sealing with the FS just makes it stay fresher longer after opening. It does not make non-shelf stable items become shelf-stable.

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petalique

Thanks again, beesneeds. BTW, gorgeous photo of bee on your page. I love bees and honey and flowers.

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wednesday morning

smiling, I second your recommendation for sealing fresh salad in jars. It is amazing how well things like that will keep in canning jars that have been vacuumed and sealed. It really works!

My multitude of canning jars is the absolutely most essential thing in my kitchen. The uses for them are seemingly endless.

My mom used canning jars almost exclusively when she got old and I did not understand it at the time. Now, like so many other things about getting old and wiser, I understand and have become a complete believer in them.

And the vacuum sealer gives an added dimension to their use, a really valuable added dimension.

Of course, like my mom, I also use them for real canning.

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annie1992

I am on my second FoodSaver. Because we raise our own chickens and have a big garden, plus we make our own sausage, Canadian bacon and smoked items, we use it for those things. Like Jack, beef comes from the processor all shrink wrapped and sealed, so although I raise my own beef, I don't package it.

I have a love/hate relationship with mine. I've never been able to seal a jar with it, in spite of numerous calls to customer service and "tricks" including using two flat lids. Anything "juicy" needs to be pre-wrapped to prevent the liquid from interfering with the seal. Fragile items will be crushed. About 25% or more of my packages will lose their seal after storage. And the bags ARE expensive, although like others I buy mine in rolls.

Properly processed packages of sausage that have retained their seal will keep for a couple of years in the freezer, so it does significantly extend the storage life of whatever product you've packaged.

Annie

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petalique

Annie, what model of FS do you have? I noted one that can store the plastic rolls and “make bags” (apparently to a specified length) , but couldn’t this be done with any vacuum sealing machine? Cut to size then seal end/bottom?

I wonder if it would be possible to make smaller (than sold) bags or sealed pouches, say for just two sausage patties. ?

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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

Some FS models require more wasted bag than others. My V3460 model requires about 2" of bag to be put in the machine before it will trigger the seal and leaves about 1.5" of waste on each end beyond the seal. My first FS (can't remember the model # but I think I got it in the mid 90s) didn't have that limitation because it didn't have the automatic seal trigger. You had to push a button to start the vacuum/seal.

For my model I think about 6" would be the shortest bag you could cut off a role and you would end up with only about 3" of sealed pouch....probably just enough for sausage patties.

ETA: I probably use about 6" of a 8" wide bag for 2 cups of sweet corn.

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petalique

Thanks, Lonejack, that’s a big help. Some sealers say “automatic bag sensor” .

I’m understanding more....They need a fair amount of lead space.

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annie1992

Petalique, I have the "Game Saver" model. We got that because Elery does hunt deer, and we make a LOT of sausage or bacon at a time. It advertised that it could do up to 80 consecutive seals without issue, but that is absolutely not true. I can seal 20 bags max before I have to stop and let it "rest" before I can start again.

It does have the roll that stays inside the machine and has a cutter, but as Jack says, it takes a couple of inches of bag to seal and if you use the attached cutter, it takes more.

I do like it better than the old model I had because the first one required the lid to be shut and the button continuously held down, while simultaneously holding the bag, it was nearly impossible for one person to use. This newer one sits on the counter flat so the bag doesn't require balancing and the button gets pressed once and released, leaving hands free. Much better. It still won't seal a jar, though, and neither would the first one.

I did buy some of those special FoodSaver containers too, and they work about half the time.

Annie

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petalique

Thanks, Annie, that would make sense that you would get the game saver because of all the food that you put up. It looks like a very good quality and long lasting piece of equipment. And I agree anything that you have to force down and hold the button down but all that time would make my arms fall off.


I read a lot about Vacuum food sealers yesterday and the day before and I watch some videos, look at comments looked at photos etc.


I think I figured out why in the photos above people were complaining about the sealer melting through. It looks like when that happens it’s because the element got too hot. As you noted, many of these have to take a break and maybe leave 15 to 18 seconds between each seal. Whenever I look at Amazon or any reviews, I’ve learned that one has to take into consideration that some people have a challenging time following directions. :-)

  • I think I’m going to get the Potane. It’s not too heavy, it’s just meant for medium household & has good reviews. It has a button to only seal and another to Vacuum, then seal. It has a tray that doesn’t remove but it’s close to the front so it doesn’t use as much of the roll or bag. It will also do “gentle“ vacuum and ceiling so that apparently things like bread and hamburger rolls don’t get squashed (But I think you can do that on other units by just releasing the vacuum button sooner).
  • it comes with a hose that will work with various canisters so one could marinate or use those widemouth or regular jar covers for ceiling dry goods in Mason jars.
  • I must’ve looked at too many of those videos because I found myself thinking about all of this as I was dozing off. But I came up with some ideas: I’m going to use some large bags to keep wool yarn and other wool material free from any sort of moths. (Unless miles I like those pantry moths and can drill right through plastic!) I got the idea from this —

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annie1992

LOL, Petalique, the company had me seal a spoon inside the bag when we were trying to figure out why the first one just lost the seal so much. It would seal up well, but a week in the freezer and it was no longer sealed. They never did figure out the problem because as soon as it sealed the spoon up they considered the problem solved. I never did convince them that it always sealed up the bags at first, but that the bags just did not stay sealed. I eventually bought the new one, which was far more convenient anyway, and it does work a lot better, but not as well as I had hoped.

Good luck with yours, I hope you love it. I know Peppi loves hers, and gave me lots of tips as well as an entire roll of those paper bags you get at the produce department so I could wrap "wet" items before trying to seal them. That does help, as does freezing more fragile items like berries on a sheet pan and then sealing the frozen items in the bag, they don't get crushed as much that way.

Annie

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