Need Advice About The Best Vacuum Sealer Machine
I am an enrolled member for almost three years and today I have been searching the site for about an hour looking for a discussion on peoples experiences with vacuum sealing machines. I am trying to determine the best and reliable machine and reccomendations on the best sealing bags / materials to use with such a device. I have gone through the Food Storage Threads without finding an discussions on any particular machines. If I missed a discussion on this topic somewhere on the site if you could point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated. Primary use for the machine is to vacuum seal meat chicken and fish etc. in a chest freezer.
I have also spent many hours surfing the net and I have found a number of machines but no overwhelming evidence on the best product out there. There just seem to be just as many negative reviews as positive ones on any particular machine. I am seeking the real world unbiased input and or reccomendations from the community as to their experiences on this topic. Thank you. Michael R.
I’m with you! Hope there are some posts, as I too have been looking for advice. Quite a few negative reviews out there. I might try the one at Costco since I could return it for a refund if it’s not up to snuff.
I’ve used my neighbor’s (can’t remember the brand) and I’ve used “ghetto vacuum sealing”. The cheap method works just as well for certain foodstuffs, you just need the bags and a standard vacuum. I use mylar heat-seal bags, I seal them almost all the way across. Then I insert the vacuum crevice nozzle, and run across the gap with the iron. This works especially well with O2 absorbers.
My neighbor’s machine works very well, and he’s used it lots over the past 4 years. I’ll see what brand he uses…
I just bought the FoodSaver 3880 at Costco for about $150 plus a box of extra bags for about $35. I’ve used it on about a dozen items including 5-pound bags of flour and bags of seeds, etc. and I’ve been pleased with the performance. Of course, time will tell if they stay tight. I put them in large tin “lard” cans which I’ve been getting from Lehman’s out of Ohio.
There is also an attachment for the FoodSaver (on Amazon) to suck the air (or some % of it) out of standard wide-mouth canning jars. I haven’t used that yet.
I have been researching the Foodsaver reviews and other models of Foodsaver prouct line and what I discovered is I found as many negative reviews as positive views. This why it is confusing to come to a conclusion on Foodsaver. I have looked at other models from Weston and Cabela’s which are more expensive in the $400.00 range and these products get very good reviewsconsisently but as always the price differential is hard to swallow. By the way the common theme in the Foodsaver reviews were the older models seem to perform better then the newer ones.
What is a ghetto device. Could you tell me a liitle more about it. Thanks Michael R.
Thanks for sharing on the Foodsaver 3880. I have seen at Costco and it is in the price range that seems reasonable. Yeah, I never thought about just trying it and if I have the same problems that I have read about like horizontal machine perform better or Foodsaver products waste a lot of bags. The thing that concerns me the most about the entire Foodsaver product line reviews is that the users seem to have to try multiple times before they get a good seal. I am hoping your experience is very different because I would like to keep my purchase price in the 3880 range.
I bought the FoodSaver 3880 on July 9, 2012 and went home and sealed up about six 5-pound bags of flour plus about a dozen bags of rice, beans, etc. I cut little holes in the bags of beans, rice, etc. to let the FoodSaver suck out the air from them. I read carefully and followed the FS instructions meticulously, did a few test seals and then sealed up the above items nicely. I had no problem with getting good seals during the process. I was impressed with how tight the FS got the plastic bags around the food items. For instance, a bag of rice feels like a rock after the process. I have no complaints at this point. But the caveat is that we’re only talking about a six-week test period. If online reviewers are complaining that the original sealing process is problematic I’m inclined to say “user error.” If, however, they’re saying that the seals fail after a certain period of time – then I can’t provide any more help than that after six weeks all my sealed bags look fine.
Maybe in six months I’ll find they’ve all leaked…
Thank you for taking the time to share some details of your experience so far with the FS3880. Your point is duly noted about the original seal at the time of original packaging and a seal holding over time. I will go back to decipher which of the problems that were being experienced more. In addition one reviewer wrote that it is extremely important to read the instructions and follow them to the letter to avoid the issues other reviewers were addressing. I will let you know on my findings on a second pass through the reviews. Again I appreciate your input. Michael R.
Or redneck method, whichever you prefer…
I use a normal household vacuum, with the crevice nozzle attachment and a hot iron (no steam). If the material is loose and lightweight, a nylon stocking over the nozzle tip prevents it from sucking up any contents. You fill the bag (I use mylar), then seal all but the last inch or so, then insert the crevice nozzle, turn on the vacuum, and seal the rest as the vacuum maintains suction. I usually throw in a few oxygen scavengers.
This produces very tightly sealed bags, and can be done with mylar bags in plastic buckets.
My neighbor uses and recommends the FoodSaver he got from Costco. He also uses the method I outlined. Actually, he showed it to me. He only uses the FoodSaver for meats.