Need Advice About The Best Vacuum Sealer Machine
Thanks for taking your time to get back to me to explain the ghetto method and also letting me know that your neighbor is using the Costco Food Saver brand machine for meats. Michael R.
I have and use this. the advantage is you can use regular bags. With the foood saver you need the textured bags that can be pricey. I also bought bags and absorbers in bulk from the same company. Service was good, and I even got a follow up call from them.
Hello, I have used a VacMaster that costs $1200.00 commercially for 4 years and the heat sealer just went up. Oil never needed to be changed yet. It is a Chamber Type sealer. Don’t try to do powders though, pop goes the weasel. We mainly do nuts, cashews. My experience with nuts is, they stay good at least two years with no refrigerator and no oxygen absorber. I wonder if you could salt cure meats, or jerky, vacuum and store unrefrigerated. Then you could soak the salt out or make soup. Just add water. I wonder about salted fish? I wonder about life in 1800’s Williamsburg?
You can find VacMaster sealers from $99 on up to $3,000.00 . Many size bags are available. here are the less expensive ones: http://vacmaster.aryvacmaster.com/cgi/ary.wsc/category.htm?l=Vacuum_Pack…
I have used homestead harvest for sealer bags for years: http://www.homesteadharvest.com/vacmaster-vacuum-chamber-sealers.html
Snag a dehydrator and dry some apples too, vacuum with an absorber, pack into #10 metal paint cans with removable lids or 5 gal buckets. You can use dry ice to vacuum seal a 5 gallon bucket.
OV and ORV, 12 years….still alive
Alambka & Organ Vegan Raw
To both of you I want to say thank you for your input and experience with these machines and bags used. Alambka you said you can use any bag. Could you elaborate on this point since I can draw many conclusions from this information since I have no experience in this area.
Organ Vegan Raw if you would share why you felt you needed to go to a $1200.00 solution to meet your needs it would enlighten me greatly.
Lastly the bigggest question I have is: When properly vacuum sealed how long can meat chicken or fish stay in the freezer and then be unfrozen and still be ok to eat. Just a rule of thumb would be great.
Thanks Michael R.
Sorry duplicate post
We had a Foodsaver from Costco and it worked okay sometimes, but other times, not so much. We noticed that the unit worked once or twice, and then it wouldn’t operate. Couldn’t figure out why at first but then after doing some research concluded that it was because we were vacuum sealing too many items in quick succesion. My wife would buy food in bulk or we would slaughter an animal and we would try to seal it. Sealing one item after another causes the heating strip to overheat which in turn would cause the machine to shut down as a preventative against self-destruction. The heating element has a recovery time that requires it to cool down after each sealing operation. Thus, if we were sealing a large number of bags, we would be forced to wait for the unit to cool down between bags before it would operate again. This dramatically slowed down the processing of packaging bulk foods on shopping day or meat on butchering day.
We eventually bought a Weston Pro-2300 which from appearance is the same unit that Cabela’s sells. Not only did the heavier duty unit eliminate the overheating problem, allowing us to seal an unlimited quantity of food as quick as we could load it, but it has a significantly wider sealing strip that yields a much wider seal on the bag which produces a more secure closure. Also, this machine (and other higher grade units) can draw a stronger vacuum (higher inches of mercury: the method to measure vacuum) that reduces the amount of air left in the bag. Less air means less oxygen which in turn means less bacterial activity that degrades food quality.
The Foodsaver unit was okay for occasional sealing but we are much more satisfied with the better quality unit; to us, it was well worth the higher cost but YMMV.
As for storage shelf life here is a quote from the USDA website:
Freezer Storage Time
Because freezing keeps food safe almost indefinitely, recommended storage times are for quality only. Refer to the freezer storage chart at the end of this document, which lists optimum freezing times for best quality.
It would appear that food quality is affected by time but food safety is not. There’s a lot of good info at that site.
My personal opinion is this: since vacuum sealing dramaticaly reduces the oxygen exposure, foods packaged this way will have their shelf life significantly extended relative to other packaging procedures, even from the quality standpoint as well the safety perspective. How long, who knows? We have meat from well over a year ago and it seems just fine. Any longer than that I have no experience with.
The bags used for the foodsaver are textured to facilitate air removal, and you must buy the special textured bags. the snorkel vac actually has a metal straw that enters the bag, alllowing you to use regular flat mylar bags.
compare the price on bags.
and read the faq on the snorkel-vac, it will explain better than my limited typing skills allow.
Thanks for taking the time to provide the bag information on both machines and the heads up that Amazon sells bags.
Your post may explain some of the frustration with the FoodSaver machines I read about in the reviews. It also verifies one gentlemens comments that if you read the manual and use the machine as intended (Wait times for element to cool) then the machine works extremly well. Also I had previously looked at the Weston Pro-2300 and yes it looks exactly like Cabela’s machine and both machines have numereous positive feedback from it’s customers. Earthwise I appreciate you letting me know about your experience and views on both the machines that you have used. Michael R
$1200 sealer was purchased for business use. You can do a bag every 30 seconds. Adjust vacuum and sealer, do bottles. We vacuumed and sealed thousands of bags so far. Heat sealer just fried. Will fix.
I would go in the $99-$199 range for home use to start.
Even at subzero temps food will break down. I have eaten non-heat sealed frozen blackberries after 12 months and they were fine. Bananas start to liquify after a few months. I am guessing foods are different. Chicken and fish are probably at least 12 months vacuumed.
My dad once won a turkey playing golf and had that in his freezer 2 or 3 years maybe more and then decided to have a holiday gathering. Everyone lived. I did not attend that function because I knew what the old turkey was serving. Big spender.
I picked up a Foodsaver V845 about 3-4 years ago and use it only for frozen foods. I agree with other comments that you can’t seal too many items one after the other; I can do about 6-8 before it starts to heat up. Other than that, it works perfectly. I buy 10-12 pounds of whatever is on sale (salmon, chicken, pork, etc.), break it up into family size servings, seal them, and throw them in my chest freezer. They keep their seal and I’ve had no problems with food that’s12-18 months old.
The Foodsaver bags can get expensive so I buy 11″ x 50′ rolls from either VackPak Products (http://www.vackpak.com/Westonbags.html) or Meat Processing Products (http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/vacuum-sealer-rolls.html), whichever site is the least expensive at the time.