Author Topic: Which Food Sealer to buy  (Read 26909 times)

SwampMonster

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Which Food Sealer to buy
« on: October 14, 2008, 04:24:46 PM »
I am in the market for a vacuum sealer and was wondering what everyone is using. I know some are crap, and some are way to much.  Can you experts give me some help???

Swamp

Offline aslink

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 04:47:14 PM »
We use two types and like both.

The larger one we use is the Kenmore Seal and Save. This allows us to seal almost any size food we need. The roll of media is only limited to the size freezer you have. I could be wrong on that statement because we have just the freezer that's part of our refrigerator. So really long sections may not work but I'm sure why not.

We also have the Reynolds Handi Vac. Which is great for small things or things you get into several times and what to re seal. It's that type with the hand held vacuum that works with the special zip lock bags.

Both have their place but if I had to get just one I'm pretty sure it would be the first one. More for long term storage in the freezer.

Hope that helps.

Ken

Offline Mr.Spray

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 06:54:50 PM »
I have a foodsaver vac sealer,and I use it weekly.  I paid $100 for it,and it was well worth it. The food will last longer and taste fresher!

Offline lonestar

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 09:05:45 PM »
I have a foodsaver, a seal-a-meal, and a cordless seal-a-meal.  By far I like the foodsaver better.  More options are available for it.  You can get storage jars, mason jar lid adaptors that allow you to store "dry" goods in canning jars, and other options are available too.

Offline iron mike

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008, 03:20:17 AM »
another foodsaver user here.

mines been going strong for just over 10 years now.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2008, 08:47:04 PM »
We use two types and like both.

The larger one we use is the Kenmore Seal and Save. This allows us to seal almost any size food we need. The roll of media is only limited to the size freezer you have. I could be wrong on that statement because we have just the freezer that's part of our refrigerator. So really long sections may not work but I'm sure why not.

We also have the Reynolds Handi Vac. Which is great for small things or things you get into several times and what to re seal. It's that type with the hand held vacuum that works with the special zip lock bags.

Both have their place but if I had to get just one I'm pretty sure it would be the first one. More for long term storage in the freezer.

Hope that helps.

Ken

My Mom bought me one of those for Christmas.  I love it, it's great for just what you said.  Definitely get one, even if you get a larger sealer.  You won't regret it.

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2008, 10:23:07 PM »
I have the basic Seal a Meal. It does jars and bags. Frankly I am surprised it has lasted as long as it has for their cheapest model.

My one piece of advice is get one that will let you start the sealing process independent of the vacuum process. See with my unit you press down on the lid, it vacuums, then when it thinks it has sufficient vacuum it seals. This is kind of a pain in my ass when I am sealing Mylar bags that will not vac down, and has probably caused undue wear on the unit.

So yeah, when I upgrade I will be buying a unit with a separate button for just activating the sealer.

tash

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2008, 07:26:16 AM »
+1 for the foodsaver. I actually have 2 so does that make it +2?? lol :)

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2009, 08:42:46 AM »
I want to seal in mylar bags.  Do all brands of sealers take mylar instead of plastic?  I could see that the sealing time and/or temperature might be different for mylar.

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2009, 11:27:16 AM »
I use a older model FoodSaver a Vac750. Its worked for years and I'm happy enough with it that I'll buy another model of that brand if it should ever break. I'm going to buy another one strictly for non food items as I have to sneak it when I vac non kitchen stuff to keep my honey from freaking out (she thinks anything bought for kitchen use must be used only in the kitchen...) :-\

Regards,
Shadowalker

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2009, 11:32:07 AM »

I use a older model FoodSaver a Vac750.


Does it take mylar bags?

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 12:32:04 PM »
Yes, Heavy G, Foodsavers work with mylar bags very, very well. :)

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2009, 01:53:58 PM »
Thanks.

I read that you can seal mylar with a Foodsaver.  But can you also use the vacuum feature with mylar bags?  Or is it just sealing mylar bags?

Here's another question regarding mylar bags.  I guess the advantage of mylar is that it keeps light away from the food (I might be wrong; there might be other advantages).  Let's say you keep the bags in Rubbermaid tubs or 5 gallon buckets in a dark place so light isn't much of a problem.  Then assume the vacuum feature does not work with mylar.  Is it better to have vacuum sealed food in clear bags in a tub or bucket in the dark, or is it better to have a non-vacuum sealed mylar bag in a tub or bucket in the dark?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 02:14:14 PM by Heavy G »

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2009, 04:52:57 PM »
Thanks.

I read that you can seal mylar with a FoodSaver.  But can you also use the vacuum feature with mylar bags?  Or is it just sealing mylar bags?

Here's another question regarding mylar bags.  I guess the advantage of mylar is that it keeps light away from the food (I might be wrong; there might be other advantages).  Let's say you keep the bags in Rubbermaid tubs or 5 gallon buckets in a dark place so light isn't much of a problem.  Then assume the vacuum feature does not work with mylar.  Is it better to have vacuum sealed food in clear bags in a tub or bucket in the dark, or is it better to have a non-vacuum sealed mylar bag in a tub or bucket in the dark?

Light avoidance is not the reason Mylar is used. The metallic element in Mylar prevents oxygen migration through the bag into the contents of the bag. It also prevents cross contamination by volatiles and odoriferous compounds in the materials being stored. There is no cheap substitute for Mylar. Mylar is the cheap substitute for full metal containers, as the only items to provide the same storage abilities as Mylar bags are fully metal cans, tins, barrels and drums.

The vacuum seal is the item which suspends the decay process. Light does add to the decay process by increasing the rate of oxidation. Storing foodstuffs in cool, dry, dark places is recommended because the chief causes of oxidation are oxygen, moisture, heat and light. getting rid of oxygen really cuts down on oxidation, to the point where two of the three become very minor, moisture is always a problem because water is a rather good oxidizer of food on its own. I would always pack and store my food with an eye towards reducing heat, humidity and light whenever and wherever I could. Vacuum packaging really short cuts that process. Mylar bags are good for maintaining that dry oxygen free environment that leads to longevity in food storage. Don't cheap out on this stage of your preps for long term storage. Use either the five layer FoodSaver bags (if you want clear bags) or genuine Mylar bags to store your long term storage foods or go to true full metal containers or glass canning jars (though rather expensive and fragile for bulk items). Any other type of container should be considered short term (less than six months) as they will not stop oxygen migration.
I often use the Rubbermaid bins to hold and organize the things I have put by with my FoodSaver. They are great for this.

Regards,
Shadohawk

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2009, 07:44:57 PM »
I read that you can seal mylar with a Foodsaver.  But can you also use the vacuum feature with mylar bags?  Or is it just sealing mylar bags?

What shadohawk said, plus...

Yes.  You can also use the vacuum feature with mylar bags.  The only thing that would hinder you is the amount of space between the food and the vacuum sealer thingamabob.  There's gotta be, like 3 inches minimum to use the vacuum thing.  Otherwise you can just seal it.  Also, you can stop the vacuum mechanism dealy at any point in the vacuum process, so if you're vacuum sealing, say, a loaf of home baked bread, you would only vacuum it a tiny bit before hitting the seal button. :)

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2009, 07:54:52 PM »
Awesome.  Thanks Shadowhawk and Sister Wolf. 

johnnybgood30

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2009, 11:06:07 PM »
so do any of them work with pop bottels?ive started storeing beans and rice and stuff in them

Offline Q_Dog

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2009, 08:05:25 AM »
This is good stuff guys, thanks. I also have question on this matter.

If I am vac u sealing food in Mylar, should I put an oxygen absorber in there just for good measure or is that just unneeded redundancy?

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2009, 02:08:06 PM »
so do any of them work with pop bottels?ive started storeing beans and rice and stuff in them

Unfortunately, I can't think of a top that would work on a 2 liter soda pop bottle.  I looked around online (my google fu is pretty good), but I can't find any resources that cite the success of anybody using the FoodSaver wine bottle tops with soda bottles.  :(  Sorry, Johnnybgood.  On the upside, while it does cost more money, they DO offer 6 qt (so basically, a 6 Liter) FoodSaver jar.  Also, they offer 2 qt (2 Liter) jars.  Actually, they offer a huge line of all different sizes of jars and lids.  The only one I can't seem to find is one that would fit your soda bottles.  Here.  Have a look around and see what you can find.

This is good stuff guys, thanks. I also have question on this matter.

If I am vac u sealing food in Mylar, should I put an oxygen absorber in there just for good measure or is that just unneeded redundancy?

That depends entirely on how much air you decide to take out of the bag.  Because you have complete control over how much air is sucked from the bag, you can either let the cycle go to completion, and then not worry about putting dessicants in the bag with the food, OR you can just toss a dessicant or two in there, and not vacuum the bag at all (like I do with bread).  I made the mistake of allowing a foodsaver to go to completion with the first loaf of bread I put in it.  It looked like hard tack when it was done  :D .  So the second loaf I put in, I only allowed it to take out a tiny bit of air.  The bread went moldy in about 2 weeks.  An oxygen absorber would have been ideal in a bread situation.  And I can see where (like with home made potato chips, or other items that you wouldn't want to be crushed in a full vacuum cycle) a dessicant would be preferable to full vacuum.

But then, there are situations where full vacuum are absolutely preferable.  With meat, I'd much rather use foodsaver rolls cut to my specifications, and no dessicant.  I feel the same way about using it on jars.  I keep my pasta in foodsaver jars, and use no dessicant, and it works great.  I haven't used any extra tops yet (they offer tops for mason jars, and tops for used spaghetti sauce jars too), but I imagine that they will please me as much as everything else FoodSaver brand has pleased me as of yet.  :)

Any more questions?  I'd be happy to do experiments for you guys too, if it doesn't cost me anything.  If I can determine something for you with my foodsaver, then maybe I can sell you on them a little more, or save you the money you'd be wasting if they don't work for your purposes.  :)

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2009, 03:54:40 PM »

I'd be happy to do experiments for you guys too, if it doesn't cost me anything. 


I don't know about an experiment, but I would like to run my proposed purchase past you (foodsaver model/features, bags, foods to seal) and see if you think it will work before I get them.

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2009, 04:49:39 PM »
I don't know about an experiment, but I would like to run my proposed purchase past you (foodsaver model/features, bags, foods to seal) and see if you think it will work before I get them.

Right on.  :)  I'll be as helpful as I can.

Offline Stein

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2009, 07:39:11 PM »
I bought mine back when there were no model numbers, just a Foodsaver.  We use it a ton and I sent it in to be rebuilt for $50 and it comes back like new.  I don't think it matters much, most of the stuff on the newer ones is bells and whistles.  The only thing that matters to me is how tight it can pull a vacuum.

On another note, I bought my first roll of non Foodsaver bags and wonder why I didn't do it sooner.  Better bags, less money.

Offline shadowalker_returns

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2009, 07:19:28 AM »

On another note, I bought my first roll of non Foodsaver bags and wonder why I didn't do it sooner.  Better bags, less money.

What brand? I bought some cheap non-FoodSaver bags and they turned out to be trash. I would be ecstatic to find some cheaper bags that are equal or better in quality.

regards,
Shadowalker

James Yeager

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2009, 09:34:36 PM »
I tried mylar bags in my Foodsaver and although it would seal it would not pull a vacuum.

Is there a trick?

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2009, 10:03:50 PM »
I tried mylar bags in my Foodsaver and although it would seal it would not pull a vacuum.

Is there a trick?

nooooo... I haven't ever had an issue...  :-\  I wonder if there's a difference in models??

Offline firetoad

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2009, 10:15:00 PM »
I haven't tried any of the "regular mylar bags", but I have sealed a number of chip bags back up with mine.  Some of the bags pull a vacuum and others don't.  I have found that if I push on the bag as soon as the vacuum starts, it will usually pull the bag down.  If you don't start pushing on the bag (sometimes pretty hard!) as soon as you push the button, this trick won't help.

As far as bags, I personally purchase Foodsaver brand bags from Ebay:  Foodsaver King

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #26 on: January 28, 2009, 06:43:21 AM »
I tried mylar bags in my Foodsaver and although it would seal it would not pull a vacuum.

Is there a trick?

nooooo... I haven't ever had an issue...  :-\  I wonder if there's a difference in models??

Sister Wolf:

Which model of Foodsaver and which mylar bags are you using?

Offline Aunt Bee

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2009, 10:17:06 PM »
I've heard that you can vac seal mylar and some other smooth bags every time by cutting a strip of a regular vac seal bag....say 3-4 inches wide and 6 inches long and lay between the the two mylar layers with a little sticking out.  It's textured and allows the air to escape.  I hope I explained this well enough. 

I have a Magic Vac that I bought on ebay at a great price when they changed the looks of that model and cleared out the $300 models for 1/3 of the original price.  I have a jar sealer for regular mouth and wide mouth jars and this is what I use mine most for.  I've found the regular vac seal bags have a hight failure rate for the grains and things I wanted to vac seal and I've tried several brands.  The bags are great for softer items and items for the BOB.

James Yeager

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2009, 04:57:14 PM »
Thanks!

Offline Aunt Bee

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Re: Which Food Sealer to buy
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2009, 09:54:14 PM »
You are welcome...I hope it works for you.

Edited to add, if it does not work, try making the strip a little wider.