Author Topic: Vacuum sealing for beginners  (Read 6258 times)

Offline notmyrealname

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Vacuum sealing for beginners
« on: October 11, 2016, 04:12:18 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I have never used a vacuum sealer and don't own one.

What equipment do I need to get started,  what are your recommendations, are there any best practices for vacuum sealing?  What does vacuum sealing work the best for?

 I'd like to keep equipment expenses under $300.  We'll be purchasing a basic chest freezer soon too.

Thank you!

Offline CharlesH

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 05:23:14 PM »
I'm a fan of the Gamesaver Bronze by Food Saver.  That would be all you need to get started, though you will have to by additional plastic as you go.
 
We use ours primarily for fruits and vegetables.  The biggest advice I have is to freeze most things first, then vacuum seal them.  By freezing berries, grapes, okra, etc. first, it maintains shape better when sealed.

Richard (richard)

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 09:53:11 PM »
What does vacuum sealing work the best for?

 I'd like to keep equipment expenses under $300.  We'll be purchasing a basic chest freezer soon too.

Thank you!

I think you answered your question, vacuum sealing works best for frozen preservation. You should first do some research on how the foods you want to preserve can be frozen (do they need to be blanched?) and what you have available. Although I do have roll-capable vacuum sealers, I suggest you start out with the cheapest Food-Saver you can find. Use their bags, I'd start with the quart size. Many people highly suggest a unit that can seal mason jars. I've done it, but not to crazy about it.

Offline Frugal Upstate

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2016, 04:15:01 AM »
I use the food saver the most for dealing jars, especially when I'm storing home dehydrated food.  They also are great for freezing meat & veg in the bags (although the cost adds up) or moisture proofing things for storage (for example you can seal up boxes of matches to keep them dry).  I've found that any if the food saver brand is fine-i think they all come with the accessory port.

Oh, and if you keep it where it's easy to get at and have the canning jar attachment, leftovers vacuum sealed in a jar and then put in the fridge lady about 3x longer than usual

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2016, 07:28:06 AM »
     At our local Woodmans, I regularly find good bargains on "reduced meats". These have reached a sell by date, but are perfectly fine; usually marked down 50% to sell that day. What I have been doing for long term freezing (FIFO) is to first wrap the steaks, chops, ribs, etc. in plastic food wrap. then I slide them into the vacuum bag. I feel it gives an extra layer of protection from freezer burn. Also, because those bags are a little spendy (but totally reusable), when I take out the meat, the inside of the bag is usually clean and free from grease or meat juices and much easier to wash out and reuse.

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 08:52:48 AM »
Meats definitely. When things are on a loss-leader sale (at or below cost to get you into the store) you should stock up on them. Freezer burn is loss of water from the food item. Usually you see ice crystals inside the regular packaging. This happens when dry air surrounds your wet meat and nature tries to equalize the humidity between the food and the air. By removing the air, the water stays in the food and thus no freezer burn.

I second the Food saver Gamemaster. I have one and it has great reviews. It will also do cans with the included tube but I haven't used this part yet.

Also second on the vendor bags. Off brand bags seem to have a higher failure rate of you look at online reviews. I use the rolls so you can make a bag as small or large as you need.

Also, always clean the sealing parts before you put it away and store in the unlocked position so you don't squash the sealing pads.

Good luck
Jerseyboy


Richard (richard)

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 12:38:52 PM »
When I was new to freezing vac-sealed food I put it in the pint bag and sealed it, a lot of redo's however because the liquid prevented a good seal. Now I freeze everything on a cookie sheet and put everything into the gallon-sized bag. When we need some it comes out in whatever quantity you want, it's not all one big frozen mass, and then you've got enough room to reseal the bag, over and over. Saves bags (money).
Are there any suggestions on how to package meat with sharp-edged bones without popping a hole in the bag?

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2016, 09:56:17 AM »
I buy the bags on a roll from amazon. Best pricing I have found. I use commercial thickness bags. I find the 8" ones are great for single servings and I use the 11" for family sized meals. I will include the 2 links for the products I use (I get no commission so after seeing them, use the TSP link to order them). I have tried other brands and they didn't hold their seal as well.

8" rolls https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UCJS2HM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

11" rolls https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0052BOEXG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Offline bcksknr

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2016, 06:58:57 PM »
     Richard: I too have had trouble with sharp edges on steak bones, most especially t-bone steaks. I think about all you can do is maybe double wrap them in plastic wrap, then seal them. I try to put these items somewhere in the freezer where they won't be bumped by other items or have lots of weight on them.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 06:36:23 AM »
These are the bags that I order from Amazon.  I've  never been a fan of the Food Saver bags, I feel they are WAY over priced.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013DGM4G/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0063HVE18/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Offline albaprep

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 12:49:19 PM »
Yep  Amazon is where we get ours too. We quite like the 'Andrew James' vacuum dealer in Amazon. Very good value for the money - it has lasted us for ages sealing lamb , jerky etc.

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Vacuum sealing for beginners
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2017, 09:17:02 AM »
Hello, what kind of food sealers can you recommend? At my work we have a vacuum chamber (Minerva I think) but I really can't afford a vacuum-chamber at home, so I have to settle with a sealer. Hope you can help me, so that I can start sous vide'ing at home!

Thanks,
Kyle

Any food saver or cabela's sealer should be a good investment. whatever price point you can afford to get started. Someone posted a thread about how they figured out that at the rate they went through regular kitchen top sealers it made sense to go with a vacuum chamber sealer. Throw in the additional savings of chamber bags versus textured vacuum sealer bags and the savings really add up if you are doing a lot of sealing. I've already sealed more than 500 meals/servings since getting my chamber sealer. At an average cost of 5 cents per bag versus about 40 cents for the textured bags/rolls it's a huge savings for us.