View Full Version : Let's talk about vaccum sealers for food storage
September 03, 2005, 21:26
I remember this topic being brought up a few years back here but let's get some up-to-date info on the subject.
I had a Food Saver years back but it crapped out after a few months. Never was impressed with the slow process of sealing bags of meat and other items in quantity.
Without breaking the bank, what is a decent unit that can handle quantity without taking all night and one where the bags are readily available?
My thoughts are using it not only for normal family use but also for long-term emergency "packs".
September 03, 2005, 22:58
the black n decker will wear you out after a few bags with all the pressure you need to put on them to get them to seal. also, the black n decker bags just plain suck. the foodsaver brand bags work better. ymmv. even with all the shortcomings of vaccum packers the little buggers will keep meat from freezer burn for years.
September 04, 2005, 02:41
I've had a Foodsaver for about five years. They are slow. Never had any trouble with mine, except for the occasional bad seal. Those are usually due to food dust or liquid getting onto the sealing surface. I learned quickly to roll the top edge of the bags down before filling and then rolling them back up to seal. Trying to cut bags short will sometimes come back and bite you also, as liquid can get drawn into the pump.
I found this link, offering Foodsaver's "Pro" model. "Double nylon piston pumps for fast operation." About $300.00
Foodsaver Pro Turbo (http://www.thesportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1896259&cp=712508.1903936&parentPage=family)
September 04, 2005, 05:31
Take a 2 lb coffee can, place a gallon food saver bag in it. Fill with whole wheat, it will hold about 4.5 lbs, seal bag and put lid back on. Label and date.
Granted not a 5 gallon pail or a 50 gallon drum worth. But you are opening your supplies as you us them. No concerns about using the supplies up to avoid spoilage after you open them up.
Hebrew Battle Rifle
September 04, 2005, 10:18
Last year I bought a food saver. I actually bought it to vacuum pack ammo and other things for long term storage. I then used it to vacuum pack the three deer that I took and the two my dad took last year. Here are a few things that I learned.
When packing food that is wet, roll up some paper towels ( like a big cigarette) and place it lengthwise between the food items and the opening of the bag. Then seal the end of the bag. This keeps the liquid from getting into the seal area and out of your packer.
When packing items with sharp corners. ( such as ammo on stripper clips or guns) wrap the corners or sharp edges with paper towels and then tape them up. Then place the items in the bag and seal. I then place that pack into another bag and seal that. In the case of guns, once taped into place, I soak the paper towels with light oil. It may be overkill, but for now, oil is cheap.
I like the coffee can idea. That is sound advise.
One more thing. When cutting a deer up for vacuum packing, a hatchet and a 2X8 make short work of the bones. No need to strip the meat off of the bones. Just hack em and bag em.
September 04, 2005, 13:06
I have a Tilia Food Saver that I bought about 15 years ago. So far it still works. I have to admit that I don't use it regularly or for long periods when I do use it. I also noticed that my unit is larger than the current models. Maybe they let quality slide in making them more compact?
Besides the bags, I do a lot of packaging using Ball Jars. They are more reliable and quite reusable compared to the cost of the bag material. I have found them in up to one-half gallon size. Tilia also sells proprietary containers for large quantities but they are expensive.
One thought comes to mind, is to research education or lab supply sources for a real vacuum pump. You could adapt it to evacuate larger containers providing the container is strong enough not to collapse.
Vacuum storage is a good idea and the 'Food Saver' is a readily available tool along with its bagging material and jar adapters.
September 06, 2005, 12:27
Research or lab vaccum pump? Pretty expensive compared to that giant suction machine sitting in your driveway.
If you have a gas burning engine (most late model cars are) you have the most effective vaccum pump there is.
An example........a 460 CID Ford motor in a one ton truck can suck out 230 gallons of calcium chloride from the rear tire of a tractor in about 30 minutes. Through the opening of the standard valve stem!!!!
So, when your getting ready to vaccum things, maybe set up a table in the garage, bypass the little tiny pump in the vaccum sealer & go direct to a vaccum port on that big ol Caddy motor............let er rip!!!
Just an idea though.
September 06, 2005, 12:48
Seems to me I paid in the neighborhood of $180 for mine. Man...don't ask me what model....
I don't think they are "fast" but they sure do keep freezer burn of the meat.
You can make any size "battle packs" ya need. I have bought things such as
cashews in bulk and broke them down into smaller food saver bags.....that is
a good thing.
They are too handi not to have around.
I have ( geez I hate to admit this) a back pack made up to go if I gatta go fast
everything in there is done up in a food saver bag. Yes...T.P., paper towels
funny thing about that stuff is....MAN it really shrinks it down. You'll have a lot
of room left over.
uh....instant oatmeal, instant coffee and cup....sealed
and for the real emergency......3 bottles (1-1/2oz size) of Grand Marnier (sp)
September 06, 2005, 16:27
I too have had a Food Saver for nearly 20 years.
I used it quite a bit when I used to back pack.
As stated previously, they are slow and sharp corners must be addressed.
For anything that I planned to store 'long term', I usually triple sealed the ends.
Leave the vacpack out for a few days to monitor the seal.
I once sealed an AR and 3 loaded 30 round mags and put both packs in a mil-surp powder canister and buried it. Dug it up over a year later and it was good to go.
My unit came with the canning jar sealer also, but I found that it was much easier to seal jars the way the Pump-N-Seal unit does.
Take any jar that has a lid with the vacuum seal button and punch a hole in the center of the lid with a push pin.
Then take one of those window suction cups (like they use to attach stupid signs to the inside of you car window) and drill a hole through the center for a short length of aquarium tubing and attach a a vacuum hose to it.
Place a short piece of scotch tape over the hole in the jar lid LOOSELY (so as not to seal it) and then put the suction cup over the hole and tape.
Turn on the vacuum to draw the air through the hole, under the tape, under the suction cup and up the hose.
When you have sufficiently evacuated the air, push down on the suction cup to seal the tape on the top to the jar lid and remove the suction cup.
You now have vacuum sealed the jar and the button on the top of the lid will let you know if the jar loses its seal.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.