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Old 12-17-2006, 08:40 PM   #21
Senior Cook
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: S. W. Minnesota
Posts: 157
After doing a bunch of research on vac sealers, I bought one from Impak a couple of years ago. They are a manufacturer of commercial vac sealers and of bags. Their internet division is SorbentSystems.com.
Their websitetestimonials were intriguing, and when I saw the cost of the bags, I was convinced.
The one I purchased (model VS-280) is comparable to the Tilia Foodsaver at just under $100, but differs in design in that it uses a snorkle type probe which allows the use of plain bags which are MUCH cheaper. Quart size bags are about 8 cents, and you can cut them in half to seal smaller items.
The maximum width of seal is just under 11 inches, so it will also do 10 x 15 bags which are about a gallon.

They make many other sizes and thicknesses and even make channel type bags that fit the Foodsaver style sealers (probably cheaper than stores, but I don't remember the prices - check them out)

bottom line:

Machine has worked without fail for over 2 years (and you can get parts, if needed)
You can pull higher vacuums, since the pump will run until you press the seal bar. (early disadvantage - if you leave the switch on and extend the snorkle, the pump turns on before you insert the bag and lock the cover. Took me about 4 sessions to remember this - I'm slow )
Low bag cost. With venison and all, I use a LOT of bags.
Lots of bag variety. From small to large, thin to thick, even Mylar.
I'm quite happy with it and it saves me lots of money.

Walt Bulander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2006, 09:07 PM   #22
Sous Chef
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 905
That is REALLY interesting!! And the types of bags (like ziplock/resealable mylar bags) are interesting as well.
Specifically what plastic bags do you use? Freezer ZipLocs? Thanks for posting.
I guess the one question I have about that kind of plastic is whether it is thick enough to resist freezer burn even in a vacuum. Don't know if that is an oxymoron or not!!
And I'm not sure if "more vacuum" can be drawn because as I understand the FS, when the vacuum is detected it initiates the sealing process.

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Old 12-18-2006, 08:34 AM   #23
Senior Cook
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: S. W. Minnesota
Posts: 157
Hi Candocook,

I just use the clear 3 mil (V3R series) bags because they are cheap. You could reuse them, a little smaller each time, but I almost never bother.

The 3 mil would be too thin for things like whole fish because of the fins poking through. I buy shrimp in 2# bags and repackage down to a 2 portion meal and may have one where a tail has poked through and broken the seal. I just do it over.

As to vacuum, this machine just keeps pumping down until you push the seal bar. You learn to push the food up close to the snorkel tube to hold the plastic apart and allow more air to be removed. In any case, it will just pump until you think it's enough. Depending on the shape of the food, there is very little entrapped air. One trick if you haven't pushed the food up close enough, is to make a little wrinkle just in fromt of the snorkel tube with your fingers to keep a channel open.

Freezer burn is not an issue at all. I have venison loin usually that only has to be eaten up to make room for the next years meat!

Never vacuum seal bread. The holes will be gone! LOL

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