"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-14-2019, 02:00 PM   #1
Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Michigan
Posts: 79
Vacuum sealers

I'm thinking I should invest in a good vacuum sealer. I'm single w a dog. My dog doesn't get much off the table. She's gets a taste, but that's about it. So, I tend to have many leftovers that unfortunately don't get eaten.

How much better is it to vacuum seal something vs just putting it in a ziplock and into the freezer? Does it keep longer and by how much if it does? Does it keep freezer burn off?

Any info or tricks to using one would be greatly appreciated.

Does anyone have opinions on certain sealers?

__________________

strmanglr scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2019, 02:24 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,096
A VS is a good investement if you freeze foods for longer. If You're freezing leftovers for a few days or a week it probably doesn't make much of a difference. If you're freezing meats, meals, etc. for what may be months, a VS is a definite benefit. I have defrosted a piece of meat that was in the freezer for about a year and it looked like I just bought it.

I bought a VS at a thrift store for $2.00. It's an ancient model but it still works. I buy off-brand rolls of bags at Walmart and I'm a happy camper.

If you're into or contemplating sous vide, a VS is a big plus. Whil you can get by without one, it makes life better.

When my VS dies, I will replace it with a very basic FoodSaver brand machine. I have no use for the extra bells and whistles (especially the whistles! ;-)) )
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2019, 03:41 PM   #3
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 153
I have one, but it's primary use is for vacuum sealing containers for flour, brown sugar, and other dry goods, as well as wine (which it is great for). As for VS freezer bags, I rarely use it as I don't freeze stuff that long (and ziplocks/tupperware work fine).
ScottinPollock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2019, 07:00 PM   #4
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 1,227
I had a Foodsaver that lasted over 15 years, before it bit the dust, but I got so much use out of it, it didn't owe me anything! It had saved me a lot, through the years, between the frozen items, and the dry things, like teas, spices, and grains, that I also keep in vacuum bags. I quickly got a new one, which I have now. This one have some additional features - faster, and able to seal wetter bags, mainly the blood in meat, but also the moisture in vegetables. However, I usually freeze things like that until crystallized, but not entirely frozen, then seal them - they are still flexible this way, and almost all of the air is sucked out of them.

You definitely want to get a good model - cheap ones often require you to hold the door down while sealing, and the seal is sometimes narrower, and can break apart.

I use rolls of the plastic more than bags - much cheaper this way, and I can cut to size. The 6" and 8" rolls I use the most, but the 12" I occasionally use for the large things. This model has a cavity that a roll can be stored in, and a cutter, to make it easy to cut to size.
Well used Foodsaver, Gamesaver Deluxe Plus by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Closer up of the Foodsaver settings. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Opened Foodsaver, showing cutter and storage sector for the roll. by pepperhead212, on Flickr


The Foodsavers I've had also have had a gadget to vacuum seal large and small mouthed mason jars - something that I do with some things that I don't use very often. This is also the thing that vacuum seals opened wine bottles. The absence of oxygen helps them last much longer. This photo shows the shelf I slide the Foodsaver under, when not using it - something that keeps it easy to use, with things stored above it, and the mason jar sealer in front.
Foodsaver, in storage area, under simple shelf, with mason jar vacuum tool in front. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I use this for all meats, and some vegetables. I also use it for some dry goods, such as spices, tea, grains, and legumes, when I buy large amounts of things, when I get a good deal. Some things stay good vacuum sealed at room temp.; some, like cracked wheat, freekeh, brown rice, and millet, I have found still need to be frozen - otherwise, they go rancid, unless used quickly, esp. in the summer. So I store these in 3 cup vacuum sealed packs, and have 3 cup jars I refill, as needed. The larger quantities of things, like the 8 lb bags of various legumes I get from the Indian market, I'll fill the larger jars in the pantry, then vacuum seal a large bag, and refill the jars, and re-seal the bag, as needed.

When I first got a Foodsaver, I tested the plastic for how permeable it was for aromas, by sealing some minced onion and garlic in some. In a few days, it was fermenting, and swelling up, but there was still no onion or garlic aroma! This does not happen in ziplocs, or other plastic bags - a mason jar will seal, but plastic containers usually leak some of those potent aromas eventually. Peppers are another one of those aromas that tends to permeate other foods, and totally fill up the freezer. Oh yeah - that's another thing that I vacuum seal: butter. Butter is one of those things that keeps much better, as it is isolated from oxygen, and those aromas it easily picks up. When it is on sale with coupons, I stock up on it!

And after these dry things, the bags are re-useable - they just get shorter each time.
__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 03:35 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,825
Quote:
Originally Posted by strmanglr scott
I'm thinking I should invest in a good vacuum sealer. I'm single w a dog.
I'm sorta single with two goldfish and I've got my eye on the Nesco VS-02 and VS-12.
Vacuum sealers seem to be considered adjunct appliances to the sous vide cultists and I'm embarrassed to admit buying a sous vide set up during the Thanksgiving sales.
__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 05:14 PM   #6
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 153
BTW... if you're serious about sealing in bags/rolls, consider a larger and much more expensive chamber vacuum sealer. It does a better job (especially with liquids), and will pay for itself surprisingly fast given the cost of the bags.
ScottinPollock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 07:17 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Kayelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: south central coast/California
Posts: 14,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
I'm sorta single with two goldfish and I've got my eye on the Nesco VS-02 and VS-12.
Vacuum sealers seem to be considered adjunct appliances to the sous vide cultists and I'm embarrassed to admit buying a sous vide set up during the Thanksgiving sales.

Embarrassed? Why is that? You'll have a great time with it but I get along fine without a Sealer for mine with the water displacement method and heavy zip bags.



I like your storage set up Pepperhead..handy, and kept ready to use. I wish I had the space. If it was stored, I know I wouldn't use it.

Quote:
This photo shows the shelf I slide the Foodsaver under, when not using it - something that keeps it easy to use, with things stored above it, and the mason jar sealer in front.
__________________
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

Kayelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 08:32 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 22,310
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
BTW... if you're serious about sealing in bags/rolls, consider a larger and much more expensive chamber vacuum sealer. It does a better job (especially with liquids), and will pay for itself surprisingly fast given the cost of the bags.
How do they save you money on bags?
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 08:51 PM   #9
Senior Cook
 
ScottinPollock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: West slope of the Sierra Nevada
Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
How do they save you money on bags?
They are literally pennies on the dollar compared to the traditional vacuum sealer bags/rolls.

https://youtu.be/0j6QjxHDiJk
ScottinPollock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2019, 11:02 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 22,310
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottinPollock View Post
They are literally pennies on the dollar compared to the traditional vacuum sealer bags/rolls.

https://youtu.be/0j6QjxHDiJk
Thanks. Now I want to find a machine that doesn't use throwaway plastic.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2019, 10:38 AM   #11
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,096
Chamber sealers appear to be more expensive and significantly larger than Foodsaver style machines. Having a small kitchen and a small budget, that wouldn't work for me.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2019, 10:50 AM   #12
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,825
Reading about these things, especially in Amazon user reviews, I see lots of complaints about food ruined because imperfect seals caused freezer burn. It seems to be prevalent across all make and models. Not sure what to think about that.
__________________
"'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." - Michael Pollan

Old bachelor cook
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2019, 11:11 AM   #13
Cook
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Michigan
Posts: 79
Thanks for all the responses.




Wonder how much of this can be attributed to user error?
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
Reading about these things, especially in Amazon user reviews, I see lots of complaints about food ruined because imperfect seals caused freezer burn. It seems to be prevalent across all make and models. Not sure what to think about that.
strmanglr scott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2019, 11:48 AM   #14
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,096
Quote:
Originally Posted by strmanglr scott View Post
Thanks for all the responses.




Wonder how much of this can be attributed to user error?
When using a FS, you know right away if you got a good vacuum and seal. With my model, it won't stop the vacuuming and seal the bag if a complete vacuum isn't obtained. So you have to be sure there is no liquid interfering with the process. I've never lost a vacuum in the freezer.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2019, 12:33 PM   #15
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 1,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Chamber sealers appear to be more expensive and significantly larger than Foodsaver style machines. Having a small kitchen and a small budget, that wouldn't work for me.
My thoughts exactly. I looked into them way back, when I got my first Foodsaver, and the cheapest one was just under $700.00! The price has come down some, but they are still far more than the better Foodsavers. The size was also prohibitive - it would be like putting a microwave on the counter, and not the kind of thing you want to be putting away, in between uses, as you would end up not using it much.

BTW, unlike that video states, you don't waste 1 1/2" of the Foodsaver roll on each end! About 1/4" on the first end, and about 3/4" on the end when doing the vac seal. And buying a case of the rolls is far cheaper than buying one at a time!

I don't have many seals fail - usually, only after re-sealing them a number of times. You have to be careful about bones, but that's true with any bags
__________________

__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×