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Old 10-18-2017, 03:58 AM   #1
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Vacuum Sealers - what and how-to?

Hi folks,

I just got myself a new vacuum sealer. I'm not the worlds best chef, and I'm thinking I could be eating a lot better if I make myself a bunch of 'ready meals' when I'm in the mood and vacuum seal them up for later.

What are everyones thoughts on good easy stuff to make and store this way?

I also noted they could be used to marinade stuff, I'm a fan of chicken and wondered about marinading some chicken breasts but am worried about a lot of the marinade getting sucked out in the process...how do you stop that?

Someone on YouTube reccommended freezing stuff like soup first, so would you just do that with something marinading too?

Cheers

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Old 10-18-2017, 07:50 AM   #2
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I've been using a vacuum sealer since the 90's.. Use it a lot and we are only on our 2nd one.. Good product..

The freeze first tip is a good one.. I do that a lot, mainly because there are just the 2 of us and we are not big eaters.. You will find it an interesting, useful appliance..

I bought one for my daughter, years ago.. She had 2 big boys and found that they ate too much, too quickly so the sealer wasn't really necessary in their house.. Now they are empty nesters and use it often..

Ross
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:44 AM   #3
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I'm on my third Foodsaver. I wear them out.

I use mine mostly to buy meats in bulk, and freeze one meal portions of the raw meats. However, there are some ways to use them for freezing lots of cooked foods. I also use them to cook sous vide.

My sister takes meats over to my dad's house to cook on his grill, and seals cook portions to warm up grilled meats whenever she wants. That is an easy one.

Soups and other very wet items are more tricky, because, as you mentioned, the liquids get sucked out. I haven't had a lot of success with vacuum sealing soups, but freezing first would be a good start. I do that with fresh peppers so they don't get crushed by the vacuum pressure.

For marinading, Foodsaver makes containers just for that. They also make attachments to use on both sizes of Mason jars. I have those, and they are very easy to use.

I have gotten pretty good with the "stop and seal" button on mine. I use that when I am sealing juicy meats. That stops most of the juices from leaking into the drip pan.

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Old 10-18-2017, 12:05 PM   #4
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Thanks folks!

Caseydog, I have the FFS002 model so I only have 2 buttons, the seal only, and the vacuum and seal. The instructions implied that if I had a posher moddel I might get more buttons haha.

I do have a mini hose pipe attachment tho and the instructions once again imply there's some excitement to be had with it with 'attachments', so I'll go and check that out, ta
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:53 PM   #5
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How necessary it is to vacuum seal a liquid mixture anyway? I've done chili and soups quite often and just squeeze as much air as possible out, then seal, and never had an issue with it.

For meats and veggies, the vacuum does serve a function in preventing freezer burn and drying, although I've done meats by just squeezing out the air, sealing then double bagging just using ziplock bags and had good success freezing for several months.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:21 PM   #6
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I've done meats by just squeezing out the air, sealing then double bagging just using ziplock bags and had good success freezing for several months.
I wrap meat as tightly as possible with plastic wrap, then put it in a twist tie food storage bag, again removing as much air as possible. Like Rick, I haven't had any freezer burn issues. I've looked at vacuum sealers, but those bags are rather pricey.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:25 PM   #7
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Since I picked up an old vac sealer for $2.00 at the Salvation Army store recently, I've been using it for some meats. I don't bother with it for ground beef portions as they don't last too long. Prior to the sealer, I wrapped meats tightly in plastic wrap and put them into freezer bags. Never really had a problem.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:12 PM   #8
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Ok so I'm gettingthe vibe most people just use it for preservinf stuff so far as opposed to the "Can't be bothered to cook but here's something I made earlier..." option?

I'm gonna make a load fo bread soon as pack that up and freeze it. I've just masde a big pot of soup for an experiment haha, go for the tricky end yea. I'll freeze it a wee bit then try my luck. Let ya know how I get on :)
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:10 PM   #9
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I use plastic deli containers like these for freezing foods I've made ahead. I put them upside down in a large glass measuring cup and thaw in the microwave till it falls out of the container. When it's thawed enough, I put it in a saucepan to stay warm till we're ready to eat.

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Old 10-19-2017, 04:20 AM   #10
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Ok so I'm gettingthe vibe most people just use it for preservinf stuff so far as opposed to the "Can't be bothered to cook but here's something I made earlier..." option?

I'm gonna make a load fo bread soon as pack that up and freeze it. I've just masde a big pot of soup for an experiment haha, go for the tricky end yea. I'll freeze it a wee bit then try my luck. Let ya know how I get on :)
We are into charcuterie (making sausages, curing meat, etc..) and also buy some meats and cheese in bulk. Our Foodsaver is a necessity. We often buy bulk chuck and pork butt when on sale and grind it ourselves. Regular storage bags don't work to prevent freezer burn with a 6 month supply.
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Old 03-28-2019, 04:04 PM   #11
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I use the VacMaster vp210, it works awesome. I use it to store uncooked meat in the freezer, for sous-vide cooking, and everything else under the sun. One thing that could be better is the price.. it is a bit higher than competitors, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
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I had one years ago and it was more trouble than it was worth so it's gone.
I do just fine by using freezer zip bags for soups/stews and getting the air out is easy enough. Just form a collar for easy filling and to keep the zipper clean. For meats I first bag them in thin plastic bags, squeezing all the air out and then placing it in a freezer zip bag. I never have freezer burn. It's fast and efficient without the expense of another unnecessary gadget.


Holy cow I just looked at that link livetocook......$1,164.99 ????
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Old 03-31-2019, 01:54 PM   #13
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Mr Cat, welcome to DC;

I also noted they could be used to marinade stuff, I'm a fan of chicken and wondered about marinading some chicken breasts but am worried about a lot of the marinade getting sucked out in the process...how do you stop that?

Freeze 1st then seal. Same for soup etc. .....
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:50 PM   #14
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Mr Cat, welcome to DC;

I also noted they could be used to marinade stuff, I'm a fan of chicken and wondered about marinading some chicken breasts but am worried about a lot of the marinade getting sucked out in the process...how do you stop that?

.....
The countertop vacuum sealer I used to own had an optional plastic square cassarole looking container with the lid having an insert for the vacuum line. It was ideal for marinating, however, the lid seal or valve eventually gave out making is useless.
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:10 PM   #15
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I have two..they work ok, although I find that the seal will give out if left too long in the freezer..maybe it the jostling that does it, but it doesn't last for more than a month or two..
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:00 PM   #16
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Holy cow I just looked at that link livetocook......$1,164.99 ????
That's a professional model, not designed for home use. They had one at the culinary school I attended.
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:05 PM   #17
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That's a professional model, not designed for home use. They had one at the culinary school I attended.

Well one would think at that price but he seems to own one.
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I use the VacMaster vp210, it works awesome. I use it to store uncooked meat in the freezer, for sous-vide cooking, and everything else under the sun. One thing that could be better is the price.. it is a bit higher than competitors, but you get what you pay for.
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Old 03-31-2019, 10:50 PM   #18
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Well one would think at that price but he seems to own one.
I saw that. Some people have money to burn, I guess.
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:06 PM   #19
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I got a Foodsaver many years ago, and after about 16 years, it bit the dust. Not the seals - I had replaced them before, but the pressure just stopped. I used it all the time, and it saved me a lot, so it didn't owe me anything. I got another one soon after. As with anything like this, if it is put away after every use, it is not used as much as it could be, so I made a simple shelf for the first one - actually something for it to slide under, and other things could go on top, so that space is not really wasted on the countertop. When I got the new one, I had to make another shelf, as it was not the same size, but it is very simple to make:
Foodsaver shelf, and the latest items. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The newer one makes wider seal. The seals from old one would have a tendency to leak, unless I would make two seals on each end, and I almost never had them break this way. When I cleaned out my freezer a while back, only two packages in there (out of probably close to a hundred) had broken. One pack of chicken, which I tossed, and a package of brown rice, which I took out, and used that soon. I use this for grains, as well as meats, and things like brown rice, which can turn rancid, I freeze. I still use it for things that I don't freeze - the bags used for beans and grains can be used again - just an inch or so is lost.

I use it for things from my garden - peppers, lemongrass, and a few other things I have in a box in the freezer, labeled "Thai, and other oriental ing." I cut about 2 1/2" wide pieces of the 8" rolls of Foodsaver plastic, seal the long edges, and cut off one of the ends. Then I put 3,4,or 5 cleaned up and ready to use lemongrass stalks in them, and vacuum seal them. This way, I have the numbers of stalks often called for in recipes. I peel and cut up chunks of galangal, ginger, and turmeric, and have them in a slightly oversized 6" wide package, and when I need some, I cut a corner off, remove what I need, and re-seal.

I also use it for storing spices - ground ones in the freezer, and whole ones in a tub in the basement. The whole ones I put an oxygen adsorbent pad in, before sealing, which makes up for anything left in, after the vacuum. I've never had any lose flavor this way. When I need some in the small jars, I just cut off a corner, pour some in, and re-seal.

I use that jar seal, but only occasionally, and it doesn't always work. I only use it on things I have in my pantry that I rarely use - things that don't really go bad, but they still will be sitting for a long time. It works best on the wide-mouthed mason jars
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Old 03-31-2019, 11:54 PM   #20
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Just FYI, MrCat started this thread on 10-18-2017 -- more than two years ago. Same day as his last post. So, we are kinda' "preachin' to the choir."

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