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Canning, Freezing and Drying: Food vaccuum sealers - help choosing one, please!

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Forum: Canning, Freezing and DryingReplies: 11, Views: 122
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girlgroupgirl

August 6, 2010
8:55 AM

Post #8022653

So I think I would like to try a vacuum food sealer.
I've spent years freezing foods, began to can foods at the very end of last year and this, and dry some foods (mostly herbs, really).

I think I'd like to try a vacuum sealer for freezing, it would really benefit both baking and the beans I freeze (which tend to get freezer burn).

I am not going to buy a FoodSaver - at least not to start out with. I am just too cheap!!!
Currently am looking at a Deni - I have some of their other products, but nothing electric.

Does anyone use a Deni, or a seal-a-meal? (honestly, I love the vintage seal-a-meal but I don't think they have vacuums in them, darn it!).

Thanks for your help,
off to can peaches and make some green tomato jam with ginger and vanilla!

girlgroupgirl
Hetep
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

August 7, 2010
10:20 AM

Post #8024941

Hi,

This is not a vacuum sealer, but it is IMHO, better than any of those, and cheaper. I just push out as much of the air as I can and it works fine. This is made for industry, and made of metal.

I much prefer it over any of the plastic ones.

Hetep

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007D2COM/ref=wms_ohs_product


Click the image for an enlarged view.

Hetep
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

August 7, 2010
10:22 AM

Post #8024943

It didn't take the link to the picture only.. Will try again.

Thumbnail by Hetep
Click the image for an enlarged view.

paracelsus
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 7, 2010
2:49 PM

Post #8025384

girlgroupgirl, have you tired freezing in canning jars? It keeps much better in the freezer than anything else I have tried. It might be worth investigating before you spend on a heat sealer and plastic bags.

If you want to stick to plastic bags, you can get very thick ones from places like Uline at a reasonable price. I use 4 mil bags for my business, and these are much thicker than you can get in any store, but you can get them up to 8 mil thick. This is the thickness that would be used for sharp metal parts. Plastic does allow some oxygen through, but not much is going to get through something that thick.

Btw, re the heat sealers, I looked into getting one of these for my biz. They all use teflon on the sealer blade, and if you have birds as pets, you don't want teflon being heated as high as these things heat. I could not find a heat sealer that did not have a teflon coating.
girlgroupgirl

August 7, 2010
8:03 PM

Post #8025804

I can get a vacuum food sealer for around $10 so I"m not going to order one, I'd buy it used (but thank-you). Canning jars would really take up space in our freezer, paracelsus. I do like the idea in freezing in something re-usable that is NOT plastic, but for now being able to freeze in baggies etc. (or thicker plastic) takes up much less space, and I can freeze baked goods that way. I am gluten-free/celiac so I have to make everything from scratch (or buy it at crazy prices). So I bake a ton of foods and freeze them for convenience.
You are right, I've stopped using teflon (anywhere except the bread machine, the pans don't come teflon free)... I do not care to have any more of it in my home.
One question, would the uline bags be food grade? There are different grades of plastic because of their make-up, I'd prefer food grade...

Thanks, you are all helpful!
girlgroupgirl
annabelle15
Niles, MI
(Zone 5a)

August 8, 2010
4:58 AM

Post #8026163

Girl, DON'T buy the Demi, the bags don't stay air tight, I bought a Food saver, best thing I ever bought. The Demi is cheaper but the bags you have to use are not as strong as the Foodsaver bags and if you are careful when you open the food saver bags, you can reuse them . Just wash and let dry and they are good to go. I agree that the jars are great in the freezer, but storage room is important.
Carolinorygun
St. Helens, OR
(Zone 8b)

August 8, 2010
9:08 AM

Post #8026584

Although you indicated you didn't want to buy a FoodSaver, I started with a Deni and can't recommend it.

An item isn't cheaper if you have to buy three of the cheaper one to one of the other. I didn't find the Deni reliable and wasted a lot of time and effort with inferior seals even before the darned thing "died."

Then I went to a FoodSaver. Until there's more competition from better brands, that's what I'll stick with.

Perhaps on Craigslist or at thrift stores you could find an inexpensive one. Like a lot of appliances, people tend to buy these things and then not use them.

Carol

Hetep
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

August 8, 2010
10:15 AM

Post #8026699

[quote="Carolinorygun"]Although you indicated you didn't want to buy a FoodSaver, I started with a Deni and can't recommend it.

An item isn't cheaper if you have to buy three of the cheaper one to one of the other. I didn't find the Deni reliable and wasted a lot of time and effort with inferior seals even before the darned thing "died."
[/quote]

I'll second that! I went through a few sealers before I found the Grizzly, and that was a waste of both time and money..

[quote="Carolinorygun"]
Perhaps on Craigslist or at thrift stores you could find an inexpensive one. Like a lot of appliances, people tend to buy these things and then not use them.

Carol

[/quote]

One should be careful on the thrift stores. Just before I found the G, I found a Daizy that I tested fine at the store and all looked well, it even had extra bags -- was like new. I got it home and used up the bags that were with it, then found that the size of bags it required were discontinued. The sealer is no good if you can't get the bags it has to have. The G will seal ANYTHING made of plastic, up to the length of the heat element, and is only $39 and change.
paracelsus
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

August 9, 2010
3:32 AM

Post #8028205

girlgroupgirl, yes, uline has foodgrade resealable bags (USDA & FDA approved). The only problem I have had is making sure of the size before I order. I believe the dimensions given for bags include the zipper part:

http://www.uline.com/Grp_5/Poly-Bags-Reclosable

They usually have decent price breaks for popular sizes. I've been using this company for bags for herbs for years. It is a big company, but it is actually a family business run by a woman.
helenchild
Decatur, GA

August 9, 2010
10:08 AM

Post #8028951

I got a Foodsaver and it is great. If you do a lot of freezing it is worth the investment. I have kept food for over a year and it is still good. Ordinary freezer bags don't compare. Food kept in them isn't much good once the ice crystals form inside the bag.
I have chicken breasts I sealed and froze using the Foodsaver. They taste fresh.
Helen

girlgroupgirl

August 18, 2010
4:18 PM

Post #8048137

paracelsus, I used Uline when I managed a record store. I bought lots of supplies there for cleaning our vinyl (and our building) and doing the shipping! Thanks for the tip. I'd not have thought of them for bags!
I ended up buying a small Foodsaver on eBay for $14.00 plus shipping! It works just great and I didn't have to pay hundreds of dollars. I can't justify that kind of cost in my mind. I'd too cheap (cheap cheap!!!).
I'm lucky that we have thrift store here were everyone knows me. I've been shopping there for 15 years, and they will gladly return anything I say is broken, and toss it in the electronic waste recycling bin.
dancingbear27
Elba, NY
(Zone 6a)

September 5, 2010
2:48 PM

Post #8081950

So glad to hear you didn't waste your money on a Deni! I made that mistake once before. Wouldn't seal bags after about 10 uses. Into the garbage it went. Would also have to be cautious of pre-owned because chances are it could have been like that one that I tossed into the garbage. Some people sell their garbage to others instead of doing the right thing.

I love my FoodSaver. You can also get generic bags on Ebay. That's were I get mine. Saves a lot of money and who cares if they are brand name or not. Also a lot less expensive if you buy them not precut.

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