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Canning, Freezing and Drying: Food Vacuums

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SusieR
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2011
10:09 AM

Post #8395520

Okay, I'll admit it- I did everything I could to get out of canning as a kid. I wanted nothing to do with it. I detest green beans that have been canned and most other things, too, in cans or home-canned in jars. The exceptions are my Mom-Mom's (grandmother) sour cherry preserves and my Mom's salsa.

Since there are only two of us, I've been contemplating buying one of those food-saver-type vacuums. Is there a good one to purchase or specific one/brand that I should stay away from? Please post your thoughts!

Thanks,
Susie :)
paracelsus
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2011
11:29 AM

Post #8395654

Personally, I think if you are going to freeze fresh veggies, you don't need a vacuum thing. I freeze fresh veggies and put them in canning jars, and they stay very fresh a long time. I have some broccoli that I grew in 2008 in my deep freeze and it is only now beginning to fade from bright green. I had some of it about a month ago, and it was fine. It wasn't woody or tasteless or anything. I think the main thing is to blanch before freezing and put into a container that does not allow any air in at all. Glass works for that, although you do have to be more careful with it. But canning jars are tougher than regular jars, and I don't worry about the BPA issue much when I am using canning lids in the freezer.

I have also stored all my dry goods in canning jars in the cabinets. Works fine and there are no bags or gizmos to futz with. And they are of course reusable.

My two cents.
ZZsBabiez
Lodi, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 27, 2011
11:47 AM

Post #8395673

I am in the same boat Susie.. I want to purchase one. I had one in the past, and meat is #1 reason I want one. Seems nothing lasts long without freezer burn. With the economy the way it is, I have to stretch everything, so I buy larger amounts and save..

I like the canning jar idea, but don't have that much room..

I'll be curious if anyone posts a specific brand. :)
SusieR
Springfield, IL
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2011
2:18 PM

Post #8395989

I looked at some older threads and they had some ideas but there are new models out since those threads.

You are right, ZZ...I just tried to cook a pork loin that had been in the freezer for about 6 months. I had wrapped it in saran, then that freezer wrap that is pricey but will actually stick to paper plates (yellow box- can't remember name), then foil. Of course, it had a "funny" taste. There went dinner including the pork and the stuff I used to make it. I have found that, if I get stuff at Sam's like the salmon and chicken that is "cryo-vacced" it lasts without a bad taste. It may cost a little more but saves me in terms of lost food costs. I don't even know if the home versions work as well as the commercial ones. I would assume not but I need something that works well.
mom2goldens
Carmel, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 27, 2011
2:25 PM

Post #8395999

I like to cook meals ahead to put in the freezer, and also buy some larger packs of food that need to be separated into a smaller portion (there are only 2 of us). I have a Tilia Food Saver that is about 2 years old (probably closest to their model V2450). I bought it at Kohls when it was on sale, and I had an extra 30% off coupon. It came with a few extra accessories--like some of the jars.

I really like it, and we use it fairly often. If you have something that has a lot of liquid in it, or something that is soft in texture, you are better off freezing it before sealing. Otherwise, the vacuum is strong enought that is "squishes" anything soft. I like to just lay things flat on a cookie sheet til just frozen, then vacuum seal. No freezer burn!
ZZsBabiez
Lodi, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 28, 2011
7:53 AM

Post #8397569

Thank you both! I posted this on FB also and got quite a bit of feedback!
Apparently, if you go to a thrift store and get a sealer.. as long as it makes sound it works... then you can buy the rubber gasket online for a couple bucks! (the rubber part is what usually makes the sealer fail)

Anyway.. Food Saver seems to be the brand of choice..

I also learned that the generic bags on ebay are just as good as the brand name bags. Just make sure you buy them from a good seller.

So I am for sure gonna get another one, and this time if it stops working, I know what to do!!

Mom2goldens, there are only 2 of us too and it's near impossible to cook a meal that size! I would be completely set for summer if I could save some of the cooking I'm doing now..
AFDolly
Glennie, MI
(Zone 5a)

February 28, 2011
11:05 AM

Post #8397992

I have the Foodsaver Pro.I have had it for 3 years now,had the one from Walmart and it worked great. We freeze a whole hog, , a deer, and we buy bulk beef, and chicken.
The pro has a anti crush setting and a longer seal time for wetter products..
I found you can buy 6 packs of the large rolls at places that sell hunting and fishing supplies(Jays and Franks,here in Mi).49.99 a box..
I have had veggies for 4 years in them ,and they tase just like they came from the garden. The one from walmart is still working ,I gave it to a daughter..It is about 7 years old now.. I paid 229.00 for the Pro Aleta
Michaelp
Glendale, UT
(Zone 5a)

March 4, 2011
3:16 AM

Post #8405866

if trying to vac-seal soft or wet products, or sometimes just fresh meat, -- watch when you are sealing, -- if the juice starts to come out toward the seal,[ or it is squishing your item] just push the seal button [don't wait for the machine to finish the vacume cycle] it will seal it then and you won't have juice in the machine messing things up and making the seal leak, --

This message was edited Mar 4, 2011 6:17 AM

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 11, 2011
3:13 PM

Post #8420832

I, too, have a FoodSaver. I use it mostly for meats, especially those that I home-cured... everything from bacon, smoked ham hocks and salt pork to dry-cured salami. I'd be lost without it.

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

April 9, 2011
6:09 PM

Post #8483718

Yes, Darius. We love ours, too. We recently had to purchase a new one, but amazingly, at a cheaper cost than the 1st one. The vacuum works much better now and we are not fighting with it anymore. We have lots of fish to freeze and that is where the FoodSaver really pays for itself. Freezer burned fish is the Worst! Especially Salmon.
TriciasArbonne
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 7a)

April 12, 2011
11:21 PM

Post #8491977

Anyone ever put seasonings on the meats before sealing? I heard from professionals not to salt it before it is cooked or it can dry out the meat but I see salmon seasoned in the bags at the store all the time.
Michaelp
Glendale, UT
(Zone 5a)

April 13, 2011
3:42 AM

Post #8492152

I brine the Rabbits and older Chickens, before sealing, [to make them tender] the brine has some seasonings in it sometimes, --

beebonnet

beebonnet
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 9a)

April 13, 2011
5:23 PM

Post #8493770

Oh my gosh, what a good idea. Never thought about it before now. BBQ sauce, lemon pepper, herbs like dill, lemon juice, maybe a little red or white wine. Doesn't have to necessarily have salt . Think I'll try it, but I have to run it past my Sweetie, since he is the one that operates the machine. LOL And, I like that!
MsCritterkeeper
The Heart of Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 14, 2011
10:45 PM

Post #8496835

I have one and LOVE it. I always season my meats when I package them up. It does make a difference. I think the meat taste better. Especially Chicken! It's hard to get it to seal if you use a marinate but I've folded a paper towel between the meat and the seam and it helps .It just would not work for longer term storage though.

MsC
TriciasArbonne
Tulsa, OK
(Zone 7a)

April 15, 2011
10:37 PM

Post #8499114

I would just recommend a dry rub if you will be storing it.
Joyous
Himrod, NY
(Zone 6a)

April 18, 2011
4:41 PM

Post #8504701

I have a question...I have an old food saver and want to know if I have to buy food saver bags or if any brand will do? A previous post mentioned buying the bags from Ebay so would that include a generic type bag also?

thanks for any info,
Joy
MsCritterkeeper
The Heart of Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 18, 2011
7:44 PM

Post #8505273

I use both... I found some at SAM's and they are thicker than the ones at Walley World.
That's a good thing but, I've been double sealing them because the first seal sometimes leaks a little.

I've found the thicker ones great for doing things that have bones in them, like pork chops or chicken breast with the rib bones.

MsC

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