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Old 07-28-2011, 09:28 AM   #1
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Anyone use vacuum sealers?

I have been wondering if vacuum sealers are worthwhile investments. I know they are not intended for canning, but for extending the shelf life of goods in the refrigerator. Anyone use the mason jar attachment? Thanks
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:38 AM   #2
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Yes!

I think they are a great investment especially for camping. Aside from packing food they can keep thing dry (matches, clothing). I use mine for paint brushes when I do not want to clean them in between coats. The bags are pretty strong. I have not used the mason jar attachment but I will say be careful with the plastic storage containers because if they get fine cracks from dropping or a dishwasher they will not seal.

The two best uses i have found are leftovers and sous vide. For leftovers, seal them in a bag and freeze them. When you are in the mood for meatloaf take the bag out and put it into a pot of boiling water still seald. Let it heat up and then cut the bag open and it tastes as good as the day it was made. Works great for pasta. As far as sous vide you can google that, I just started cooking like this and it is fantastic.

Also it is great for marinating. Seal steaks or chicken with the marinate and it is good to go in an hour.

I would recommend a food saver, the less expensive machines are a disappointment.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:16 AM   #3
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We have one. We use it to save a little money on steaks, and wine. We can purchase an entire rib eye cut at Sam's for around $100.00. It cuts into at least 12 good sized steaks that would cost $15 to $20 each if purchased as singles.

The wine corks work well too. By pulling the air out of the unfinished bottle, the remainder of the wine will be good for 4-5 days.

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Old 07-28-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
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We use ours for processing meat and fish we get from hunting and fishing.
It extends time that you can freeze a commodity. It also prevents air contact which causes freezer burn.
When hunting, we take ours in the Airstream. The meat is cut, vacuum sealed and goes right in the freezer.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Like handn, I have used one for several years for deer and fish. I process my own deer and in the vacuum bags is stays much fresher and there is no freezer burn on meat you "forget" in the bottom of the freezer. The pre done bags are easier but cost more. The endless rolls require you to seal each end and it takes longer. Also we will buy big bags of almonds or other nuts at Sam's and split in into several small bags. They stay fresh for months.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:44 PM   #6
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Handi-Vac

Rod, Carol and I bought the small Reynolds Handi Vac 5 years ago. It still works great! The bags are available on line & Wal-mart and are reasonably priced. I get (2) entire ribeye loins from a packing house in Green Bay when up there working each fall. We wet age the loins 1 month before cutting and usually get 15 to 20 1" thick steaks from each loin and the tip stays whole for roasts. We seal them separately and they stay in the deep freezer until we cook them. The steaks get thawed in the bags so no mess from the thawing process. The last us from approx. fom Mid October to about August/September. They do not suffer any freezer burn at all. We love these vacuum packed steaks and have also used the bags for packing/freezing green peppers and fresh green beans. They work great! Ed
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondocker View Post
I have been wondering if vacuum sealers are worthwhile investments. I know they are not intended for canning, but for extending the shelf life of goods in the refrigerator. Anyone use the mason jar attachment? Thanks
I have a Food Saver and my Roomate has a Food Saver on steroids. We both use them. Great space savers. We flat pack and Freeze the contents when possible. It thaws quicker that way. Made a huge batch of soup before my Gall Bladder surgery. Had seven meals waiting for me when I got home. Defrost in microwave for about four minutes and another three in the bowl. Dinner!
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boondocker
...Anyone use the mason jar attachment? Thanks
Initially we didn't think the included mason jar attachment was particularly useful, then the light came on... Brown sugar, raisins, coffee beans, etc. Understand this is not canning, but I think it really extends the freshness of things like these.

You can also use it to reseal pretzel, chip or marshmallow bags (without the vacuum).

The wife will put together some leftovers into plate size portions such as spaghetti and meatballs or meatloaf, seal them in a bag and freeze them before we head out for a weekend at the state park. Drop the bags into boiling water, then cut the bags open and slide the portions onto a plate. If you use disposable plates, there is minimal cleanup.

You can also individually seal and freeze freshly charcoaled burger patties with a thin slice of onion if desired... Boil in the bag, then slide onto a bun with your favorite condiments. Your imagination is your main limit.

Use a marker to date these pouches so you won't leave something in the freezer longer than is safe.

Just saw where Brianv512 and I must be on the same channel.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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Bet this gets Moderated out...

Or with a Post-evac attachment?

(same theory for e.d.)
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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I use this: Cabela's: Cabela's CG-15 Vacuum Sealer

It's big enough to bag my clothes. Makes them waterproof and odor proof.

I also buy the bulk steak. Add some salid dressing and seal. Leave in fridge for a day then transfer to the freezer. Makes it easy come cooking time ....
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:26 PM   #11
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Unfinished bottle of wine

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
We have one. We use it to save a little money on steaks, and wine. We can purchase an entire rib eye cut at Sam's for around $100.00. It cuts into at least 12 good sized steaks that would cost $15 to $20 each if purchased as singles.

The wine corks work well too. By pulling the air out of the unfinished bottle, the remainder of the wine will be good for 4-5 days.

Regards,
What's that??
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:47 PM   #12
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Love my Food Saver. In fact I burned one up and am now on my second one. I batch cook then vacuum seal, keeps the food fresh for months. Also buy in bulk and freeze in smaller packages for one or two servings. Also use it to seal extra batteries we keep in the trailer. Use a canister to seal in freshness for lettuce after it has been cut up and washed. One of my favorite kitchen appliances.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:30 PM   #13
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Questions

What brand/models do you recommend?

Realistically, how long do they extend the life of food in the refrigerator? I am short on freezer space, so that is not a factor for me.

Thanks
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:30 PM   #14
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Rod, We do things for the fridge one week to ten days max. We date them as I don't like to find a leftover beyond that. The key for us was keeping fresh veggies longer (even cut). The freezing was a pleasant extra! Then those items last months and no freezer ice crystals or burn issues, Ed
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