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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 04-22-2014, 07:28 PM   #1
Tricky
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Default Vacuum sealing - tips and recommended units?

I'm finally getting a separate freezer unit for the garage. That's got me thinking that it would be nice to have a good way to store the raw and cooked items that I want to freeze in a way that maximizes the chance that we'll be able to use them later. Freezer burned meat doesn't seem to appetizing.

Is a vacuum sealer a good way to go? Any tips on what works well and what doesn't when sealing? And I'd love recommendations on the particular units that you recommend.

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 04-22-2014, 08:41 PM   #2
andrewcamenga
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I have found that vacuum sealing does work well at protecting meat from freezer burn. I bought a nozzle-style Vacupak six years ago and it has worked well for packing meats for the freezer. As long as the seal holds, I've avoided freezer-burn. [We had one bad batch of bags that just wouldn't hold a seal.]

The model I purchased has been phased out--and I don't have any experience with the various channel or chamber style models.

The only real tip I have is to make sure you are ready to spend the time vacuum sealing when you first get your hands on the meat. Delays on getting the meat into the freezer have a significant impact on quality when the meat is thawed.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 09:08 PM   #3
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I have an older model FoodSaver. I've never had any issues with it and I really like the versatility that FoodSaver offers, i.e., different size bags,also bags that you can cut and seal to your specific needs with that particular item you want to freeze. They used to have an adapter that could be used for vacuum seal containers, but I don't know if that is still offered. Hope this helps
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Unread 04-22-2014, 09:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snuzem View Post
I have an older model FoodSaver. I've never had any issues with it and I really like the versatility that FoodSaver offers, i.e., fifferent size bags,also bags that you can cut and seal to your specific needs with that particular item you want to freeze. They use to have an adapter that could be used for vacuum seal containers, but I don't know if that is still offered. Hope this helps
+1 on Foodsaver. You don't need to spend a lot. Basic unit will do just fine.
I got mine free when Penn fishing reels had a promo.
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Unread 04-22-2014, 10:51 PM   #5
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Plus 1 for the foodsaver units. Just understand that they have design limitations that must be considered, and you will have success with them.

1. Make sure the top of the bag on the inside is clean and dry. Use a paper towel to dry and wipe any oil or grease away before sealing.
2. After the unit seals, wait about 10 - 15 seconds before opening it up or releasing the pressure. Wait at least 30 - 45 seconds before running the unit again on another bag.
3. If possible, flash freeze fresh meat to help cut down on any excess moisture before sealing.
4. If the contents have much moisture, roll up and place a paper towel on the top of the contents to absorb moisture so it won't be sucked up into the seal area. Keep that area as dry as possible, for best results.
5. I buy the rolls, as they can be cut to size, length needed and they are cheaper than the pre sized bags. Also make sure they are long enough to allow plenty of room for sealing without having them pull out of the vacuum chamber.
6. When setting the bags up to seal, make sure they lay flat with no kinks or wrinkles over the sealing area so you get a good seal.

These are some things I have learned from using mine, and I very seldom have a failure when following these suggestions. Just don't get in a hurry and pay attention to details. Good luck!

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Unread 04-23-2014, 05:10 AM   #6
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Like others have said, go with the Foodsaver. Base model has all you need. Don't waste money on precut bags. Just purchase the rolls and cut to size. Recommend you get in the habit of rolling the top of the bag back before filling. That way the inside surface of where you will be sealing stays clean when you are adding contents.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 06:23 AM   #7
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Foodsaver works fine. Weston Pro. (also sold under Cabela's name) seems to be the preference for a heavy duty unit. When making bags from a roll, do like Benniesdad said... Make a "cuff" (remember those?) out of the open end. This will keep grease/liquid off of the surfaces to be sealed. Watch for liquid creeping toward the seal as the air leaves the bag. Hit the "seal" button before the liquid reaches the sealing strip... or you won't get a good seal. Also, use the "moist" setting when making the initial seal... it keeps the heat on two seconds longer for a better seal... For dry items the regular setting is OK... The "dry" setting will suck more air from the bag before automatically sealing.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 06:34 AM   #8
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Cant say enough for the Weston Pro. I know its $$$$ but it should be the standard that all sealers should be based off of. If your a buy once kind of guy, make the plunge.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 06:37 AM   #9
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For me I've found on wetter things I'm freezing. I put the pulled pork lets say into a gallon size baggie, fold over the top, don't zip shut. Then vacuum that. Keeps the mositure around the meat. Also if you do this, you can slice pulled pork lunch meat for sandwiches or fry like ham slices.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 06:54 AM   #10
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VacMaster Pro 305 blows away the Foodsaver it replaced.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 07:11 AM   #11
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food saver .. i have had mine for over 20 years . still works fine . and never had a problem
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Unread 04-23-2014, 07:22 AM   #12
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I use the factory bags and after sealing, I cut off a little of the bag, and put another seal on the bag for a double seal.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 07:26 AM   #13
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The basic Foodsaver is a fine unit. Have had mine forever and it keeps on chugging along.
I was hoping it would die so I could get a Weston Pro, but it keeps on going.
Went and got the Weston Pro anyway, and it is a pharken monster.
Great tips on on 'cuffing' the bags too, keep the sealing ends clean for the best seal.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 07:30 AM   #14
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Long time Food Saver user here as well. The base model is great for home use.
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Unread 04-23-2014, 07:32 AM   #15
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I have a FoodSaver and love it no problems so far. I buy the rolls from ebay to make the size of bags I want.
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