Web Analytics Made Easy -
StatCounter
Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Takamatsu John

Vacuum sealer recommendations

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, tekobo said:

If you ever want to sous vide or vacuum pack items with liquid in then a chamber vacuum sealer might be worth investing in @Takamatsu John

Seeing as I never wanted to spend the cash on those high-end vacuum sealer machines, I have an easy "work around" for that for my FoodSaver. I make the bag a bit longer than needed. Then, I put the food & liquid in the bag; seal it without vacuum; then freeze it. Once frozen, I cut the bag open and then vacuum seal it. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, tony b said:

Seeing as I never wanted to spend the cash on those high-end vacuum sealer machines, I have an easy "work around" for that for my FoodSaver. I make the bag a bit longer than needed. Then, I put the food & liquid in the bag; seal it without vacuum; then freeze it. Once frozen, I cut the bag open and then vacuum seal it. 

Freezing liquids before vacuum packing is a great work around @tony b.  That sort of trick takes  a while to work out.  We had been regularly squashing freshly made sausage whenever we vacuum packed them fresh.  Finally, after 2-3 years of sausage making, I decided to freeze them before I vacuum packed them.  Simple but effective. 

A chamber vacuum packer need not be too expensive. Second hand commercial ones can be well priced and will generally have a lot more life left in them than you will need for domestic use.  

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealing Machine

Incredible machine.   Expensive, but we're buying the best grills, right?  We've had ours for nearly a year now and we wish we had purchased one sooner.  Lisa Bilotta owns Vacuum Sealers Unlimited, and she has great customer service and fair prices.  Highly recommend!

https://vacuumsealersunlimited.com/shop/commercial-chamber-vacuum-sealing-machines-accessories-parts/vacmaster-commercial-vacuum-sealing-machines/vacmaster-vp215-chamber-vacuum-sealing-machine/

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/12/2020 at 10:13 AM, tekobo said:

If you ever want to sous vide or vacuum pack items with liquid in then a chamber vacuum sealer might be worth investing in @Takamatsu John

Second.

Over the years I owned various top-of-the-line FoodSaver external clamp vacuum sealers. They're a classic business model: Average quality, extraordinary customer service for casual users. If you look at their prices as warranty period rentals, and their machines meet one's casual needs, fine.

I also owned several best-of-category external clamp vacuum sealers, an Italian brand no longer made that I deliberately chose over the Weston models. Somehow Weston gear reminds me of survivalists; it certainly looks more like it was built in someone's garage. I believe that they work well. I don't have direct experience to make the comparison, but were I choosing now in this category I'd probably go with the Cabela's Commercial-Grade Vacuum Sealer.

One huge advantage of an external clamp vacuum sealer is that the bag size is only restricted by width, not length. For a whole brisket that matters. Another advantage is hot liquids, if one can avoid destroying the machine. Hot liquids will come to a boil and ruin the pump on an air pump chamber machine. With an oil pump chamber machine one can change the oil. Still, better to remember to only use chamber machines on cold food.

I can't conceive of going back to an external clamp vacuum sealer, after owning a basic chamber vacuum machine. It's like going from an "egg beater" hand drill to a good cordless power drill. I own a VacMaster VP115 and VP120 (for two kitchens), both replaced by newer models. What held me back from the oil pump models was the weight more than price; I'd go with an oil pump next time, and consider other brands.

An external clamp machine might drop air pressure by 10% (that's being generous), enough to get the bag to clutch the contents. A chamber machine drops air pressure by at least 80% (and this is for low end models). Scale matters. One can add steam while baking bread by spritzing in 10g with a plant spritzer, or one can boil off 300g of water, displacing the oven atmosphere several times over, using 30 lbs of metal as thermal mass. Scale matters.

The pandemic has converted friends to chamber machines, as they stockpile hard-to-obtain foods in their freezer. We have a large chest freezer. At this point it's scary to see a textured clamp bag, because that dates it as too old to conceive of eating. However, in the transition we observed that chamber vacuum sealed foods kept much longer than external clamp vacuum sealed foods. After a year or two the textured bags look like they'd been put away in Saran wrap, and we'd discard them without checking the date. After four years a chamber vacuum sealed bag looks like it was frozen yesterday, unless it developed a leak by banging around. Sometimes we discard them because we've lost our nerve. When we use meats frozen this long, they're a bit subdued but fine. I'm reminded of a story I heard as a kid of a fancy dinner where 30,000 year old mammoth meat was served, found in a glacier. It tasted like mud. But that's 30,000 years stored in a glacier without proper dressing, not four years in a chest freezer.

Chamber bags are much less expensive that the textured external clamp bags, though it doesn't seem so for initial stocks as one tends to buy 500 at a time. One can always cut longer bags, and one does need some slack so the part of the bag that seals isn't under tension.

I strongly recommend 4 mil bags over 3 mil bags. One can also buy bone protectors to prevent leaks, or just make them as needed from smaller bags.

Once one has chamber bags, spend the $30 on an impulse sealer, for sealing wet mixtures and liquids, a challenge for any vacuum sealer. One doesn't need a vacuum for liquids, the liquids do the work!

I routinely burp the bubbles out of a 500ml (6" x 10") bag of chicken stock, by sliding the bag along a counter edge till it gloms tight, then seal. Impulse sealers need a dry run to warm up. I'll put up 16 bags of chicken stock at a time, to freeze for routine use. If I want less stock, for a French sauce or a Chinese stir fry, I'll thaw the bag in a sous vide bath, nick the corner, pour out what I need, and reseal using the impulse sealer.

Edited by Syzygies
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...