Vacuum Sealer Recommendations

animalmom

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We do our own rabbit and goat for the freezer and have been using a hand pump with special bags to create a vacuum and have been moderately pleased with the results. Since it is a hand pump I don't feel it is getting enough air out for really good storage. Better than nothing of course.

For those who use vacuum sealers: what system/manufacturer do you use?
Do you like it?
Where did you buy it?
Would you recommend that system?
What would you do differently, or have the system do differently?
What do you look for in a vacuum sealer?
What would your perfect vacuum sealer do?

I would greatly appreciate tapping into your collective knowledge!
Thanks.
 

elevan

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I use the Food Saver. Got it at Walmart. I like it and would recommend it.
 

20kidsonhill

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We use the Food Saver and got ours at Costco or Sam's club depending on your area.

Food stays really fresh in it with no freezer burn, but the plastic is expensive. You can wash the bags and reuse them, but every time you reuse them you loose an inch or so of the bag.
 

elevan

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You can get generic brand plastic to use with them and it works as well and saves you money.
 

goodhors

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I have the Seal-A-Meal brand. I tried 3 of the Food Saver machines because they were on sale and they were cheaply built, did poor seals after a very short time of using to do quantity packaging of garden produce. I figured after killing 3 machines, they were not up to what I wanted of them.

I have had the Seal-A-Meal for a couple years and been pretty happy with it. My mom had one and recommended it. Parts work fairly smoothly, easy to clean up after use, bags with the brand name are tough and protective of the food even when bounced around searching behind them. Not as cheap here as the Food Saver brand. I do have some older rolls of Food Saver bags, which I just haven't tried yet in the Seal-A-Meal machine.

I like the vacuum sealing, keeps food better, longer, without freezer burn or other issues. Easy to label the packages. Hadn't thought of reusing the bags! Have to think on that one. Thanks for mentioning it though.
 

Hillsvale

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goodhors said:
I have the Seal-A-Meal brand. I tried 3 of the Food Saver machines because they were on sale and they were cheaply built, did poor seals after a very short time of using to do quantity packaging of garden produce. I figured after killing 3 machines, they were not up to what I wanted of them.

I have had the Seal-A-Meal for a couple years and been pretty happy with it. My mom had one and recommended it. Parts work fairly smoothly, easy to clean up after use, bags with the brand name are tough and protective of the food even when bounced around searching behind them. Not as cheap here as the Food Saver brand. I do have some older rolls of Food Saver bags, which I just haven't tried yet in the Seal-A-Meal machine.

I like the vacuum sealing, keeps food better, longer, without freezer burn or other issues. Easy to label the packages. Hadn't thought of reusing the bags! Have to think on that one. Thanks for mentioning it though.
Food saver bags work just fine with the Seal a meal.... I have burnt my seal a meal out so am going to try a food saver, the cost is more but coming from costco you can return is ages after the other stores if they break down ....
 

SuburbanFarmChic

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We have discovered that after many years of butchering and preserving meat w/ a vac sealer that you need 2. OR you need to make 80% of your bags the day before.


Making and sealing the bags takes twice and much heating/sealing action than just sealing premade bags. However premade bags are a bajillion times more expensive so we buy the rolls. That means we have to make both the top and bottom seal.

Our solution has been to set up 2-3 machines and alternate between to keep them from overheating which burns them out. Even picking up cruddy old ones at Goodwill that JUST seal because the motor is broken are worth it because it saves the wear and tear on your main machine.



Until you can find a second one, borrow one, etc, the solution is to make a bunch of bags the day before. It's ok to make them too big because for beef, venison, veggies, and such we reuse them so they need to be a little bigger to get more than one year out of them. Our rotation goes like this. First year the bag is made big and can have anything but pork or chicken in it. Second year the bag is closer to normal size and can have anything in it. Third year all bags used for pork or chicken last year are tossed and beef,venison and veggie bags are used for marinades, short freezings of leftovers and such. Basically anything under 30days. After that they are tossed.

We code all our foods with P - pork, B- beef, V-Venison, C -Chicken, or it clearly has a vegetable in it. and then the month and year.
 

animalmom

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Great information SuburbanFarmChic! It had not dawned on me how much work the vacuum sealer would do. Thanks for the perspective!
 

Hens and Roos

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we have a food saver and found that you need to be carefully with how juciy a product is when sealing it. We used it last fall to seal up our meat chickens once they were processed- it worked great. Will have to go and get some rolls to get ready for this season- veggies, meat etc.
 
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