Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

The Food Saver/Vacuum Sealer Topic, 2011 to Present

Modernist

  • Please log in to reply
68 replies to this topic

#1 drago

drago
  • participating member
  • 10 posts
  • Location:Hungary

Posted 08 January 2011 - 02:48 AM

I want to be able to seal the original lids on the gallon jars.

Andie,

You may well be right. I have never seen the "universal jar sealer" because the website is defunct, but some of the descriptions I've seen of it refer to tape to seal a hole in the lid.

My search continues. I may have to invent what I need.


I got a Takaje vacuum sealer as a Christmas present; I think this might be the machine you are looking for.
http://www.takaje.it/?page_id=88
It comes with valves, which can be applied to jar lids, and the machine has an attachment for sucking the air out of the jars. They are also selling bottle plugs, and vacuum boxes, but I have no experience about those (yet).
It works very well, tough I have only been using if for a couple of weeks.

Hosting Team Note: See this extensive topic for discussion on the subject prior to 2011


#2 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,274 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 08 January 2011 - 10:47 AM

I'm glad you bumped this topic up. I got some info and forgot to post it.

One of my friends has a unit with the tubing attachment and bought a needle valve - he got it at a hobby store - which is like the things we used to use to inflate basketballs, etc.

It came with the fitting so he could attach it to the tubing and he just drills a tiny hole in the metal lids to admit the needle, surrounds the needle with the silicone sealer (food grade) vacuums it and withdraws the needle. He says that once the silicone has set, it is possible to open the jar, reseal and revacuum it without needing to add more sealant.
He says the sealant is made by Tundra.

Edited by andiesenji, 08 January 2011 - 10:48 AM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#3 thock

thock
  • participating member
  • 291 posts

Posted 08 January 2011 - 05:19 PM

Drago,

Thanks, but that's not exactly what I'm looking for. It does look neat, though.

Andie,

That sounds interesting. I'll have to look for that. So, does he just poke through the sealant the next time he wants to seal the jar?
Tracy
Lenexa, KS, USA

#4 andiesenji

andiesenji
  • society donor
  • 9,274 posts
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 08 January 2011 - 08:46 PM

Drago,

Thanks, but that's not exactly what I'm looking for. It does look neat, though.

Andie,

That sounds interesting. I'll have to look for that. So, does he just poke through the sealant the next time he wants to seal the jar?


Yes, the silicone remains quite flexible so when the needle is withdrawn the vacuum in the jar sucks the soft silicone into the opening.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#5 PedroG

PedroG
  • participating member
  • 488 posts
  • Location:Switzerland

Posted 09 January 2011 - 03:29 AM


I want to be able to seal the original lids on the gallon jars.

Andie,

You may well be right. I have never seen the "universal jar sealer" because the website is defunct, but some of the descriptions I've seen of it refer to tape to seal a hole in the lid.

My search continues. I may have to invent what I need.


I got a Takaje vacuum sealer as a Christmas present; I think this might be the machine you are looking for.
http://www.takaje.it/?page_id=88
It comes with valves, which can be applied to jar lids, and the machine has an attachment for sucking the air out of the jars. They are also selling bottle plugs, and vacuum boxes, but I have no experience about those (yet).
It works very well, tough I have only been using if for a couple of weeks.

Hi Drago, welcome to eGullet! And thanks for the link, very interesting machine. Can you regulate the vacuum via the built-in external-vacuum-tube, as shown in my post on sealing liquids?
Some links on the takaje homepage do not work, so here are some useful links:
Takaje catalog
Valves for jar lids
Vacuum box
Bags at a reasonable price (100 pcs./package)
Video showing machine and accessories

Regards
Pedro

Edited by PedroG, 09 January 2011 - 03:51 AM.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro
eG Ethics Signatory

#6 drago

drago
  • participating member
  • 10 posts
  • Location:Hungary

Posted 10 January 2011 - 09:52 AM

Hi Drago, welcome to eGullet! And thanks for the link, very interesting machine. Can you regulate the vacuum via the built-in external-vacuum-tube, as shown in my post on sealing liquids?

Regards
Pedro


I just tried bagging some water, and yes, your method works. Thanks for the tutorial. It is a bit tricky, as the tubing attachment must be lifted out from its holder to regulate the vacuum, but I am confident that with some practice one could get excellent results.

I have another idea concerning sous viding liquids - I wonder weather using a sealed and vacumed glass jar holding the liquid inside the cooker would work. The takaje valve would make this possible, and it would greatly simplify the sous viding of creme anglaise for instance, and the jar could be re used.

Also Pedro I have to thank you for suggesting a Weck canner for a possible vessel. Encouraged by you and Dougal's post about his experiences with his Lidl cooker
http://forums.egulle...dpost&p=1761768
I bought a Clatronic EKA 3338
http://www.idealo.de...-clatronic.html
which seems to be the same model, I have been using it in the last few days paired with a SousVideMagic 1500D, and the setup shows lots of promise indeed. I shall report about it in more detail in the sous vide equipment topic.

Regards:

drago

#7 thock

thock
  • participating member
  • 291 posts

Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:04 PM

Yes, the silicone remains quite flexible so when the needle is withdrawn the vacuum in the jar sucks the soft silicone into the opening.


Very cool. I will have to check it out.
Tracy
Lenexa, KS, USA

#8 tomdarch

tomdarch
  • participating member
  • 122 posts

Posted 22 January 2011 - 12:41 AM

The Takaje site links to some videos of their system, including this one:

Zowie! It's been too long for me to do the math to figure out how much vacuum that's pulling to get the water to boil as (somewhat above) room temperature. (I think that when the metal lid goes on, some condensation forms on the inside of the jar, which tells me that they are starting with something like hot tap water, not actually "room temp") I'd be sporting a lot of protective gear to do that with a normal glass jar, but it's still impressive - looks like flash pickling would be possible with that setup.

Anyway, let me ask the question that I'm sure others have thought: How hard would it be to make your own chamber system?

I've never played with a chamber system myself, but they don't seem to be terribly complicated. When you're running one of them all day in a commercial operation, having a "load, push the button, fill the next bag, swap out bags, push button, repeat" control system makes a lot of sense. But for a home user, turning a vac pump on and off manually, triggering the sealer manually, and opening a valve to flood the chamber manually isn't so bad.

So, if I understand correctly, we're talking about the following components:

The chamber itself, where it would be nice to have a clear top, with a convenient hinged action, which must seal against the base of the chamber. (sheet polycarbonate?)
You'd need to be able to clean out the interior of the chamber to keep things sanitary. (Would a heavy gauge stainless steam pan potentially work for the body? Would that risk crumpling under too much vacuum? Because the lid/chamber would not be bolted together, if it failed, it should not do so "spectacularly" - any crumpling would pull the pan away from the lid, breaking the seal quickly.)

Inside the chamber, some "props" could be useful, particularly for bagging liquids - but these are not absolutely necessary.

Inside the chamber, a sealing bar, with a way to trigger it from outside the chamber. The wiring feeding the sealer would have to run through the wall of the chamber, and if the chamber is metal, not short out. (If the chamber is metal, then grounding the chamber would be a good idea.) Plus, a pressure resistant seal around the wire penetration would be good. (Perhaps a tight hole and some well cured silicone might be adequate?) Amazon shows a wide variety of moderately priced "impulse sealers" for under US$100. From the previous thread on "foodsaver" type systems, the wider the seal the better - the cheap impulse sealers list widths in the range of 2mm to 6mm - that doesn't sound so great. Activating the sealer externally might be as easy and locking the trigger and only plugging the unit in when the vacuum level in the chamber is correct.

The vacuum pump itself, along with tubing to the chamber, and a release valve. Basic pumps seem to run US$120 to US$200. Higher capacity pumps will evacuate the air from a larger chamber faster, of course. A stand-alone pump could have other uses, from vac sealing mason jars with a lid-adapter to supplying the vacuum for a rotary evaporator.... mwahahahahahahah!!! (oh, dear... was I twirling my handelbar moustache just then?)

Ideally, a gauge to display the "amount" of vacuum in the chamber would be good - it might be easy to mount it through the lid.

Does anyone know what level of vacuum a "standard" chamber vac pulls, or what level is needed for flash pickling or some of the Keller "Under Pressure" techniques?

Clearly I'm proposing a Franen-appliance hack, but compared with US$1000 and up, for a non-commercial system, this might work for exploring some actual sous vide techniques...

#9 PedroG

PedroG
  • participating member
  • 488 posts
  • Location:Switzerland

Posted 23 January 2011 - 04:21 AM

In this video the water temperature must have been 60°C or above, as the Takaje Deluxe is specified to pull 80% vacuum (the Takaje T-43 Pro would pull 90%, it would boil at 46°C). See my table and a post in the main SV topic.
Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro
eG Ethics Signatory

#10 tomdarch

tomdarch
  • participating member
  • 122 posts

Posted 23 January 2011 - 11:27 PM

In this video the water temperature must have been 60°C or above, as the Takaje Deluxe is specified to pull 80% vacuum (the Takaje T-43 Pro would pull 90%, it would boil at 46°C). See my table and a post in the main SV topic.

I wonder what sort of stand-alone pump would be required for the 99.9% vacuum that you find in the chamber vacs?

#11 mtigges

mtigges
  • participating member
  • 482 posts

Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:07 AM

There's a new entry. The folks at SVS are marketing a branded chamber sealer aimed at home use: http://m7.tm00.com/t...e=&t=&l= &i=&m=
  • Winston Smith likes this

#12 bmdaniel

bmdaniel
  • participating member
  • 482 posts

Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:16 AM

I posted this in the other thread as well, but I think they are essentially selling a $150 decal that says Sous Vide Supreme

http://www.qualityma.../qmar-vp112.htm

#13 Chris Hennes

Chris Hennes

    Director of Operations

  • manager
  • 8,105 posts
  • Location:Norman, Oklahoma

Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:18 AM

Interesting that it's not retort-pouch compatible: anyone know why not?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org


#14 bmdaniel

bmdaniel
  • participating member
  • 482 posts

Posted 02 March 2011 - 11:21 AM

I am really regretting not just buying this in the first place and instead plunking down $400 for the weston pro-2300

My one concern is that you do have flexibility to do bigger bags with the side sealer (I can do a whole primal in mine).

#15 LoftyNotions

LoftyNotions
  • participating member
  • 161 posts

Posted 02 March 2011 - 01:21 PM

I am really regretting not just buying this in the first place and instead plunking down $400 for the weston pro-2300

My one concern is that you do have flexibility to do bigger bags with the side sealer (I can do a whole primal in mine).

That's the one thing I'll miss about my Weston. The 16 inch sealer bar is nice.
Larry Lofthouse

#16 karlos

karlos
  • participating member
  • 83 posts
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:49 PM

I posted this in the other thread as well, but I think they are essentially selling a $150 decal that says Sous Vide Supreme

http://www.qualityma.../qmar-vp112.htm


I tried to find the "other thread" but failed somehow. Does anyone have this unit? It seems to be considerably cheaper than any other chamber sealer out there which makes me nervous. I don't use my sealer all that often but it would be nice to seal wet things without much fuss.

#17 LoftyNotions

LoftyNotions
  • participating member
  • 161 posts

Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:31 PM

Try here...

http://forums.egulle...m-sealers-2011/
Larry Lofthouse

#18 Borgstrom

Borgstrom
  • participating member
  • 121 posts

Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:08 AM

I've got a Weston Pro-2300 edge vacuum sealer. Although it has a manual seal button, I've never been able to get a good vacuum and seal for bags that have any significant volume of liquid (e.g.short ribs in a brine for pastrami). Either I would press the seal button too fast and not get a good vacuum, or I'd wait too long and liquid would enter the vacuum area and prevent the seal. Normally in a case like this, I would revert to the low-tech displacement technique using a ziploc bag and a container of water.

The other day, I tried a new approach: I submerged a vacuum pouch containing the ribs/brine into the water bath, displacing all air. Then, with the Weston right up next to water bath I inserted the unsealed end of the pouch just over the seal bar, but not actually into the vacuum area. This let me use the Weston effectively as a impulse sealer. I got a high quality seal, no air in the pouch and no liquid in the Weston! I repeated a few times to get mulitple seals for a 72H sous vide session. Here's a shot of one of the bags at about 40H.

photo.jpg

#19 PedroG

PedroG
  • participating member
  • 488 posts
  • Location:Switzerland

Posted 14 August 2011 - 05:20 PM

Sealing liquids or leftovers using an edge sealer

Modernist Cuisine 2•219 describes a trick to fill liquids into a vacuum bag, about like this:

Posted Image
(in Nathan's picture the size of bag and container are more congruent)

I have described earlier how to seal liquids using an edge sealer.
Here is a video showing the trick:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naLhexUJjQ8&hd=1


Using a large bag and flattening the contents minimizes chilling / freezing / thawing / heating times:

Posted Image

@Borgstrom:
The Weston Pro-2300 edge vacuum sealer seems to lack an auxiliary port for evacuating rigid containers; this makes sealing liquids a lot more tricky. Suppose you want the liquid in the bag to rise no more than 50mm, this is 50mm water column or 3.68mmHg or 0.0049 bar or roughly 0.5% vacuum. Edge sealers usually pull 80% vacuum, and I doubt you can set the vacuum limit as low as 0.5%. I am glad you found an alternative trick.
Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro
eG Ethics Signatory

#20 Borgstrom

Borgstrom
  • participating member
  • 121 posts

Posted 14 August 2011 - 10:18 PM

@Borgstrom:
The Weston Pro-2300 edge vacuum sealer seems to lack an auxiliary port for evacuating rigid containers; this makes sealing liquids a lot more tricky.


It has two ports in the vacuum area - one for the vacuum suction, the other for the vacuum sensor. The vacuum suction port can be used for accessories - I have tried it a few times to do things like make aerated chocolate, but not for sealing liquids. I eventually got a cheap impulse sealer (about $40 online) to make my liquid sealing a bit easier. Some day I'll have to go all the way and get a chamber machine....

#21 Robert Jueneman

Robert Jueneman
  • participating member
  • 411 posts
  • Location:Santa Fe, NM

Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:15 AM

Interesting that it's not retort-pouch compatible: anyone know why not?

Chris, I just came across your post, and see that no one has responded to it.

There are basically two problems with a retort pouch. The first is that such pouches don't have the waffle construction that is necessary to allow the air to escape, and for that reason they cannot be used on the outside of a chamber vacuum, or with an edge sealer. (I recently bought some 8" x 18" pouches used for whole fish filets. It wouldn't fit inside my Minipack MVS31X without doubling it over, or trimming it.)

Now, the Sous Vide Supreme machine isn't an edge sealer, so that shouldn't be a problem. But the other problem is that retort pouches are about 7mm thick, and typically have a gold-colored metallic foil to different them from bags intended for use at lower temperatures. For that reason, it takes a lot more heat, or a longer time, to get a good seal.

In my case, Doug at Doug Care Equipment recommended that I increase the seal time on my machine from the normal 2.5 seconds up to the full 4 seconds when using a retort pouch.

The first time I tried it, I was trying to seal a beef tongue with 500 ml of water, which really stretched the limits of my machine. I must have gotten some water on the seal area, because it didn't seal at all. So I wiped it dry and tried it again, and this time the seal held. (I had forgotten that I had some 10" x 13" 3 mil boilable bags, which was why I was using the retort pouch. I didn't really need to, since I wasn't going to be canning the meat.)

So although I don't have the Sous Vide Supreme/Vacmaster sealer, and haven't read the instruction manual, I suspect that it doesn't have a way to increase the seal time, or else the seal bar doesn't get hot enough to seal a retort pouch.

One other thing to consider is that the Vacmaster uses a dry pump, whereas the Minipack and Henkle units use an oil pump. There are pros and cons -- the dry pump is less likely to have a problem if a fluid starts boiling within the chamber as a result of pulling too hard a vacuum, but on the other hand, I suspect it will wear out more quickly than an oil pump.

I'm very happy with my unit, but it WAS expensive.

Bob

#22 jduncan81

jduncan81
  • participating member
  • 38 posts

Posted 16 August 2011 - 03:47 PM

One other thing to consider is that the Vacmaster uses a dry pump, whereas the Minipack and Henkle units use an oil pump. There are pros and cons -- the dry pump is less likely to have a problem if a fluid starts boiling within the chamber as a result of pulling too hard a vacuum, but on the other hand, I suspect it will wear out more quickly than an oil pump.


Just to clarify, there are many Vacmaster chamber sealers that have oil pumps (including mine - the VP215). They're more expensive than the dry pump versions (just over $1000), but still a *lot* cheaper than anything by Minipack or Henkle.

#23 DanM

DanM
  • participating member
  • 870 posts

Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:44 PM

What other options are available for less than $150? I am fine with commercial or consumer models.
"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

#24 thampik

thampik
  • participating member
  • 161 posts
  • Location:United Kingdom

Posted 20 January 2012 - 04:35 AM

They following two seem to have pretty much the same features and be in the same price range (in the UK)

  • Food Saver Vacuum Sealer - approx £120
  • SousVide Supreme Vacuum Sealer - approx £100

I would welcome any advise in helping me choose one over the other. Is there anything to distinguish them in terms of ongoing costs for vacuum rolls/pouches etc?

#25 tikidoc

tikidoc
  • participating member
  • 355 posts
  • Location:Richmond, VA

Posted 20 January 2012 - 05:01 AM

Does anyone have this one?

http://www.dougcare....uip.htm#bestvac

#26 thock

thock
  • participating member
  • 291 posts

Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:01 AM

I had forgotten that I had some 10" x 13" 3 mil boilable bags, which was why I was using the retort pouch. I didn't really need to, since I wasn't going to be canning the meat.


Bob, I just saw this. Have you ever tried to actually can in a retort pouch? I only have experience canning in glass jars. I'm interested in the process. Is this something best not attempted in a home kitchen (with a pressure canner)?

Thanks!
Tracy
Lenexa, KS, USA

#27 joancassell

joancassell
  • participating member
  • 104 posts
  • Location:Midwest

Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:08 PM

Has anyone used the Weston or the BestVac for more than two years? Over time, I've had three or four FoodSavers die after about two years, and I'm really exasperated with them. I need something under $400, and light enough to be removed from a shelf when I use it (no more counter space), that won't quit after a few years. Any suggestions?

#28 thock

thock
  • participating member
  • 291 posts

Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:19 PM

I believe Weston makes the Cabela's one that I have, and I've had it a couple of years. It's still going strong, and just packed two deer. What I like about it is that the parts are replaceable, rather than having to throw away the whole thing if something fails. And the seal is 1/4" wide, as opposed to the very thin strip that the Tilia ones make. Did I have to spend a lot of money on it? Yes, but as someone once told me, I'm too poor to buy cheap stuff. I'd rather pay a decent amount of money for something that will last and can be repaired, rather than shelling out money year after year for something that has to be pitched if it breaks. If you think about it, how much have you already spent on vac packers that have quit on you? Is it more than $400? If so, what would you be losing to invest in something that can be fixed, rather than tossed?

The Cabela's one I have is not a lightweight, by any means, but it is movable. It's not as hard to move as my KitchenAid would be.
Tracy
Lenexa, KS, USA

#29 gfweb

gfweb
  • participating member
  • 3,645 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 12:36 PM

I have had it with Food Saver. My two year old, lightly used "professional" model is acting-up. Switches are giving out and only work after about 15 presses and as many cusses. This is the third one that's crapped out after light, careful use. WTF. The quality of kitchen appliances just sux unless you pay a ton and even then they can suck (see the entire Waring Pro line).

Ok my rant is over.

Any recommendations that don't cost $500?

Or should I just buy cheap ones and consider them disposable?

Edited by gfweb, 26 February 2012 - 01:02 PM.


#30 Borgstrom

Borgstrom
  • participating member
  • 121 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:17 PM

I'm pretty happy with my Weston Pro 2300 -- bought for $400 in 2010 (price has come down since) and still going strong, no problems. That itself could actually be a problem because at some point I would like to upgrade to a chamber model to make life easier with liquids and to try other techniques (compression/infusion). At this rate it will be a while before I get a chamber sealer if I wait for the Weston to break down...





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Modernist