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The Food Saver/Vacuum Sealer Topic, 2011 to Present

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#31 thock

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 07:22 PM

Any recommendations that don't cost $500?

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


Why spend $100 every two years or so for crap? I wouldn't want something that expensive to be considered disposable. Just suck it up and buy the one that can be repaired. You'll recoup not only the money you would have spent on replacing cheap junk, but also the time, hassle and irritation.

The Weston Pro (and the Cabelas-branded version) are very good. You can get the Cabelas one on sale, periodically, if you are willing to wait, and they will ship it to a store near you for pick up for free.

Edited to remove "not $500." Just checked Cabelas website, and they're now $500. But still, over 5 years, you've got your payback, if you only buy $100 FoodSaver models, otherwise. It doesn't look like the "professional-grade" FoodSaver machines are that inexpensive, though.

Cheap ain't good and good ain't cheap.

Edited by thock, 26 February 2012 - 07:27 PM.

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#32 PedroG

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:22 PM

I bought my 220V Elite Magic Vac (made in Italy) back in 2000, and after 12 years of daily use it is still going strong, and it is suitable for sealing liquids. It seems to be available also in the 110V-world at $139.95 here or here, or google "Elite Magic Vac".
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#33 WJConrad

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 04:22 PM

The Weston Pro (and the Cabelas-branded version) are very good. You can get the Cabelas one on sale, periodically, if you are willing to wait, and they will ship it to a store near you for pick up for free.

Edited to remove "not $500." Just checked Cabelas website, and they're now $500. But still, over 5 years, you've got your payback, if you only buy $100 FoodSaver models, otherwise. It doesn't look like the "professional-grade" FoodSaver machines are that inexpensive, though.


As it turns out, Cabela's is actually running a $70 off sale on the $500 unit, and a $50 off the $330 unit. Unfortunately, they probably don't qualify for the "Your ENTIRE order ships for one cent when including clothing or footwear in your cart" deal since large and heavy items aren't included.

#34 emsny

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:17 AM

My FoodSaver, several years old, has finally broken. I'd love to buy a Weston or even a small chamber vacuum sealer, but I do not have the space for it. I am limited to a small machine like my old FoodSaver 1050. Has anyone used a Vacupack Lite? Here is a link to the distributor's description. I like a couple of things about this, in principle: the channel (where the open edge of the bag goes for air-evacuation) is removable for cleaning; the company seems to know about vacuum sealers; and (notably in the accompanying video) they do not make exaggerated claims for this basic model. And if anyone has other good options for a machine no more than 4.5 inches in height, I'd be very happy to hear them. I'm not too worried about the price, not that such machines tend to be all that expensive.

#35 PedroG

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 04:23 PM

My FoodSaver, several years old, has finally broken. I'd love to buy a Weston or even a small chamber vacuum sealer, but I do not have the space for it. I am limited to a small machine like my old FoodSaver 1050. Has anyone used a Vacupack Lite? Here is a linkto the distributor's description. I like a couple of things about this, in principle: the channel (where the open edge of the bag goes for air-evacuation) is removable for cleaning; the company seems to know about vacuum sealers; and (notably in the accompanying video) they do not make exaggerated claims for this basic model. And if anyone has other good options for a machine no more than 4.5 inches in height, I'd be very happy to hear them. I'm not too worried about the price, not that such machines tend to be all that expensive.

Looks nice, but has one disadvantage: as the port for the canister adapter tube is inside the vacuum chamber, sealing liquids will be difficult if not impossible. The Magic Vac Elite is 9cm high.
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#36 emsny

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:16 AM

Thank you, PedroG.

#37 Crouton

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 08:11 AM

I can't say enough good things about both the Cabela's brand Vacuum sealer and Meat Grinder I have purchased. They are truly heavy duty and make every "home sealer/grinder" look like a fisher price toy.

http://www.cabelas.c...ch-All Products

#38 emsny

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:04 AM

Thanks, Crouton. Could you do me a favor and measure the height of the Cabela sealer (closed)? The website says it is 5", but it would help me to have a precise figure: storage space is tight!

#39 Crouton

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:47 AM

Thanks, Crouton. Could you do me a favor and measure the height of the Cabela sealer (closed)? The website says it is 5", but it would help me to have a precise figure: storage space is tight!



Sure, I can check over the weekend for you. It's not exactly a small unit but 5 inches high sounds about right... it's more wide than tall. It fits nicely in one of our over-sized cabinet drawers.

#40 PedroG

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 05:37 PM

Crouton:
Does the Cabelas have a canister-adapter? Did you seal liquids with it?
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#41 pep.

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 03:32 AM

Crouton:
Does the Cabelas have a canister-adapter? Did you seal liquids with it?


It looks a lot like one of the older Allpax machines ...

#42 Shalmanese

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 12:18 AM

Food Saver has a 50% off & free shipping promotion on all non-handheld sealers this weekend. Use Coupon code

R2FEAAA


PS: I am a guy.

#43 tikidoc

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:53 AM

Thanks, Shalmanese. I had been debating forever about which one to get, but at 50% off, that made the decision for me. I got the FoodSaver 3880. I may decide to upgrade in a couple of years, but for under $100, I couldn't pass it up.

#44 LindaK

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:38 PM

A vacuum sealer virgin here, and I think it's time for me to buy one. I've read through all the topics but while I've learned a lot, I don't see much of a consensus about what product is most reliable or easiest to use. I would like to be able to seal liquids and don't want to spend a fortune.

Any new wisdom or recommendations? What features do you think matter the most to a new user?


 


#45 rotuts

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:38 AM

liquids will make it tougher PedroG has had some input on this. consider also what you want to do with the bags after SV: a 3 mill bag will withstand freezer stress for a long time with no 'burn' the 2 mil not so much

I learned this on America's test kitchen several series ago when they review them all. Ill see if I can dig up the episode. the shows are in the Minuteman library system. it worth a watch.

http://www.cooksillu...asp?docid=20161

"It turns out that jagged ice crystals can poke pinholes through plastic, letting air and moisture seep in. At 0.05 mm thick, the winning model’s bags were 0.02 mm thicker than the runner-up bags, and 0.03 mm thicker than a standard zipper-lock bag. Small as it may seem, that extra protective bulk made a lot of difference and pushed our winner to the top."

its very hard to find the episode it might be in Cook's Country I have the Weston system based on what I saw. but its expensive and pretty big. Im very happy with it but I SV in bulk. If a FoodSaver does the thinker bags ( I thought mine were 3 mil ) and you study PedroG's method for doing liquid, consider that.

and they are at BB&B where you always take a 20% off coupon!

#46 LindaK

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:45 AM

Good advice, rotuts, thanks. Just to clarify, I don't expect to do much SV, this is mostly for freezing. So I will look for the 3 ml bags for sure.


 


#47 Charcuterer

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:47 AM

Sealing bags with liquids in them using a front seal type is almost impossible. The cheapest of the chamber types is over $550 (at webstrauntstore.com they have a VP112 listed for $559.00). My experience with vacuum sealers was this; buy a vacuum sealer from Costco for $250 use for two years and replace because they are completely non-servicable repeat three times, buy a chamber vacuum and use it more but have no problems.

I am on the chamber vac side of the debate. I love that I buy 1000 bags for $60 to $80 dollars and it is very rare that I have a bad seal. I use my VP112 more than I use zip lock bags because it is so much cheaper per bag. I love that I can make water bags and freeze them for camping at $0.07 each. It is so easy to plop a beef roast into a bag and pour in a cooking liquid and seal it up.

That's my 2 cents.

#48 rotuts

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:54 AM

this place says they are 3/5 mil:

http://www.allameric...m/ows300101.htm

they say these bags work with any sealer.

not necessarily the cheapest. Rolls are good for odd sizes. I buy green coffee from Sweet Maria's and use the longer rolls: I leave extra space at the top so one 'bag' can be resealed many times, it just gets a lot shorter. I also store butter in the freezer this way when its 'on sale' run of the mill butter.

#49 thock

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:36 AM

If you don't want to buy a chamber vac sealer, the ones at Cabelas (rebranded Weston Pro, as far as I can tell) is very good. I've had one for several years. I had the FoodSaver ones before, and I was not happy with them. The Cabelas one has a 1/4" seal, and the foam, heating element, and teflon tape are all replaceable. I imagine the pump(s) is (are), as well. It's not cheap, but at roughly $400, if you buy two of the FoodSaver ones, you've paid for the Cabelas model (or the Weston Pro). Cabelas runs sales every so often, too.

Also, you can seal liquids in canning jars, or can freeze them and seal in bags with this vac sealer. Someone had come up with a way to seal liquids in bags, but I haven't tried it out, yet. Usually, I pressure can my liquids, or freeze and vac pack, or just freeze in a canning jar.

ETA info about liquids.

Edited by thock, 24 October 2012 - 05:38 AM.

Tracy
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#50 rotuts

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:58 AM

this is the one I have:

http://www.qualityma...CFUKd4AodLBAApg

they also have decent prices on 3.5 mil bags.

Im glad i got this, but its on the $$ side, Ive had it 1 1/2 years, but its big:

its 19" wide. Ive frozen liquids in those rectangular plastic 24 oz reusable plastic tubs, the kind you get at any supermarket in 6 packs and if you work quickly it works fine taking out the frozen block and getting it in a bag then seal.

but I use this for several things other than SV, but am happy with it as I had the space in my kitchen for it to permanently live. its heavy!

#51 rotuts

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:37 AM

one last thing: you can do liquids with this system or FoodSaver by using the PedroG mod:

you hang the bag over the counter, and when the liquid gets to the seal you push the manual seal button. you get a little leakage above the seal, but you clean that out with a tissue getting the area dry and oil-free and then add a second seal 1/2 " up the bag, 'just in case' I routine use two seals as its easy to do, moisture or not.

#52 Josho

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:45 AM

Has anyone with a FoodSaver tried their new "Liquid Block" bags?

#53 Franci

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:37 PM

Any new advice here?
I think I'll jump on the Anova Circulator too, b.ut first I'll get a vacuum sealer. I saw the aforementioned food saver v3880
http://www.amazon.co...foodsaver v3880

Costco sells it at 50$ cheaper. I don't want to spend more than that and I do not want something really bulky. I'm glad also if it does a decent job at freezing meat and fish.
Thanks

#54 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 05:00 AM

I'll advise what I usually do - check thrift stores!  I picked up another perfectly good Foodsaver last week for $5 - it has the manual override seal button - looks like it's seen very little use.



#55 Darienne

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:11 AM

I'll advise what I usually do - check thrift stores!  I picked up another perfectly good Foodsaver last week for $5 - it has the manual override seal button - looks like it's seen very little use.

We've seen Foodsavers in thrift stores, but I never know how to tell whether they are worth buying or not.  What do you look for when you go to buy one, please.  


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#56 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:14 AM

I fire them up - see if they suck and see if the bar heats.



#57 Franci

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:28 PM

I sent my husband to the closest Salvation Army...nothing like that to be found. Maybe better to look on Craigslist.
Now, I never had a vacuum sealer so I appreciate if anybody can explain to me if this feature of dry/ moist food that food saver has is any useful for sealing for sous vide cooking with liquids. Otherwise, for my understanding, the only things I need to watch out are a seal only function and an external hose to regulate the vacuum. But almost all food savers have these features, right?

#58 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 07:41 PM

Not all Foodsavers seem to have the seal only function - most do though.

 

The external hose let's you use canisters.



#59 Franci

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:11 PM

Thanks, Kerry!

#60 Kerry Beal

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:35 PM

Here are the 3 I have in the basement right now - 

 

Vac 1050.  It has a manual lock mechanism that you release by pushing down on the corners, it vacuums by hitting one button and overrides to seal by hitting the other.  It has an external hose.  It doesn't have a spot inside to hold a roll of bag material.

 

Vac 300.  This one doesn't have a manual lock, and a little switch on the side lets you vacuum and seal or seal only.  I have this one switched to seal only and I use it to seal piping bags in my chocolate room.

 

Vac 350.  This one has locking buttons on the sides, it only vacuums and seals, doesn't have an override to seal.  

 

I have found much newer models too - some that still have the manual wrapped around the unit and the protective film on them.  The newer ones aren't necessarily better - in some cases they take up a whole lot more real estate on the counter and require you to have 4 hands to hold the bag in place while pushing down on the corners to get the pump started.

 

Professional II.  This little baby is my upstairs Foodsaver - it has adjustable time for the sealing, a manual seal only and a vacuum override.  It holds a roll of the bag material inside and has a cutter to slice off the bag.  

 







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