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Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2014–

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171 replies to this topic

#31 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:02 AM

The liquid tray is the key to sealing liquid - my mvs-31x came with a slanted tray that sits in the machine and allows the bag to kind of "sit up" on an angle so the liquid doesn't spill out once it begins to boil in the bag while evacuating.  Basically, I use the liquid tray and the bigger bags and I have not had 1 spill in a few hundred seals.  Is the Polyscience a single seal or double seal bar?  



#32 paulraphael

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:29 AM

I said exactly the same thing in the other part of the thread.

 

 

despite the naysayers, I predict it's a year or two away (maybe not 80% less, but under $300)

 

 

 

they said the same about immersion circulators

The only chamber sealer I've used was a borrowed $4000 unit, which was nice, but its superpower seemed to be a massively powerful vacuum pump. It went down to 1 millibar, which (correct me if I'm wrong) is way more powerful than you'd ever need in the kitchen. What's the strongest you need for various compressions, speed-pickling, etc?

 

Certainly for sous-vide, a sealer that's a fraction as powerful would be sufficient, and would still do away with the problems of Food Savers.



#33 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:48 AM

Jo - when the manual for the 300 refers to a volume plate and liquid tray being included, the manual is incorrect. I, too, was confused, and called Polyscience to inquire; that is what they told me.

 

Thank you so much for restoring a measure of my sanity.  Did Polyscience say what to do when the manual calls for using the volume plate or liquid tray?



#34 nickrey

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 02:24 PM

Jo have you had much luck with liquids? I've been practicing with bags of water so if I fail it is at least easy to clean up. The problem seems to be that the cavity is so shallow that I can't really get a bag to lie at an angle.

I put something under the front edge of the sealer which gives it a slope so that the liquid doesn't run out. Be careful about getting water into your pump, it will lessen its effectiveness markedly and potentially damage it.


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#35 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:26 PM

Jo have you had much luck with liquids? I've been practicing with bags of water so if I fail it is at least easy to clean up. The problem seems to be that the cavity is so shallow that I can't really get a bag to lie at an angle.

 

I've not tried liquid, sorry.  I've been afraid of the mess since I hardly know what I'm doing.  Polyscience could give better instruction on this in my opinion.

 

The only thing I've sealed so far is a pork chop and that worked very well.

 

 

The liquid tray is the key to sealing liquid - my mvs-31x came with a slanted tray that sits in the machine and allows the bag to kind of "sit up" on an angle so the liquid doesn't spill out once it begins to boil in the bag while evacuating.  Basically, I use the liquid tray and the bigger bags and I have not had 1 spill in a few hundred seals.  Is the Polyscience a single seal or double seal bar?  

 

I believe the model 300 is a single seal bar but it is easy enough to make multiple seals.



#36 imafoodie

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:04 AM

Yes, it is single seal. I spoke with Polyscience yesterday. There isn't a liquid tray for this model because of the shallowness of the chamber. Their advice for liquids was to make sure it was cold (like from the fridge cold) and to only fill the bag half way. If the liquids start to boil, press the seal button. I think we will just have to experiment, Jo, to figure it out. I'm still going to practice with water in small portions until I get a handle on it.

#37 philie

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 02:03 PM

After all the interesting read one question to the europeans from egullet. In my decision of buying a machine, i totally forgot that it would not be too clever buying an us-sealer if i am actually staying in the EU. Is there a recommendation for a good sealer that is actually available in Europe? I read the the investment in an oil-based Busch-pump machine is recommended? Thanks a lot!

#38 imafoodie

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 06:17 PM

Happy to report that using the Polyscience 300 chamber vacuum sealer, I sealed beef stock today. Thanks to those that offered advice. Success lies in the stock being refrigerated first. I am quite pleased with the unit now that I've been able to do liquids. I've flash marinated, flash pickled, compressed fruit, sealed liquids, and of course vacuum packed foods for storage and/or sous vide. This is a new adventure for me, and I have had fun with it (only having a Food Saver prior to this).

#39 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 07:45 PM

Are there still just the two of us here with the Polyscience 300?  So far I've sealed only meat and carrots.  And I have to say I was disappointed I did not care for carrots sous vide, even though they were so pretty in their packaging.  But I now have three bags of beef short ribs entering day two of their 72 hour cook.

 

One minor issue I am having is that I don't seem to be able to reliably make a second seal.  It seemed easy enough the first time I tried, but no luck since.  Not that I think it is necessary as the single seals look good and perform well.  Nothing in the manual or literature indicates the unit should be able to make more than one seal, so I don't feel I am missing anything that was promised.

 

And a question:  are bags for chamber vacuum sealers generic?  Or should I buy bags from Polyscience?  I've also been looking for a source of retort pouches that will work with the Polyscience 300, if anyone knows about such things.  Amazon does not seem to sell retort pouches, if I am searching for the right term.

 

I'm still amazed at how easy and reliable (and heavy) this thing is after talking to people with Foodsavers.



#40 Okanagancook

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

I've had my VP215 VacMaster for about a year. I use it around 5 times a week on average. I changed the oil this morning, for the first time. Wow, the oil was quite dirty. I was surprised. It's easy to do if you have someone to help move it. There is a tube video on how to change the oil that is excellent.
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#41 chriswrightcycles

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:04 PM

I just became the proud owner of a Vacmaster Vp215 chamber sealer. The machine is not being delivered with oil so it looks like I have to source it myself. I'd rather not order this online, so I'm soliciting suggestions for local sources. For instance, If you think I could find suitable machine oil at a local home improvement store, I'd love to know. What brands should I look out for?

 

Thanks in advance,

Chris

 



#42 rob1234

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:37 PM

Is it used? My vp215 came with a jug of oil good for maybe 4 changes.



#43 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:58 PM

You need vacuum pump oil

Check at an auto parts store or dairy supply.


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#44 Smithy

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 09:29 PM

Congratulations on your acquisition! You should find a lot of helpful information around here. We hope you'll stick around, ask more questions, and add to the general knowledge!

One question for you: where (approximately) are you? You ask about local sources, but some context may help refine the answers. You may get very different responses if you're asking about local sources in, say, Cairo, Egypt vs. Cairo, IL, USA.

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#45 HKDave

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:25 PM

Assuming he's the Chris Wright I think he is, he's in Philly.

 

Try United Refrigeration; they stock vacuum pump oil and have 2 locations near you: 606 Spring Garden and 4111 Whitaker  http://www.refrigera...ons2.aspx?cy=US

 

If that doesn't work, here's a Thomasnet listing of vacuum pump oil suppliers in Eastern PA: http://www.thomasnet...54942404-1.html


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#46 mgaretz

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:32 PM

From my days in the jewelry biz, a well stocked jeweler's supply house will also have it.  Also Grainger's has a lot of brands and sizes to choose from and there's a branch in Philadelphia.



#47 chriswrightcycles

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:09 AM

@Rob1234, yes the machine is used.
@HKDave, yep I'm in Philadelphia

To everyone else, thanks for the replies. This is all helpful information.

#48 dcarch

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:20 AM

I may be wrong on this.

 

It depends on how high a vacuum you are trying to create. A laboratory vacuum pump for creating very high vacuum requires an oil which has a very specific vaporization characteristics.

 

Also, there are many way a vacuum can be created mechanically. each may require a different viscosity oil for lubrication.

 

dcarch 



#49 rotuts

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 08:28 AM

shy not call ARY, they are probably the ones distributing the machine in USA:

 

http://www.houseware...l?com_uid=72767



#50 Kerry Beal

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 02:35 PM

I contacted Busch - a rep contacted me and actually dropped off the oil at my home.



#51 philie

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 02:14 AM

Me again with as mall but hopefully not too stupid question: i have read the very interesting Dave Arnold article on cooking issues concerning the level of vacuum changing the texture of meats. My question now: how do i define the vacuum level on chamber vacuum sealers? Since i do not see any Option on programming the vacuum percentage on most machines we are talking about. Is this done through the time or how? Thanks a Lot!

#52 rotuts

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 06:34 AM

do you have a ref. to that article ?

 

thanks



#53 weedy

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 10:54 AM

http://www.cookingis...e-of-your-meat/



#54 rotuts

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:05 AM

thanks again.  now to figure out the 90 % vacuum on my VacMaster



#55 danelks

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 04:14 PM

I finally received my 35XP a few weeks ago and have been using it extensively. Having lots of fun with infusion and compression, some cucumber and red radish pickles I made this past weekend with aged sherry vinegar on a 5-minute infusion cycle were a particularly noteworthy success.

 

I have however been having one seemingly minor issue with the conditioning program, which has the rep at Testek stumped...waiting for some more information from Minipack themselves. Specifically, this always fails on the first run with a "SERVICE - VACUUM TIME" message with exactly 2:39 left on the countdown clock. If I run the cycle again immediately, it seems to always succeed the second time.

 

Any other XP-series owners run into something like this with their unit? It seems a relatively minor thing, but I'd obviously like to rule out that it's a symptom of some more serious problem.



#56 Unpopular Poet

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:10 AM

I also have totally random issues with my MVS31X - My issues seems to stem from the machine's display getting stuck on a digit, say 94.5, and the machine running until error -- That is, unless I gently tap the display, at which point it will jump up, eventually to 99.1 and count up from there. I just had the entire vacuum pump professionally cleaned after it died last fall, and this new and interesting issue has arisen. It basically worked like a charm for 2 months and then this came up. I haven't heard of too many other problems with people and their minipacks -- I wonder if I got a touchy machine -- It isn't as if I use it all the time either -- I probably use it 5 times (max) a week.

@danelks -- Maybe we both have wiring issues with our machines? That is really the only thing I can come up with.

#57 danelks

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:17 AM

@Unpopular Poet - wiring for my issue seems less likely but I can't really rule it out - faulty wiring would I'd assume cause the same failure each time. Since the XP series have a more complicated embedded microcontroller I'm thinking it's more likely to be a programming fault...

 

I will follow up to the thread if and when I get more info from Minipack.



#58 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:29 PM

Tonight I'm trying to use the Polyscience 300 to pickle coleslaw in the Polyscience 2.5 quart canister.  The first problem was plugging the vacuum hose into the unit so that it would actually pull a vacuum.  Had a similar problem with a Diesel Jeep once.  Next problem was the Polyscience instructions say the marinate preset, P3, has a factory vacuum level of medium.  But for me the factory setting of P3 seemed to indicate it was using the minimum vacuum level.  I over rode and set the vacuum level to medium (57 Torr).

 

The instructions for canister marinating say to set the canister vacuum port to the "Open" position.  When I did this the valve seemed to hiss as vacuum was applied, so I set the canister to "Vacuum" and ran through the modified P3 cycle, which takes 27 minutes.  However the canister did not seem to release vacuum, so I concluded the instuctions may have been correct (at least in this case) to set the canister to "Open".  So I did so, fiddling with the control a bit, and ran the cycle a second time.

 

The marination is about done and I will try the coleslaw in a few minutes.  Though I have a feeling my procedure is probably still not right.  Can anyone give me suggestions?



#59 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:19 PM

With the Polyscience 300 is there any way to hold the vacuum level after the vacuum time expires?  I ask because it is so neat to watch ice water boil.

 

There is a cuisine related issue here but that does not detract from how neat it is to watch ice water boil.



#60 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 11:31 PM

Me again with as mall but hopefully not too stupid question: i have read the very interesting Dave Arnold article on cooking issues concerning the level of vacuum changing the texture of meats. My question now: how do i define the vacuum level on chamber vacuum sealers? Since i do not see any Option on programming the vacuum percentage on most machines we are talking about. Is this done through the time or how? Thanks a Lot!

 

The Polyscience 300 lets one program vacuum level based on time, for which the manual gives equivalence in Torr and inches of Hg.  There is also a correction for altitude above sea level.







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