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roygon

Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2011–2014

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I just bought a VP112 for $549 from Quality Matters with free shipping. If you dig through the vacuum chamber threads on here there is a code buried somewhere for another $15 off.

Still learning the unit and all the things I can do with it. I have had the chance to use a $7,000 Orved chamber sealer at ICE (NYC) and the 112 is definitely not as strong. I do wish I had a stronger pump but for $500 I don't think there is anything else close. It's at least another $1,000 to take the next step, so I think the 112 is a very "reasonable" unit and since I just started an avoided FoodSavers, I think a good buy.

http://www.qualitymatters.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=QMAR%2DVP112&CartID=1

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I have been looking into getting a VP215 and found it several places for around $900. There are a bunch of them called "ARY" "Fleetwood", Elite" "Alfa" etc. Does anyone know if all of these are manufactured by ARY or are they knockoffs for lord knows where? Some of them have the Vacmaster logo across the top of the control panel and some don't, including one that claims to made by ARY.

Is the 215 worth the few $ extra plus the extra weight? it sure wouldn't be easy to move around.

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This subtopic really deserves a topic of its own, dealing with infusing fruits and vegetable infusion with a chamber vacuum (as opposed to infusing liquor with fruit juices, which can probably be done equally well with an iSi Cream whipper.) Another subtopic needs to be devoted to the compression of fruits like watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, etc., along with infusion.

Anyway, inspired by Dan's experiments, I dug out my copy of the "Flavor Bible" to try to see what would go with what.

For my first try, I quartered four strawberries, then put them in a onion soup bowl to contain them. Then I added 2 tbls of Triple Sec, 2 tbls aged balsamic, 2 tbls Cream de Cacao, 2 tbls Gran Marnier, and 1 tsp of Orange Bitters. My wife didn't like the flavor of the balsamic that much, so I added another 2 tbls of Triple Sec. I might try some Cafe Espresso balsamic I have, next time, or try to find some chocolate balsamic.

I then put the soup bowl (uncovered) in a FoodSaver vacuum marinade container, and put that combination in my MVS35X chamber vacuum, set to 100% plus 45 seconds. As expected, the alcohol boiled over the top of the soup bowl a bit, but not too badly, and the marinade container caught it all. But the chamber vac timed out, because of the lengthy time, so next time I will reduce the extra vacuum time.

I then put the container, still under vacuum, in the freezer for 15 minutes, then bled off the vacuum. A significant amount of liquid was left, so I decided to do it again. The initial results were very tasty, and not too alcoholic, but perhaps not quite chocolatey enough, so for the next iteration I followed the same recipe, but added 1 tbls of powdered Hersey's Dark Chocolate.


Edited by Robert Jueneman (log)

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I purchased a VP112 over the holidays. The VP210 and VP215 both dropped in price quite a bit recently (from moving production to China, I believe), but up here in Canada the cheapest VP215 I could find was still over $1200, which was 50% more than the VP112. I waffled, but ultimately went with the VP112. I reasoned that I could probably sell it for a decent price if I ever wanted to upgrade.

I'm happy with the VP112 overall. I've done some compression with it, but I don't have anything to compare to. I've done watermelon and cucumber, both definitely compress some and change colour. Infusions work very well. Liquids aren't quite the panacea I thought they'd be, and can still be a bit of a pain due to the boiling issue (but that's not an issue with just this particular unit).

So far I'm happy. If you're trying to decide between the 210 and 215, it's a no-brainer, as far as I am concerned. Between the 112 and 215, well you know how I went.

Although the 112 is 53lbs vs 84lbs for the 215, the 112 is no peach to move around, it's long, and the weight is all at the rear of the unit.

Incidentally, people sure knock the Foodsavers for reliability. I've had my Professional II for 10 years and it's still going strong. I guess I got lucky...

Hope that helps,

Thanks

Brian

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Brian, where in Canada did you purchase your sealer? I'm in BC. Thanks

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Hi Okanagancook

I purchased mine from Cedarlane Culinary.

http://www.cedarlaneculinary.ca

I'm in Toronto though.

I originally had an order in with Halford Hides, (http://www.halfordsmailorder.com), who are in Edmonton. They had a better price on the VP112, but didn't have stock. I waited a bit, but got impatient and got it from Cedarlane. Halford advertises free shipping on orders over $350, up to a maximum of 10% of the order. I inquired and at the time they thought that should cover the shipping to Toronto.

They've left me a message in the past week indicated that they are back in stock. Worth a look if you're in the market.

Hope that helps,

Thanks

Brian


Edited by brianl (log)

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Excellent , thanks, i will check it out. i have ordered butchering supplies from them and had good service.

My brother purchased an expensive Henkleman sealer from the states and it was not shipped correctly. FedEx rolled it around and by the time he got it the motor had broken away from it's anchors! Much heavier than the vac masters though. I was thinking of getting the vp215 with more vac power.

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Ok, So I went back and took specific measurements for the sumo tangerines -- after some playing around, I discovered that first and foremost, only the sweetest of tangerines should be used. I combined the following: 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 1/4 tablespoon aquavit, just over 1/2 a tablespoon of champagne vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic chili paste and a healthy pinch of herbs de provence and salt. If the tangerine isn't very sweet, then a touch of sugar as well. Whisked all together, then 99.9 + 30 -- twice actually worked better. There is so little liquid that while it definitely boiled, it never boiled over. These proportions allow for the tangerine to remain relevant, while the rest of the flavors really shined through -- same as before -- vinegar, tangerine and chili up front, herbs on the back.

My next project is going to be somewhat absurd -- I am trying to concoct a frozen banana, fluff, and nutella (with some booze perhaps as well) mixture which will then be spread between two graham crackers which have been "hydrated" with a booze butter to allow for pliability. It will all be compressed into a sandwich and then frozen to create a frozen sandwich. Might be a total waste of time but who knows. Is this a total waste of time?

Cheers


Dan

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I use a "Made in China" machine, about 800USD.

I buy whole dry-cured hams locally; kinda Jamon Joburg instead of Jamon Serrano. From Fama Spanish style Chourizo too. Nice stuff.

Sometimes, I am left with half a ham, which dries out in the fridge. So I bag it with 1 cup cheap KWV brandy. Put it in therefrigerator. Keeps it soft and nice for a month at least.

When you come to slice it you don't lose that first quarter inch or so. It doesn't actually taste of brandy.

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Ok, I suppose this post belongs somewhere else, but I thought I would share it, since I mentioned it in my last post about infusion. So this Saturday, we headed over to Tallgrass in Lockport, IL for dinner. Fantastic meal -- but that aside, I had prepared the frozen compressed graham crackers I spoke about above. I ended up making a delicious fudge filling (out of milk chocolate, knob creek, butter, marshmallow, nutella, chopped banana, and marscapone) which I then liberally spread across a graham cracker that was layered with sliced marshmallows. The sandwich was built, then was vacuum sealed -- 3 different attempts -- 1 @ 99.9 (which disintegrated), 1 @ 95 and 1 @ 90. The 95 and 90 compressed well and were tossed in a deep freeze for the rest of the day. I ended up making sous vide brioche bread pudding with toasted marshmallow infused cream (got the idea from MSK from a post 2 years ago -- Thanks!) to go with it and made a sauce out of the remaining fudge. The bread pudding might have cooked a bit long, but it was still good. Needed something crunchy. I had a bit of wine at dinner, so not my prettiest work, but man it was delicious. The compressed smores were really great and since the graham crackers tend to defrost relatively quickly, I found the consistency to be very nice, not brain freeze frozen. They cut nicely with a chinese cleaver. Overall, I discovered that you cannot hydrate the graham crackers -- even if you hydrate, then deep freeze them -- it just was way too hard to work with it.

IMG_20130309_230945.jpg

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Boxer 35 - seal question:

Has anyone heard of any seal problems associated with the cut-off seal choice? I'm debating between that and the double seal. It will be for home use - sous vide, freezing, some mordernist type uses, etc. I could conceive of using it to package items to ship/carry on vacation, but no commercial use.

(This is my first post, but I've used e-Gullet as a long term resource and finally joined up as my culinary repertoire has increased with the modernist/scientific movement - although, nowhere near the level of the average poster here!)

Chris

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Boxer 35 - seal question:

Has anyone heard of any seal problems associated with the cut-off seal choice? I'm debating between that and the double seal. It will be for home use - sous vide, freezing, some mordernist type uses, etc. I could conceive of using it to package items to ship/carry on vacation, but no commercial use.

(This is my first post, but I've used e-Gullet as a long term resource and finally joined up as my culinary repertoire has increased with the modernist/scientific movement - although, nowhere near the level of the average poster here!)

Chris

I've had my Boxer 35 for over a year, and the cut seal is the only way to go, in my opinion. The wide "seal" part has never failed, and the "cut" part actually acts as a second, albeit narrower seal. Being able to just rip off the excess part of the bag keeps your sous vide bath or freezer clean, since any food residue comes off with the bag excess.

One thing to note is that some bags have a tendancy to shrink a bit under the high heat of the sealing bar. This can cause the teflon tape to be pulled by the shrinking bag making the teflon tape bunch up in spots. You can fix that by removing the tape and reapplying it. Lowering the seal and cut time setting eliminates the problem. I recommend buying a service kit or two to have on hand. It includes a premeasured bottle of hydraulic fluid, teflon tape, lid seal, and seal & cut wires. In over a year and 500 bags or so I've only had to change the oil.

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Thanks Glowing! Your seal comments mirror the PM'd comments by blackp, so I'll almost certainly go with the seal/cut option.

The distributor here included a service kit with the purchase. Speaking of the teflon tape, can it be any teflon tape, or is there something special and proprietary about theirs?

Chris

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After reading a few threads on this forum, I'm now considering getting a proper vacuum sealer and I ended up seeing a used one for sale locally.



The sealer is a VP210. While I would have preferred a VP215 with the oil pump, this VP210 is $500 vs the $1000 that a VP215 would cost me (due to taxes..) so it is tempting.



The guy says it was bought in 2010, used 3 months and then stored in his garage until now... I'm thinking this could mean that the pump may have rusted rusted? some bushings may have dried? Or are all those non issues? Anything to look for if I go see it besides if it reaches low vacuum and seals properly?




Thanks

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After reading a few threads on this forum, I'm now considering getting a proper vacuum sealer and I ended up seeing a used one for sale locally.

The sealer is a VP210. While I would have preferred a VP215 with the oil pump, this VP210 is $500 vs the $1000 that a VP215 would cost me (due to taxes..) so it is tempting.

The guy says it was bought in 2010, used 3 months and then stored in his garage until now... I'm thinking this could mean that the pump may have rusted rusted? some bushings may have dried? Or are all those non issues? Anything to look for if I go see it besides if it reaches low vacuum and seals properly?

Thanks

I'd think if it works when you test it, deterioration from storage is probobly not a concern.

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I'd think if it works when you test it, deterioration from storage is probobly not a concern.

Thanks. I'll go take a look at it tonight, hopefully it's in good shape and won't end up being a door stop 6 months from now! :blush:

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3mm vs 4mm bags?

Anyone want to offer any reasons on why I shouldn't use 4mm? What do I not know? Will it change the seal quality or storage consideration (or sous vide) due to any increased bag stiffness? For my usage, the cost difference is relatively negligible.

FWIW, I just ordered the Henkelman Boxer 35 last night. It should be here some time next week and I'm really looking forward to playing!

Thanks for any advance!

Chris

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No reason not to use thicker bags other than cost. If they don't seal well, just program the "seal time" on your Boxer for an additional second or two to compensate for the additional thickness (though the default sealing time was too much for my 3mil bags, causing them to shrink and bunch up as they sealed, so it's probably just right for 4mil).

Enjoy the Boxer, we use ours much more frequently than I expected we would. It enjoys a prime position in our kitchen on a nice John Boos cart.


Edited by GlowingGhoul (log)

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I'd think if it works when you test it, deterioration from storage is probobly not a concern.

Thanks. I'll go take a look at it tonight, hopefully it's in good shape and won't end up being a door stop 6 months from now! :blush:

Took a look at it tonight, it was a bit dirty but works flawlessly. Surprisingly quiet, pulls an excellent vacuum and seals well so I left with it. Manufacturer 12/2009 so I'm guessing it's made in the US. I'm quite happy with my purchase.

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Congratulations Mart, give it a good cleaning, dirt sucked into the vacuum pump will reduce its effectiveness. Try to figure out one or two sizes of bags you'll use the most (one should be the largest your unit can handle), and buy them in bulk.

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Congratulations Mart, give it a good cleaning, dirt sucked into the vacuum pump will reduce its effectiveness. Try to figure out one or two sizes of bags you'll use the most (one should be the largest your unit can handle), and buy them in bulk.

Yeah, I'm thinking of getting 10x13 4mils (largest bags) and then 8x10, 3 mil. I should be good for a while with this. I'm not sure if I should "upgrade" the 3mil to 4 mil for the smaller bags.


Edited by mart242 (log)

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We make homemade stock about twice a month and I love the 6X8 bags for single cup storage. I freeze them on a cookie sheet so they stack perfectly. I also use the very large bags for freezer storage and sous vide. The other size that I use is 8X10. Amazon has good prices and if you have prime the shipping is free!

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Woops, my previous post was incorrect. what I was thinking of getting was the 10x13 and also the 6x10. The zipper bags are also interesting but are quite big (at webrestaurantstore), 8x12 is the smallest. No free shipping with amazon for me, I'm in canada. I'm heading across the border to pick my webrestaurant order (deep fryer, slicer, bunch of other small things) so shipping for the bags is reduced a bit with this. Sadly, selection is a bit limited.. I guess I could order the bags from another store with more selection.

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Woops, my previous post was incorrect. what I was thinking of getting was the 10x13 and also the 6x10. The zipper bags are also interesting but are quite big (at webrestaurantstore), 8x12 is the smallest. No free shipping with amazon for me, I'm in canada. I'm heading across the border to pick my webrestaurant order (deep fryer, slicer, bunch of other small things) so shipping for the bags is reduced a bit with this. Sadly, selection is a bit limited.. I guess I could order the bags from another store with more selection.

Where in Canada are you? I've got a whole lot of a couple of different sizes. I'm in Burlington.

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Woops, my previous post was incorrect. what I was thinking of getting was the 10x13 and also the 6x10. The zipper bags are also interesting but are quite big (at webrestaurantstore), 8x12 is the smallest. No free shipping with amazon for me, I'm in canada. I'm heading across the border to pick my webrestaurant order (deep fryer, slicer, bunch of other small things) so shipping for the bags is reduced a bit with this. Sadly, selection is a bit limited.. I guess I could order the bags from another store with more selection.

Where in Canada are you? I've got a whole lot of a couple of different sizes. I'm in Burlington.

Ottawa.. a bit far ;)

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