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Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2011–2014


roygon
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In anticipation of my copy of Modernist Cuisine and based on comments from other egullet members I went ahead and ordered a VacMaster VP210. I'm picking it up today and once my significant other sees the size of this thing she'll immediately start looking for a receipt so I need to be armed with all the wonderful things, both cooking and non-cooking related, that we can now do with a chamber vacuum machine.

My current list includes:

  • Much easier to package food for sous vide cooking in SVS
  • Canning is a snap
  • Instant Pickles
  • Preserve the shelf life of proteins and sauces in the fridge and freezer
  • Buy larger cuts and vacuum pack individually
  • Vacuum Pack all sorts of things around the house to keep them organized and conserve space (maybe a bit of a stretch?)
  • Marinating foods on steroids
  • I'm going to be buying those meat dry aging bags and that would have required a new suction vacuum anyways so I'm really saving money!

Anything else to build my business case? It's not getting returned so this is more about stopping her from immediately heading off on an epic shopping spree of her own...

rg

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Anything else to build my business case? It's not getting returned so this is more about stopping her from immediately heading off on an epic shopping spree of her own...

I had your response up until that last statement. I often tell my wife, "It's not always about need" but that's not really going to serve your purpose, I suppose, because it will only justify her shopping spree. Sorry. :wink:

Wait, an additional use just came to mind. I vacuum seal whole meats for curing, which eliminates the need for turning/redistribution.

Edited by PetersCreek (log)
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How will it make her life better? What will it do for her?

I think you shouuld sell her on two ideas: 1.) You are a good cook. You cook for her. That makes her very lucky. 2.) This machine will make you cook better.

The biggest benefit to her that I can see is that you will be able to cook most of the recipes from Modernist Cuisine, the most important cookbook evah, for her, and she'll get to eat them. Booyah.

Cooking is your hobby. It is a unique hobby in that she gets to eat all your projects, reap the benefits. You aren't alone in the basement with your model trains. She gets to have fabulous parties that you make so beautiful and delicious with your skills. But occasionally you need a new tool. And if there is any absolute truth that relates to cooking, something that is irrefutably always true, it's that if you have the right tool you can do the job better. Now, new tools cost money. But it's money spent to make you a better cook for her, you are not spending it secretly on methamphetamine or porn. You are at home cooking with your new chamber vacuum sealer. It helps you grow and learn and get better in your field of interest. And unlike most idle pastimes, it will increase her value of life (better food).

**I know that I made huge and most likely wrong assumptions about gender. Please forgive me.

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Congrats! All the best arguments have been made. I VacSeal food for canoe trips and general camping to keep the weather out and the freshness in. How about wrapping presents? Practical jokes?

Marinating foods on steroids

Can you explain?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Congrats! All the best arguments have been made. I VacSeal food for canoe trips and general camping to keep the weather out and the freshness in. How about wrapping presents? Practical jokes?

Marinating foods on steroids

Can you explain?

I guess I should have said "Marinating foods, on steroids". What I meant is that marinades get sucked into the protein during the vacuum process so what might normally take hours will instead take minutes although not sure on the details

Thanks for the other comments, looks like I had most of the benefits covered. I made her some rum infused compressed watermelon for dessert ;)

One thing to keep in mind for anyone who is considering purchasing one of these is that it might be tough to find a spot for it in your kitchen. You need about 24" of height room to open it all the way and this model, the VP210 which I think is one of the smaller ones, weighs close to a hundred pounds. We have some oversized cabinets so I cleared one of them out and made room for it + all the bags and maintenance tools. The plug is right by the door so I just plug it in when I need to and it seems to work ok. Convenient spot and still completely out of the way.

rg

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You can use it to suck the moisture out of potatoes for tripled cooked chips.

Infusing liquids into fruits (eg. watermelon juice into watermelon to give ultra tasty watermelon).

Infusing fruits with vodka.

Compressing fruits (including tomatoes).

Make your own aero chocolate.

Vacuum seal food so it lasts longer/in preparation for freezing.

Did I say infusing fruits with vodka?

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Well the VP210 is only $100 more through Amazon with free shipping and I think it's quite a bit better than the VP112, isn't it? Anyone have experience with both? One posted in another thread on egullet said:

"Nope didnt consider the VP112 at all really. I was interested in something that would be highly reliable and well-built that would be able to reach a high level of vacuum for compression. IIRC the VP210 can reach a higher level than the VP112 when I spoke with the ARY rep. The VP112 also didnt look as sturdy and well-built as the VP210. It sort of appeared to me as a cheap knockoff entry model for the home/sous vide market they just became aware existed. I then brought the specs for the VP210 into a restaurant that does alot of sous vide in NYC and had the chef take a look who was kind enough to give his opinion. He wasn't able to find much of any difference between the VP210 and the one they use other than the speed and qty of bags you could seal per hour. Since I wasn't planning on doing 75+ bags an hour the VP210 was perfect for me. "

VP112 on the other hand does have a 12" seal vs 10" for the VP210 but not really an issue for my needs, I think anyways. This size on the VP112 is a huge advantage - only 57 lbs so you could actually move it around much easier than a 90 lb model.

I'm still happy with my choice, would have still gone with the VP210 again if I ordered it today but this is definitely a great thing for home cooks since it's a great sign that chamber vacuums will become much more affordable in the future.

rg

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That VP112 looks like a great form factor, more manageable weight overall a great idea. If it pulls a really strong vacuum (the so called "high" vacuum) and the capacity is good, and they discount it some more ($500 pls, special offer, sale, whatever), I'll plunk down for it in a heartbeat.

It would be nice to see a tilted bed, though if the whole machine can operate tilted that would be OK

Edited by Paul Kierstead (log)
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Pleasant Hill Grain has the same sealer on sale for $670.00 including shipping.

VacMaster Vacuum Packaging Machines: The VP-112 is a unique new entry in the commercial vacuum sealer market that offers a lower-priced entry machine with features similar to larger commercial machines. It also features a space-saving, low-profile design and lighter weight compared to most other commercial machines, making it convenient to use in tighter quarters such as your home kitchen, cabin, or even your RV. Vacuum time and heat impulse duration are separately adjustable. With no wiring in the chamber and smooth-cornered stainless interior, all VacMaster vacuum sealers are easy and fast to clean up. VacMaster commercial vacuum packaging systems are built to the highest standards for long, trouble-free service. Outside dimensions are 16"W x 24"D x 9"H.

The VP-112 uses a self-lubricated rocker pump (non-oil-using) and has a cycle time of 40-55 seconds. The VP-112 is built for many years of steady and reliable use. Ships by FedEx Ground, and price includes shipping within U.S. 48 states.

http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/vacuum_packaging_machine_ary_vacmaster_food_vac_system.aspx

Larry Lofthouse

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It would be nice to see a tilted bed, though if the whole machine can operate tilted that would be OK

Insert a piece of plastic, cutting board or whatever into the chamber and prop up the side closest to the sealing bar.

Edited by LoftyNotions (log)

Larry Lofthouse

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Anyone have a clue if the Sous-vide supreme one could pull a strong enough vacuum to compress a watermelon?

That form factor looks very attractive to me.

Mike

I'm not sure what vacuum it takes to compress a watermelon, but I would assume 99% plus. Here is a quote from the manual:

Vacuum packaging with the VP112 removes up to 90% of the air from the package.

Here is a link to the manual: http://vacmaster.aryvacmaster.com/vacmaster/pdf/VP112_Manual.pdf

Larry Lofthouse

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It looks like the VP112 is the exact same machine as the SVS one right?

So basically the decision is between that and the VP210.

The comment about 90% air kind of worries me. I have done sous vide with both the ziplock hand pump vacuums and one of the standard counter top ones. Both have the same problem when I do something at high temp (like confit at 176). After a while the air that is in the bag starts to puff up and the bag starts to float. With the ziplock system I can just pump that air back out and then things are fine, with the sealed vacuum bags I don't have that option and they just float and the meat doesn't get equal exposure to the water.

Can anyone with the VP112 or VP210 comment on this? Is the vacuum they create enough to avoid this problem and do all the fun things that (I assume) are in the Modernist Cuisine book (like the watermelon chips they featured on their blog)

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You can buy the same chamber vacuum machine (without the Sous Vide Supreme label) from another company for $675.00. Still not cheap but but beats $800.00

http://www.homestead...uumsealers.html

Prompt delivery, they also sell bags.

It is a great unit and the least expensive chamber machine I could find. Bit of a beast (I built a special deep drawer to tuck it away in so it isn't on the countertop) but it works very well and is robust. Nice additional feature is a vacuum port to use for sealing mason jars (with the accesory from FoodSaver or other manufacturers).

Have been using it for a couple months now and it works well. Haven't tried watermelon yet though.

I thought that the expansion of air in the bag doesn't have anything to do with the quality of the seal but rather it is the result of water vapour from the liquids in the food that is sealed expanding as the liquid is heated in the bag. Higher temperatures in the bath will show more expansion than lower temps.

Llyn Strelau

Calgary, Alberta

Canada

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