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Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2014–


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1 hour ago, teonzo said:

 

I don't have one at home (I cook simple things at home so I have few toys). I used many at work, can't remember the name / models sorry. I never found much difference between different producers, so I wouldn't mind much about that. The two factors are how big the chamber is and how powerful the pump is.

You need a powerful pump to make a better vacuum (the stronger the pump, the nearer to 100% vacuum you get), to save on time and electricity, to save money on the long term since a powerful pump will last much more time.

 You need a big chamber to be versatile and save costs. If you have a small chamber then you are not able to do many things, like compressing a whole (peeled) pineapple, which is a nice showstopper if you have guests for dinner. With a small chamber you can use only small jars, which means that in many cases you will be forced to use 2 or more jars while you could use a single big one with a bigger machine. More jars mean higher costs: two 0.25 liter jars cost more than one 0.5 liter jar; two machine cicles cost more than one cicle. Same with bags. Saving 50 cents here and 50 cents there means that after some time you repay the difference for the bigger machine.

I suppose youare an adventurous cook, so there will be many more uses for this machine. You can make the "bubble chocolate": you put tempered chocolate in a big container, put it in the vacuum chamber machine, pull the vacuum at maximum power, than turn off the machine (leaving it closed without decompressing, so the chocolate has time to set while expanded). If you have unwanted bubbles in a batter / whatelse then you can just put it in a open container and then run it in the machine. This is useful for ganaches, for fluid gels, for things that you thickened with xantan gum.

For liquids, you want a big step from the chamber floor to the sealing unit. Small machines have a low step, this means you will get mad with the liquid overflowing out of the bag.

A big machine costs more than a small machine at the beginning, but after some time (2-3 years at home use I suppose) it costs less.

 

Be careful to read ALL the details in the manual. The oil in the pump must be changed after some time, don't start thinking "I can go on some more", you risk ruining the pump (a new pump costs much much more than an oil change). You need to be careful (or better, to avoid) putting hot liquids or things with fine powders (you risk to clog the pump). Read what button combination you need to follow to avoid the sealing unit going on: if you use jars, stuff in open containers, things that do not need to be sealed, then it's better to avoid the sealing cycle (less costs). Beware to NOT TOUCH the sealing unit when you pick a bag, it's HOT.

 

Teo

 

 

Brilliant, many thanks for these Teo! Very helpful. I'm beginning to wonder if the power level of the pump in Mini Jumbo, VP215 etc (I think all of them do about 4m3/h) is good enough? Or if it's really quite likely to come bite back at me if I save 200€, instead of going for 8m3/h pump for example. I guess there isn't a clear answer to it, though Teo you seem to think it does actually affect longevity (as the Henkelman sales rep said too). Actually just now realized that the Jumbo series doesn't have the soft air release. Boxer series does, but for example Boxer 30 is +300€ to Jumbo 30. Wonder if it's worth that much really..

 

Good points about not using the sealing function with jars etc. Notes taken.

 

Love the whole pineapple idea.. Seen slices of pineapple done but can imagine a whole one being a different kind of showstopper! Bubble chocolate and others are definitely on the list too. Very happy to hear if you want to share other ideas like these :) 

Edited by EsaK (log)
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1 hour ago, EsaK said:

 

Brilliant, many thanks for these Teo! Very helpful. I'm beginning to wonder if the power level of the pump in Mini Jumbo, VP215 etc (I think all of them do about 4m3/h) is good enough? Or if it's really quite likely to come bite back at me if I save 200€, instead of going for 8m3/h pump for example. I guess there isn't a clear answer to it, though Teo you seem to think it does actually affect longevity (as the Henkelman sales rep said too). Actually just now realized that the Jumbo series doesn't have the soft air release. Boxer series does, but for example Boxer 30 is +300€ to Jumbo 30. Wonder if it's worth that much really..

 

 

My thought is as long as you have an oil pump, you are fine.

The vacuum pump is designed for uses where it pulls a hard vacuum and maintains the hard vacuum for quite some time.  Intermittent use, like in a chamber sealer, isn't going to shorten the life of the pump.  What will change is how fast you can vacuum out the air in your chamber, which impacts sealing cycle time.  The VP215 has only a timer, so I end up setting the vacuum for a fairly long time (my machine is set for 33 seconds most of the time) so that my typical bag (6x9 is my most used size) gets a proper vacuum.  With a big bag, that's longer than required, but I don't generally care.  It's annoying if i am  sealing 10 bags at the same time, and if were doing it all day, I might actually care. 


I'd buy based on price, size, availability of service, reviews, etc, with pump size being a small factor.

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4 hours ago, EsaK said:

Actually just now realized that the Jumbo series doesn't have the soft air release.

 

IMHO soft air release is a valuable feature. 

 

Or, let me say, I would not want a machine that always slammed the air back in at top speed. Even if your release isn't adjustable, you don't want it to be as fast as possible at all times. Slamming the bags increases the chance of a puncture if the contents is borderline. 

 

(Some say that fast release is ideal if you're doing something like storing meat in marinade but I don't know if it really helps.)

 

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as in all things :

 

how much more is ' soft release ' going to cost you ?

 

can you easily afford the difference ?  

 

I haven't had any problems w puncture 

 

but its rare what I vac has bones.  its easy to double bag

 

from time to time.

 

I personally have not done ' delicate fish '

 

Id look at it that way.

 

 

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9 hours ago, EsaK said:

Or if it's really quite likely to come bite back at me if I save 200€, instead of going for 8m3/h pump for example. I guess there isn't a clear answer to it, though Teo you seem to think it does actually affect longevity (as the Henkelman sales rep said too).

 

A pump that is 2x powerful will take just a bit over 1/2 time to pull the vacuum. This means it wil last more, since after the same number of cycles it will amount much less time of active work. You are saving time too, so this depends on how much you value your personal time (10 seconds here, 10 seconds there, try making an estimate of a year of use).

Remember one thing: if you use it properly for home use, then a vacuum chamber machine will last for your lifetime. So it's better to consider everything now and buy something that will suit your use for decades. If you are going to feel the need to change machine, then you are loosing a good amount of money. In these cases I think it's better to spend a bit more and be safe for the rest of the decades.

 

 

 

9 hours ago, EsaK said:

Actually just now realized that the Jumbo series doesn't have the soft air release.

 

Never felt the need to use this feature.

 

 

 

9 hours ago, EsaK said:

Love the whole pineapple idea.. Seen slices of pineapple done but can imagine a whole one being a different kind of showstopper!

 

Then you need to learn to cut it with the diagonal indentations to cut away the "eyes", this way you get an even bigger wow effect. This is the first photo that came out after a google search.

 

 

 

9 hours ago, EsaK said:

Very happy to hear if you want to share other ideas like these

 

Uh, there are lots of things you can make, problem is remembering all of them since it's stuff you use rarely. You can reduce a liquid (like a fruit puree) just letting the pump going on for some time. You can use it for a sort of "cold blanching", you put some stuff in a bowl with water, run the machine, this way you can get various results, for example I remember @gfron1 used this method to get rid of the tannins in acorns.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo

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8 hours ago, dscheidt said:

The VP215 has only a timer, so I end up setting the vacuum for a fairly long time (my machine is set for 33 seconds most of the time) so that my typical bag (6x9 is my most used size) gets a proper vacuum. 

 

I would suggest @EsaK to look for a machine where it's possible to program the vacuum % as end cycle: you set it at 98% (or else), when the machine reaches that % it starts the sealing cycle then the air release. It's much more useful than programming in seconds, especially when you deal with liquids in bags.

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo

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7 hours ago, horseflesh said:

 

IMHO soft air release is a valuable feature. 

 

Or, let me say, I would not want a machine that always slammed the air back in at top speed. Even if your release isn't adjustable, you don't want it to be as fast as possible at all times. Slamming the bags increases the chance of a puncture if the contents is borderline.

 

 

 

If the bag is going to fail,  I'd want it to fail now, while I'm paying attention to it, and not when its in the freezer. 

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@horseflesh Besides avoiding punctures right away with sharper things, what value do you see the soft air release providing? I'm not sure if it'd be much use for me on things like seafood as I normally get that frozen or have been fine with normal zip bags for short cooks, so it'd be great to hear why you think it's valuable!

 

@teonzo Thanks again, cold blanching and reducing a liquid sound both interesting. Serious Eats actually showed the pineapple cutting method it looks like in 2014, just saw it actually few weeks back. Noted about vacuum level being adjustable instead of time.

 

Anyone have experience with Hendi or any of their machines?

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On mine the air return can make things flap around and if I am doing multiple bags, they'll bonk in to each other. So again, I guess it is about punctures. 

 

But, I guess everyone else is getting by without so maybe I am too worried about that. 

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Its been interesting read the posts the last few days. I have a few comments, take them for what they are worth.

 

I have a Minipack MVS45x which like someone mentioned, is WAY overkill for home use.  But I happened upon it on Craigslist a few years ago and bought it for a song.   It had a grand total of 212 cycles on it when I bought it!!  It has literally become something that is used every single day!   For example I seal all my cheese, usually in a long bag leaving enough excess bag that I can cut off 1/2" when I need some cheese, and then reseal it in the same bag.  I also vacuum seal most of our leftovers.  Everything keeps so much longer!

 

We found one crazy use for it this summer, home made gelato and sorbet otter pops!  I made my own narrow otter pop bags from some large 12''x16" bags, filled them up with homemade sorbet and gelato, sealed them and popped them back into the freezer. Delicious!  They are quite labor intensive, but very fun to make.

 

Henkelman, Minipack and Sammic are the top of the line chamber vacs, all with the premium Busch pumps.  Honestly if I had the choice I would never buy a vacuum sealer without a Busch pump.  They are built incredibly well.

I do not feel that the size of the pump isn't really a concern, waiting a few more seconds per cycle shouldn't be a deal breaker in a home environment.   

 

I have soft air release on my MVS45X, it is a +/- knob on the front to adjust the return air.  I have it set to almost the lowest, but I do not find it to be an indispensable feature honestly.  On a unit that does not have it, I assume you could open it up and manually restrict the flow to the return port or hose to slow the return air if desired.

 

So for me the Henkelman would be my first choice over the VP215, although it too should last a lifetime in home use with proper maintenance.  

 

Good luck with your purchase!

 

 

 

Minipack Torre MVS45x Chamber Vacuum,  3- PolyScience/VWR 1122s Sous Vide Circulators,  Solaire Infrared grill (unparalleled sear)  Thermapen (green of course - for accuracy!)  Musso 5030 Ice cream machine, Ankarsrum Mixer, Memphis Pro Pellet Grill, Home grown refrigerated cold smoker (ala Smoke Daddy). Blackstone Pizza Grill,  Taylor 430 Slush machine. 

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Just became the owner of a  VP112S.  New one in route.   No setting would produce a complete seal.  Either not enough and air intrusion or so deep of a burn it leaked.   Spent the afternoon on the phone with a nice fellow at Vacmaster but in the end no resolution.  Sure hope the replacement has a long life with the minimal use it will see

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34 minutes ago, scubadoo97 said:

Just became the owner of a  VP112S.  New one in route.   No setting would produce a complete seal.  Either not enough and air intrusion or so deep of a burn it leaked.   Spent the afternoon on the phone with a nice fellow at Vacmaster but in the end no resolution.  Sure hope the replacement has a long life with the minimal use it will see

Oh man, I didn't know whether to hit the like button or the sad button.

 

They do have really good customer service.  

 

If the replacement works like it should, it will have a very long and happy life.

 

I'm just sorry you have to pack that heavy thing up.  Ours was delivered by a nice man in a big semi truck (we met him on the main road so he didn't have to drive down our dinky ones).  I hope yours could be delivered to your door.

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13 minutes ago, scubadoo97 said:

New one arrived and not able to produce a reliable seal.  Just trying to seal a bag of shelled walnuts that occupy 1/3 of the bag.  It shouldn’t be that difficult 

That's just bizarre.  So the sealing bar maybe isn't getting hot enough?

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in the past

 

the  VP112S 

 

has had some issues in getting the top set just right for the Vac

 

its mull hinged.

 

take some time to look into getting the top to sit just right

 

and make sure your settings for the seal are appropriate to the thickness of your bags

 

good luck

 

613fwlrRJiL._SL1414_.thumb.jpg.5bc5851b5bc94dacb1e654c886bab5ad.jpg

 

note the hinge system

 

it might be your problem

 

as it needs to set ' just right '

 

BTW  others on this thread in the past has had trouble w this model i think

 

due to the complex hinges and setting the top just right

 

before the Vac does its Vac'ing

Edited by rotuts (log)
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  • 4 weeks later...

After being back from holidays, I think I'm going for the Henkelman Jumbo 30, if it just fits in my dedicated space.. If anyone has a Jumbo, I'd gladly hear whether the power cord comes from the back of the machine? If yes, how much extra space does it take from the back of the machine to however "tight" you could turn the power cord sideways? My space is about 57cm, so there's not much room for a power cord when the machine is 55.5cm.. I asked Henkelman support but happy to hear if there's someone with the machine!

 

I've also been wondering about the bags.. Bags that have some kind of texture on them, they work just fine in a chamber vac too, right? For example the attached one. I think I'll go for quite thick ones as they don't seem to be that expensive either, so I'll take 100-160 my bags (I think 120-130 microns?). Not yet sure if I'll take pre-cuts or rolls, as the rolls actually seem to be more expensive per one unit. For example 30cm wide roll, 2 x 6m rolls = 12m of bag, is about 20 euros or about 1.7 euros per meter. Then for example 30cm x 50cm bags, 100 pieces = 50m of bag, is 32 euros or 0.64 euros per meter. Trickier to cut and re-seal pre-cut bags into smaller ones, but the price difference is quite large even if accounting for some "loss" when re-cutting the pre-cuts. 

Screenshot 2019-09-07 at 13.48.57.png

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textured bags shoji;ld work in a chamber vac.

 

it might be that you have to increase the heating time // cooling time as the texture makes them thicker.

 

there is no reason/ advantage to spend the extra money on textured bags in a chamber vac. as far as I can tell

 

they are approximately 40 cents a bag , vs 4 cents a bag for chamber bags.

 

the texture is so air can be pumped out by a vac-system that just pulls the air out.  then seals this keeps thin channels open

 

fior air flow when the bag is compressed on the sealing bag before heater seals it.   the texture does not add any extra

 

' puncture - proofing ' as far as I understand it.

 

I get all my bags at 

 

https://vacuumsealersunlimited.com/product-category/commercial-chamber-vacuum-sealer-bags-pouches/3-mil-chamber-bags/

 

3 MIL bags.  I have not had a failure.  if I think there is something ' pointy ' on an item , I cut out a sleeve from another bag and then bag

 

all that together

 

but to each their own.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Interesting!

 

I tested with a leftover roll from my FoodSaver when I first got the VacMaster.  It didn't seal, but I didn't realize that if I changed the time it might work.  I'll have to mess with it again.

 

Sorry for the mis-information!

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