Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2014–


Recommended Posts

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!

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi I´m trying to find info on the Brand ¨Basser Vacuum¨. Does anyone have references about their products?

Is an external aspiration model, What is the general opinion about this kind of vacuum sealers?

I´m planing in buy the Fresh33 model, for a small business i´m starting. I´m doing beacon and duck ham.

 

 

 

Thanks

Rodrigo

Link to post
Share on other sites

From what i ve heard they did produce the complete edge sealer range of German company allpax people are extremeley happy with, specially hunters. Since they do use bosch Pumps aswell i think they will do quite a good job in the chamber vac area aswell?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

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.

 

I haven't had that problem, though I have only used the conditioning cycle a few times. (How often are you SUPPOSED to do it, do you know?)

 

I have had a different issue, though... Has your display ever gone completely blank, or half blank? 

 

Don't hesitate to call Minipack directly. There's a very helpful tech there named Jamal, who I've spoken with a couple of times. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't had that problem, though I have only used the conditioning cycle a few times. (How often are you SUPPOSED to do it, do you know?)

 

I have had a different issue, though... Has your display ever gone completely blank, or half blank? 

 

Don't hesitate to call Minipack directly. There's a very helpful tech there named Jamal, who I've spoken with a couple of times. 

 

I've just been keeping an eye on the oil and running it when it looks cloudy from water vapor. Depends how much you seal liquids, I think.

 

I haven't had that problem in particular. I have been talking with someone at Minipack actually, but they haven't come up with much yet...still back and forth.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

While I am still pleased with the Polyscience 300, I find it does have a fault. When draw a vacuum using the external vacuum port, sometimes it works and sometimes it does nothing (even though the machine pulls a vacuum inside the chamber). I'd say more often than not the external vacuum feature does not work.

 

I think the problem has to do with how the supplied vacuum hose fits -- or doesn't fit -- in the vacuum port. It may of course be user error...not helped by the wretched Polyscience 300 manual.

 

Any advice or thoughts?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm planning to modify my VP215 to add a digital vacuum gauge, and program for seal at %vacuum as an option to time.  After that mod, I will consider adding MAP gas venting and/or an infusion program.  I have not been able to find any posts on this modification.  I can't imagine someone here has not already done something similar...  Have I missed anything?

Link to post
Share on other sites

For all of you Minipack MVS35XP owners out there -- how are you enjoying your machine -- I have the capability to possibly upgrade to it at this point and I am thinking that I will.  I have a MVS31X, which is great, but I find that time and time again, anytime I do a hot or liquid application, I end up messing up the pump -- Currently the machine says it is pulling 99.9, but I know from experience is quite a bit less.  Perhaps even in the low 90s.  Thanks for the input....The other item I am looking at is the Polyscience 300 -- but I may be in the same boat with liquids and hot items.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been quite happy with my 35XP. I abuse it with hot foods and liquids all the time and the pump is still going strong. I just changed the oil though, at about 550 cycles, because it looked milky... I wish knew how often you really have to do that because at that rate it adds about two cents in costs to each cycle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

horseflesh -- that was exactly what I wanted to hear -- Now if Polyscience would just call me back...

 

EDIT:  That came out whinny..didn't mean it that way.  Just chomping at the bit!

Edited by Unpopular Poet (log)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I too am very happy with my 35XP, aside from the odd issue with the conditioning program (which is still an ongoing discussion with MiniPack - it appears I may need a replacement control card). I use the soft air and infusion cycle so frequently that I can't imagine not having them.

 

Horseflesh, for what it's worth, running the conditioning program tends to get rid of that cloudy/milky consistency in the oil. I think the manual suggests replacing the oil after a certain number of cycles but I don't remember the total off the top of my head. The machine keeps track of that for you buried somewhere in those menus...I intend to replace the oil no less than once per year though, even if I don't hit that total. Better safe than sorry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used the conditioning program a few times but haven't noticed a visible difference in the oil. That may be meaningless, though. 

 

Do you have the manual soft air knob? Mine came with one and I have honestly never tried the programmable soft air, since the knob is so darn easy to use. 

 

Any other problems with your unit? Mine does have a quirk--the display may go blank, or just half blank, until you power-cycle it. This only seems to happen if I interact with the control panel, eg changing programs, and then only if I leave it alone for a while.

 

If I just turn it on and operate it, I don't think it has ever blanked out. Makes me think it may be a software problem... Minipack suggested opening up the unit and re-seating the cables, which I have not yet tried.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've definitely seen relatively cloudy oil become crystal clear after a couple of conditioning runs (you need to let it settle for a few hours afterwards, as it will draw in a lot of air).

 

No soft air knob on mine, just the software program. I imagine we must have different revisions.

 

The only problem I've had is the one I described a few posts back, where the conditioning program sometimes terminates early with an error message. No issues with the display that I've seen.

 

It seems given my location I may have to install the replacement control card myself - which I'm actually not too concerned with (provided it doesn't affect my warranty). I wouldn't mind getting a look at the guts of the machine in all honesty.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By PedroG
      Utilization of meat leftovers from sous-vide cooking
      Sometimes when you buy a nice cut of meat, your eyes are bigger than your and your beloved's stomach. So what to do with the leftovers?
      In Tyrolia (Austria) they make a "Gröstl", in Solothurn (Switzerland) they make a "Gnusch", in the Seftigenamt (a region in the Swiss canton Berne) they make a "Gmüder", and we (Pedro and SWAMBO) make a varying concoct using ideas from all of the three. We call it "Gröstl", but it is not necessarily a typical Tyrolean Gröstl, and it is different each time, and we usually do not top it with a fried egg as they do in Austria.
      Ingredients

      All your meat leftovers
      Onion (compulsory)
      Any hard vegetable (we prefer celery stalks, or zucchini)
      Any salad (iceberg lettuce or endive/chicory or any other salad leaves, may contain carrot julienne)
      Fried potatoes, or alternatively sweetcorn kernels
      Sherry or wine or bouillon or the gravy you preserved from your last LTLT.cooked meat for simmering (I usually prefer Sherry)
      Eventually some cream (or crème fraîche)
      Salt, pepper, parsley, caraway seeds (typical for Tyrolean Gröstl), paprika, condiment (in Switzerland we use "Aromat" by Knorr, which contains sodium chloride, sodium glutamate, lactose, starch, yeast extract, vegetable fats, onions, spices, E552)'
      vegetable oil (I prefer olive oil)




      Mise en place

      cut your meat in small cubes or slices
      cut the onion(s) not too fine (place the first cut below your tongue to avoid tearing during cutting)
      cut the vegetables about 3-4 mm thick
      cut the salads to pieces smaller than 4 cm, distribute on the cutting board and season deliberately
      cut the potatoes to 1 cm cubes
      place 3 heavy skillets with ample oil on the stove

      Cooking

      in skillet 1, stir-fry the onions, add the hard vegetables still stir-frying, add salad, add sufficient liquid (Sherry or wine or bouillon or gravy) for simmering under a cover until soft. If desired, reduce heat and add some cream at the end.
      in skillet 2, stir-fry the potatoes until soft (in case of sweetcorn kernels, add to skillet 1 after stir-frying and use skillet 2 for skillet 3)
      in skillet 3, as soon as the vegetables and the potatoes are soft, sear the meat in just smoking oil for 30-60 seconds, then add to skillet 1

      Serving
      You may mix the potatoes with the vegetables and meat to make a rather typical Gröstl, or serve the fried potatoes separately; we prefer the latter, as the potatoes stay more crunchy.
      Do not forget to serve a glass of good dry red wine!
    • By PedroG
      Brisket „Stroganoff“ Sous Vide With Mixed Mushrooms

      Ingredients for 2 servings
      about 400g well marbled Brisket
      3 tablespoons rice bran oil or other high smoke point oil (grapeseed oil)
      3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
      3 tablespoons Cognac (brandy)
      2 small onions, finely diced
      ½ yellow or red bell peppers cut into strips
      90 g mixed mushrooms
      100 ml of gravy from last Brisket (or concentrated stock)
      1 teaspoon mustard, Dijon type
      1 teaspoon paprika mild (not spicy!)
      1 medium pickled cucumber cut into thin strips
      2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
      approx. 120g sour cream with herbs
      Sous Vide - cooking
      Marinate brisket with Mexican style (medium hot) marinade in the vacuum bag for at least 3 days at 1 ° C, cook sous vide 48 hours at 55.0 ° C.
      Preparing the sauce
      At a moderate heat sauté onions in olive oil, add peppers (preblanched in the microwave oven for 2-3 minutes) and mushroom mixture, stir-fry, remove from heat and add the gravy. Add pickled cucumber, pepper, mustard and cognac. Put on very low heat, add sour cream and keep warm, but do not boil as the cream will separate. Remove the brisket from the bag, cut into strips (about 8x10x35mm), sear very quickly in smoking-hot rice bran oil, add the meat and the parsley to the sauce.
      Serving
      Serve on warmed plates. Typically served with spätzle (south German) or chnöpfli (Swiss).
      And don't forget a glass of good red wine!
      Enjoy your meal!
      Pedro

    • By PedroG
      Olla podrida sous vide
      Origin
      Not rotten pot, but mighty or rich pot! Originated in 16th century Spain, olla poderida became olla podrida and was falsely translated into French as pot-pourri.
      Ingredients
      For two servings
      * 100g Brisket well marbled, cooked SV 48h/55°C, large dice †
      * 100g Pork meat well marbled, cooked SV 24h/55°C, large dice †
      * 100g Lamb chops without bone, cooked SV 4h/55°C, large dice †
      * 100g Chicken breast, cooked SV 2h/58°C, large dice †
      * 100g Chorizo, sliced approximately 4mm †
      * 125g Chickpeas (garbanzos), soaked overnight in water †
      * 1 Onion chopped medium-fine †
      * ½ Savoy cabbage approx. 200g cut into pieces, thick leaf veins removed
      * ½ Celeriac approx. 200g quartered, sliced about 2mm
      * 2 Carrots sliced approximately 120g about 3mm
      * 1 Leek approximately 20cm / 100g sliced about 5mm
      * Extra virgin olive oil
      * Rice bran oil
      * Dried parsley qs, aromatic, black pepper
      † Beef, pork, lamb and chicken (or at least two kinds of meat) as well as chorizo, chickpeas and onions are mandatory ingredients, other vegetables vary according to desire and availability.
      Cooking
      Boil chickpeas in water for 30-60 min.
      Sauté onions in olive oil, add chorizo, continue sautéing, add chickpeas including its cooking water, add remaining vegetables, cover and cook to the desired softness, stir from time to time. If additional liquid is needed, you may add Sherry instead of water.
      Reduce heat. Season to taste. Add parsley.
      In a heavy skillet, sear the meat dice in just smoking hot rice bran oil (very high smoking point allows very quick sear, not overdoing the center of the meat).
      Sear one kind of meat at a time and transfer to the pan with the vegetables.
    • By Chef Hermes Blog
      Warm Onion Bavarois
      * 300g Sweet Onion purée
      * 250g Whole milk
      * 150g Whipping cream
      * 150g Chicken stock (or fresh vegetable nage, not stock cubes)
      * 3.5g Gellan gum
      * Seasoning
      Lightly grease with vegetable oil the moulds you intend to use (darioles, ramekins etc) and set to one side.
      In a pan (but not on the heat), whisk together all the ingredients.
      Place on a medium heat and whisk continuously, the mix will start to thicken slightly. Carry on whisking for a further 3-4 minutes when it has started to bubble. Then quickly pour into the greased moulds & chill.
      To reheat for serving, just place the ramekin in a pan of water and simmer gently for 8-10 mins.
    • By swpeterson
      I have been buying country style bone-in ribs instead of bone-in pork chops. I season them with a rub very similar to Emeril's Rustic Rub spice rub and use a heaping tablespoon a rendered Nueskie's Applewood smoked bacon fat in the Food Saver vacumn bag. We have been using 2 ribs in the bag but have made the decision to switch to one to split. The meat is so rich and flavorful that we can easily split one and enjoy the meal even more.
      For a sauce, I cobbled together a sauce made with the juice of half a valencia orange, the pulp from 1 passion fruit, 1 cup pitted cherries (I used rainiers and bings in this one), 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup white wine, juice from 1 lime, 2 tsp honey, garlic cloves crushed (I used roasted garlic that I keep in the fridge and 'crushed' them in my 'special' coffee grinder(2)) and 1 medium sized shallot. I used the same bacon fat to soften the shallots, then added the rest of the ingredients and let it reduce by about a third and then let it rest and reheated it when the pork ribs were done.
      I kept them in the sous vide at 141 from 10:00 AM until I got home from work at 7:00. It took another half hour +/- to change clothes, pour a glass of wine, reheat the sauce, make a salad, and heat up the garlic bread that I keep prepped in the freezer. After the bread was heated for about 8 minutes, I switched the oven to broil and took the bread out of the oven.
      I have started to experiment with using the broiler element to put color on the proteins that I have cooked in the sous vide. I have placed the oven rack on the third rack from the top, leave the door ajar while I bring the broiler element up to heat. I use my 10" stainless steel saute pan with a stainless steel rack in the pan for the protein. I open the sous vide package and pour the liquid that has accumulated in the bag into the bottom of the pan. I put the ribs, fattest side up on the rack and place the pan in the oven. I leave the door ajar and let them stay in there for 8 mnutes.
      That timing has worked extremely well for both the ribs and the chicken that I have done. I don't flip them yet and that hasn't been necessary for those 2 proteins. (I was much less successful with this formula for the flank steak which I think needs to be closer the heat source for less time).
      At any rate, the broiler is working well for color and the meat and sauce are great. The sauce also works very well with chicken. Haven't tried it yet with the salmon.
      Just wanted to share as I really love this sous vide thing and wanted to share.
      Sorry no photos yet. I haven't figured that part out yet but my husband promises to teach me.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...