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Ronaldo Zacapa x

The Food Saver/Vacuum Sealer Topic: 2001-2010

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My kids eat like a bunch of pigs, and its been forcing us to buy stuff in bulk.

Generally we've been freezing stuff in ziplock freezer bags but I have been told the "Food Saver" is good for eliminating freezer burn and is good for some other uses.

Anyone here have one that can care to comment on it? How much does it cost? Where do you get one?

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We have a Telia Foodsaver and we love it. It produces a near commercial quality seal, meats are totally freezer burn resistant and when you seal stuff in mason jars and in large canisters in the fridge, fresh veggies and fruits last for weeks! We had some lettuce recently that was sealed in a large foodsaver canister and it was 2 weeks old.. was fresh as the day we bought it.

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Quote: from Ronaldo Zacapa on 5:32 pm on July 26, 2001

My kids eat like a bunch of pigs, and its been forcing us to buy stuff in bulk.

Generally we've been freezing stuff in ziplock freezer bags but I have been told the "Food Saver" is good for eliminating freezer burn and is good for some other uses.

Anyone here have one that can care to comment on it? How much does it cost? Where do you get one?

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Jason Perlow -- Director eGullet.com Community

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Yes, we have a foodsaver.  It works really well.  Regarding the lettuce Jason mentioned, it is important NOT to wash it.  I originally figured it would be helpful to have the lettuce all cut and washed for salad, but it didn't keep more than a week.  However, when I keep the lettuce whole and unwashed it stays much fresher.  

Check out the FoodSaver YahooGroup for lots of tips on how to use this product at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FoodSaver

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Liza x   

I just looked up foodsavers on cooking.com and there were quite sizes/prices to choose from. Which one do you have and/or recommend?

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Liza

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We have the Tilia FoodSaver Professional II.  Tilia sells it on their website for around $319.  I don't know what the current infomercial version is or sells for, but we bought ours through eBay.  I paid $180 total including shipping.  I could have bought an earlier model for less, but I figured I'd be wanting to upgrade sooner if I did that.

For lots of tips on purchasing and using a foodsaver, go to the YahooGroup, the link for which is posted above.

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good advice from rachael and jason.

ask yourself this - how long are you planning to keep this stuff in the freezer?

if food product is wrapped in regular plastic and placed inside a ziploc bag, without a doubt it's gonna be fine for as long as two weeks. longer than that i would say that it might be a good idea to invest in a vacuum seal machine.

i can certainly understand the practicality issue of needing to freeze things! a quick defrost and you’re ready to heat and serve! depending on what it is, you might even be able to just drop the sealed food package right into hot water and heat i like that!

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Stone, primarily we use ours for storing things that we buy in bulk, like when skinnless boneless chicken breasts go on sale or if I buy a whole loin of pork or sirloin and then cut it up into chops/steaks. Also when we cook a lot of something and want to portion it out into multiple meals.

We also use the vaccuum canisters a lot for veggies, such as lettuce and salad greens. Also for force marinades, which it is really good at.

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Rhea_S   

My parents asked for my Tilia Foodsaver. They use it for storing fillets of salmon that my brother catches during fishing season. My mom also vacuum-packs then freezes cooked food for my dad to bring with him whenever he's assigned out-of-town. It works great for them. When I had it, I used it to split the contents of cereal boxes. I can never finish a whole box without the bottom third being stale by the time I got there. Same for meat. I don't buy in bulk, but I'm still unable to eat the store portions on my own. The Foodsaver saved me money. I'm probably going to buy a new one soon because I'm going to start home cooking for my dogs and I only want to cook for them once a week.

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Stone   
We also use the vaccuum canisters a lot for veggies, such as lettuce and salad greens.

These are the ones purchased from the company? I assume you can't use any jar.

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Stone   

This is fast becoming my favorite of my unnecessary kitchen items.

I had a bunch of raw chicken breasts that I wanted to seal. I've also noticed that I'm running through the bag roll pretty fast. When I was making a single bag for each breast, I ended up with a lot of wasted space. So I created a bag that would fit the chicken breast the long way. Then I turned the bag 90 degrees and laid the center across the sealing strip to create two pouches in the bag. I put a breast in each pouch and sealed it normally. Seemed to work o.k.

By the way, does this increase the storage period for stuff in the fridge? Usually I wouldn't leave a raw chicken breast or piece of fish in the fridge for more than 2-3 days. If I seal it, will they last longer?

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jhlurie   
By the way, does this increase the storage period for stuff in the fridge?  Usually I wouldn't leave a raw chicken breast or piece of fish in the fridge for more than 2-3 days.  If I seal it, will they last longer?

If its properly vacuum sealed, with little to no air inside, couldn't it theoretically last for months? Not that you'd realistically want to risk doing that.

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Stone   

Are replacement rolls and bags sold at Costco or some other place? Or do you have to order them from Tilia?

Also -- I read some mention that people use these to vacuum seal bags of their clothes. ???? Are they dwarfs or something? I can't see how I can stuff one of my shirts into one of these bags.

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By the way, does this increase the storage period for stuff in the fridge?  Usually I wouldn't leave a raw chicken breast or piece of fish in the fridge for more than 2-3 days.  If I seal it, will they last longer?

If its properly vacuum sealed, with little to no air inside, couldn't it theoretically last for months? Not that you'd realistically want to risk doing that.

No. The microorganisms on the chicken could continue to thrive even if all oxygen is removed from the package. Microorganisms are placed into three categories: Aerobic, Anaerobic, and Facultative.

Aerobic: requires oxygen to grow.

Anaerobic: can grow when oxygen is absent; botulism is anaerobic.

Facultative: can grow with or without oxygen; Salmonella, Listeriosis, and e. coli 0157:h7 are all facultative. Most microorganisms that cause foodborne illnesses are in this category.

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Are replacement rolls and bags sold at Costco or some other place?  Or do you have to order them from Tilia?

Also -- I read some mention that people use these to vacuum seal bags of their clothes.  ????  Are they dwarfs or something?  I can't see how I can stuff one of my shirts into one of these bags.

Yes, that's also where I got mine for $160. It was the full kit including the machine, 2 11-inch wide rolls, 2 8-inch wide rolls, three plastic canisters, an adapter for sealing mason jars, a demonstration video, and a bunch of coupons.

You can also get them at Fred Meyers, Target, K-Mart (are they still around?).

I think they're around $30 a box for 6 rolls (4 11-inch, 2 8-inch).

I use the canisters for storing coffee, cereals, grains...

I've sealed whole chickens, IQF (individually quick frozen) fruit and vegetables at the height of the season, individual slices of foie gras, steaks, duck breasts... you name it.

I also like to take a beef brisket, seal it, and then age it in the fridge for about three weeks. It comes out more tender.

There's a thread on cooking lamb and mjmchef says that he used to use a cryo vac (which is what this is) to seal the meat and cook it in the bag. I'd like to try this, but I don't know what the high-end temperature range is this plastic. Since you can boil it, I assume it's okay to at least 225F.

I'd have to say that I can't live without mine.

Edit to add: Regarding clothes. If you go camping, sealing socks and a wool sweater is a lifesaver when the rains come.


Edited by Really Nice! (log)

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Stone   
Regarding clothes. If you go camping, sealing socks and a wool sweater is a lifesaver when the rains come.

What do you seal them in? Do they fit in an 11" bag, or do you use something else?

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Stone   

What else do you want to know?

One problem with freezing is defrosting. It ain't gonna be perfect if you defrost in a microwave. But it's not bad, and the bags sure seem to help.

I keep my coffee beans in a large swansons chicken broth can (cleaned repeatedly) and vacuum out the air. They seem to last longer.

I keep my cheese in a large plastic tilia tub. They seem to keep longer in the fridge.

It's easy. Safe.

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What else do you want to know?

Does the math work for you? Do you think that you are saving money or do you freeze for convenience sake? How much does a 1' of the bag cost?

I used to buy in bulk, now I buy what is on sale. Between the few markets I visit, I can always find what I'm looking for on sale. Maybe not the rock bottom price that I see sometimes, but close enough. This approach has also forced me to try new items, preparations.

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Stone   

I don't pay enough attention or cook at home enough to determine whether I'm saving money. I don't throw away as much as I used to. Maybe some of the others with a more established household can advise on that.

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Freezer reminder: velcro a sharpie marker to the freezer so you can date and note contents of everything.

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Toliver   

I have even more questions:

Is the difference between models that noticeable? I've gone to the Tilia website where they have 8 models listed.

If you go with the higher end models, do you get more suck for your buck? :blink:

Are the bells & whistles of the higher end models worth the extra money or are they superfluous?

What feature or "extra" do you find indispensable and would you recommend getting it above anything else?

What feature did you NOT get and now you wish you had?

How often do you have to order more bags?

Is there a size of bag that you find yourself using more than any other size?

Is the extra money you shell out for the "not-included" stuff (different sized canisters, etc) worth it?

As a single guy, I am thinking this would be a good thing to have, especially after a trip to my local Costco. It's now just a matter of determining which model to buy.

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vengroff   

I was thinking of getting one of these. Before I do, I wonder if anyone could help me with a couple of questions about marinades.

The first question is, how much difference does marinading in a vaccum canister make in practice. I've always thought of marinading as a chemical process where an acid in the marinade breaks down fibers the meat being marinated. Does this reaction somehow occur more quickly because of the low pressure?

The second question is whether you can toss some meat and a marinade in a bag, vacuum seal it, and then freeze it for a quick meal at some later date. Does this work, or does the liquid end up in the guts of the machine when it tries to suck the air out of the bag?

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Our unit worked pretty well for a while but eventually stopped working. It seemed cheaply made--especially certain parts that received a lot of wear and tear. I also thought the bags were very expensive. Maybe they've improved the product since we bought ours, but my experience was mostly negative.

=R=

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vengroff   

There is a company called Doug Care Equipment that sells bags for quite a bit less than the Foodsaver brand bags or rolls. They also sell industrial-scale vacuum sealing equipment. According to the site, their "micro-layered® pouches may also work with other brands of external clamp vacuum machines such as Foodsaver®." And they are about half the price.

For example, you could get 50 8x10 pouches and 50 10x14 pouches for a total of $25.80. That's 1100 linear inches of 10"-wide material, or $0.023 per inch.

As a contrast, a package of 15 11x14 Foodsaver bags is $9.99 at Amazon. They are 11" wide instead of 10", but it's only 210 linear inches, making it $0.048 per linear inch, which is more than twice the price.

You can get a sligthly better deal with two 18' rolls of 11" wide Foodsaver material for $18.69 at Amazon. That's 432 linear inches of 11"-wide material, or $0.043 per linear inch.

Does anyone have any experience with these? If they work with the Foodsaver appliance it looks like a good way to save some money on vacuum sealing supplies.

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