Contributors to this thread:
Vacuum Sealer Recommendations
My wife purchased me a new sealer for Christmas and I am going to open it early this week to butcher a few deer. I think she bought a Food Saver from Kohls but I don't know what model.
I have never used a sealer before, so please send some recommendations for units less than $200.
I use one of the very small Food Saver sealers, they are quite cheap if you shop around, like $25 range online. For bags I buy the Weston bags when they go on sale on Amazon, they are pre-cut. 6x10" bags are perfect size for 1lb ground meat per bag or for 2-3 steaks/chops per bag. The sealer has lasted me many years, but the air pump gets warm if doing more than say 12 bags at a time, so I just work in batches as best I can to keep it from dying. Bigger models might not have that problem, but the price gets a bit ridiculous in my opinion. Another problem is that if the meat is wet the liquid can make the bag not seal properly.
I have a food saver sealer, not sure of the model. I love mine. I get a 1/2 beef every year and vacuum seal all of it. I get my bags off of Amazon and they all seem about the same.
If you get liquid in the bag then place a rolled flattened paper towel at the bag mouth and vacuum like that. The paper towel will keep the liquid at bay long enough to get a good seal.
I've got a commercial Weston sealer that I've been very happy with. It pumps bag after bag after bag and will never overheat.
I've had a food saver and use them alot. Just got a new one earlier this year as I wore out the other one. I think it was less than $100. I get the 8" x 50' and 10" x 50' rolls from EBay and make my own bags.
I found you're better off leaving an extra inch or two when sealing ground burger and straps and roasts to allow for fluid shifting. For fish I lay the fillets or chunks on a cookie sheet and flash freeze for approx 15-20 minutes and then seal them. That works well and allows a good seal.
If you go on a hunt and space limited you can do some of you clothes to shrink them. Same for anything else you want to protect from the elements. DO NOT VACUUM SEAL FUDGE OR CHOCOLATE!!! :-)
SixLomaz + 1. Any moisture drawn up will prevent a good seal.
Foodsaver. Get one of the good ones. You won't be sorry. The company is great to deal with, also. They aren't only for vacuuming. Because the bags will withstand boiling, I pre-make a lot of meals before my hunt and simply seal and freeze them without vacuuming. Stroganoff, cheesy potatoes, fettucini alfredo, etc.. Back at camp it's really simple to drop the bag in a pot of boiling water and by the time my clothes are changed my dinner is ready.
Vacuum sealed venison will last for years. Fish too. I even do mushrooms (freeze them first, and let the vacuum out of the bag before thawing or they squish). Make my own bags from the rolls and it's a lot more economical than buying the pre-made bags, which are often too big or too small for whatever I'm doing.
I have always had a Foodsaver. Great stuff.
Lou, that's a great idea for camping/ hunting, I'm going to start doing that!
Oh man, the meals we ate moose hunting...chicken fettuccine, egg and sausage skillets, pizza, the list goes on and on. Vacuum pack and warm up in the "boiling water microwave." only problem can be pot size.
We grilled some marinated and unmarinated backstraps over the weekend the difference was amazing and it only took about 10 minutes. I believe we have the 4840 with the 2 quart marinating canister.
Yeah, forgot to mention the marinating canisters. I have several different sizes and they make a huge difference.
I think mine is finally about ready to replace. Having a hard time sealing sometimes. Had a big bag of pulled pork I was boiling for elk camp this past season and when I lifted it out of the water, the seal let loose and it all dumped into the boiling water. >:( We just strained it out and ate it anyway. :-) I had a couple of the other single meals do the same. Would probably be a good idea to double seal the stuff you are going to boil anyway.
I also have a Weston Commercial grade sealer. Works great!
I too use the Foodsaver. Works great. Never found another bag that works with it other than Foodsaver bags which are very expensive. I will look into the Weston bags.
I use my vacuum sealer for more than just food. I also use it for my Caribou game bags. Takes up 3/4 less room in my pack.
My mother in law bought me a Ziplock brand for Xmas last year. I buy the long rolls at Menards and make my own bags to the length I need. BUT it does not a really heavy commercial grade bag so I do buy the Ziplock brand. I love buying chicken and pork loins at SAMS and then vacuuming into meal sized portions.
I don’t know about any other areas but Walmart has a Weston sealer and bags on sale. $70 down to $50 and $20 make your own bags are $15. Don’t know the quality of the sealer, maybe others will chime in. A few above already have.
On the Food Saver bags..... Go to their website and sign up for their emails. Every so often they run a buy one get one sale. Just restocked up on bag rolls a few weeks ago when they run the sale. OHHH, and the rolls from Food Saver have a few more feet on them than the Food Saver rolls at WalMart.