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What do I need to know and what should I buy. I generally only process and save select parts of a deer or two a year. But buy turkey ,chicken and ham in bulk from the colony and would like to repackage to a size for my wife and I. Just what should I buy instead of a $75 one at Walmart
My Food Saver has lasted a loooong time!
Cheesehead Mike's Link
I have an Ary Vacmaster VP215, it is a chamber style machine. It has been flawless and IMO has a much tighter seal than the food saver style, just depends how much use you plan on getting out of it as they are expensive and heavy.
I had an entry level food saver and it only lasted a couple years. Then I stepped up to a better model and it's been going strong. I recommend you get one with the hose attachment and then buy the Quick Marinator (see my link). It's awesome for marinating wild game.
I’ve used the Food Saver Pro sport for about 8 years doing a couple of deer and turkeys each year. It has worked fine for my use.
+1 Nick, my Food Saver has also lasted many years!
I have a Food Save, it was a gift and a good one. Works well,,,,, I worked part time for a butcher, and he simply told me, since you will not have a commercial karovac system like mine (expensive), just wrap the meat in cellophane, a good butcher fold wrap, with freezer paper which he showed me how to do it properly, and the meat will last a long time.....
I never had a problem, so the food saver is okay, but so is the old butcher method
What Kevin Speicher said... they are awesome!. Foodsaves work well but the bags are WAY pricier.... where Vacmaster bags can be bought in $50 range for 500/ $75 for a 1000. Many many dif size bags available and are very tough and thicker.
I've been using the same food saver for i'm not sure how many years now. It's not as fast as the newer more expensive models and the sealing strip does overheat making me stop occasionally for it to cool down while packaging a full deer worth of steaks and burger. I cant be in a hurry is all.
I spent more for a commercial version so I can go back to back to back. Sometimes I'll grind 100-200lbs at a time. Very happy with my Weston, but from what my research tells me on the subject even the cheaper food saver ones seem to be good and last a long time.
Ary Vacmaster VP215 $750!
I have had at least a dozen of them......I probably have 3 right now. I think the advice above to get a commercial one is good advice.
FYI....if you watch the Food Saver site for sales you can get eh bags pretty cheap. They have a lot of sales with significant savings.
I have a nice Food Saver and it works great. I get the vacuum bags in 50' rolls off of EBay.....8" and 10/12" ones.
I flash freeze some things and refridge other stuff before I vacuum seal. That solidifies the juices and keeps the juice from messing up the seal process. Blueberries need to be semi-frozen first otherwise the vacuum will suck out the juice from the berry. You can lay them on a cookie pan and put them in the freezer for a bit.
Buy and use cellophane and thick butcher freezer paper. Heck, you can work with quality butcher freezer paper only. That is all you need. You will not only save money but also headaches caused by sudden machine malfunction. A big roll of white Gordon Paper BWKF184510006M Boardwalk Freezer Paper, 18" x 1000ft, can wrap meat from 4 moose (1400 lbs no bone) with some left over paper. Pay attention to paper weight (the heavier the better), in this case 45# as shown in the part number by the 3rd and 4th digit. The 1st and 2nd digits show paper width, while the last 4 digits show roll length.
Get a paper cutter / holder to make your processing easier. See the link above in this post.
Have had various vac packers and went to renting a commercial one for $60 per day and bags at about 11 cents when I was putting up salmon (60-100 at a time).
You can't beat the commercial ones and the bags are far superior to food saver bags.
I think it's a waste of time and money to vacuum pack venison.
as fast as we eat deer, good heavy butcher paper and cellophane works great..... we have no venison left by June and we eat 6 deer a year
I go through 1000 bags a year I’d estimate on my chamber sealer between the bear, deer, moose, salmon, halibut, etc. also use it a lot for sous vide bags and precooked meals to freeze. Make my own jerky in 10 lb batches and seal/freeze it too. My garage is basically a rotating butcher shop for friends and myself. We put up 75 or so sockeye salmon this weekend.
I bought a cabelas model because of the deal I got, but I’d honestly consider a wider commercial model at this point to seal multiple bags at once.
Vac master ( no comparison )
I'm a single guy on the go and sometimes have a hard time sitting down for a meal. It takes me at least a couple years to eat an entire elk and sometimes 3 or 4 years. I give a lot away. I've found that the vacuum sealed meat kept in a deep freeze keeps better for me than meat wrapped in butcher paper.
Agree with Mike! Wrapped ours in freezer paper for years, but always seemed to have a little freezer burn and 2 years was tops. Plus our summer sausage still seemed to dry out. Got one of the GameSaver vacuum sealers 3 or 4 years ago and will never go back to paper. our summer sausage we make is the same after it is thawed out as before it was ever frozen. Meat looks the same as the day it was put in the bag.
I definitely recommend one of the better models. You can do a lot more sealing before you have to let it cool down. Saw that recommendation on this site before buying one and am very thankful I did. Usually will only have to stop once in vacuuming the meat from three or four deer.
As has also been said, sign up on Food Savers website for email notifications for specials. At least a couple time a year they run "Buy One Get One Free" specials on bags. I will usually buy a big 6 roll box and get another one for free. Ohhhh, and don't be fooled by WalMart's slightly cheaper price on the bags. WalMart's rolls only have about 12' on them while Food Saver's rolls have 16'.
Also, I don't buy the ready made bags. I buy the rolls. That way I can make them the size I need. That is more sealing, but I figure it saves me money in the long run.