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Mason jar sealer?

I have a seal a meal. Never use their plastic jars or their mason jar sealer lids. Too bulky. Too much trouble to lug out the machine unless bagging bulk product. First 15 pages of Google doesn't help.
I remember seeing a cable ad, years ago, for a little device with a tape seal for sealing jars and, I think, bags like chips. Can't find anything similar. Either not popular or maybe didn't really work.

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  1. I never had one and don't know if they still make 'em, but I think what you're talking about is/was called a "Pump and Seal" (or & or 'n', etc.)

    1. Not the answer to your problem, I'm sorry, but I use my vacuum sealer almost every day. I keep my coffee in the canisters. Also perishable berries in my fridge. I seal my grains in Mason jars to preclude populations of grain weevils (that happened to me once and I never want to go through that again!). I seal half bottles of wine to get a little more time out of it. I seal baked goods so I can mail them to my son — I've mailed cookies and quickbreads as far away as Australia and Eastern Canada from California with (the recipients tell me) great results. I've even mailed soup in the bags — I mail it frozen; it arrives thawed but (I'm told) fresh.

      Apart from that, I can reseal a lot of the packaging that things come in like cereal, pasta, chip and frozen veggie bags. And, of course, individual or small portions of meat for the freezer.

      1. PS: I think the chip sealing deal was a different infomercial.;)

        1. There are two types of sealers around.
          One is a narrow tube with what looks like bandaids and a pushpin, yes a pushpin, to make a tiny hole in a jar top, whether it be a mason jar or a regular opoup jar top. That's the Pump and Seal or something similar. It has a tube that can connect to other types of sealing tops, such a for wine or for special plastic containersa, and you pump the air out like a bicycle pump. You can find this at http://www.pump-n-seal.com.
          The other is the electric one that costs a lot more and uses bags as well as special tops for wine and for special plastic containers. It comes from a number of manufacturers, including http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/tili..., http://foodsaver.jardendirect.com/pro.... You can find them by looking in Google or Yahoo; places like Costco and WalMart have them online.
          When used properly, either of these can help you to vacuum pack food and freeze it. It's like cryovacing your own beef steaks or roasts sometimes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: EclecticEater

            Thank you. The pump-n-seal was the item I was looking for. Unless somebody comes up with a superior idea, this is going to get ordered this week.

          2. Do me a favor and report back if you eventually get it?

            4 Replies
            1. re: MikeG

              OK... ordered my Pump-n-Seal on Friday just before midnight or just after midnight Saturday AM. They confirmed my order at about 0930 AM Saturday and stated they would ship in 2 to 3 days. Quite prompt, I'd say.

              Surprise... Arrived Monday. Granted, it wasn't too far away. I'm in Minnesota and the package was shipped from Wisconsin but this was almost as fast as running down to the local Wal Mart. (I'm sure Wal Mart doesn't sell this item)

              I ordered the Pump-n-Seal, two bowl lids, , 115 seals, hole punch, bag attachment, foam block and instruction video. Some of the items are sent free of charge. The whole thing came to 46.85, delivered.

              After testing:

              Very happy with the basic sealing device.

              I may use the Bowl seal devices for maranating but they are kind of clunky and probably more work than they are worth for everyday use.

              The video is very precise but, obviously, "the lowest common denominator" comes to mind.

              It does let you seal in ziplock bags but it is also a little clunky and I probably won't use that feature very much. My Tilia sealer works better, but using more expensive bags.

              It does what I wanted. It easily seals Mason jars and commercial screw top jars very well.

              If I did it again, I probably wouldn't order the bowl seal lids, bringing the delivered price to less than 30.00. It's definately worth that.

              I'm satisfied with the purchase, delivery and the product. It does what it is advertised to do.

              1. re: stevieBcanyon

                Steve...I want to order a pump 'n' seal but would like a little more info before I do. I will be using it mostly for homemade juices in quart size jars. When you pump out the air does that eliminate the foam? Also, how much time is involved in the pumping process? You say the bowl seal lids really weren't worth having....how exactly do they work?

                Also, does anyone know where I can purchase quart size, resealable jars that are a dark glass (green or brown)?

                Thanks in advance for the info!

                1. re: jackiO

                  The foam comes from the air that is entrained during the juicing precess, then expanding when evacuated and forming bubbles that come to the top as foam. If you evacuate the jar of juice until foam is formed, then release the vacuum and then evacuate again, the bubbles (foam) will break and not be a problem. some juices foam more than others, so just repeat the process... it only takes seconds to evacuate juice jars that are filled within an inch or two from the top.

                  You do not need colored jars for refrigerated foods, since the refrigerator gets quite dark when the door is closed.... and you must refrigerate juices even if they are vacuum-sealed.

                  BTW, never use a lower vacuum to regualte bubbles, foam, or to keep from crusning things in a bag. You should always shoot for the max vacuum for maximum freshness and preservation. Eg., if you crush chips or cookies in a bag because the vacuum is to great, then don't use bags for those items, use jars.

                2. re: stevieBcanyon

                  When you mention that it seals ziplock bags but was clunky...I assume that it didn't go flat or what not...Right? I here if you use the foodsaver the bags can go very flat.

                  Also, the new foodsavers can be regulated for how much a vacuum you want so you won't crush certain fragile foods. Can the pump n seal be easily used to regulate the vacuum or is it to hard to do since all you need is a couple of pumps..

                  How can you make those seal tabs instead of ordering more of them if I were to get a pump n seal? I'm torn between the new foodsavers and the pump n seal...

                  Thx for anykind of advise.

              2. Thanks for the report. I use Mason jars for storing everything I can fit it in 'em, so I'm definitely going to look into this.

                1. We have a Deni JarVac that is extremely useful for sealing jars: http://www.deni.com/jarvac_1200.asp

                  hmm, their website says unavailable, but I think it's available from other retailers or on Amazon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: axial

                    That's a pretty nifty idea. Maybe they will go back into production.

                  2. I have the pump-n-seal, but also experimented with the vacuvin pump to see if it could be used in the same way, and also made my own check valves for a tiny fraction of the price (and very easy to make). The vacuvin can be adapted for jar sealing, and has the added benefit of sealing bottles (the p-n-s can only seal screwtop bottles). If you don't live in the US, then the vacuvin would be cheaper too, as shipping is expensive, and the vacuvin is widely available. I wrote about it on my website on this page
                    www.judyofthewoods.net/pump.html - even if you have the pump-n-seal (easier to use because of the suction base) you can still save lots of money on the valves by making them yourself.

                    1. If you have a Tilia Foodsaver I am surprised you didn't buy their mason jar sealer for about $6-10.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kayakado

                        I actually stumbled upon this post looking for information on how the mason jar sealers work (the electric ones). Has anybody used one? Thanks.

                      2. I here if you use the foodsaver the bags can go very flat versus the pump n seal which can be clumpy. I want to mail food samples for my food marketing campaign via a simple business envelope which would be very convenient.

                        Also, the new foodsavers can be regulated for how much a vacuum you want so you won't crush certain fragile foods. Can the pump n seal be easily used to regulate the vacuum or is it to hard to do since all you need is a couple of pumps?..

                        How can you make those seal tabs instead of ordering more of them if I were to get a pump n seal? I'm torn between the new foodsavers and the pump n seal...

                        Thx for anykind of advise.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dgm725

                          To dmg725: to make the tabs, look at the link in my post above, it shows you how to make them for next to nothing, and very easy to make too.

                          1. re: dgm725

                            Partial vacuum means partial freshmess. A vacuum that is weak enough toprevent crushing certain foods in a bag, may only be about 5 to 10 inches Hg, which gets only 17 to 34% of the air out of the bag, where as the most powerful unit will get 95% of the air out if the food is placed in a jar or a bag that can be fully evacuated. The higher the vacuum, the greater and longer the freshness.

                          2. If you already have a Foodsaver (or equivalent) and don't want to waste space or money with the mason jar adapters, you can get this:

                            http://www.universaljarsealer.com/

                            This guy makes an adapter that allows you to use the pump'n seal type jar lid seal tabs with the vacuum tube from the Foodsaver. Now you can use any jar, not just standard Mason, and seal with as much vacuum as your device provides - and no hand pumping!

                            Also, it turns out that the adapter is perfectly sized to fit the wine vacuum sealer from Sommelier (and similar units) - another hand pump you can get rid of!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: applehome

                              Applehome - the link you posted for the universal jar sealer appears to now be a domain up for sale (nothing there that looks like an adapter to use the Foodsaver with the pump-n-seal tabs). Got any ideas where the guy who makes the adapter went or some product name I can use to google it? Thanks.

                              1. re: CampfireDan

                                I'm looking into it. He had sent an address/phone # with the shipment and I am looking for it. He also had an eBay site - and I'm looking for that as well. I'll tell you what I find out as soon as I can.

                                1. re: CampfireDan

                                  Not very good news, I'm afraid.

                                  He did answer my initial query on eBay and said that it will be "at least 3 months" before he can offer more - some parts apparently need to be manufactured. He did not say whether or not he would have his URL back at that time. His eBay site is incomplete - I'm sure he was linking his web page. But he did answer my message.

                                  http://cgi3.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...

                                  Note that the seals themselves are identical to what's sold with the pump'n seal so if you need refills, just buy the refills from one of those vendors:

                                  http://www.pump-n-seal.com/

                                  I do really think that this is a useful product. Since I keep my Tilia on the counter all the time, it's very convenient to just plug in the hose and the device and reseal the jars as I need to. I did buy the pump'n seal so that's how I know about the seals. I keep it in the RV.

                              2. Just read through the whole post and didn't see an answer to the question re: the bags. I'm looking for an inexpensive way to vacuum seal individual servings of leftovers (i.e. soups/stews, vegetables, pastas). Do you believe this product would work for this effectively or should I upgrade to something else?

                                1. The pump n seal works fine with the tabs on jars. As long as you're willing to use jars to seal your leftovers, it should be a perfect fit. They give you a small hard plastic tube which you are supposed to use on zip-lock type bags, but it isn't nearly as effective as a Foodsaver. If you want to use bags, and to be able to freeze without freezer burn for months at a time, I would recommend the Foodsaver. Here is another recent post where we discussed the Foodsaver bags:

                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/355106

                                  BTW - do not bother with other brands of vacuum machines, like Black and Decker. The Tilia Foodsaver is most definitely in a class of its own for home use.

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: applehome

                                    Looks like it has been a while since anyone posted to this thread, but I wanted to second the thoughts above about Pump'N'Seal vs. Foodsaver. I broke down and ordered both. I am in my 30 day trial period and am really torn. The Pump'N'Seal does an excellent job of sealing ANY glass jar - don't even have to use Mason jars, but does a mediocre job at sealing plastic bags. You have to squeeze the zipper part of the bag around a tiny tube - so the seal and vacuum level is only as good as you can squeeze and fill any cracks between zipper and tube. The Foodsaver obviously seals bags extremely well. I found the Foodsaver's vacuum ability for the enclosed canisters to be good, but not as strong as the Pump'N'Seal. However, the price difference is also considerable - $33 for Pump'N'Seal vs. $150 for Foodsaver (model 2480 I think) + more expenses down the road for bags. My dilemma is - is the extra sealing power of the Foodsaver - for bags only - worth $120? It is also a pretty huge appliance for what it does and takes up a lot of room on the counter....yet if I put it away I am afraid I won't use it as much as I should (for that price especially!) I would definitely recommend the Pump'N'Seal for anyone on a budget or anyone who is committed to using reusable materials (glass vs. plastic) or anyone who wants a sealing appliance that doesn't require electricity (camping, etc).

                                    1. re: etgif

                                      You can get a mason jar sealing attachment for the FoodSaver for $10. They make one for both regular and wide-mouth. Price aside, it gives you the best of both worlds.
                                      You could also maybe get the Pump N Seal for sealing your mason jars, plus the Reynolds Handi-Vac (~$10) for the occasions that you need a bag. That might be a good balance especially for the price, and both are easier to store.

                                      1. re: jzerocsk

                                        The benefit to those little tabs with the pumpnseal is that it works on any bottle - jelly jars, pickle jars... whatever. I never used to go through my bottle of Taramasalata before it went bad, but with the little tabs, no problem - it lasts for a long, long time. With the Foodsaver mason jar adapters, I'd have to remove all the spread from the original jar and put it in a standard mason jar.

                                        This is moot for the moment since the guy isn't selling any more for now, but the universal jar sealer adapter that lets me use the foodsaver on those little tabs not only let me use any jar, but it keeps me from having to keep the pumpnseal around, plus I don't have to bother storing those two huge mason jar adapters in the drawers. I use it every day. (See my post and following items above, from 12/8/2006.) I'll stay on top of this guy's situation and repost here (on a new thread) when I hear that he's back to selling the product.

                                        Bagwise, I think there's plenty of testimony on this site about the Tilia Foodsaver. I can't imagine the Reynolds working anywhere near as well - but perhaps it's worth the short change. Has anybody used it and can they share their thoughts?

                                        1. re: applehome

                                          My daughter has one and I haven't seen much good come from it. It just does not take all of the air out of the bag. She was packaging several steaks to freeze the other night and it took forever for the air to come out and was never completely out. From watching her and knowing that it takes special bags, I would not recommend it at all.

                                          1. re: TONYSBABE4

                                            That's unusual for a Tilia Foodsaver. My bags are absolutely vacuumed tight, and stay so in the freezer for months. She may not be using it right. The professional quality rolls/bags are really necessary if you want good results, especially in the freezer. My experience, for a short time, with a cheap black and Decker was horrible - it did nothing right - the bags it came with weren't evne usable on the Tilia when I got a new Tilia. There are other commercial quality rolls that are available, especially on e-bay, but I haven't found the prices to be much lower than the foodsaver ones. I would say that buying at Costco & BJ's, and having an 18 cu ft freezer, I have saved more by using the foodsaver, buying in bulk and freezing, including the bag/roll costs. Over the years, my family of 5 have eaten better and had a better selection to choose from on any given night thanks to the foodsaver.

                                            I would recommend a search on this site to get other opinions - Foodsavers and pump'n'seals have been talked about extensively over the years. Here's one:

                                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/285933

                                            1. re: applehome

                                              I think Tonysbabe4 was talking about the Handi-Vac.

                                              1. re: jzerocsk

                                                duh... you're probably right, I asked for comments on the reynold's . Sorry about that tonysbabe4. But I thought that the reynolds advertises that it works with any bag.

                                            2. re: TONYSBABE4

                                              I have a Food Saver. We have no problems saving foods in bags. I recently ordered the universal lid set, hoping to seal rice and other things in mason jars. It will not work. I have read every article I can find on how to make it work. I heated the lids to a boil, removed from heat and let set 10 min. I used two lids. I used the ring and lid and it with just the lid. It will not seal. Do you think I am using the wrong attachment? I having been using the universal lid which comes in a set of two. I went back today and ordered a "standard" lid hoping it will be differenct. Any advice anyone?

                                              1. re: neudawn

                                                AFAIK the universal lid set is strictly for using on jars and cans in lieu of any top - just use directly, and it stays on for the duration. They're universal because they work on any flat top. they would work on mason jars as well, but not with the mason jar tops.

                                                You have to use the wide mouth or standard mason jar sealer units to seal mason jars. Unlike the universal, these seal the standard mason jar tops on, then you remove the jar sealer and the mason jar tops stay sealed.

                                                The universal sealer I spoke of above is a totally non-Tilia product made by an individual. He has apparently stopped making them, which is unfortunate, because I think it works much better than the Tilia widemouth or standard mason jar sealer. It just uses the same little tabs as the pump 'n seal, and what this guy used to make is a small cap adapter that fits over the tab and hooks onto the clear hose from the foodsaver unit. He mentioned that his supplier had gone and he was looking for another one - if he succeeds, I'll publish the info here because I still think it's superior to the Tilia solution.

                                                1. re: applehome

                                                  Do you have a picture of what he was selling? I have an idea, but I need to know if I'm on the right track or not...and find where I put the stuff I bought-lol. I love my food Saver and couldn't imagine not having one in my kitchen.

                                    2. I'm thinking seriously about getting a Foodsaver. I'm tired of freezer burn on food and now with the price of everything. I don't think I can go wrong.

                                      1. Chow's 'puters aren't doing well right now so I will post this way. with all the replies to this post, there was one that mention one unit that will do a ziplock bag, but it isn't effective because you put the tube in the bag and zip most way, and then suck the airout, but it lets some back in .

                                        Okay

                                        you can make a vacum bag vice , with a larger ziplock, then put the smaller one with food, init flat al the excess air out and zipped say 89%, ad a stretched out dobie pad like mesh in the big bag so it sits on the smaller on and up to the evacution point of the big bag(this allows the bags NOT to vacumn seal to each other stopping the full evacution. Then you evacuate the larger bag, this will evacuate the smaller on inside since it is in a vacumn, then simple finish pushing down the zip lock bag, right through the bigger bag , stop pulling vacumn and take out bag. If you put a check valve in the system on the big bag, cut the vacumn before final zip. then release the vacumn on big bag.

                                        This is not my idea, but I read it elsewhere, thought it was rather elegant answer to a problem and felt all should see it. vacumn bagging to make laminated items is OLD HAT and the moving over to this place is a natural. You can even make your own pumps if you like.

                                        here is the post I was reading in the line of answers that answers the above thread

                                        The pump n seal works fine with the tabs on jars. As long as you're willing to use jars to seal your leftovers, it should be a perfect fit. They give you a small hard plastic tube which you are supposed to use on zip-lock type bags, but it isn't nearly as effective as a Foodsaver. If you want to use bags, and to be able to freeze without freezer burn for months at a time, I would recommend the Foodsaver. Here is another recent post where we discussed the Foodsaver bags:

                                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/355106

                                        BTW - do not bother with other brands of vacuum machines, like Black and Decker. The Tilia Foodsaver is most definitely in a class of its own for home use.

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                                        applehome Jan 01, 2007 10:46AM

                                        I will be happy to post a list of urls from instructables I am compiling, and anyone intersted in vacu-freezing might want to take a few hours on a rainy day with a fine Darjeeling or a Merlot, or a nice smoky scotch and read them all.

                                        Hopefully I will figure out how to get back here to see the replies.

                                        sparkie

                                        Ps I own NO vacum sealers etc. I want the thing for another purpose, BUT i cook at least 7 real means a week, (MR MOM), and I always wanted a seal a meal etc. They are too expensive to use. But using mason jars would be doable and a homemade vacum pump is pretty cheap, 20 schadoles! You could make a nice one for bagging out of a bicycle pump and a few parts, if it needs to be electric, (for most I would think), you could make one with a car tire inflator of the right size. Has to be a good one, not a crapper though, or it will croak fast. Pumps generate lotsa heat and can die fast.

                                        I checked the Pump seal site and see the thing, but what does one use for the home brewed seals? electrical tape and what?

                                        have a geat day all

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: sparkie

                                          Has anyone tried the ziploc pump n seal with a mason jar sealer attachment from foodsaver or the rival seal a meal cap sealer? Are they compatible? What about the reynolds electric pump? I tried making homemade tabs and puncturing lids with no success. I was thinking about trying the mason jar sealer attachment, but hoped someone had both and could let me know if it would work. Thanks!

                                          1. re: meonline

                                            I have the reynolds handi vac and it works great with the tabs for the pump n seal. I had the mason jar sealer attachments (reg and wide mouth) for the food saver and they never worked for me. I looked at the instructions for the ziploc pump n seal and I don't think I would by one, seems to flimsy. I too have made tabs with mixed results. I would recommend the pump n seal and just order extra tabs.

                                            1. re: viki5

                                              i have the ziploc pump n seal and it is not flimsy, it creates a strong vacuum, i am pretty sure its the tabs that are the problem, but i would like to use mason jars too and was really wondering if the mason jar sealer would work with the pump n seal or handivac
                                              did you ever try those two together?

                                              1. re: meonline

                                                Used my mity-vac vacuum pump and gage to test both the pump and seal and the Reynolds handi vac. Pump and seal pulled 15 inches of mercury, handi vac 25 inches of mercury. Used pump and seal jar seals, the tape things, on mason jars and the handi vac to pull a vacuum. Seems to work fine. The mity-vac will pull 28 inches of mercury so the handi vac does a very good job. I am using it to dry out rock chips for windshield repairs, I call it the leach. (I use a separate one for that)