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Vac Sealers

Who has a vac sealer ? We have a older foodsaver - around 3 years old. While it worked great when it did ( I don't think it was the bag that was pouncturing) but over time, it would lose it's seal sometimes, which defeated the point in them.

I've been tempted to buy another one at this point , but I don't want to waste money if I'm going to have the same issue as prior.

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  1. Disclosure *** I run a video website about food & bev, manufacturers will send product for me to test and use in my videos.****

    The folks at Vac-Sealer sent me a "Vac Sealer Pro 2300" a couple of months ago to test and use on set, at first I thought it was a waste of time... just something else to clutter the counter and storage area. I ended up loving it!

    The bags and unit are industrial strength, not puncture or loss of seal issues, so far.

    You can google and find them pretty easily.

    G.

    1. I bought this foodsaver 2 years ago (and I think I paid a little more)

      http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-T000-...

      No problems yet; after 2 years of pretty heavy use...keeps fish and game fresh for months...with little to no loss in quality.

      I've been very pleased with it. I do have to make sure the bag is inserted properly into the sealing slot...to melt the seal..took a little practice..but no probs since.

      1. Are you reusing the FS bags? I've found they are not as reusable as they advertise- I might get a couple uses, but especially if its freezer bound, I'd rather use a new bag. I save larger used bags to store things like meat grinder attachments, so they don't rust & I don't have to start every new project cleaning the grinder or such. Of course I hit a run of luck last spring, where it seemed like every thrift shop had rolls of FS bags; usually priced around 50cents to $2 per roll. Heck, I even picked up a couple extra FS machines that way and found I absolutely love one of the older models, the 750. I liked it so much, I bought a second one as a spare for $2 & will be selling my 1050 on Ebay one of these days.

        One of the ones I picked up was a Black & Decker sealer that only worked intermittently, at best. A friend of a friend really needed one, so I took a chance and checked the vacuum pump. No wonder it only worked part time- the internal vacuum hose was only partially connected. Talk about an easy 5 minute fix.

        As for bags leaking over time, you may want to try double sealing, sealing with vacuum the first time and then again 1/4" out. Sometimes just a tiny bit of moisture can cause problems with making a solid seal. Also, I'm not sure which model you have, but I know my 1050, which is 8 years, has a switch under the hood, so to speak, to either seal for 3 second or 5 seconds.

        1. I had a FoodSaver for years, and thought well of it, till the gasket wore out. I called to order a replacement and they told me they were back ordered (This is the Tilia folks, not a store). I asked how long, and they told me "at least 4 months." I freaked. I can't believe they didn't have such a basic part that is essentially a consumable. I tossed my FoodSaver and purchased a chamber vac that I just love. Expensive, but great. I do a lot of sous vide cooking and use it frequently, making it a good investment.

          4 Replies
          1. re: UnConundrum

            good golly. I can't even imagine the size or the price of a chamber vac.

            I was using FS bags. For anyone that is into vac sealing, is there truly a difference in the quality of bags out there - whether it be FS or I just pick up a 50ft roll at the local rest. supply house ?

            After having initial sealing issues, I did do double seals and slowly over time, I did come across some bags that were still losing it's seal . Now that I type this, I don't suppose it could be a bag defect ? If I had to take a wild guess, I was buying the bags from Costco

            1. re: chefwong

              Yeah, it was expensive. I think we paid about $1,400 for it !!!! On the other hand, the bags are much cheaper. Having made that kind of investment, I use it for everything. When I make a big pot of stock, I put 1 cup in a bag, seal it and freeze it. Keeps everything nice and organized in the freezer. When I make soups, any leftover goes in a bag and gets sealed. I make a lot of pastas as side dishes, any leftover gets sealed up and frozen. Bulk herbs get stored in a sealed bag.... the list can go on and on. For my use, it was well worth it.

              As to bags, there are very few that will work with the foodsaver, and they're all overpriced. I think the bags for the chamber vac are about 1/3 the cost.

            2. re: UnConundrum

              I too had the gasket wear out, and got 8 months of "any day now" stalling tactics. I finally said "look, why not just admit that you don't carry replacement parts?" They apologized, and since they really were NEVER going to get new gaskets, they sent me a whole new unit. Seems like a wast of their money, but I'm happy.

              1. re: sbp

                They never offered me that option.... so they lost a customer. And to tell the truth, I'm glad in the long run. Just love my chamber vac, and use it all the time. Don't need special bags either.

            3. I'm on my 2nd FS - this one is over 4 years old, the first lasted about 4-5 years. In between I tried a bunch of other brands, (Black & Decker, Seal-a-meal) none of them were as effective - they were all cheaper and weren't worth it - they never had the same vacuum. With the FS, I have so few problems with bags, the percentage of failures is probably in the decimal points. I've used mainly FS bags/rolls, but I did buy some large rolls on ebay that were about 1/2 the price. They were double-sided but only on one side. I had to make sure that I was double sealing these, but once I did so, they worked just fine.

              I use a lot of ball jars for stocks and leftovers, (gallon, 2-qt and qt. - all wide mouth). I use a special adapter that works with the sticky tabs - this lets me vacuum seal any jar. This adapter also perfectly fits my vacuum wine stoppers. Unfortunately, the guy that sold this on eBay is no longer doing so. The ball jar adapters from FS work as well, but aren't universal. My stocks last for weeks in the fridge under vacuum.

              I honestly don't know if the $120 or so for the machine plus the cost of bags over 4 years or more is a good deal. I've never done the math - or even tried to look at what it is actually saving me. And what do I compare it to - zip-lock or glad bags that don't work as well or last as long, or perhaps the inconvenience of making stocks in smaller batches more often, the inconvenience of not having long lasting pre-made meals in the freezer from leftovers or just to plan ahead? Overall, I'd say that the foodsaver and my 18 cu ft freezer enables a whole set of food conveniences that are worth it to me. If this one breaks, I would just buy another.

              1. I have had several FoodSavers over the past 20 years and would not want to be without one. With just the 2 of us buying in bulk doesn't always save money. But w/ our FS, we can buy chicken breasts or pork chops when on sale and individually freeze them. No freezer burn - even on those that got buried in the bottom of the freezer for 2 years. if I think I may have gotten a "wet" seal, I dry off the inside of the remaining bag and double seal it.

                I have found that you get a better chance of a good seal the first time if you freeze the food on a cookie sheet and then put the individually frozen breasts in a bag & seal. an extra step, but worth it.

                Do the brand of bag matter? Yes, IMO. I have used Wal Mart brand bag rolls and found they did not seal as well as FS brand..

                On reusing bags...we sometimes do if they stored veggies, but you should NEVER reuse a bag after it held raw meat, chicken, or fish.

                1. Add jfood to the list of happy FS owners. Last night after a long day and mrs jfood in the city, he came home grabbed some chicken cacciatore from the freezer, into a boiling water bath for 20 minutes then salted the already boiling water and threw in some pasta.

                  With winter approaching it';s time to stock up after making some good stuff on Sundays.

                  Jfood bought in Costco several years ago and is on his fourth or fifth box of replacement bags (also great price at costco).

                  Huge fan of this gadget.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jfood

                    jfood - do you always speak in 3rd person ;-)
                    JK

                    1. re: chefwong

                      Yeah - for about 3 years now... you're just going to have to get used to it like the rest of us...

                  2. I bought the el cheapo Reynolds handi vac for about 8 bucks. For the price, it's great. It does a good job of preventing freezer burn. One downside is that after you've opened and closed the bag a couple of times, the seal doesn't work as well so air gets in. Also the bags are NOT reusable.

                    Other than that, no problems, just not as heavy duty as the big boys.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: coney with everything

                      Actually the reusability issue was discussed in a previous Handi-vac thread. Bottom line. If you use the johnb method, i.e. first put the item in a plain plastic bag (the old style, non-zip kind) then put that in the Vac bag, it comes out clean and you can reuse the Vac bag just fine.

                      This technique also works well when you are just freezing stuff in normal zipper bags.

                      1. re: johnb

                        UnConundrum

                        I am seriously giving it some thought on the vac chamber....I even found a space for it.
                        Weighing out some things...but even got a chance to see the 2300 vac. Worlds above in build quality over my FS 1050

                        Just short of the price for the bags, the ability to seal liquids on the fly - what advantages would you say would one benefit for a vac chamber food vac ? I never did have any quirks with my FS unit, just the fact that seals were being undone over time make me stop using it. And I did do double seals on some as well. AFAIK, if I can recall, most of this stuff was dry items -- non liquidy type foods as well.

                        1. re: chefwong

                          That's hard to say. Powders and liquids are easy answers. BTW, I make all my own stocks, and seal them in 1 cup portions in long narrow bags. They stack really well in the freezer (I have a system folding the excess bag in half, freezing on a cookie sheet, and then standing them on end in a row so the portions are readily available.

                          I know you assumed liquids were an advantage, but think how big that advantage is. I make soups and all kinds of liquids in advance, seal and freeze. I buy spices and nuts in bulk, but you could do that with a foodsaver.

                          Not sure what else to say, but I love mine :)

                          1. re: UnConundrum

                            I was bothered because it seems like I was the only one....so far in this thread discussion that had a dislike for my FS.

                            Just a quick update but just short of the differences between external vs internal vac process, there is also definitely a difference in seal quality. I just compared the seals on the pro 2300 model I tested and also the ones on the old FS 1050. The seal size was about 1/8" inch - maybe even + 1/32" more. This pales in comparison to the seal size on my FS 1050 which was 1/32".

                            1. re: chefwong

                              In fairness, they make a decent product, but they kill you with the bags and I was really put off by the impossibility of getting a gasket.

                              1. re: UnConundrum

                                Does anyone know of a way to hack a 1050 to pull more vacuum? I have started to screw with sous vide but there are visible air pockets in the bags . . . wife and budget are not down with a chamber sealer at this time . . .

                                1. re: hsawtelle

                                  I don't think a few small air pockets would actually ruin a sous vide recipe. It's more about the constant temperature than a "complete" vacuum.

                                  I started doing what is now called sous vide cookery, using a gizmo called a "Smart Pot", back in the eighties. The heat safe plastic bags were not sealed - the bag opening was simply held shut by the appliance cover. I now use sealed bags, but the results aren't especially different.