Any recommendations for a vacuum sealer for $200.00 or less? I have been looking at the ones made by Foodsaver at Bass Pro and Walmart. Thanks.
It may depend on what kinds of things you plan to be sealing.
I use mine (small $40 unit) to seal dehydrated foods in mason jars. I also seal spices I make thataway. Mine are left on the counter or at room temp. Kinda looks like this…
Some folks seal up grains for storage or meat and meals in mylar bags to put in the freezer. So that’s a total different application.
That is very very interesting. What is it called and where did you get it?
Yes, I need something that will store dehydrated foods such as dried apples. Also, I need something for storing frozen stuff such as grapes, plums, tomatoes and meats.
A friend lent me his that looked something like this https://www.walmart.com/ip/FoodSaver-GameSaver-Outdoorsman-Vacuum-Sealer/49919061
but maybe not quite as expensive. I used it on some grapes, plums and tomatoes. It worked basically okay. But now I want to buy my own.
Mine looked like this. Very compact. I hide it in the back of my counter out of sight and only the cord shows. That adapter was a pain to use with the mason jar adapters so I cut it off and got a cord adapter and now it looks like this.
Works sooooooo much better. This is all I use it for so it is not as versatile as others may be.
We like our food saver. Did lots of frozen peaches this year.
I use a Food Saver 4800 series. It can vacuum seal both various widths of bags and jars, although with this model I think you have to separately order the piece that sits directly on the jar top. There are settings for either wet or dry bag contents. I think the price was somewhere between $90 and $120 when I bought it, but I don’t recall the exact amount. My original excuse for purchasing this was because I was tired of having my Someone smell up the house, refrigerator, and freezer with fish. That was my excuse, but I had been wanting one, anyway. It solved the problem that really annoyed the rest of us. That alone made purchase worthwhile.
I order the really long rolls of the bagging material through Amazon. The material is much less expensive that way. You can also order it in a variety of widths and material thickness, depending on your intended application.
The appliance is very easy to use. I don’t leave it out on the counter because I have several kitchen appliances that are used almost daily.
Everything MuddyMess said, seconded. I have only had mine for a couple years so I can’t really tell you about long term problems. My FoodSaver also has the hand held option for the sandwich bags and jars. I really like it, but I don’t use it a ton. My favorite application is making a two foot tube, and filling it gradually with small tomatoes, a little at a time.
I would honestly use it more if my dog wasn’t so terrified of it.
For storing food in vacuum bags the cheap Seal a Meal works fine. Costs about $30. No special features, justs pulls the air out of the bag and seals it.
Have not seen that model before. I’ll look closely at it.
I also use a food saver brand sealer but I’ve had mine for YEARS and that model is probably obsolete. Mine was an inexpensive model–prob around $90 at the time. A jar lid sealer came with it and I bought the larger size jar sealer from amazon. I use it a lot for freezing fruits and veggies and seal jars of various things, nuts cornmeal, beans, etc. Some of these jars are kept at room temp and some are stored in the freezer. They can be resealed but you have to use new jar lids when sealing them again. I also buy my bag sealing in long rolls so that I can make the size I need. It really increases the length of time that your food stays good in the freezer. A lot of the things that I freeze I will freeze on trays separate and then bag and seal in the vacuum bags (example: okra, squash, eggplant, fritters, etc.) the bags can be reused if they are large enough but it doesn’t happen often at my house. Thanks Muddy for the tip to buy the bag rolls on amazon!
We got a FM2000 Foodsaver at Walmart on sale for about $80. My wife uses it more than me, but it seems to do a good job. We bought some of the cheaper WM brand bags, b/c the FS brand is so expensive. So, not unexpectedly, the cheaper bags seal fine, but don’t vacuum completely. We may have to go the Amazon route and just get the name brand bags.
We’ve sealed up meats, veggies, and grains with it. It is very handy, and easy to use. I will say we had some issues bagging some chicken pieces, because of the liquid being sucked out, and interfering with the sealing process. That’s about the only problem we’ve had with it. Don’t think we’ve tried to seal anymore meat like that, we will just can it if we have enough of it.
We’re actually thinking if picking up a bunch of boneless chicken breasts and canning it. It’s really cheap at the local store @ $1.69/lb right now.
The solution to that is to partially freeze the chicken before sealing. Then you can retain the liquid without worrying about having it sucked into the sealing area.
I save pressure canning chicken only for very tough old birds. The meat is tenderized in the canning process and works well for soups, or anything where a super soft texture is not a problem. Partially freezing before vacuum sealing will give you much more flexibility for the end use of those breasts.
That’s probably the #1 reason it pays to use these regularly.
I do the same. That helps both to make it easier to pour out a desired portion and make the bags easier to store in whatever freezer space is available.
I’ll keep that suggestion of partially freezing chicken parts in mind before sealing them. Thanks.
We can a lot of meat now, because of frequent power outages. We had one last year in the heat of summer that lasted a full day, came back on for about 2 hours, and then went out for another 7 hours. We had to cook some of our meat because it thawed out.
I said never again, so while we still have some meat in the freezer, we also can a lot when we can get it on the cheap. I looked at that ad again, and it’s actually $1.49/lb, so looks like a chicken run tomorrow!
Since you have frequent outages, have you considered a backup generator for critical needs?
Well, I’ve considered a generator ever since we’ve moved here, but other things have taken priority over that. If I really wanted one installed I’d prefer a whole house setup. We have no natural gas lines available to fuel one, so we’d have to use LP. That entails more logistical issues like getting a tank, getting it hooked up, getting an electrician to install it, etc.
We don’t have as many as I inferred, but when we do have them, they seem to last for many hours. Oddly, we’ve had more in the summers than winters. All these trees on hillsides can wreak havoc on power lines during summer storms. We have learned to cope with lots of battery powered lights, flashlights, spotlights, even use some old fashioned oil lamps. Its kinda fun to fire up the old lamps at night when the power does go out.
Hence the reason we can so much meat, and other things.
Well, we canned 7qt of chicken Wednesday, nice to have another batch of chicken for the cellar. I bought about 15lb, and we had about a pound left over, which we cooked and ate that night. So, about 2lb of meat per quart.
I was talking to my wife about canning vs freezing meats, and she had a good point. If there is a long power outage, the canned chicken or whatever meat, is already cooked. Technically you should be able to eat it straight from the jar, although it’s better heated up.
If the meat’s in the freezer, and you have to cook it, it will take more energy to cook raw cold meat. So, canned food does have its advantages.
Our house we live in is all electric, so our stove is useless in a power outage. But, we have a propane grill if need be to cook with, and we are adding a wood cook stove in the old house.
Here’s hoping we won’t have protracted power outages, but as fragile as our grid is, that is a distinct possibility.
Well, I am really in the same shape as you are in. I would lose a lot in my freezer if I had an extended power outage. Don’t know what all it a generator would entail as far as logistical issues. Always thought those generators just used gas.
Still haven’t pulled the trigger on a vacuum sealer although I did make a trip to the big city. Am leaning on getting the same one you have - FM2000 Foodsaver at Walmart for $72 plus tax. Really don’t think I need one with a bunch of bells and whistles.
Oh, I might add that Sears was having a clearance sell. Only thing I bought was a pair of Wells Lamont work gloves that was marked down six bucks or so.
AND, if you don’t have a power outage, canned chicken is already cooked. Canned meats are MUCH more convenient to use, plus they turn out so tender. Granted, your recipe options are limited (no grillin’ or fryin’) so freeze up some for that, but over the winter, chicken stew or soup with other canned garden veggies can’t be beat!!!
It’s funny I was talking aboot power outages, and we had one this afternoon for about 3 hours. It is very windy today, and I imagine some trees blew over onto some lines. It got to about 90 today, so it got a bit warm in the house, about 85.
About a half hour ago, a storm front blew thru and we’re getting some needed rain. Our fruit trees and what’s left of our veggies really could use some water. I just picked a bunch of mild/medium peppers, and whats left of our tomatoes for tonight’s burgers. Peppers, some green beans, and the sweet potatoes are what’s left.
We happened upon a bunch of spelt flour, so Mrs Dood vaccum sealed that a couple days ago. It’s supposedly has less gluten in it, not that that’s an issue with us.
You have got me interested in canning chicken. I’ve got the Ball Blue book. If you have that book, how close do you follow the recipe on page 101?