Vacuum sealer recommendation

Sam, I don’t know what specifically you’re asking for, so here is the way we do it. We have a pressure canner with a ‘bobber’, not a pressure gauge. The bobber has two extra weighted rings for different pressure settings at 5lb increments. We always pressure can at 10lb, so we add one ring to the bobber. I prefer the bobber, as you don’t have to worry about having to have a pressure gauge calibrated. Plus, you can hear it venting a bit of steam, when it’s processing, which is good feedback. To me, anyways.

We follow the raw pack instructions for boneless meat. We cube up the raw chicken, put it into a quart jar, leaving about an inch headspace from the top, add a teaspoon of salt on the meat, and ladle hot water into the jar, up to an inch from the top. Some say if you’re cold packing you don’t need to add water, as the meat will provide its own broth. But we just add water anyways, it doesn’t really matter.

Then we take a wood spatula, poke down thru the meat to remove any air bubbles. Then place a sanitized lid on top of the jar, then the ring, at about fingertip tight.

We then put all the jars into the canner, which will have about 3-4 inches of water in it, seal the lid, and turn on the heat. We wait for the heat to build up until we get a consistent stream of steam out the vent hole. When we get that stream, we let it vent for ten minutes. After that we put our weighted bobber on the vent pipe, and wait until the bobber starts to wobble slowly back and forth. When it does that, we let it process for 90 minutes. If there’s any bone in the meat, the cooking time is 75 minutes.

After the time is up, turn off the heat, and give the canner time to depressurize, usually about 45 minutes. We wait until the pressure lock drops down, which usually happens in half an hour. Then we carefully unseal the lid, and take out the hot jars with a jar grabber and let them cool off. We listen for the lids to make that ‘pop’ sound which means they’re sealed. If they don’t seal, you can re-process them, but if that happens to us, we just put it the fridge, and eat it within a day or so. We let the sealed jars sit and cool overnight, and check to see if their properly sealed. Then they’re cleaned off, the lids are labelled and we put em up.

I imagine you prob already know how to can, but I just wanted to show how we did it.


LOL, I did not intend for you to have to type all that out. Sorry about that. Your way of canning chicken is almost identical to the recipe for raw packing in the Ball cookbook that I mentioned.

My Presto canner has got that weighted bobber too - would not be without it. Thanks.

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Yeah, I do have the Blue Book, and I was kind of going by that as I was typing all that. I should’ve just asked what you wanted to know, but I like to be detailed, and like to type, I suppose. Plus, I was getting bored after watching so much football today. We use that book or the instruction book that came with the canner. They’re close enough in the details.

Yes, all those instructions were for quarts. The processing time for bone-in poultry, and/or pints is less.

We have a Presto canner, I’ve forgotten how many quarts, maybe 17? It’s not big enough to do water bathing of quarts, just pints. We use an old 22qt canner for water bathing quarts. It was an old canner of my mother in law’s. It didn’t have a bobber or a lid seal, so we only use it for water bathing. But, my wife found a bobber for it recently, so all we need now is a seal, and we can pressure can with it!

If you haven’t seen it, I started a thread on here a while back inviting folks to show what we or others have canned.


That Foodsaver at WM you mentioned is just a basic sealer. Like you I didn’t want a real fancy one, just something to do the job. The more expensive ones are automatic, hold the roll inside, etc. I didn’t want the auto, I read some reviews of some folks having trouble with it sealing properly.

Yes, I have seen that thread. Been intending on taking pictures some of my canning but never got around to it partially because I am hesitate to take the canned jars out of my pantry for fear of dropping them. I dropped a jar of Salsa just yesterday.

I use a sealer and bags from call Lisa 661-3332-5631 She gives me 10% off. We buy bags 600 at a time always good stuff.

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Thanks everyone for your information. I have a vacuum sealer, but I dislike all the wasted plastic I use with my bag type vacuum sealer. @JustAnne4 has provided me with the incentive to try the mason jar type vacuum sealers. I do love my mason jars. This is somewhat off topic, has anyone ever tried one of these?:
Best jerky ever! It’s not like eating a doggy chew toy. Grinding the the meat makes a much more palatable product. I’ve got people begging me to make them jerky.


That jerky cannon is interesting, isn’t it! Thanks for the link, I wonder if Bass Pro sells it.

I made some deer jerky last year using the oven method with Hi-mountain seasoning. That stuff is too good.

I get that too. When my wife uses the Foodsaver, it looks like half of the plastic isn’t used at all. Seems very wasteful. But it does seem to be a good idea compared to just a freezer bag.

Oxygen absorbers ,placed in a mason jar , Mylar bag, PET bottle,etc, sealed,
Sucks the oxygen out .creating a vacuum.
This is how they pack those 20yr. Shelf life survival rations.
Also works real well for a few years .
To use with mason jars, put dry goods in ( your jerky , dry apples )
Put the right size oxygen absorber in. Tighten lid and you are done.
Mylar bags are way better ( less permeable to gases ,air )than those poly bags.
Put dry goods in Mylar , right size oxygen absorber, seal with a hot jaw type sealer, good for 20yrs. No vacuum sealer needed. As the absorber packet pulls a vacume inside the bag.
Removing the oxygen keeps things from going rancid . Kills wevels.
This is not the case with a vacume sealer.
Check out sorbentsystems , Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, sealers,
And a “lot” of bags …"…! Great for preppers ,and " normal people too !
Keep in mind once you open the shipping pack of oxygen absorbers ,they should be used immediately. Or resealed in a small container .
Can be bought other places on line, often not packed right ,mishandled ??


I think you can get like a tubular roll ,and make your bags any size you want.
I do , with a hot jaw, and oxy. Abs…
Never used a vacuum sealer , so I don’t know how it would work with that ?

I am intrigued, I will do my research!

Actually yes. I’ve made several kinds of jerky but didn’t wind up eating it so much. Maybe I should get back into it and see if I can find a seasoning I like.

Right, but not the anerobes so we need to make sure the stuff we package is DRY DRY DRY. Sometimes I’ll ‘oven can’ to reduce moisture before putting the O2 packet in.
The O2 packets come with an indicator to tell whether the packets are spent or not. I put mine in a mason jar and vaccuum seal them when I get them.

Dry for sure ,but not to dry.
What I understand is that the oxy. Absorbers are iron and salt
The salt absorbs moisture causing the iron to rust,wich pulls the oxygen out of the air. Creating a vacume .
So dry for sure,but there must be a tiny bit of moisture to activate oxy. Abs.

This info is from the tech guy at sorbant systems. I wanted to buy silica gel packs to put in Mylar bags, with dry goods and oxy absorbers .
He said he did not recommend silica gel with oxy absorber. As it would be to dry. So dry for sure.but ?

While quite low tech compared to all the talk of vacuum sealers, one can get much (but not all) the same results with a soda straw and regular ziplock bags.

Put the food in the bag, put an end of the soda straw in the top and seal the ziplock up to the straw. Then use your mouth to suck the air out of the bag with the straw. And pull the straw and seal quickly (not hard, but it may take a time or two to get it right). Certainly not as good as the vacuum sealers, but you can get a surprising amount of air out of the bag this way. Coupled with O2 absorbers it should be pretty good, and doesn’t require any special equipment.

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