All About Vacuum Sealing

Finnie

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Do we have a thread with tips on how to get the best use out of vacuum sealers? I couldn’t find one.

I know they get mentioned randomly here and there on various different threads. From what I’ve read, all of you that have them love yours. So for quite a while now I’ve been mulling over the idea of getting one and kind of checking prices on line and in stores. Well, last week I was in a new-to-me thrift shop, and they had this brand new looking Nesco for $5!!! Wow! What better way to trial whether I would like to have one?

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It is the Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer Model VS-12. And the owners manual is dated from 2023 (!) In the sea of vacuum sealer models out there, I was kind of lost figuring out what brand and what price point I should get. Well I looked this one up, and I think it ought to be a very good one.

I’m planning to get as small a package of bags as I can find in case it doesn’t actually work, although the volunteer in the shop said it did. I guess I should go buy some meat or something to test it with. Or maybe I should just practice on stuff that’s already in my freezer?

So does anybody have any tips or advice? What kinds of things do you all seal? Have you found any things that you would avoid sealing? Anything else I should know? Thanks in advance for any discussion we can have!
 

FarmerJamie

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First of all, YAY for Torani syrups! I use mostly the SF versions, I love the peach flavor in teas!

Ours gets a workout when we find deals or dehydrating is in full swing.

We pre-make meat dishes (meat loaves, browned ground beef, meatballs, ham loaves, and individual steaks we cut from whole loins) as we find good sales.
We package in amounts for single meals, and then put in a 2 gallon zip top freezer bag, so like things are all together in one location

We dehydrate a lot of sweet onions. Those, plus dried beans go into half gallon canning jars and sealed with the jar lid attachment.

Finally, for heavy use, we just get the rolls of material and cut to the length we need instead of using the presized bags.

Start with something small and DRY. You can seal liquid things like soup, but it takes a little practice not to make a mess. Think something like a pound of browned, drained, and cooled ground beef.

Happy sealing!

Ours...

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Mini Horses

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Liquids are an issue and even cuts of meat that "seem" dry...it sucks that moisture up & out! Pre or partially freeze that meat. I've even wrapped a cut in press & seal if no time to freeze, put into bag & then pressure sealed.

We think food but, valuable paperwork -- deeds, titles, certificates can be sealed up. Matches. Yep, more than food.

Great find on that unit!!! I have foodsaver units -- :love free from my food demo days!
 

Finnie

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Ha ha, that’s funny about the Torani syrups! I actually dislike the peach one. 😅 It’s going to get thrown away as soon as ant season arrives. The other one will get moved to the fridge unless it’s gone by then. Major battle with ants here every spring through fall. I’ve been loathe to use any chemicals around the foundation of the house with the chickens in the back yard.

That is a good idea to vacuum seal your dehydrated things in jars. Mine has a port for a hose, and it says I can buy a hose separately.
 

Finnie

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Liquids are an issue and even cuts of meat that "seem" dry...it sucks that moisture up & out! Pre or partially freeze that meat. I've even wrapped a cut in press & seal if no time to freeze, put into bag & then pressure sealed.

We think food but, valuable paperwork -- deeds, titles, certificates can be sealed up. Matches. Yep, more than food.

Great find on that unit!!!
Oh, thanks for the tip about liquid. The manual talks about the overflow tray, but here I was thinking I would be careful and not do actual liquid, so my tray would stay clean. 😂
 

FarmerJamie

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Liquids are an issue and even cuts of meat that "seem" dry...it sucks that moisture up & out! Pre or partially freeze that meat. I've even wrapped a cut in press & seal if no time to freeze, put into bag & then pressure sealed.

We think food but, valuable paperwork -- deeds, titles, certificates can be sealed up. Matches. Yep, more than food.

Great find on that unit!!! I have foodsaver units -- :love free from my food demo days!
Paperwork is a great idea
 

murphysranch

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I bought mine used on eBay back in 2010. It works great. I just change the foam seals once in a while.
I vacuum:
cheese - grated, whole, sliced, cubed
raw meat
lunch meat that I buy in bulk and slice
dehydrated veggies
cooked meat
raw rice
bags of flour and sugar
oatmeal and cornmeal
tried noodles when they were cheap - the edges cut the bags too much
spices bought in bulk
never thought about matches or paperwork

I buy rolls at estate sales. If they are good looking and not yellowed, I'll pick them up. I only buy rolls. I also wash the bags. I've been washing out zip bags since the early 80's when they were invented and never had a problem with them or vacuum bags. Of course, if there is a hole, or the bag loses its' seal, its trash.

I don't worry about the wet stuff. I wash out the vacuum narrow tray which has some juice in it, afterwards.
 

murphysranch

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Oh, and I use the port to vacuum lids onto jars. I did find that I need to use two lids inside the smaller jar sealer, else it doesn't pull down the lid strong enuf.
 

Mini Horses

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Mine pulls enough moisture it gets into area to seal, then can't seal. Sometimes a paper towel in bag works.

When I seal something I might use some, not all -- like herbs -- I leave bag a couple inches larger than needed. Cut at seal, take what I want, re seal. Saves a lot of bag use. The zip locks with a suction hole are great for this type re use. 👍 Those bags are $$.

Also...marinate in them. The vac forces marinates into the meats
 

Hinotori

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That's an awesome deal you got. Any vacuum sealer is good if you like it and it works.

I have a Foodsaver gamesaver. Its my second one. First one lasted about 15 years then the latching mechanism gave out.

Sometimes i have to hit seal (not vacuum just the heat) twice because of moisture in the area. Its usually more of an issue when I'm doing something wet like clams.

I seal meat and fish. Extra oxygen absorbers get resealed in a bag when Ive cut open the bag to use some so they stay fresh. I have the jar lid attachments. Dry goods like herbs go into jars and sealed.

I prefer rolls to buying the premade bags for the price. Can find rolls at good price or on sale to make it even better.

So when Im doing a lot of meat I make my bags off the rolls first, label with a sharpie, then go to town. Usually there is a little bit in the drip tray. Mine removes so easy to clean.
 
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