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Dean Pomerleau

Product Recommendation: Vacuum Sealer w/ Mason Jar Attachment

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FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer w/ Wide Mouth Vacuum Jar Attachment

 

[Note: this product is highlighted in a post to the Cool CR Tools thread. This thread here is for discussions of vacuum sealing in general, and questions comments about this product if anyone has any. - Dean]

 

I've got the VacuVin wine saver vacuum pump that Zeta recommends here, and it works fine for sealing bottles, but I find the narrow spouts on bottles to be a pain for storing anything but liquids - like when I used to consume olive oil (replaced with nuts these days).
 
But a better solution for me has been a FoodSaver vacuum sealer with wide mouth mason jar attachment and accessory hose (not shown below). 
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I use the sealer with bags to seal lots of different things like frozen fruits and fresh frozen corn (still on cob) harvested in the summer / fall and frozen so I can consume them throughout the winter. I've got about 50 lbs of wild blackberries  in my freezer now that I harvested at the end of summer from bushes near my house. I expect them to last me until next summer's crop! I also seal frozen fruit I buy at Costco in bulk since everything keeps much better and never get freezer burn when sealed in vacuum bags then it does in the bags the frozen fruit comes in.
 
I don't eat bread myself, but I buy it for my family and when it is on sale I buy several loaves, freeze all but one, and then vacuum seal the loaves in bags and pop them in the freezer. Once frozen they can be sealed without getting crushed. Then I never have to worry about my family running out of bread before the next shopping trip.

 

As a consumable, the vacuum bags are a bit of a pain, but they aren't expensive if you buy them by the 50' x 11.5" wide roll rather than individually, and I often rinse them out and reuse them (stingy curmudgeon that I am :)xyz ).
 
The mason jar attachment (with hose adapter - which should be included but they sell separately...) is key for me to get the full value from the sealer. I only buy the wide mouth jars (which are the most common canning jars you see). You can buy large, wide mouth mason jars on Amazon (here is the link), but you may be able to get them for less locally.
 
What do I seal in the jars? Lots of things. Coffee beans, all kinds of teas, nuts (although I keep most of them in freezer), dried herbs (homegrown and store bought). One interesting thing to seal in mason jars is peeled garlic. You can buy peeled garlic cloves quite cheaply at the grocery store, often for less than the cost per lb of unpeeled garlic, which is crazy. The problem is that it is only sold in large amounts (e.g. 8oz), and since it is peeled, it doesn't normally stay fresh very long, so you end up throwing a lot of it out. But sealed in a mason jar and stored in the fridge, peeled garlic lasts a month or two without noticeable loss of freshness, and I always have it on hand, without the hassle of having to peel it.
 
So for CR practitioners who are keen on freshness and saving money by buying in bulk, I highly recommend a vacuum sealing system. I've been happy with FoodSaver, but there are several other brands as well. Nesco makes one that is highly rated, and perhaps a little less expensive, but I haven't been able to find a mason jar attachment for it. The adapter hose from the FoodSaver doesn't fit the Nesco sealer.

 

Does anyone else have experience with or novel uses of vacuum sealing systems?
 
--Dean

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Wow, am I grateful for your bringing vacuum sealing to my attention! I realize my food storage strategy has been all wrong.

 

 

As a consumable, the vacuum bags are a bit of a pain, but they aren't expensive if you buy them by the 50' x 11.5" wide roll rather than individually, and I often rinse them out and reuse them (stingy curmudgeon that I am :)xyz ).

 

Doesn't seem stingy at all!

 

Before I buy a vacuum sealer, I'm wondering: what would be the disadvantage of the handheld, much cheaper Foodsaver product? According to Amazon reviews, it works fine (though many people complained about the battery not holding much of a charge, and the impossibility of using the device while it's charging). And it will function with the mason jar attachment. The only disadvantage I can think of is that it will (presumably) function more slowly. But that's a matter of a fraction of a minute.

 

Zeta

 

P.S. Another handheld option: The Waring Pro PVS1000 Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System, which gets far better reviews on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Zeta

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Before I buy a vacuum sealer, I'm wondering: what would be the disadvantage of the handheld, much cheaper Foodsaver product? According to Amazon reviews, it works fine. And it will function with the mason jar attachment. The only disadvantage I can think of is that it will (presumably) function more slowly. But that's a matter of a fraction of a minute.

 

Zeta

 

Zeta,
 
If all you're going to do is seal mason jars and store stuff in the fridge or on the counter, the FreshSaver handheld might work fine.
 
You have to charge it, which I find to be a pain.
 
Plus the bags are custom and more expensive than the standard heat seal bags for the other unit(s).
 
But most of all, it's not designed for storing items in the freezer. From the the FreshSaver FAQ on the FoodSaver website:
 
How is the FoodSaver® FreshSaver® different from my Full Size FoodSaver® Heat Seal Appliance?
 
The FreshSaver® Handheld is small and compact and works great for refrigerator items, such as deli meats and cheeses, that you access everyday. The Vacuum Zipper Bags and Deli Containers are convenient and easy to get in and out of for everyday use.
 
The full-size FoodSaver® appliance is for longer term storage, and works especially well for keeping freezer items protected from freezer burn. It's also great for larger quantities such as items purchased in bulk or on sale.
 
--Dean

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