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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, the time has come for me to seriously consider some sort of vacuum packing system. Not really up for spending 5-700 on a big chamber sealer but wondering if a 100-150 Foodsaver or some other system would be worth it for basic kitchen use. Mostly fish or buying large cuts of meat and breaking them down to portions myself. Won't be doing 1/2 a beefer or anything like that.

I'd be interested to hear what folks on the board are using.
 

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The purchase of a vacuum packer requires a few criteria:
1. How long do you intend to preserve it.
The thicker the bag is the longer it preserves and don’t get damaged as easy in the freezer. The less expensive machine can’t seal the thick bags properly. Plus the packer is low in price, but be sure to check out the cost of additional bags. If your only going to want to preserve for a couple months ziploc bags are more cost effective.
2. The low cost units do not work well if there any fluid like in prepared food, preserving garden produce and peeled fruit. I also use my unit for marinating cuts of meat prior to roasting or BBGing
3. Some units will only use bags that are precut to a specific size. One that will work with a roll is much more versatile to use.

I got a commercial unit from Cabelas probably 15 years ago for $250 if I remember correctly. I get the top of line commercial bags in a roll online and that comes out as a 1/3 of the Wal-Mart bags are. The roll from Cabela’s is more but still less than Wal-Matt. The rolls last me a couple years and probably make 100 bags a year with deer processing, garden produce and fruit. The roll is

I have found venison sausage in the freezer that was 3 years old and just as fresh as the day it was package. I’m very pleased with my unit.
 

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You won't go wrong buying a vac unit I agree with TF. I have sealed fresh meat by putting it in the freezer for one hour then sealing to keep the blood from preventing the seal. Good luck shopping. Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Storage time, I'd say perhaps 1 to 1 1/2 years. I have a small chest type freezer that most of the newly bagged stuff goes in and as we need things, it comes back upstairs to the freezer compartment of the fridge unit. Once it comes back upstairs we usually use it within a couple of weeks. Things like excess burger when we buy a family pack simply gets put in a ziplock and tossed in the kitchen freezer and used fairly quickly. Costco has a unit going on sale next week that might be a good starting point for us.
 

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I bought a top of the line food saver 20 years ago when I worked at Gander Mtn. Still works today, hardly any issues and they have great customer service. It will do all you need. Stay away from cheap knock offs. For fish, lay the fillets out on a cookie sheet to dry and even put in the freezer a little to stiffen up. If there's moisture you'll suck it thru and it won't seal right. Use the correct bags. Cheaper bags just don't cut it.
 

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We are on third vacume sealer= buy a good one. We buy a lot of value packs of chicken and pork as well as vacuming 2-8 critters a year. We also freeze a few leftovers for later use. There are five freezers....2 will be empty in July and August..
I found deer steaks from 2015 last weekend that were as good as when i peeled them off the deer, as long as you get a good seal it will last much longer than most think!
 

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My wife runs two of the $100/150 food savers when we are cutting meat and they hold up pretty decent. Last year we put up 3 elk, 2 antelope, a deer, 50 pounds of venison bacon, and several pounds (50?) of various sausages. That's a pretty typical September/October. We don't put up much fish, I usually smoke it or grill it as fast as we get them cleaned. Add all the chicken, turkey, and pork we buy on sale and they definitely are worth the money.
 
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