Showing posts with label FoodSaver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FoodSaver. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Review of the Foodsaver Vacuum Sealing System

Foodsaver Vacuum Sealing System

Considering the price of food today, it is ridiculous to let it spoil.  It is like throwing your money in the garbage!  If you are like me, you have a lot of good intentions when it comes to the food you buy.  

Such as:

You buy a family sized package of pork chops, thinking how many meals you are going to make with all that meat and when you get home from the store, in a rush as always, you just toss it in the freezer.  Then when you want to make porkchops for dinner, you go to the freezer, only to see six porkchops frozen together in a big lump.  Now you know if you thaw them all, the ones you don't cook will probably spoil before you decide to have them again for dinner, so you just leave them in the freezer and have spaghetti instead.

This same scenario is played again and again over the next few months until that package of porkchop is darkened and dried up with freezer burn.   With regret, you take it out of the freezer and throw it in the trash.

You know this has happened to you, it has happened to all of us!  I cannot count the number of times I have bought large portions, intending to save money by meal planning, only to end up thowing it out.  It either spoils or gets lost in the freezer.  

The day I decided to change this pattern of behavior was the day I cleaned out my chest freezer when we were preparing to move.  I just could not believe the amount of freezer burned meat and other items that were in the bottom of that freezer.  The food that I ended up throwing out could have fed us for a month!.  I said right then and there, no more!!!

After much research and talking to friends, I decided to buy a Foodsaver V4400 Vacuum Sealer.  

Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer

It is their middle of the road sealing machine, not the top end or low end.  I had recently had a dozen meat chickens butchered (we moved out to the country) and I thought this would be a great time to try out our Foodsaver.  With only two of us in the house, those 12 chickens would be in the freezer for a long time and I did not want them freezer burned.

My husband and I sat down and read the directions and found them very clear and easy to understand.  We grouped the chicken pieces how we wanted to freeze them and we were off!  We were both surprised how quick and easy it was to package all that chicken.  While we were at it, we decided to package up some green beans that I had picked and cleaned the day before.  They came out beautifully.  Even after packaging all that, we still did not use up all the bags that came with the machine when we bought it.  We were impressed!

How to Use a Foodsaver Video

In case you are thinking that you only need a vacuum sealer if you raise your own chickens and garden, nothing could be further from the truth.  We also use it for cheese, lunch meat, fruit and many other things that we buy at the grocery store.  It cuts way down on food spoilage.  A block of cheese that is vacuum sealed will not mold for weeks if stored properly.  You can also vacuum seal all kinds of leftovers, from steak to Sweet and Sour Pork.  It will lengthen the shelf life of just about anything in the refrigerator.

As many bags as they did give us with the machine, they did eventually run out.  To buy more, I took a look on Amazon, and found the Foodsaver bags to be pretty pricey. However, there are perfectly good bags of other brands that work well and are less expensive.  The kind I use and like best are Reli Vacuum Sealer Bags.  You get 4 rolls of 8" wide x 50 feet long, so they can be cut to any size.

vacuum seal rolls

While a Foodsaver is not an inexpensive purchase, if you use it, I guarantee that you will save money on food and you will recover the price you paid.  You will also find that your food tastes better when stored properly.  It is definitely worth it.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, June 6, 2022

Reviewing Vacuum Sealing Jars with a FoodSaver Machine

Bad news. All dry foods such as beans, rice, flour, corn meal, and pasta may have been exposed to moths or weevils during processing and packaging at food plants or during shipping. This is how these bugs are able to hitchhike into your home - even if your kitchen is pristine. If you suddenly have tiny beetles in your flour or moths in your bag of beans, it is because the eggs have had time to hatch before you've cooked the item. Yuck! One solution to avoid this is vacuum sealing your dry goods in jars. And the FoodSaver does this.

The FoodSaver machine is fairly well-known. Many people know that it is a machine that vacuum seals food into special plastic bags. When air is removed from food products that food stays fresher longer. And many are aware that vacuum sealed frozen food is at less risk for freezer burn. But not as many people know that Mason jars can be used with the FoodSaver machine to vacuum seal food in jars. 

Important Note: Not all FoodSaver machines have the Accessory Port that is needed to vacuum seal jars. If you are shopping for a FoodSaver machine so you can seal jars, make sure that the machine has the Accessory Port

Jar Sealer Attachments

I purchased a set of the jar sealer attachments. The set included the hose and two jar attachment lids; one wide mouth sized and one regular mouth sized. 

In just a few easy steps, you can seal food into jars:

  • place dry food such as rice, pasta or beans into the Mason jar
  • lay the flat lid on top of the jar
  • press the correct size of jar sealer - wide mouth or regular - over the lid and jar
  • insert the hose into the jar sealer and into the FoodSaver
  • move the FoodSaver lever to the "operate" position
  • press the button for "vacuum"
  • after hearing the vacuuming begin then end, and after the light turns off, move the lever to the open position (releasing the pressure)
  • remove the jar sealer from the jar
  • gently check the lid to test for a seal
  • label the lid with the food item and date
  • I add the ring to help keep the lid secure in case I bump the jar - but I do not screw the ring on tightly
If you are a visual learner, I have prepared a very brief video to show how I seal my jars:

Important Vacuum Sealing Flour Caution

Because flour and similar items are finely ground, the action of the vacuum sealing process can pull the flour into the accessories. So you'll need to use some sort of barrier between the flour and the vacuum sealer.  I have seen some folks use a piece of cloth or paper towel inside the top of the jar when vacuum sealing flour into jars. However, I do not feel that I'd be coordinated enough to insert the cloth correctly. While I MUCH prefer vacuum sealing in jars, flour is the one thing I prefer to use the FoodSaver plastic bags for. I learned to seal using a bag in a bag; the flour in either a clean paper lunch bag or the bag it is packaged in then sealed in the FoodSaver plastic bag.

Why I Vacuum Seal My Food

While living at my last apartment, I had purchased some bulk rice and beans. Because I was feeding only one or two people I did not go through those those bulk items very quickly. One day, I opened the cupboard to find a bag of rice with a swarm of moths inside. It was like a bad scary movie. I did some research and that was when I learned that the eggs of these insects can be present in dry foods before they reach our homes. But I was also living an a metro apartment complex where the exterminators were frequently seen onsite to battle a variety of creepy things. So really, it's hard to tell where my rice infestation came from. But it was disgusting. And I never want it to happen again.

Now I live in my single dwelling home. I do not have to be concerned about what might be living in someone else's home just on the other side of my wall. But I have a new risk for bugs. Rather than purchasing my groceries every day or two in meal-sized portions as I usually did living in a metro area, I now purchase items in bulk. My goal is to go to the store for non-perishable items only once every month or two. But that increases the opportunity for these hitchhiking eggs to hatch.

I LOVE the option of vacuum sealing in jars. I can easily see what I have. Jars are more secure (I have seen videos of people discovering rodents have chewed through plastic tubs used to store their vacuum sealed bags). If I have a large jar of vacuum sealed pasta, I can open the jar and use a very small amount and reseal the jar. 

I would say that I am saving money by buying in bulk but with today's extreme inflation I do not feel as though I am saving money. However, I am protecting the food I have invested a good deal of money in and I am reducing the number of times I need to drive to the store. There have also been times that pasta is not available on the store shelves but I am able to relax knowing that I have a little of my own in a jar at home. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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