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Posted: 9/1/2008 5:22:39 AM EDT
I would like your help selecting a vacuum sealer. I want to preserve venison, chicken, bulk food purchases, left overs and possibly store hunting clothes to keep them scent free.

What units are you guys using? Where did you purchase your unit?

Cabelas has a lot of units available but they seem to be very hit and miss in the reviews. You might get a unit that works or you might not.

What other uses am I leaving out?

Thanks so much.

Shane
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 6:39:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2008 6:40:16 AM EDT by Feral]
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 7:42:07 AM EDT
The FoodSaver line appears to be the best of the common units. Even their lower end units are pretty good.

To move up from there you'll need to move up to a commercial unit at a much higher price.
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 7:47:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Feral:
In fact, you probably shouldn't spend that much until you know how much you'll use it.



I agree completely.  Pick up at $70 to $120 unit from Walmart and see if you like it.  If you hate it (within 30 days) take it back.  If you love it.  Keep it until you wear it out and get one of the mongo professional ones.  

R.
Link Posted: 9/1/2008 9:20:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/1/2008 9:20:27 AM EDT by NoStockBikes]
I have the Cabela's CG-15. Damn nice sealer. That said, I don't know that I would have run out and spent $399 for a sealer, but I received it as a gift. It's a heck of a unit. I'm looking forward to using it this fall for deer.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 6:07:22 AM EDT
Great, I really appreciate the sound advice.

I am a little afraid to go the "cheap" route. If I find out the "cheap" one is not adequate and I have to buy a better unit then I have saved nothing.

In 4-5 weeks I will be butchering 24 chickens. Some of them I will leave whole and some will be packaged as legs, thighs etc. Will the $125.00 units handle this 3-4 times a year with the other common kitchen uses?
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 6:51:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/3/2008 6:53:34 AM EDT by NoStockBikes]

Originally Posted By Topper1:
Great, I really appreciate the sound advice.

I am a little afraid to go the "cheap" route. If I find out the "cheap" one is not adequate and I have to buy a better unit then I have saved nothing.

In 4-5 weeks I will be butchering 24 chickens. Some of them I will leave whole and some will be packaged as legs, thighs etc. Will the $125.00 units handle this 3-4 times a year with the other common kitchen uses?


I think you'd probably be fine if you respect the duty cycle. I'd strongly suspect that most unit failures could ultimately trace back to working light duty models too hard. Read the directions closely for any mention of cooling intervals between sealing cycles. I think my CG-15 says to let the sealing strip cool for 30 seconds or something like that between bags. It has a fan that keeps everything else cool.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 9:23:29 AM EDT
My mother has a Presto that I use to pack fish, meats and vegetables with.

Over the years I've probably bagged 300lbs of catfish, 100lbs of veggies, and 3-400lbs of meats that we toss in the big freezer at my house and a smaller one at theirs.  

Works well every time,  you do have to make SURE that you pat down the meats and get all the water off because the vac will suck it up and not seal correctly.


The biggest KEY to getting a good seal is to do multiple seals.  If you notice on the gallon bags they are sealed at the bottom about 1/2 inch long.  When the vac is done running and it seals itself, that seal is just a millimeter or two long.  I follow up with 2-3 more seals after that one should one fail.  To date I haven't had a multiple sealed bag fail.


I'm sure it wasn't the priciest out there or something that's meant to be used every day, but it's good enough to keep my freezer topped off and full of meat for the winter.  It is nice to run to the basement pantry grabbed some canned goods, then run to the deep freeze in the garage and pick out chicken, steak, burgers, chops or fish and not have to leave the house on a cold rainy/snowy day.  I only live a few minutes from the nearest store, so it's not that big of a deal,  I could see a vac sealer and big chest freezer being priceless if I was further from the city and 20-30 minutes from a grocery store.
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 12:59:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 1:12:37 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/3/2008 3:00:02 PM EDT
I just picked up a very basic foodsaver for less then 30.00 on craigslist with some bags :)

Link Posted: 9/3/2008 5:36:39 PM EDT
Remember that most if not ALL food savers will NOT seal Mylar Bags properly.If you have no intention of using Mylar then disreguard what I said.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 1:39:50 PM EDT
Pardon my ignorance but I don't know how a mylar bag differs.
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 4:58:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/4/2008 6:03:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/4/2008 6:04:55 PM EDT by NoStockBikes]
I use mine to do the seal on my mylar stuff, it's plenty hot enough. I put it on the manual cycle w/ a 3 second seal, and just hit it right away. You get a real purdy seam.
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