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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago member @Huh? What? posted about finding a fairly expensive vacuum sealer at 1/2 price at his Tractor Supply store. I checked one of my local TS stores and also found this item clearance priced at $50.00 below what the yellow tag indicated. I really didn't need it, but I bought it. If you hunt, or fish, or process your on livestock, garden, crack pecan & walnuts, etc this might be something you can use. I've even sealed up some ammo with my old one.
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I've had a large Food Saver brand vacuum sealer for many years. It didn't cost any where near what that one does even for the discounted price.
I have bagged many game animals with it,and still do. I buy the big rolls that you just cut to size for whatever you need.
 

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Complete noob question, here-

A relative recently suggested I get a vacuum sealer. Said it keeps food from freezer burn, saves space in freezers, etc.

Do these things work that well? Is it worth transferring meats from the store pack to the vacuum bags?

Again, total noob question, so apologies if it's ridiculous.
 

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Complete noob question, here-

A relative recently suggested I get a vacuum sealer. Said it keeps food from freezer burn, saves space in freezers, etc.

Do these things work that well? Is it worth transferring meats from the store pack to the vacuum bags?

Again, total noob question, so apologies if it's ridiculous.

They work well. In most cases it is worth transferring from store packages. especially if you buy in bulk and put a bunch in the freezer for later use.
 

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Complete noob question, here-

A relative recently suggested I get a vacuum sealer. Said it keeps food from freezer burn, saves space in freezers, etc.

Do these things work that well? Is it worth transferring meats from the store pack to the vacuum bags?

Again, total noob question, so apologies if it's ridiculous.
Works very well. All of my fish, game and store bought meats get vac sealed and the storage time is increased substantially. I also purchase blocks of cheese in bulk, cut into 2 pound chunks and freeze. A trick to use for food that may crush or pull juice out is to hard freeze first, then vac seal so the finished item is form fitting and takes up little space. Oh...and when I make pasta sauce, I cook a few gallons at a time. When its done, I allow it to cool and fill gallon size bags... each bag is put flat on a cutting board while the open end is in the machine... I manually push the air out and then use the seal function only, then freeze the bags flat - - - the entire batch stacks perfectly and saves freezer space. Also, you can boil the bags... Which means you can reheat items straight from the freezer in the bag, like the pasta sauce I mentioned. When hot, just cut open the bag and pour out - - easy cleanup!

Plus there is a host of other things that a vac sealer can be used for... First aid supplies, spare clothes to keep in your vehicle...use your imagination!
 

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Works very well. All of my fish, game and store bought meats get vac sealed and the storage time is increased substantially. I also purchase blocks of cheese in bulk, cut into 2 pound chunks and freeze. A trick to use for food that may crush or pull juice out is to hard freeze first, then vac seal so the finished item is form fitting and takes up little space. Oh...and when I make pasta sauce, I cook a few gallons at a time. When its done, I allow it to cool and fill gallon size bags... each bag is put flat on a cutting board while the open end is in the machine... I manually push the air out and then use the seal function only, then freeze the bags flat - - - the entire batch stacks perfectly and saves freezer space. Also, you can boil the bags... Which means you can reheat items straight from the freezer in the bag, like the pasta sauce I mentioned. When hot, just cut open the bag and pour out - - easy cleanup!

Plus there is a host of other things that a vac sealer can be used for... First aid supplies, spare clothes to keep in your vehicle...use your imagination!
Thank you, Mindy. That's the input I was looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Jaison, they are a very good household appliance. I'll mention also that you do not need to spend this much money to get a very serviceable unit. I have currently been using a very inexpensive Ziploc brand that does a perfectly adequate job and it easily handle the bags that are 11" wide. This new one is 14" wide. I age the whole cryovac packaged rib eyes and strip loins in my fridge for about 45 days at around 40° F to 42° F and then cut them into several awesome steaks, vacuum them, and freeze them. The meat that grocers have already cut into steaks I'm not going age them; I'll either use immediately or immediately vacuum pack and freeze so that they do not freezer burn. Be sure your hands, gloves, knives, cutting boards, work surfaces are uber clean and germ free. When I'm doing thatI keep one sink filled with hot soapy bleach water and the other one has hot water running slowly so that I can quickly sanitize and rinse a cutting board, knife, etc.

Of course you can do that with game that you've taken so that it'll keep much longer without freezer burning, Same thing for fish; dress it, vacuum pack, and freeze it. You can do garden veggies too although some of those do need blanched. Blanching and vacuum packing stuff like that is far less time consuming and much less labor intensive than canning too. And this way it's almost like fresh picked instead of canned.

You can also vacuum pack ammo and stuff like that too.
And yes, Mindy and Huh? What? gave you good advice.
 

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They work well. In most cases it is worth transferring from store packages. especially if you buy in bulk and put a bunch in the freezer for later use.
Not where I live! I transfer from the flat package only if needed (rarely). The package has an excellent label already, just put it in the closest fitting vacuum bag with slits in the cover and seal it.


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First pack session with it today. 2 pork tenderloins (total weight 13.5 pounds) sliced and packed, 12 pounds ground beef in 1-lb. packages, A spiral sliced ham broken down and packed (5 x 1-lb. packages of slices, 2 x 2-lb. packages of chunks plus a bone for soup.), and a 9-lb. pork belly broken into thirds curing into bacon.

I will tell you this, it is considerably faster than the Food Saver I had. And not a single bad seal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will tell you this, it is considerably faster than the Food Saver I had. And not a single bad seal.
That is good to know. My Ziploc would occasionally be a little slow at getting one sealed or sometimes after I finished and was putting them in the freezer I would notice that one was no longer vacuumed down like it should be and I would have to do it over. But hey, that rascal was only about $30 or something like that on Amazon so I'm not disappointed in the job that it does at that price point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ChaZam: Sir; my curiosty:). Y'awl did excellent shopping :)

Amazon
LEM Products 1253 MaxVac 500 Vacuum Sealer with Bag Holder & Cutter
by LEM
70 ratings
| 26 answered questions



List Price: $299.99
Price: $223.99 & FREE Shipping. Details & Get $10 off instantly: Pay $223.99$213.99 upon approval for the Amazon Store Card. No annual fee.
Yes sir Craig, after Huh? What? posted about Tractor Supply in Arizona having them at that $149.99 price I started looking at other sources and nobody else was even close to that price. So then the other day I made up my mind that if a local TS had them at that price I was going to buy one, although in the big picture I really don't need it. As I frequently say though, "Need Is Frequently Consumed By Want"...
And PS: the store personel where unaware that the actual price was $50.00 below what they had it tagged at...
 

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I was reluctant to spend $300 on a vacuum packer, but $150 for a $300 unit? I can do that! I vacuum pack a lot of stuff. Especially when I'm curing meat, or doing sous vide. A good vacuum and seal is important.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Not where I live! I transfer from the flat package only if needed (rarely). The package has an excellent label already, just put it in the closest fitting vacuum bag with slits in the cover and seal it.


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That is a good idea. Puncturing a hole in the store package so it can pull a vacuum easily and sealing it in a genuine vacuum for long term storage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
A little update on this LEM 500. It's quite a machine based on my limited experience. Occasionally I buy the 10 pound rolls of ground beef at Sam's and then I cut them into approximately 1 pound packages and freeze them. So I had used it to package one of those plus a whole rib eye that I aged and cut into steaks. Not too long ago I took a friend of mine with me to Sam's so she could grab a couple things and she noticed that the 80/20% rolls of ground beef were $1.92 per pound. She grabbed 3 for her family and I bought 2 for myself. I bought another cryovac packaged strip loin to toss in the bottom of my fridge to age for a month or more since the one I had down there at the time was ready to cut into steaks, vacuum pack, and freeze. When she and I got back to my place we proceeded to cut some bags to size and sealed one end. Then as she began cutting the strip loin into steaks and the ground beef into 1 pound chunks I proceeded to doing the vacuum packing. In roughly 20 or 30 minutes we had 14 steaks and 47 packages of ground beef packaged, The only snafu we had was with one bag that was from the end of a roll and it was ever so slightly too short, and that isn't the machines fault.

About a week before that I took it to a friend's house to help him package a deer and a feral hog that he got on a trip between Sabinal and Utopia, Texas. Some of it was ground, some chops, some roasts, and some he made into summer sausage. So my machine successfully handle all of that too. It's quite a bit more machine than a low volume user like me needs, but I'm glad I bought it.
EDIT: And what prompted me to update was that I cooked a 10.5 lb. shank half of a ham.. I sliced it up and kept me a small amount of it out and vacuum packed the rest. That was just 4 small packages roughly 1.5 pounds probably. And the big bone with lots of meat still attached is simmering in a pot of pinto beans even as we speak. LOL
 
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