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Old 10-14-2016, 02:27 AM   #1
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Vacuum Packing Food

Does you vacuum pack food? I`m thinking meat, proteins, etc, but maybe veg too. From old threads I see some do, but I`d like more info.
We use the freezer if out for several days, but a neighbour says vacuum packed, fridge stored, works for them, he was surprised I use the freezer.
What machine do you use for the process? Any special tips on doing it? How well does it keep? Do you store in fridge or freezer?
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:20 AM   #2
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Bruce, I use my vacuum packer a lot for longer trips, especially for meat poultry etc.
Meat etc is good as it can be stored in the frig for weeks and not go off but I stilllike the freezer and the vacuum bagging prevents freezer burn.
I have a Sunbeam wide unit and love it, do a couple of corned meats before a reef trip and they are good as gold.
I probably don't use it as much as I should and I don't use the vacuum flask/bottle attachment which I think would be very good .
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:18 AM   #3
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Bruce
My wife, Deb, uses vacuum packing for many food items, in particular those stored in the freezer. Since we frequently buy meats and vegetables on the boat when we can and keep them for weeks the vacuum packing seems to eliminate the freezer burn, and seems to keep things fresher.

At home and on the boat Deb uses Food Saver brand units which are sold everywhere in the US.
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Old 10-14-2016, 08:38 AM   #4
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My wife uses the Food Saver. Bought it last spring to use to prep. for our last trips. She found it has a learning curve and there were a few errors in preparation. But it did help in keeping foods in better condition for longer.
No freezer burning, at least for the time we were out, 2 months.

THe stuff was kept in the freezer and fridge, just depending upon what it was and when she thought it would be used. Meat was usually frozen after vac. packing. Even stuff like peanuts were vac. packed; meant there was no large bottle or can to store and then dispose of.

So yes, we made use of it and good use.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:38 AM   #5
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It was probably 15 years ago when we bought a food saver and started saving food, buying in bulk and freezing, etc. Then after we would pull meat out of the freezer it still had freezer burn and there was no vacuum.

I thought about double burning the seal and on each end of the bag I would do a double seal. After a few weeks those would be the same as a ziplock.

We tossed it and several rolls of the bag. Are they any good now?
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:52 AM   #6
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I've had a Food Saver for years...don't know how I ever got along without one...in fact, just replaced my old one. The new ones use a LOT less plastic. A few things I've learned:

You can marinate any meat including chicken before you freeze it. Two days in a ZiplocK the fridge (I keep mine @ 38 F), then transfer to vacuum bag(s) to freeze and vac/seal...in that order. 'Cuz if you freeze wet or juicy items before you vac and seal the bag, the drip tray in the heat sealer stays clean.

I freeze and seal fresh strawberries and peaches in season...also pineapple spears. Lay 'em out on a cookie sheet, freeze, then bag and vac. Strawberries are a big mushy when thawed, but still great for shortcake and ice cream topping. Peach halves and pineapple spears (LOVE both grilled, especially with chicken or pork!) are fine.

The rechargeable hand held "Fresh Saver" (about $17 most places) that uses re-sealable bags is a lot easier to use than the port and cord on the heat sealer...plus it can go with you to let you close and reseal things several times. However, the FoodSaver brand re-sealable bags rarely hold a vacuum the first time they're sealed, much less a 2nd time or beyond. Ziploc brand bags not only cost less, but work a lot better. I buy 'em from Amazon. Resealable bags are great for both frozen and non-frozen items.
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Old 10-14-2016, 09:56 AM   #7
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Vacuum packing is a great way to store foods in the freezer. We have an additional freezer on board so we use Costco and do a lot of meal prep in advance. The other advantage is we Sous Vide most of the protein we eat. Once underway we process and vacuum pack and freeze the fish we catch. The secret is to get a vacuum packer with at least a 1/4 inch sealing bar... If your really into it a vacuum chamber type is the best but very $$$ and bulky...
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:01 AM   #8
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They are also great to store other things.

Spare parts, flares, emergancy supplies in a ditch bag, filters, etc., etc.
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Old 10-14-2016, 11:24 AM   #9
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I am with you Peggy. We use our food saver to pack our fish we catch and many many other things
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:05 PM   #10
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For years, I have been vacuum packing most left overs that I intend to eat, whether they are to be frozen or refrigerated. I keep a freezer full of vac-packed fish and meat on board and find that it is good for over a year without any noticeable deterioration in taste or consistency as compared to recently frozen (nothing really beats never frozen). In that regard, I find that 4mil and 5 mil bags work much better for long term storage than the 3mil bags.

Recently, we have started cooking sous vide and a vacuum packer comes in handy for that.

Our vacuum packer is a VacMaster VP215. In fact, I like it so much, we have one at home and one on the boat. It is a chamber type machine which, unlike the foodsaver/external bag type, allows liquids to be vacuum packed. (With a foodsaver type, even a little liquid will be sucked out with the air, but leaving enough wetness behind to interfere with the seal.) The ability to include liquid is particularly important for sous vide.

Lastly, I vacuum pack lots of parts, spares and tools.
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Old 10-14-2016, 02:44 PM   #11
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We vacuum seal at home and on the boat. We seal meats and vegetables and seal primarily for the freezer. Not only does it keep better, it saves space. We purchase huge quantities.

We also seal nearly every small part you can imagine if they don't come sealed. If they come in a package of more than one and we use one, we seal the remainder.

We also use the huge ziploc bags for clothing and linens and actually use the vacuum to seal those. You save so much space and protect items. You take about half the space to store items and on a boat that is a great savings.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:00 PM   #12
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We use a vacuum seal unit we bought from the German discount chain Lidl.
After the initial learning curve it's turned out to be a great investment for not only food but engine spares.
I lightly spray the parts with WD 40 (or similar), place them carefully in the bag so the sealing surfaces are perfectly clean.
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Old 10-14-2016, 06:54 PM   #13
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I appreciate the replies, thank you all.
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Old 10-14-2016, 07:41 PM   #14
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Like Peggy and others have stated, reduce the fluids as much as possible and clean the sealing area real good prior to sealing. Something we found was by buying in bulk, you package for your needs, reducing waste and can get rid of the store package while close to garbage dumpsters. Nothing worse than that bloody styrofoam and absorbent pad after it sits in a plastic garbage bag for a week.

The Admiral modified a plastic bowl she got from somewhere by cutting off the bottom, it fits inside the opening and helps to prevent juices contacting the sealing area.

We found that if you double seal both ends, the vacuumed lasts longer. When you package fresh fish, pat it down with paper towel, this helps to remove the juice or water, much better seal.

And as for those large vacume seal bags, we use them all the time, wait till you stuff those spare pillows in one and vacume the air out.
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