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Is a vacuum sealer worth the expense?

Cooking for 2 sometimes means a lot of leftovers in the fridge.  Better use would be to freeze some so we don't limit our dinner choices... considering a VS.  I'm guessing that the 'real' expense of a system are the prices of the various size bags.  Am I correct?  

If you have a VS you like, what brand would you recommend?
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Comments

  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 12,909
    Get a cheap manual seal foodsaver. 
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,426
    Foodsaver brand should work well for your needs.  
    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
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  • 500500 Posts: 2,753
    I bought a FoodSaver from Sam's about 3 years ago and it's been a great investment.  Sam's has replacement rolls as well.  Has paid for itself in savings.
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • westernbbqwesternbbq Posts: 2,287
    Yes it is.
  • tarheelmatttarheelmatt Posts: 9,426
    Cooking for 2 sometimes means a lot of leftovers in the fridge.  Better use would be to freeze some so we don't limit our dinner choices... considering a VS.  I'm guessing that the 'real' expense of a system are the prices of the various size bags.  Am I correct?  

    If you have a VS you like, what brand would you recommend?
    Many on here just have a simple one, nothing fancy.  I believe one has been given to many forum members use.  

    It's similar to this one. 

    http://amzn.to/2rdgiLY


    ------------------------------
    Thomasville, NC
    My YouTube Channel
    Facebook
    My Photography Site
  • 500500 Posts: 2,753
    Large BGE; Midlothian, Virginia
    I like Pig Butts and I can not lie.
    "Barbecue is a journey, one meal at a time."
  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 1,997
    I have been happy with the Food Saver brand model that always seems to be on sale at Costco for about $120. It's just two of us here and I would buy again. I bought extra bag rolls on Amazon. It works for a ton of stuff, but for us it paid for itself with just pulled pork leftovers.
    Stillwater, MN
  • dougcranndougcrann Posts: 1,129
    Absolutely.  We have a Vac Master Pro 350, use it frequently.  Smoked cheese, home made BACON. We buy our meats from Cash and Carry...they are a restaurant supplier so everything is in bulk. We got the machine and the rolls from Lisa at https://www.vacuumsealersunlimited.com/#2556
    She has a monthly discount code that saves 10%
  • SciAggieSciAggie Posts: 3,653
    I put off buying one for a long time - now I'll never be without one. So the answer is yes.
    Go ahead and get a sous vide while you have the credit card out...
    Coleman, Texas
    Large BGE & Mini Max for the wok. A few old camp Dutch ovens and a wood fired oven.
    "Bourbon slushies. Sure you can cook on the BGE without them, but why would you?"
                                                                                                                          YukonRon
  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 2,039
    Absolutely. One of the best things is for soups and broths. Freeze them in a plastic container and then slip it out of that into a bag and seal it. 
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • Hans61Hans61 Posts: 3,505
    Yes. Best way to preserve food. Dry freeze on wax paper for a couple hours then food saver and back in the freezer. Tastes as good as never frozen
    “There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.”
    Coach Finstock Teen Wolf
  • SmyrnaGASmyrnaGA Posts: 437
    We have the foodsaver from Costco about 8 years ago and it's still going strong.  There's just the two of us too, so we bag & freeze leftover brisket & pork butt.  We plastic wrap the digital food scale and try to make 1 lb bags after each of those cooks.

    One thing I could not vacuum pack is soft dinner rolls...  Even on the wet/liquid setting, it still flatten the rolls into mini pita breads...  (I was the only one not laughing)

    Large BGE, Small BGE, KJ Jr, and a Cracked Vision Kub.

    in Smyrna GA.


  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 4,701
    I have had the Costco foodsaver for about 3 years now. I couldn't live without it. Definitely a money saver.
                                                                
    _________________________________________________
    Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story!
    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,933
    edited May 2017
    Yes.
    That is all.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • xfire_ATXxfire_ATX Posts: 563
    Cooking for 2 sometimes means a lot of leftovers in the fridge.  Better use would be to freeze some so we don't limit our dinner choices... considering a VS.  I'm guessing that the 'real' expense of a system are the prices of the various size bags.  Am I correct?  

    If you have a VS you like, what brand would you recommend?
    Many on here just have a simple one, nothing fancy.  I believe one has been given to many forum members use.  

    It's similar to this one. 

    http://amzn.to/2rdgiLY


    My wife picked that exact one up for free somewhere in the neighborhood.  Spent a decent amount on an assortment box from Costco and I am now a food saver.

    Why- because I now make two chickens.  I eat a half and freeze (3) halves for later.  We now by 8 packs of pork chops, hamburgers whatever from Costco.  I cook half now and freeze half for later.  Pulled pork... usually about 60% of the 1st cook goes into bags for use later.
    LBGE, Charbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Weber Kettle Premium, Yeti 65, RTIC 20, Yeti 20 oz Rambler, Yeti Colster, RTIC Lowball

    Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,184
    SmyrnaGA said:
    ....
    One thing I could not vacuum pack is soft dinner rolls...  Even on the wet/liquid setting, it still flatten the rolls into mini pita breads...  (I was the only one not laughing)
    Try freezing first and then vacuum packing.  Many soft items will crush/mush if vacuum packed at room/refrig temps. They will be fine if frozen for up to 24 hours before packing. 


    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,044
    1st one I bought was the 2nd cheapest from a big box store. A few uses in, I let some marinade juice get into the pump, and that was the end of that.

    Sometime later I started doing SV, and found a simple hand pump vacuum. The main cost was the bags, but it worked reasonably well. No worries about fluid getting into the pump.

    Eventually bought a mid level commercial model,  a  Weston that cost about $250. The only negative review was that 1 broke down after just 1/2 a cow and 1100 pounds of chicken. Figure I won't use it up any time soon, unless I finally manage to get a chest freezer. Or I get sloppy, and let fluid into the pump.

    This way I can bag and freeze as much summer produce, like fresh from the field sweet corn, as I have room for. Can buy whole sub-primals, and portion and save them for months w. little deterioration. And make SV, and save the pre-cooked portions for use when I need them.
  • SmyrnaGASmyrnaGA Posts: 437
    Try freezing first and then vacuum packing.  Many soft items will crush/mush if vacuum packed at room/refrig temps. They will be fine if frozen for up to 24 hours before packing. 


    I'll need to try that next time!  I got mine as a gift from SWMBO when she was just a girlfriend.  I used to do the straw & ziplock bag method and it really freaked her out...

    Large BGE, Small BGE, KJ Jr, and a Cracked Vision Kub.

    in Smyrna GA.


  • nolabrewnolabrew Posts: 241
    Love my foodsaver.  I vacuum seal everything. 
  • PirateBillPirateBill Posts: 259

    If bag cost is a worry just remember that you can clean them out and reuse.

    Fight like a man so you don't die like a dog

    - Calico Jack Rackham

    1,000 watt Sharp - 1.1 Cu. Ft. Mid-Size Microwave and one sweet steakager (retail 229$) 

    Scruffy City a.k.a. Knoxville, TN.

  • TN_Sister_StateTN_Sister_State Posts: 1,130
    edited May 2017

    If bag cost is a worry just remember that you can clean them out and reuse.

    My grandma does this with all ziplock bags. Inside out and in the dishwasher. I may have adopted her method  =) 
    Franklin, Tn
    LBGE - Cast Iron Grate - Flameboss 300 - BGEtisserie

  • td66snrftd66snrf Posts: 1,415
    Buy it at Costco. They've replaced it twice. 
    XLBGE, LBGE, MBGE, SMALL, MINI, 2 Kubs, Fire Magic Gasser
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 1,601
    If you can find it, Wolfgang Puck had a really nice one. Use it all the time - we have had it for 7-8 yrs now and still works great. Even though we have access to plenty of grocery/big box stores, we actually drive a little more than an hour to buy meat from a real butcher. We buy in bulk and then portion it up using the VS.   So, if you haven't quite got it yet, the answer to your question is YES, it is well worth the money - so pay the $$$ and buy a good one.
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,815
    While your question is asking about value, consider other benifits like being able to throw food in a cooler and not have to worry about polluting the cooler with chicken Janna juice. On the reverse side, you can emerse the protein in the ice and be assured it doesn't take on water. A benifit over zippy lock bags. I assume you are a tailgater given your handle. Great for prepping at home and maintaining quality control all the way up to the cook. Just my 2cents worth. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
  • SmyrnaGASmyrnaGA Posts: 437
    Just don't do this...

    Large BGE, Small BGE, KJ Jr, and a Cracked Vision Kub.

    in Smyrna GA.


  • blastingblasting Posts: 5,879
    SmyrnaGA said:
    Just don't do this...



    How long in the sous vide? And at what temp?


    Phoenix 
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,362
    edited May 2017
    There is no question a vacuum sealer is a great tool to have. If you want to seal more than three or four bags in quick succession, look to a more "commercial" unit, like as @dougcrann says, the Vacmaster 350.
    Foodsaver is great for home use, my old 3840 is stil going strong, but after sealing 3 or 4 bags, it needs to cool down before it will seal the next bag. 
    +1 on the mention of freeze before seal, keeps the juices from being sucked into the sealing tray. Watch chicken breasts, if you don't fold it under, the pointy end (tail?) when frozen will puncture the bags.

    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • SoCalTomSoCalTom Posts: 7
    Yes...I bought one in 1998 to vacuum-pack food and spare parts (yes..sailboat spares, dry clothes too!) for an extended 120 day sail cruise to Mexico. The same one still works today!

    Nowadays for me it's also a must for sous vide meat prep.
    May 2017 - new to BGE - large
    Fire Magic 3 burner Magnum 
    SoCal Port of Los Angeles area
  • DredgerDredger Posts: 1,453
    Absolutely. Bought my first white FoodSaver in the '70's. When we switched to a stainless steel kitchen, sent it to my brother's hunt camp where it is still going strong. Bought the stainless steel model and use it daily. We buy the rolls and cut to length. When we buy bulk meats, we cut it longer than we need to be able to open and pull out what we need and reseal. It's just the two of us, so I wrap individual pieces and freeze, then vacuum seal. That way, you just keep reusing the original bags. No need to wash them. It's also great to freeze leftovers of cooked food.
    Large BGE
    Greenville, SC
  • OP here.. ordered the Weston Pro 1100 .. should be here Friday.  Will post my results.  Thanks for all the tips.
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