Vacuum Sealer recommendations, please

marie26February 16, 2005

I want to buy a new vacuum sealer that I don't have to hold the cover down while it is sealing. I need to do this with my very old model.

I've been looking online and there are sealers that cost $250.00. Is it important to get these top-of-the-line models? Are the jar vacuum sealing extras something I should also invest in?

Are there brands that you can recommend?

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I have a foodsaver system and love it. I was not aware that there were any competing brands out there, but perhaps there are, since you asked the question.

I have the Professional II model and absolutely love it. I think it was around $300. I ordered it from them directly.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 3:20PM
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I apologize for not answering your main issue, which was around finding a sealer that does not require you to hold it down while sealing. I had never had a vacuum sealer until I bought the Professional II and it is easy to use, as you no not have to hold it down. Everything is automated.

Keep in mind that manufacturers have gotten really good in determining which extra features consumers are willing to pay for, which is one reason that the extras often cost so much more than the basic model. This is called "price discrimination" and is a widespread marketing and product positioning technique. It may not even cost any more to make a model with more convenient features than the basic model, but they will charge extra for them anyway as a way to segment purchasers in a way that allows them to maximize profit. So when they say "you get what you pay for" this is not just because better designs cost more to build (which is not always the case), it is also because customers that can afford it are willing to pay for those better designs.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2005 at 3:36PM
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My kids got me the Rival Seal-a-Meal for Christmas, what fun. I can't get the cats to come near me when I'm using it! It locks down when it sucks and seals. It's not the most expensive, doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles. Mine doesn't have the bag holder, which is fine with me, it creates a good vacuum and seals all kinds of bags, not just the ones that come with it. I seal the frozen veggie bags, the chip bags, cracker bags, etc.

I find I don't need to vacuum seal much, so I haven't gotten any of the accessories. I like just being able to seal stuff that I'll probably use quickly, so there's no need for the vacuum.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2005 at 10:28PM
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I use quart-size mason jars to store bread crumbs, brown sugar, my pork BBQ rub, oyster crackers, and other low-use items. Vacuum sealing these keeps them fresh for a much longer time. I use the pint-size freezer jars for my chili, spaghetti sauce, goulash, cheese soup, and things that. I can cook up a big pot and always have some on hand at the ready. After vacuum sealing, I like to screw on the rings, just snug enough to hold the seal.

Mason (canning) jars are an inexpensive alternative to plastic storage containers for short-term leftovers storage as well. The biggest drawback is finding a shelf to store the empties.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2005 at 8:58AM
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I have still not tried the jars that came with my foodsaver system. Seemed like too much of a hassle vacuuming and then having to re-do it every time you take something out. Guess I will have to try it one day.

I use the bags a great deal for sealing meats. I buy large pieces of salmon fillet, which I skin, bone, and wash and then cut into 6 oz portions. Each one is weighed, sealed and frozen. I also freeze fillet mignon and beef for stir fry. We also use it for turkey bacon and ham. I could not live without this and my freezer. Together they have allowed me to cut back on the number of trips to the store and best of all, on any given night I can put together a really nice dinner without having to shop first.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 1:56PM
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Today at K-mart I saw 2 Rival seal a meals, one on sale for about $40.00, the other priced at about $70.00. The only difference was that the more expensive model had a bag holder. Is this worth the extra money?

Also, when I read the instructions, it wasn't clear if you had to keep holding down the button until the item was sealed. Does anyone have these models and must you keep holding down the button or will the sealer seal on its own?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2005 at 6:06PM
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