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Food sealer recommendations please

Posted by marie26 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 10, 06 at 21:24

I have a fairly new Food Saver that I've decided to give to a friend. I just don't like how it works and forces you to use only the expensive Food Saver bags. I particularly don't like that I can't figure out how to use only a small amount of bag for sealing small amounts.

Are there other brands that you can recommend? I used to own one that I could seal any bag, any size and want another one like that one.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

I have a Foodsaver ( by Tilia) and I think it's the best one on the market. The trick to not wasting the bags is to Re-Use them. Cut a larger one than you need for the food and when you open it, just wash it out with soapy water, rinse and dry and re-use it. Nothing I have used in the past has sealed like the food saver and kept it's seal for a year in the freezer.
Tim


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

Marie, why don't you keep your Foodsaver and buy a lid attachment for using canning jars? It's true that jars take up more storage space, but you can reuse them and get them in different sizes. If I just have a bit, I can vacuum seal using a half pint jar, to saving a bag of chips in a half gallon jar. I have the wide-mouth lid hose attachment, and it's great. The jar lids are reusable, and inexpensive when it's time to get a new one. That way, you don't have to buy bags at all.

I've never seen a true vacuum sealer that would use any bag on the market. I'm wondering if what you had before produced a true vacuum, or just sealed the bag? Can you go back to the manufacturer and find out?


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

The one I had before definitely sealed the bag. For a time, I was using ziploc freezer type bags because I didn't have any of the food sealer bags on hand. I realize that the bags that come with the new sealer are of higher quality but I don't like having to use the whole width of the bag each time. The jars make sense but wouldn't you still have to use the sealer bags for meat and cheese?


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

I don't use the bags at all. I buy the foodsaver rolls and cut them to whatever size I want. They come in 8" and 11" widths so they're pretty variable.

I wouldn't trade my foodsaver for anything! Granted, the bags and rolls tend to be a bit on the pricy side, but as stated above, they're reusable. If you don't freeze your cheese, you can store it in the fridge with the canisters. And IMO, nothing seals quite as good as the Foodsaver.


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

ellyd, from your explanation, I am confused. In order for the foodsaver to work, I assumed I must put the bag into the sealer from end to end so that no space is showing on either end of the sealer? Is this correct?


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

What about Nalgene products? They have a leakproof seal. As well, foods odors do not get trapped in the plastic. We've used all sizes of the Nalgene products for years, and I've found them to be long-lasting and worth the money.

Catherine


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

Marie, I know you say your old unit sealed the bag. What I'm curious about is was the bag vacuum sealed? That would be the reason for using the higher costing bags. If what you had was an old version of something like, Seal a Meal, then it wouldn't be the same thing since all the air isn't removed, allowing your product to stay fresh longer.

No you don't have to use the bags for meat or cheese; it just takes up less space in your fridge than using jars for everything. You'd still have to buy lids for the jars, and/or replace jars if they get broken, since you're dealing with glass.

ellyd is describing using a roll to make her own bags, to fit the bag to the size of the amount of food she has. That makes less waste on the bags, which is why there are two sizes of rolls you can buy. I use the larger roll to make bags to fit my casserole dishes for the freezer, and the smaller ones for things like bacon and cheese.


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

Marie, the foodsaver roll is one continuous roll of the same material the bags are made of. They are about 20'long so all you have to do is cut it off the roll to the length that you want and then seal one end with your foodsaver. Put your food in the bag and vacuum and seal the other end.

Hope this helps!


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

The sealer I previously used did vacuum seal the bags. I had purchased it many years ago and threw it out when I got my new sealer. It worked on a completely different system because it had a "spout" that you'd put the bag into, then press down on the top of the sealer, and it would then seal the bag. I bought the new sealer in part because it is "hands free".

I have the 20' long rolls as well as the bags. My confusion is that if I have one small piece of meat to seal, must I use the entire width of the bag in order to do a vacuum seal? Also, when I use the sealer, I've been using extra bag as well so that the food is able to lay on the counter before I seal. Am I doing something wrong or do you also need to use a large bag for a little bit of food? I really would rather not wash bags and reuse them.

I would still need to vacuum seal any meats I put in the freezer so using the jars would only be a partial solution.


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

They make two sizes of bags, 11 and 6 inches. Yes, you need to use the entire width of the bag, but can adjust the length according to your food. It sounds like you don't have the smaller bags, which might be part of your confusion. As far as using extra bag to seal, you shouldn't need more than two inches at the end of the bag to get a good seal.


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

claire, I do only have the 11 inch bags and didn't realize that there are 6" bags. I will try to get some 6" bags to give the sealer one more try. Is it correct that I can't use any type of bag other than the those that are made by FoodSaver?


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

Yes, they only recommend their brand of bags. I hope you like it better once you try the smaller bags; I use the smaller roll myself most of the time. I can see why you were having trouble with the idea of such big bags for small items!


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Oops!

Marie, I see they have 6 and 8 inch rolls. Here's a link to a website...

Here is a link that might be useful: Foodsaver products


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

Marie,

I place a cutting board (I think it's 3/4 of an inch tall) next to the Tilia sealer, this way the bag I'm sealing is at about the same height as the vacuum channel/sealing strip. This trick helps a lot when you're trying to use small bags. See the pix below:

I reuse the bags (put them in the dishwasher, they come out fine - just secure them between the prongs and they'll stay upright). Each time you reuse a bag, it will lose 2 inches from the top, that's why it makes sense to start with long bags. The one in the picture used to be a large bag, now it's ~5" wide (you can make an 11" wide bag into two ~5" bags by just cutting down the middle and sealing the sides). Go ahead and experiment a bit more before giving your Tilia away.


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

Mercedes, thank you so much for the photos. I will definitely use a cutting board from now on. I hadn't thought of doing that and it's a great hint.

I don't know if my sealer is defective but any time I have tried to vacuum seal a bag the width of the one in the pictures, it won't vacuum seal. I had cut the bags the sealer came with and experimented with them to get smaller bags. That's why I find the machine so frustrating.

Is there a special place the smaller bag must sit in the sealer in order to work?

Also, must the open part of the bag sit inside the well of the sealer in order to vacuum seal properly?


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

You are welcome, Marie.

Yes, the edge of the open part of the bag should sit inside the vacuum channel just like pic #1 shows.

As you close the sealer's lid, small/unsupported bags tend to slide outwards a bit (the cutting board will stop that), this causes the bags to wrinkle and pleat as they are being sealed and the vacuum is lost.


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RE: Food sealer recommendations please

Have any of you tried the marinade dish to store foods? seems like a great place to store different types of foods for the next day


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