vacumn food savers

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 06:42
ThreadID: 77022 Views:4075 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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hi guys and gals Vacumn food savers are they worth the effort. what can you put in them? Are wet food such as stews and casseroles storable in bags. Can the food be reheated in the bags. Finally your experiences with using the vacumn packers and your recommendationsbest for the one to buy
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:14

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:14

We got an ebay one, also ebay bags, much cheaper. The bags come as a roll and you cut off the length that you require and seal one end with the machine. All works fine although as yet it has not seen a lot of use. Its useful in preparing for a trip, in that you can package the meat portions that you require, then freeze them before packing into fridge, so the fridge is very cold when you set off.

Its a good idea to pack anything vacuum packed into its own container in your car fridge as too much weight on top of the bags can cause them to pop - and you wont know about it until you notice a smell by which time its too late to do anything about it.

We have made casseroles, stews etc, frozen them in something like an icecream container before vacuuming them after removing the frozen block from the dish - works fine. Dont know about reheating them in the bag though - I think its just as easy to put it into the pan and heat up that way.

Tried to freeze a boiled friut cake once - as the air was sucked out of the bag the cake just shrank! But it kept well and tasted fine. Probably could do biscuits though haven't tried.

Are they worth it, especially given that many butchers will now do the job for you? Probably not unless you are going to use your machine a fair bit at home.
However they do provide flexibility in terms of food preparation and storage that is useful, especially for a long trip into remote areas.

Just my thoughts,

J and V
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Reply By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:32

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:32
We have Foodsaver vacuum packer & have found it to be excellent.
Boneless red meat lasts around 6 weeks, chicken about 2 weeks, we do pack cooked meals but if they contain onion they only last about 7 - 10 days.
Unlike the reply above, even after thousands of Outback kms we have never had a bag burst & we do pack them in the bottom of the fridge, surely for a bag to "pop" it must still have air in it, maybe Ebay machines & bags aren't so good.
I also prepack spare wheel bearings for the camper trailer & vehicle & vacuum pack them also, much easier than trying to pack bearings with grease on the side of the road!
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:42

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:42

The ones that popped came from a butcher well before we had our own machine.
Have not had a problem with onions in casseroles or stews.


J and V
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:47

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 09:47
Funny, because it was a butcher that warned me about onion.
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Reply By: Member - Bruce T (SA) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 10:25

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 10:25
Hi Hummff,

We have had a Foodsaver one for years. We have used it for every outback trip we do. We have even prepared vegetables and stored them in it for later use when travelling and they have been fine, although we haven't kept them for long. You have to freeze sausages and mince meat. We have had one or two bags puncture, but have just used that meat immediately. We pack most meat frozen. We have also had meat last for 6 weeks. We tend not to take chicken and if we do we use it first. Packaging stews and casseroles would mean you would need to freeze them as the juice would be sucked out during the vacuum packing and the bags would not seal.

We've never reheated anything in the bags as we are out bush and using a camp fire, not a microwave.

Bruce and Di

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Follow Up By: howie - Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 at 21:02

Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 at 21:02
i think they mean just put the bag into a pan of water, not microwave.
you can defrost frozen meat quite quickly by chucking it into a bowl of cold water or reheat things in hot water.(still in the bag)
as for stews and curries, don't have problem vacuuming them without freezing.(gets more air out IMHO).
just need to elevate the machine slightly.(telephone book will do).
why do you 'have' to freeze sausages and mince?

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Reply By: mikeyandmary - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 11:17

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 11:17

We bought a Sunbeam vacuum sealer and its great. We had problems with meat and frozen vegies getting "cold burns". Since using the vacuum sealer meat now lasts for much longer.

Regarding camping, we found it keeps the food fresher and makes it easier to fit a lot more meat in the fridge :-) I remember reading that you can heat vacuum sealed food in the microwave if you cut open a corner of the bag but surely the bag will melt if you try the same on a stove or campfire???

have fun...
Michael and Mary
AnswerID: 409600

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 11:29

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 11:29
Put some water in a Billy and place the bag in that.
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Follow Up By: Tenpounder (SA) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 12:15

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 12:15
Agree with Mike: precooked curries, casseroles etc. are brilliant if you drop the bag into a billy and heat for a while. Pick up a corner of the bag with pliers, cut off the corner and dish up onto your plates. The billy of water is now ready for a hot drink, Deb, or even the dishes. Not pots to clean!!
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Reply By: Member - Trackker (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 11:29

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 11:29
Humff, we use a sunbeam model which we are very happy with and use it for stews. We dont freeze first but put the bag into the machine and let the bulk of the bag hang over the edge of the bench and have had no issues with excess fluid. We then simply put the bag in a pot of water on a stove and warm it up when required. Our manual says not to go over 70c. Great for a quick meal on the road and no messy pot to wash up. Other than food, you can just about vac anything you can think of, ecspecially to keep it dry or dust free. I love the wheel brg suggestion above. Dave
AnswerID: 409601

Follow Up By: Member -Dodger - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 15:05

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 15:05
We have and do the same as Dave (above).
We never freeze cryovac packs as we have found that even snags when vac packed correctly will last up to 5 weeks. Mince meat the same. (we mince our own) The best thing about it is that when it is not frozen one can change your mind about a meal at the last minute before actually cooking it.
EG. Plan for a baked dinner in the evening and when the time comes not real hungry or simply too tired and settle for a sausage sandwich instead.
Another advantage is there is no mess in the fridge from leaking blood etc.
Another thing we do is when in cook mode do up a stew vac pack as described above and when stopped for the evening just re-heat in a pot or as we do in the camp oven over coals. Simple and very very enjoyable with a glass of red.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Busy Bee - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 22:28

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 22:28
Bought one from ebay six years ago for about $80. Still going strong although the auto switch doesn't work, have to press vacuum then seal manually.
I buy 50 packs of bags with the cross hatching from the local butcher supplies, I use 20x30cm most commonly. Not real cheap, someone has that market tied up.
Normal bags will seal but not vacuum, handy for keeping the left over potato chips fresh for another day.

I once vacuum sealed a tube of silicon sealer as it has usually gone hard by the time I use it again. After just on a year, good as the day I sealed it.

If bacon or ham is very cheap at the deli, I buy heaps and vacuum seal it in smaller lots and freeze it. It doesn't thaw with ice attached as ham does normally. The saving more than covers the cost of the bags.
The only time I made a mistake was when I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 at 04:46

Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 at 04:46

SWMBO did 78 meals in cryovac bags, before we did our 3 month to the Cannning, and the Kimberley trip last year
We had everything.
All fitted easily in out 40 lt Engel

Roast this, roast that, pre-cooked bolognase, and a few of our favourite dishes..

As soon as there was a little space in the fridge then I would put in a plastic bpttle of water. Freezing is a lot more efficient, if the fridge is kept as full as possible, all the time.

Now here is the secret..

All meals lots were sealed into cryovac bags.
All were frozen "FLAT".
Finally all were set up to stack, randomly, in our Engel, and taken from the top, and never ferreted through.

Instant mashed potato, ( and there are some really nice ones ) was used on roast nights.
Freeze dried peas, carrots and corn was used to supplement the roast ...

At tea time SWMBO would simply drop the frozen packet into a frypan, 1/2 full of boiling water, and then save that water for washing up..


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