There’s zero need for a vacuum sealer for sous vide… A standard Ziploc will remove all air when submerged in water with the top open. Not a critical equipment piece for that.
Yes it is handy to vacuum seal portions before sous vide, especially if it can handle a wet marinade which will help push the marinade in but it’s not needed to just sous vide.
This makes more sense for preservation then. Also. What does that hose attach too? Yes… It exist but is it a standard? To what? Since no container/ball lid adapters are included? What can it be used with? If it’s proprietary it’s worthless.
Note: Canister, jar sealer, and bottle stopper not included
I don’t know if it’s bad for a basic vacuum sealer but the angles being pitched on top of that feel very meh
@unksol There are some bags, and some vacuum-seal jars, that are designed to work with the hose. I mean, if you want to use those things, you can buy them. My sealer doesn’t have a hose adapter, so I couldn’t use that. Whatever.
@CBL_WV that was kinda my point. Does it use a standard connection? If it does it’s beneficial to say that/provide examples. Like if it works with foodsaver products. Great it works with stuff you might have or you know you can always get stuff if this company is out business. If its proprietary and being discontinued… Cause it’s on meh… Sure generic bags work. Maybe not on the hose.
@unksol apparently, you never done a corned beef, pastrami, brisket, or ribs sous vide. Anything I do that goes over 20 for 22 hours gets at least a double seal on the bag, and then sometimes double bagged, as ziplocs almost always, always blow open after 20 or so hours…
@werehatrack Well, actually… You can put multiple portions into 1 bag and give it a larger lead (extra bag at the end) and then reseal as you use the items inside. It’s imperfect but it does allow for more than single use and depending on how well you cut and seal your waste can be minimized. Down side is that it takes up more room in your freezer, which goes against the added value of using a vac sealer.
@werehatrack We have been using FoodSaver machines for about 20 years. We learned long, long ago that the special bags are indeed washable and reuseable. Either wash by hand with dish soap and or a bit of dilute bleach or cut off the ends, turn them inside out and put them in the dishwasher for a more thorough santization.
FoodSaver type bags, which is what is used for this Meh offering, are composite plastic layers of polyethylene and nylon (for toughness). They have a special knobbly pattern embossed into one side in order to allow air to be evacuated through the soft pinched sealing gasket before the seal heat tape is activated.
As you repeatedly use them, the bags will get shorter and shorter as the seal area wastes almost an inch and a half per use. When that happens or if the reused bag develops pin hose, or are too short to use, only then do we discard them. FoodSaver bags are not recyclable owing to the nylon in their construction.
Owing to the expense of these special rolls, reusing the bags makes good cents for the more frugal and conservation minded.
There is the added benefit that food that might spoil or be otherwise wasted can be preserved and consumed. A win win.
As long time FoodSaver users, when the last machine died last fall, we switched to an Avid Armor Ultra chamber vacuum, which was 4X more expensive in the initial purchase than a top of the line FoodSaver machine and 12X more expensive than this Meh offering, but uses plain and much, much less expensive bags.
On the whole, we like the Avid Armor chamber vacuum much better for many things. A big advantage of a chamber vacuum is that one can seal liquids and wet items and control the amount of vacuum drawn very easily. We can even use regular freezer type Ziploc bags in the Avid Armor machine, which I do quite often for things that are not going to be stored in the freezer for any length of time.
We still wash and reuse the purchased, plain type chamber vac bags as well. And unlike the special laminated composite FoodSaver type bags, the vacuum chamber bags are fully recyclable.
We purchased an inexpensive vac sealer of the FoodSaver type for other tasks such as resealing chip bags, vacuum sealing Mason-type jars, and FoodSaver hard plastic storage containers.
The $$$ Avid Armor chamber vac doesn’t have an external vacuum hose sealing feature. If it can’t fit in the chamber, you’re out of luck with that machine. While I love that machine, I think they could have made it better in several ways, one of which would include having an external vacuum port.
The upshot is that no machine is perfect. All will have a limited life and will fail either from a burned out sealing tape or a defunct vacuum motor or some other issue. However, once you really start to use these one of these things, you will wonder how you ever got along without one. Frozen foods will last much, much longer, without freezer burn or off tastes. Works particularly well with meats of all types, fruits, berries, veggies and nuts. Cheese in the fridge won’t mold. Leftovers stay fresh for days. And on and on.
So if you don’t have such a machine, this Meh offering, even though it only has five bags included, will get you started. You will have to purchase FoodSaver bags or rolls pretty quickly. Other accessories such as Mason Jar sealers, and food storage/marinating containers can be purchase later at most big box stores and some supermarkets.
We bought some silicone molds of various cup sizes and freeze liquids (soups, broth, etc) in them and once frozen we seal into the bags. It’s very odd to thaw a square of stew but so far it’s working like a champ.
Gather around kids and let me tell you a story. There was a time people had so much food, and they didn’t want to waste it. Everyone had freezers in their garages or utility rooms, and they froze extra food. Ok, off to bed now.
You can get it cheaper by $5.13 if you buy it at TheCloseOut.com and subscribe to their newsletter for a 10% discount. It is $19.99 plus s/h for $8.99 minus the discount comes to $28.87 vs. Meh $29 plus $5 s/h. Unless you pay the monthly Meh s/h fee.
I generally buy 8 in wide and 11 in wide rolls from Amazon.
I take my rolls, mark them the length I want the bags to be, then fold them over at the marks and use a long kitchen knife to cut them, sort of like you would use a letter opener. Since I have certain things that I use most frequently, I now know what those lengths should be. I have them noted on the flaps of the box that the food saver is stored in. It’s also nice that you can cut them in half if you need to… for instance to make 5 and 1/2 inch bags out of 11 inch rolls.
For years I’ve had a vacuum sealer and love it for foods I’m freezing but when I learned to use it to re-seal purchased bagged foods and plastic tubing that I package my wares in, it was a game changer. Seal those chips, crackers, and dog food back up!
I still use the Rival 3-Step Vacuum Sealer (Refurbished) I purchased from Meh on July 27th 2015 two or three times a week. I’m all about 32 hr sous vide sessions with the cheapest cuts of beef I can find. I’ll find a large roast and section it into 3rds… season… jab with a pointy thing a few times then vacuum pack and then off to the freezer. Then simply throw the frozen bag in the sous vide water and 32 hours later and sear with a torch. I’m eatin’ high on the hog.