From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This product SUX!

And I'm lovin' it!  I am tired of sucking air through a straw when I prep things in zipper bags for freezing.

I remember way back I used to have a Seal-a-Meal freezer bag sealer maybe 20 years ago.  Don't know what ever happened to it.

There is a lot of hype about the Food Saver brand.  I checked them out.  KA-CHING!  Then I found out Seal-a-Meal is still around and is now also vac/sealing.  But I couldn't locate one locally and I HATE buying stuff sight unseen online.

Walmart had a Ziploc brand vac/seal.  Priced about $50 and bag/rolls for $15, I decided to see what's what.

No on/off button.  Simple instructions.  But how did I know when it was ready to use.  I called the 800# and got straight away to a VERY nice rep about the unit.  We chatted for over 10 minutes: how to use mine, how she uses hers, tips for freezing liquid items, little tricks with the unit, etc.  Basically while I'd already bought the product, she SOLD me ON the product, if you know what I mean.  I felt good about it.

Anyway, I had a turkey to break down.  The bones/gell where frozen in regular Ziploc gallon bags for later broth making.  Some of the meat put in the fridge for weekend consumption.  The rest I portioned out in sandwich bags, then stuffed them in 2 of the 3 sample bags provided with the unit.  Nice tough bags.

Took a couple of tries to get the lid locked down (she said it would be hard at first since the rubber gaskets would be stiff when new), but after that, I pressed the button, the indicators lit up, suction happend, stopped, then sealed.  


Looking forward to other large prep cooking for freezer and the upcoming veg harvest later in the season.

Hopefully, no more freezer burn/frostbite on even the double-bagged foods (like pic #3 - chickpeas). 

Nope, pic #4 from now on.

Here I am, finally in the 21st century.

Nice thing is, I can open the sealed bags, pull out food (pre-portioned in sandwich bags or just loose veg, etc) then RE-SEAL the bags.  Gotta love that.

How about you?  Do you have a vac/seal?  Which kind, do you use it often, do you like it and getting your bang for the buck?

Any tips you'd like to share?  I'm all ears.... 


Experiments:  Watched some YouTube showing how folks use regular baggies to vacuum pack items.  Trick is to use the removed 'zipper' as a channel allowing the air to be vacuumed out.  There are always food items that I would like to use this little trick on:

Here's what I tried.   

1st. Took a couple time to realize that I needed to use only one side of the zipper, else it's too thick to melt/seal.  Took a couple tries but sealed up some extra carrots.

2nd.  How about banana?  Sometimes I only need half today, half tomorrow.  Let's see how it stores in the fridge vac'd.

3rd.  The REAL test.  Avocado.  This things start browning real fast left to their own devices.  Will be watching this one closely.

Notice the zipper strips in the bags.  The strips have to reach down and touch the foods and extend out past the top of the bag.  Gotta love YouTube.   

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  1. I do. I bought into the Food Saver craze a few years back and use it for most garden things. I havne't solved the problem of moisture yet. I finally just stuffed a wadded paper towel in the top of the blanched product and it absorbs the moisture so it will seal. I love no freezer burn or gobs of frost on things. WalMart didn't have one when I shopped mine. I think you will love it.

    1. Yep, looking forward to playing with this. Using the regular sandwich bags will really help with portions packed into a larger bag. Should really help with the veg harvest later on.

  2. I couldn't live without my vacuum sealer.
    I will send you a link for the bags I switched too---they are about 1/2 the price and work better than the FoodSaver ones.
    I must use mine at least once a day--and often a lot more. I make tons of single serve foods so that on REALLY busy days, I can just pull out stuff and heat and eat. So handy to have--especially when the garden starts kicking in to gear.

    1. I'm probably still gonna use the cheaper zippy freezer bags for short term, but for deep freeze storage the vac bags are the way to go. I can get 20' rolls of makek-a-bag for about $14. I'll look for cheaper. Don't know if sealer work better with their own brand bags. Will check out your link.

  3. That's great. It sounds like it will serve you well. I've had them recommended to me from time to time but never really looked into it.

    1. I'm liking what I'm seeing and the price was right. I don't need all the Food Saver brand bells and whistles. Thanks for the visit, Leigh.