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vacuum sealer

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

i have a new toy . i got this vacuum sealer about a month ago . i smoked some turkey legs and had some left over so i tried out the vacuum sealer . i think this opens up a new door with packing smoked meat for later on !!

 

any one else doing this if so i would like to know tips , tricks and what you vacuum seal and freeze for later.

 

post #2 of 18

We usually smoke extra then vacuum seal the extra into meal size portions and freeze them for quick easy meals. The other thing we do is buy meats on sale usually in family packs then break them down and freeze in smaller packages.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

i have been buying in bulk and breaking down to meals for the three of us. and i think i will start trying to smoke more and vacuum seal the meats for meals when the wife is out of town or when we really dont want to cook .

 

any idea how long smoked brisket , chicken , pork , and so on ......will last in the freezer in the vacuum bags ? do i need to add any liquid to the meats ?

 

Happy Smoking !

post #4 of 18

I have a FM2100.  Really like it.  Some ideas.  Try sous vide steak.  It works great.  Also, buy bag rolls on Amazon.  I think its $20 for 11" X 100 yards (sold by Food Vac Bags).  Another tip is to put a book under the bag you're sealing.  That way the end pieces square off exactly.  If they overlap or underlap, it doesnt work as well.

post #5 of 18

Looks like the same unit I have, Raven. We also mainly use it to break down bulk stuff into smaller single meal packages. About the only smoked stuff I've vacuumed is pulled pork because we always have a lot left. I don't add any liquid or anything. We did just make our first sausage last weekend and we vacuumed most of that. I suppose things would keep for months, but we usually use things up in around a month or so (not a lot of freezer space). I've read somewhere that things start losing flavor after 2 or 3 months, but I don't buy completely into it....

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I dont buy into the losing flavor . my buddy who has been doing this for years has alot of cooked food that is upto six months old in the freezer and it is just as good as when he cooked it .

 

he does his deer chilli freezes it in a bowl then vacuum seals it and to be honest the longer it sits the better it tastes . not sure if its because the flavor gets to "mix" more while it sits or what .

 

he talked me into getting the sealer to package up any left over smoked meat that i have . he has done everthng but the smoked meat so we are not real sure about the time it will last , i would guess as long as you kept it frozen .Looks like the same unit I have, Raven. We also mainly use it to break down bulk stuff into smaller single meal packages. About the only smoked stuff I've vacuumed is pulled pork because we always have a lot left. I don't add any liquid or anything. We did just make our first sausage last weekend and we vacuumed most of that. I suppose things would keep for months, but we usually use things up in around a month or so (not a lot of freezer space). I've read somewhere that things start losing flavor after 2 or 3 months, but I don't buy completely into it....

post #7 of 18

All of the above is great information, but I have an additional thought.

 

When we have left over soup, stew, spaghetti, or anything else that is liquid or very soft, I place it in portions into a square or rectangle container, put it in the freezer, let it freeze, and then vac pack the "brick".

 

Later, when we want to eat it, I place it into the frig, still in the vac pack, allow it to defrost, and then warm it, still in the bag, in water.  I place the sealed bag into cool tap water, put the pot on the stove with the bag in the water, turn the burner to high, wait for it to boil, and then let it go for about 5 minutes.

 

Also, the "bricks" you have vac packed, will stack nice and neat in the freezer...

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post
 

All of the above is great information, but I have an additional thought.

 

When we have left over soup, stew, spaghetti, or anything else that is liquid or very soft, I place it in portions into a square or rectangle container, put it in the freezer, let it freeze, and then vac pack the "brick".

 

Later, when we want to eat it, I place it into the frig, still in the vac pack, allow it to defrost, and then warm it, still in the bag, in water.  I place the sealed bag into cool tap water, put the pot on the stove with the bag in the water, turn the burner to high, wait for it to boil, and then let it go for about 5 minutes.

 

Also, the "bricks" you have vac packed, will stack nice and neat in the freezer...

 

Great idea - that's why they pay you the big bucks....

post #9 of 18
Various thoughts:
  • Add a little extra liquid if you like, I've not found it to really be necessary.  Everything I've vacsealed has been fantastic reheated.  
  • With a vacuum sealer, I usually cook plenty extra with the intention of sealing/storing extras.  
  • I package a lot of stuff in lunch-size portions to carry to work for lunch.  The FoodSaver brand "portion pouch" rolls are handy, you end up with 5.5" wide bags from the roll which are perfectly sized.  I bought some during a buy-one-get-one sale.  When I run out I will try the 6"x50' rolls from FoodVacBags on Amazon.  http://www.foodsaver.com/bags-and-rolls/choose-by-specialty/portion-pouch/
  • Amazon has a lot of great deals on vacuum sealer bags.  They also have a number of vendors selling crappy bags.  The challenge is differentiating between the two.  Read reviews carefully.
  • Don't forget Lisa from vacuumsealersunlimited.com who is a member and sponsor of this forum.  Great prices on bags, but shipping costs offset the savings in the quantities I'm comfortable buying.  
  • The Mason Jar sealer accessory is pretty handy; I store both homemade rub and plastic containers of store bought rub in appropriately sized mason jars using the sealer.  This really seemed to reduce humidity related clumping during an Atlanta summer.  

 

We have the FoodSaver V4880 from Costco.  It's been a great machine.   The pulse-vac feature has been very handy for bagging and sealing liquids such as chili; lets you pull just as much as you want then hit the Seal button to finish it up. 
post #10 of 18

I just recently got a vac sealer too. We like to use the canning jar attachment. So far only have the one for wide mouth and don't see a need for the regular. 

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

I bought some of the canisters . i put my rub and brown sugar in them and don't have to worry about it clumping or moisture . I also bought the marinate canister for meats and i can tell you there is a big difference then just letting the meat "sit" in the marinade .

 

my next test will be some jerky first in the vacuum canister with a marinade , just to see how well the meat will soak up the flavor !

 

Happy Smoking !

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post

All of the above is great information, but I have an additional thought.

When we have left over soup, stew, spaghetti, or anything else that is liquid or very soft, I place it in portions into a square or rectangle container, put it in the freezer, let it freeze, and then vac pack the "brick".

Later, when we want to eat it, I place it into the frig, still in the vac pack, allow it to defrost, and then warm it, still in the bag, in water.  I place the sealed bag into cool tap water, put the pot on the stove with the bag in the water, turn the burner to high, wait for it to boil, and then let it go for about 5 minutes.

Also, the "bricks" you have vac packed, will stack nice and neat in the freezer...
Good idea, Cranky. I have a pac of pulled pork I'll try like that later this week. Sous Vide express? 😊
(You get paid for this?)
post #13 of 18

I buy pre made bags from Lisa @ Vacuum Sealers Unlimited they are very reasonably priced and my vacuum sealer only has to work half as hard because one end is already sealed. I have had too many rolls of foodsaver bags fail I won't even buy that brand anymore.

post #14 of 18

I have a Foodsaver, and while I don't necessarily like the model I have (wastes a full inch of bag at the end, and getting it to start sucking is cranky), I really appreciate having it so seal up leftover meat.

post #15 of 18

Some really good ideas - thanks for posting Thumbs Up

 

A couple of things I can attest to:

  • Don't do too many things at once or your heating wire will overheat and you'll end up with partially sealed bags (not completely vacuumed).  I let my unit cool for 90 seconds or so every 3-4 seals or so (hate wasting bag material) :biggrin:
  • As mentioned, vac sealed foods are super useful for Sous Vide - will make the most melt in the mouth tender fish you'll ever taste, and the steaks are perfectly cooked. Best part is that the process means that you can keep your food hot even if your company is late.  I do steaks this way and keep them in the water bath until guests arrive, then it is only a couple of minutes to infrared sear the meat.
  • I still have ribeye steaks in the freezer that I bought last year, and they still look as fresh as the day I sealed them.  Ground some of that ribeye for burgers not too long ago.
  • Same with cheeses - smoked a bunch of Gouda last year around this time, and I still am enjoying the bounty
post #16 of 18
I have been vacuum packing food for over 30 years now. Mainly fish at first as I worked in the fishing industry and it was the only way to keep fish as fresh as possible after freezing.

We buy bulk, just made 20 lbs of burger into patties and vac packed last night. Cost was $1.79/pound compared to the normal $3.99. Chicken breasts two days ago for $1.79 normally $3.00.

One tip is to pre freeze the meats. Then pack. Makes for a better deal, and easier clean up.i usually do it overnight and pack in the morning.

A great source for bags and rolls is one of our sponsers here, vacuum sealers unlimited. Lisa offers discount codes monthly and the bags are some of the best I've used. I'll be upgrading my vac sealer with her soon as my food saver is a hunk of junk. My old one I had for almost 30 years and was great. Vacmaster pro380 will be my next one.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenClan View Post
 

I also bought the marinate canister for meats and i can tell you there is a big difference then just letting the meat "sit" in the marinade .

I have that "cannister" as well and have had good results the couple times I've used it; nice to see your report as I've not done a side-by-side test of vacuum vs. conventional marinade.

 

IdahoPZ - the model I have seems to try to prevent overheating.  Sometimes if I'm doing a bunch of stuff really quickly such as cutting and sealing one end of multiple bags it'll force a pause to avoid overheating.  I've not had any issue with the seals or any signs of overheating so apparently it is working.  

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyBuzzard View Post
 

All of the above is great information, but I have an additional thought.

 

When we have left over soup, stew, spaghetti, or anything else that is liquid or very soft, I place it in portions into a square or rectangle container, put it in the freezer, let it freeze, and then vac pack the "brick".

 

Later, when we want to eat it, I place it into the frig, still in the vac pack, allow it to defrost, and then warm it, still in the bag, in water.  I place the sealed bag into cool tap water, put the pot on the stove with the bag in the water, turn the burner to high, wait for it to boil, and then let it go for about 5 minutes.

 

Also, the "bricks" you have vac packed, will stack nice and neat in the freezer...

To add to this, we make all of our own stock from the bones and carcasses we use. If you measure out stock via a measuring cup, I do 2 cup portions, then freeze and vac pack you'll have per-measured stock for other recipes. Label the bags accordingly. For smaller batches using a measuring cup measure stock into ice cube trays. Figure out how many cubes per cup. Put a bunch of cubes in an over sized bag. when you go to seal separate the cubes so they don't stick together and then suck the air out. When you need a cup or whatever remove the number of cubes you need, then reseal the bag. Make sure and right on the bag how many cubes = a cup.

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