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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Provisioning
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2011
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My wife Laurie uses our vac packer a lot and she has been through a couple of them. Most are cheap throwaway type machines with no parts available, and little service. She has been using a "VacUpack" now for several years and it is re-buildable with great phone support should you need it. She says they are available on Ebay and direct from vacupack.com . No affiliation.
We pack all kinds of stuff with it: parts, grains, TP, cheese, meat, fresh lemon and lime juice ice cubes, etc. We put anything with sharp edges in heavy paper bags inside the vac bag to prevent rubbing and losing the seal (works great for prawns that we catch. We freeze the whole tails- sharp pokers). Get a good one, if you find that you don't use it much you can re-sell it on Ebay.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2011
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The biggest problem I have is that about everything such as meat and fish must be frozen before I can pack it. Mine came from costCo and yes the bags do cost to much. If you find one that can bag without freezing first please post the info.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2011
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The biggest problem I have is that about everything such as meat and fish must be frozen before I can pack it. Mine came from costCo and yes the bags do cost to much. If you find one that can bag without freezing first please post the info.
Most of the vacuum sealers I've used don't require the food be frozen first. That's kind of the whole point of having a vacuum sealer, so you can vacuum seal the food before freezing it, so that you don't freezer burn the food.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2011
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Quote:
The biggest problem I have is that about everything such as meat and fish must be frozen before I can pack it.
That's opposite of my experience too. Matter of fact, I get worse results when sealing frozen meats over unfrozen. The frozen meats have hard rough edges. The unfrozen meat squishes some and conforms to the bag better.
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Old 02-02-2011
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I have a 10 year old FoodSaver that works fine. I think I bought one replacement box of bags along the way and still haven't run out. I typically use the roll and make my own to size. I will make it with an extra inch or two if it is something where I may cut the seal, use a bit, then reseal the rest. Block bacon is a good example. I've never used it on the boat, but I do use it to pack things to bring along if going for more than a weekend.

The only things I've partially frozen first are pre-formed hamburgers, which will distort if sealed first. Otherwise, I've never frozen anything before packaging.
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Old 02-02-2011
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Everytime I have tried mine for chicken or fish the juices suck up to the top and my machine will not seal it all the way. I've tried placing napkins at the top to stop it but have never had any luck. I have done fish filets by adding water into the bag and then sealing it without the pump and that has worked some. Maybe I need to shop for a new machine also.
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Old 02-02-2011
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Everytime I have tried mine for chicken or fish the juices suck up to the top and my machine will not seal it all the way.
I've had that happen too and I've patted the meat dry with paper towel and placed a paper towel barrier near the top of the bag to prevent it. It is something that you have to watch out for though.
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Old 02-02-2011
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Originally Posted by aquaman9 View Post
Everytime I have tried mine for chicken or fish the juices suck up to the top and my machine will not seal it all the way. I've tried placing napkins at the top to stop it but have never had any luck. I have done fish filets by adding water into the bag and then sealing it without the pump and that has worked some. Maybe I need to shop for a new machine also.
It must be your machine. I can see the juice run up the bag as the vacuum comes on, but it seals right through it. There is even a place for the extracted liquid to collect right behind the sealer, so it clearly expects there to be some.
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Old 02-02-2011
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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
It must be your machine. I can see the juice run up the bag as the vacuum comes on, but it seals right through it. There is even a place for the extracted liquid to collect right behind the sealer, so it clearly expects there to be some.
That's the way my vacuum sealer works as well... it definitely has a tray for the run off...
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Old 02-02-2011
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Mine is a Food-Saver, I've had it a long time, the number of bags that came with the machine was incredible, it always seals, and it is recommended that you DO NOT try to seal frozen foods. The reason being is that if the food is frozen the bag does not conform nearly as well to the shape of the food and could leave small air pockets. Soft items, such as meat, fish, poultry, always conform air free and always seal completely. As for wearing a hole in the bag while sailing, NAH! That's not gonna' happen, at least with the heavy-duty bags that were supplied by the manufacturer.

Good Luck,

Gary
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