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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Provisioning
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  #1  
Old 01-05-2011
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Question vacuum sealer recommendations

I've decided I need to get a vacuum sealer. I live aboard my boat (alone), so I'm constantly having too much food for one meal and I need to divide it up. I'm thinking a sealer will make the leftovers last longer, especially if I use it to seal the raw ingredients instead of the cooked meal. I want one that is small and reliable, and the bags for it don't cost too much (i.e. total cost of ownership is low). Any recommendations?

For those of you that have one already, how often do you use it? Does my planned usage seem correct? How much longer does stuff last when you use it? Thanks.
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Old 01-05-2011
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We were handed down one. We use it to pack and freeze meats before the summer cruise and I repackaged several spare parts with it too. I have mixed feelings about it though. If some items are going to be kicking around for a while, the plastic bags can wear a hole in them, then there goes your vacuum.

I planned on re-using the bags several times but the wife wasn't too keen on re-using bags that had raw meat in them, so we compromised and we didn't re-use them.

We quit bringing it with us on our summer cruises. I'm not sure whether we'll bring it along or not when extended cruising though.
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Old 01-05-2011
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I have one that I use all the time and bags (1Qt.) are about $.20 cents each.I cook all kind of meals and freeze them.I use the frozen meal in the cooler as extra ice and then just boil water , through it in. Then eat off a paper plates and through it all away. No mess to clean up and things I have made are, Lasagna,roast beef dinner with all the fixing, turkey & Fixings. I have stored all sorts of thing in bigger bags that need to be kept dry and when I have a concern about the items I will double bag them.Bill & Crew
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Old 01-05-2011
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I purchased one at BJ's Wholesale Club about 5 years ago for $99. Been using it ever since. Keep in mind, though, that some ingredients, meat, fish, poultry, will have to be frozen after vacuum sealing. Frozen sealed meats will last many months without incurring freezer burn. Fresh vegetables will last about 10 times longer than those not vacuum sealed. The one I purchased had enough bags to last for years.

Good Luck,

Gary
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Old 01-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erps View Post
so we compromised and we didn't re-use them.
smart man.
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Old 01-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
I've decided I need to get a vacuum sealer. I live aboard my boat (alone), so I'm constantly having too much food for one meal and I need to divide it up. I'm thinking a sealer will make the leftovers last longer, especially if I use it to seal the raw ingredients instead of the cooked meal. I want one that is small and reliable, and the bags for it don't cost too much (i.e. total cost of ownership is low). Any recommendations?

For those of you that have one already, how often do you use it? Does my planned usage seem correct? How much longer does stuff last when you use it? Thanks.
Don't forget, they're not only great for sealing up individual portions of food and make it really quick to re-heat them later—since you can boil the vacuum sealed packets of food to re-heat them in many cases.

They're also great for protecting equipment and parts from corrosion and environmental damage for long term storage. Rarely used tools and such can also be vacuum sealed in a lot of cases and they won't rust or degrade as easily.

Many parts, like water pump impellers, oil filters, etc, can also be stored in the heat-sealed bags, but may not need to be vacuum-sealed.

Not only can you buy the 1 qt. and 1 gallon bags, you can buy rolls and make custom sized bags too.
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I am on my third one in about 10 years and my recommendation is to get the most expensive one you can find. My first one was a small convenient one that could not adequately suck all the air out and it would just run and run until I manually stopped it. The second, more expensive one did the same. The last good bigger one has been working quite well.

I use the more expensive bags for long-term food storage and non-food related items. The items I use short-term I use the cheap-knockoff thinner bags.

If you plan on re-sealing something again and again, make the bags bigger because when you open them and re-seal them, you lose about an inch or two. I have learned not to make the bags too small since it makes it hard to seal when you don't have enough room to lock the bag.

I only re-use them if there is no raw meat or ingredients in there. Salmonella is not fun.
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How weird is this? I jumped off this forum and onto woot dot com just now and they have one for sale for $24.99. I have made numerous purchases from woot over the years. Great place to buy stuff whether you need it or not.
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Old 01-06-2011
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i use this:

Seal-a-Meal® Vacuum Sealer Products

and like it a lot. its very compact, but i imagine they all are... doh
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Old 01-06-2011
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LOL... I was just going to mention that Woot.com had a vacuum sealer for sale today... but Onremlop beat me to it.
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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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