I had been wanting a vacuum sealer for a long time.
I employ two techniques whenever I want to buy something.
- If it has recently been reviewed by Choice Magazine, I buy whatever they recommend; or
- I research and research the item until I dwindle all the possibilities down to one which clearly is a cut above the rest.
As vacuum sealers hadn’t been reviewed by Choice Magazine, I was left with the second option. I read everything I possibly could online, but to no avail. Everyone, it seemed, loved the one they had. No one wished they had bought another brand. Even people who bought a cheapie on eBay, thought it was great.
I asked my neighbour, Renate, about her vacuum sealer. She said that she loved hers and used it every day. It is her favourite thing in her kitchen (and she has everything in her kitchen, even a meat slicer). She has a Foodsaver.
I watched YouTube video after YouTube video of some guy in the US who was selling one which could suck up fluid. I decided that was the one I wanted. I emailed him to see if he had a 200+ volt machine he could sell me. He did. I emailed him back saying I wanted one but I never heard from him again.
I started researching, again, confident that the one I was destined to have would appear to me. But it never did.
What was I to do? I really wanted a vacuum sealer. I only had one option. I had to make a decision all by myself. So I did. I bought an Orved. Why? No reason in particular – Master Butchers Limited (MBL) sell the bags and Orved sealers come in three domestic models (I quite like having a choice). I bought the mid-range one.
And I love it!
It is fantastic. I seal so many things with it. Now I can buy things cheaply, break them up into smaller quantities and store them, knowing no bug will get into them nor will they go mouldy.
It is great for sealing meat which will last at least three times as long in the fridge or freezer once it is sealed and, if frozen, won’t get freezer burn.
It is great for cheese. We now have lots of different types in the fridge. After using a portion, we just reseal the bag. Sealed cheese keeps for months.
It is great for smallgoods and sliced meats. I buy ham, salami, mortadella, etc, and put a few slices in each bag so we have a choice for lunch.
It is great for freezing prepared food. I make hummus and pate and put them in small containers, sufficient for two, vacuum seal and freeze them. They defrost perfectly.
It is great for grains. No more weevils.
It is great for glaced fruit. No more mould or crystalisation. It is also great for dried fruit.
It is great for nuts. I can now buy a kilo really cheaply and then put them into smaller bags, confident they won’t go rancid.
It is not so great for fresh vegies. I got carried away at first and had some real disasters – just don’t do it.
We label the bag with the contents, weight and date.
The bags are reusable. You can buy them at various shops, including Master Butchers (MBL) and online.
If you have ever thought you may want one, I seriously recommend them.
PS: Sorry, everyone, about the previous incomplete post that went out. I pressed Tab and it published. I won’t do that again:(
So easy to use! I’ve been using it to seal all my bulk meats! I love how organized this makes my fridge look also.
Oh, it looks like I was just a little to impatient – now they both have appeared – sorry for the redundancy.
Hi Doc, you were right, they were in the spam tray.
OK, and here’s the message with links:
I have an old Sinbo, which I see is still being sold on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinbo-DZ-280-Vacuum-Sealer-FREE/dp/B004ZVJ088 as well as on other sites too. As I mentioned above, it’s been a workhorse, and it’s been reliable – but it may be time to replace it. And here’s what bothers me about doing that: although it seems to be the only ‘cheap’ vacuum sealer to use plain mylar bags, it has NO competition. And I don’t understand why it is not more popular! And of course, there’s the problem with liquids.
Here in the US, the only inexpensive machine is the Food Saver/Tilia (same maker), but of course, the bags are expensive. All other options are in the ‘commercial’ category, and the machines tend to be super expensive – however, there is one selling for less than $1000 (if one can consider that ‘reasonable’) that is highly rated and is apparently built like a tank: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/vacmaster-vp112-chamber-vacuum-sealer/120VMASVP112.html This unit has an interesting design, it functions as do many of the commercial units, with a ‘chamber’ in which you place your opened bag, and it apparently removes all air and seals the bag as well – and since the entire space is essentially a vacuum, it does not suck out any liquid content of the bag.
If I ever find myself with $600 mad money in my pocket, I may just get one of these – in the meantime, I’ll limp along with my old Sinbo.
Wow Doc that Vacmaster chamber vacuum sealer looks great! I have not seen anything like that in Australia. I searched and searched for one that could be used with fluids. It’s a great pity the US uses 110V (we have 220+V). There are so many things that I would like to import but wouldn’t work here.
Mine is branded Sinbo, but interestingly, there is no ‘Made in’ listing on the back of the unit – which I thought was a requirement for these things in the US. Amazon, who stills sells this unit: http://www.amazon.com/Sinbo-DZ-280-Vacuum-Sealer-FREE/dp/B004ZVJ088, suggests that Sinbo is a Korean noodle company – ??? There are at least two things that trouble me about this machine – one is that in the 5+ years I’ve owned mine, it has never changed one bit – but the most troubling thing is that there are no competitors, and one would assume that if this was a challenge to the channeled bag tech, that there would be some competition market wise – but no.
I too have done a lot of investigation on this, and determined that there are vac sealers out there that will work with wet packs – they have become popular because of their use in ‘sous vide’ cooking – of course, most of these are commercial units and cost well over $1000 US – however, this unit appears to be an exception, and is made by one of the larger manufacturers: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/vacmaster-vp112-chamber-vacuum-sealer/120VMASVP112.html
I guess one would have to be quite well off to consider $600 appropriate for a home application – but I may one day find myself with sufficient cash and nothing better to do with it – and I’ll just get one! Ha!
It’s something called a Sinbo – it’s still being sold – here is Amazon’s: http://www.amazon.com/Sinbo-DZ-280-Vacuum-Sealer-FREE/dp/B004ZVJ088
Two things bother me about this machine – one, it has not changed a bit in the 5 + years I’ve had mine; but the most troubling is why there are no other competitive machines out there? Something keeps telling me that if this was the way to go, that there would be competitors – right?
I too have done a lot of research on these, although I tend to not do a great job of making notes of my findings, and I soon forget where I saw what! But I do know that there are machines out there that handle ‘wet’ packed stuff – especially now that ‘sous vide’ has become such a big deal – here’s one that appears to be a quality machine, and is RELATIVELY inexpensive (at least it’s less than $1000) http://www.webstaurantstore.com/vacmaster-vp112-chamber-vacuum-sealer/120VMASVP112.html
If I ever find myself with $500 I don’t know what to do with, I may just get this one. Ha!
I have to add my 2 cents here (I loved your sentiment that ‘everyone loved the one they were using’! Ha.) I too researched which one to buy, some 5 years ago now – and I hated the idea of getting one that used the ‘channeled’ bags, due to the horrendous cost. But I noticed that the big commercial sealers use relatively cheap food grade plastic bags – so I kept looking at sources for those in hopes of finding a reasonably priced one (they sell for $500 and up, here). I finally found one that sells for about $100, made by (or at least sold by) one of the big commercial machine makers, which I bought. Also got a large supply of the inexpensive bags which I’m still using – smallest amounts they’d sell was 500 of a size, so I got 500 each of 4 sizes, of which I still have about 300/400 bags left.
The unit does not appear to be sturdy, but it’s over 5 years old and I use it all the time – I do notice that it doesn’t suck out as much air as it once did, and it is one of those that tends to suck out liquid which screws up the process – but I’ve learned to pack the bags, freeze them, and then use the sealer. May be time to replace this one.
From my reading, none of the domestic models can be used with fluids (except the one the guy on Youtube was selling, and he doesn’t appear to be selling them any more). Mine uses the channeled bags, I think most of the domestic models do. What brand do you have?
Hummm … Twice now I’ve done a response to you, and both seem to have disappeared. Humm. maybe they’re getting caught up in your WP spam catcher – they both had embedded links in them, and I think WP often considers any message with a link in it as spam. So, let me just send you this one, with no links, and I’ll follow it with another that contains the links – and essentially what I had included in my ‘lost’ messages. OK?
Hi Doc, Hey they were in with the spam. I have resurrected them.
Glenda, we have a cheapie vacuum sealer, bought for just $69 from Deals Direct, and it’s been absolutely fabulous. I use it all the time, both for vac sealing but also for resealing open bags of cereal or chocolate etc. The only problem has been the cost of the bags – the machine only works with the textured bags, and they cost a fortune. When this machine breaks, I think I’ll fork out for an expensive one that works with smooth bags, as I can source those much more economically…
Hi Celia, the Orved only works with channelled bags. It was my understanding that all the domestic ones did. Maybe I am wrong. I buy the bags online. They work out about $0.20 each. We use them on average 3 times. That is not so bad.