Vacuum bag sealer system users speak out.

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Oct 12, 2012
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I dry my own food for trips and have been using zip locks. Been wanting to upgrade to a vacuum pouch. Did I mention that I'm basically cheap except when I'm not. (lately I am). Anyway, I want to get started with an inexpensive unit. I just wounder what works, what doesn't. Any tricks. Talk to me people, I know you all know these things. Dave
 
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Jul 25, 2012
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Great question Rippy, Nothing wrong with being cheap, what with everyone trying to get a person to spend! spend! you've got to put on the breaks somehow. As one wisely prudent person to another (cheap, cheap) how do your dry you food for camping?

Yellow Canoe, you're great! No kidding, I've never seen anyone who can come up with answers like you do and be so willing to share. That zip-lock thing is just the entry level kind of device I was looking for. Thanks bunches!

All in all, I'm really grateful; Robin for giving us this place to gather and all of you for being there. I don't 'spose we will ever meet, maybe on the other side.
Wouldn't that be a hoot! Don't much care for bathrobes and harps but I'd sure like a canoe like Robin's that weighs say.... fifteen pounds!
Best Wishes, Rob
 
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Bathrobes and harps??? Now THAT would be interesting to see on a canoe trip!

Some ovens can go to 200 degrees and its possible to oven dehydrate. I do have a dehydrator right out of Wal Mart ( confess to buying a few things there!). Dehydrators should be 750 watts with a temperature control.

It might be worth the money especially if you live in a humid climate. If you are in Arizona you can probably dry in the window.

Or do the Alton Brown dehydrator

http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/showthread.php?6244-Making-a-Dehydrator-Alton-Brown-style
 
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Rob, I am using my wifes dehydrator, it's the round tray type. Maybe you can buy one for your wife for her aniversary gift and kill two birds with one stone.

Kim thanks for your help, I will look at the vac zip bags. I didn't know there was such a thing. Dave
 
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Well I ended going in to work overtime for about 8 hours this weekend, so I had some money burning a hole in my back pocket so to speak. I just purchased a nice used vacuum sealer unit and some bag rolls for it on Ebay. I'm looking forward to experimenting with it. Dave
 
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I love my foodsaver. When packaging your dried, crunchy, pokey, sharp edged food I have had success forming a pouch or envelope from wax paper to protect the bag. When the machine sucks out all the air the sharp edges will make pinholes and the next day some of the packages will have lost their seal.

I also recommend watching a fellow on YouTube "mrbabelfish5" he has a few recipes geared to dehydration. My favorite is the BBQ spaghetti :) yummy stuff
Jason
 
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I'm not a fan of vacuum seal approach because I've always had success using ordinary Zip-Lock freezer bags with a small drinking straw to draw out as much air as I can. I've never had any problems, except for some slight freezer burned flavour on stuff that got forgotten about in the back of the freezer for over a year.

I like that the Zip-Lock bags are reusable. When I get home, I just wash 'em out and they're ready to re-use the next time, though there's always one or two that won't reseal properly, so those get set aside for other purposes.

Lastly, because they re-seal, you can use them to make boil-in-bag meals when camping. You can re-hydrate and eat right out of the bag, which means no greasy dishes to wash up afterward. This is especially useful when winter camping where doing dishes is a nuisance.

Hope this helps,
- Martin
 
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I love my foodsaver. When packaging your dried, crunchy, pokey, sharp edged food I have had success forming a pouch or envelope from wax paper to protect the bag. When the machine sucks out all the air the sharp edges will make pinholes and the next day some of the packages will have lost their seal.

I also recommend watching a fellow on YouTube "mrbabelfish5" he has a few recipes geared to dehydration. My favorite is the BBQ spaghetti :) yummy stuff
Jason

Thanks for the tip and the YouTube recommendation Jason.
 
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Aug 1, 2011
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Ontario
One caution about using Ziplocs for boil in bag meals- Don't use the regular bags, they can pop from the steam pressure, use only the freezer bags. My last breakfast in the bush is usually "Barf in a Bag"; Take one of your left over baggies, throw in some egg powder, dry mushroom, dried sweet pepper, dried bacon, that left over chunk of hard cheese (chopped up), salt & pepper, and what ever left over meats or veggies you have, a little oil or margarine, and water. Squish it all up. Squeeze out the air and pop it in your boiling coffee or wash-up water for two or three minutes. Take it out and eat out of the bag with one of those disposable spoons from fast food places. Chuck any garbage in the bag, and carry it out with you.
This is great for several reasons, you reuse the bag twice (cooking and garbage), and the spoon from your last take out, you have a nice western omelette for breakfast in the time it takes to make oatmeal, you use up the little bits of leftovers that are such a pain to get rid of, you have hot water ready by the time you 're ready to eat, and BEST OF ALL- No cleanup :)
 
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"Take one of your left over baggies, throw in some egg powder, dry mushroom, dried sweet pepper, dried bacon, that left over chunk of hard cheese (chopped up), salt & pepper, and what ever left over meats or veggies you have, a little oil or margarine, and water. Squish it all up" - scoutergriz

That sound great! Can I ask you how much water you put in your egg powder? What consistencey are your eggs before you put the heat to it? I'm gonna have to try this. breakfast has been lacking and when I try to fry up the egg powder, as per instructions, I can never get it to come out right. Thanks
Jason
 
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I just eyeball it, then add a little more than I think it needs. One point I missed; add the water when you put the pot on so the dry stuff has time to absorb it, then if it looks dry by the time the water boils, add more water.
Like scrambled, the excess water will cook out and just settles to the bottom.

One thing I use my sealer for is my ditch kit stuff; I seal a dozen matches and sandpaper ( fold the paper rough side in) in one bag, about 20' of 20ga stainless in another so it cant unroll, fire starter in a third, bullion, coffee, hot cider in another, I wrap duct tape around some bolts and seal it (waterlogged tape sucks) basic 1st aid stuff, some water purifier tablets, and I even put one of those cheap 2mil drop sheets in a bag.
That way I only have to open what I need, and I can tell at a glance what I need to replace for next trip
 
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Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Update. The Zip loc vacuum sealer bag system is discontinued. I still like them cause they are tougher than regular freezer bags. I went to the supermarket today as I had broken the plunger that supplies the vacuum.. and found out that all of that line plunger, bags etc are discontinued items. They had lots of bags and no plunger and off to customer service I went...

So I shamed them into giving me some gallon size boxes of them.. free ...and am off to find a straw.. Thanks Pine Martyn!
 
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One time I used a vacuum sealer for storing pre-cooked bannock. Not a good idea. The bread was flatter than a road-killed possum.
 
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I have a Foodsaver vacuum sealer and only use it for camping mostly because of the cost of bags. Since I rely on Hawk Vittles for most of my dinners and he uses the vacuum bags, I sometimes use them to divide a double meal into a single and re-seal them. The bags are nice because you can add boiling water and rehydrate and eat out of the bag.

The zip lock bags that Yellow Canoe refers to work well for a while, but I found they quickly had issues with the zip locks not sealing.

BTW YC the little suckers that come with the vacuum marinaters work fine to get the air out of those. Don't know if you can find some separate from the marinator. http://www.jaccard.com/SPEEDY-PLUS-45-Liter-Vacuum-Marinater_p_19.html shows one.
 
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What I did was dehydrate and then put into the zip loc vacuum bags.. Then .. I ..used the hose on the house VACUUM! What a thought! I tried inserting the bags into the Food Saver I have but for some reason the Food Saver isn"t working.. Its old.. not sure the heating element is working.. I don't think the Food Saver would really care what sort of bag it was dealing with as long as it was long enough to fit in the vacuum channel.

I subdivided the quantities so I won't be resealing the zip loc vacuum bags. They can be fiddly.
 
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YC, I'm sure you want to know this. Your house vacuum moves a lot of air but it doesn't draw much of a vacuum. Your mouth, on the other hand, doesn't move a lot of air (this is compared to a vacuum cleaner, not other humans), but it can draw a pretty strong vacuum. I used to sell pneumatic equipment and discovered that I could draw about a 95% vacuum (using a hose and a vacuum gauge). I'll let you decide whether this information could be helpful in evacuating air from food bags.
 
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YC, I'm sure you want to know this. Your house vacuum moves a lot of air but it doesn't draw much of a vacuum. Your mouth, on the other hand, doesn't move a lot of air (this is compared to a vacuum cleaner, not other humans), but it can draw a pretty strong vacuum. I used to sell pneumatic equipment and discovered that I could draw about a 95% vacuum (using a hose and a vacuum gauge). I'll let you decide whether this information could be helpful in evacuating air from food bags.
I concur; there's a friend of a friend I know, who gate crashes some of our parties. If I leave him in charge of the music and the drinks table, everything's fine. But once he starts to mingle , he only needs to open his mouth, and he pretty well sucks the life out of the party.

When we blanche and freeze garden veg, as well as home pesto and stuff; it's easy to use a straw and ziplock to remove most of the air. I'll try it with the dehydrated stuff; that'll likely go in the freezer as well.
 
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I've already filled some bags and evacuated with a hand held vacuum. While it took a little longer; maybe twice as long, it worked.
No way was I driving thirty miles over mud bog roads and heaved asphalt and taking 90 minutes to buy a straw( or several dozen!)

Gotta do with what one has here.
 
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I've already filled some bags and evacuated with a hand held vacuum. While it took a little longer; maybe twice as long, it worked.
No way was I driving thirty miles over mud bog roads and heaved asphalt and taking 90 minutes to buy a straw( or several dozen!)

Gotta do with what one has here.

With a little practice, you can evacuate a ziploc without a straw. You might even find that your husband develops a new appreciation for your kissing skills, since it takes the same muscles.
 
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