An alternative to traditional food sealers

Years ago, I thought I would give one of those food sealers to try.  You know, the ones where you put whatever you want to save in a plastic bag, which the air is then sucked out of, and the bag is heat sealed with a special machine.  Unfortunately, I was less than thrilled.  First, the sealer didn’t seem to really suck the air out that well, and then, once you open the bag, but you could refill it with the heat sealer, it was a real pain in the neck. It ended up costing quite a bit, especially in wasted plastic. 

Recently, I started getting a weekly box of farm direct veggies.  I realized that I wasn’t able to use all of them and ended up having to throw out a bunch because they would go bad before I could really store them properly. So, I started looking at getting another food sealer.  The only problem was my memory of my first experience. Then I discovered that Foodsaver, one of the more popular manufacturers of these things, makes an interesting alternative that’s cheaper and allows you to reuse the bags.  First, it has zippered bags with special valves on them.  Then, there is a vacuum pump which fits on this valve and sucks out all the air.  You put in the items you wish to save, make sure the bag is it tight, and then use the vacuum pump and viola la,  you got basically the same thing you can do with one of the heat sealing machines.   The difference is, if you want to use something from the bag, you just open it up like any other zippered bag, take out what you want, then reseal it and use the vacuum pump again.  Easy Peasy!!!  The vacuum pump is known as the Foodsaver FreshSaver handheld vacuum sealer, and The zippered vacuum sealer bags are available in quart and gallon sizes.  The pump is about $20, while the bags run about $10 for a box.  So far, I’m very impressed!