Vacuum Sealers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by rmonge00, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi everyone,

    I will be processing my birds in a month and I want to start looking in to vacuum sealers to do it. Does anyone have any recommendations on brands, types, etc.? I would prefer to buy a nice one that will last me awhile, rather than a cheap one. Also, are standard sizes big enough to pack an entire chicken? How about a turkey? Or do you need something special for those sizes?

    Thanks!

    Ryan
     
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Unless you are cutting the bird up, a whole bird will not fit in the largest bag they carry. Other then that the food seal and save is great. I love it. I use it to seal up frozen vegies after they have been opened. I bought mine for the the same reason.
     
  3. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too am considering a purchase and will be watching the input from those who have these.
     
  4. Ahab

    Ahab Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've used a FoodSaver for years, and you have to spend a lot more money to get something better. Don't buy the precut bags; they're too expensive, and always the wrong size. Buy 11" and 8" rolls, and cut to size to fit the job.

    We don't usually freeze whole birds; too much air doesn't get exhausted. Easier and more efficient to butterfly them. Be sure to protect the plastic with some waxed paper where splintery bones might puncture the film.
     
  5. NeTNChknLover

    NeTNChknLover Out Of The Brooder

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    We use a FoodSaver too, works great. Sealed up a whole bunch of pork chops and sausage late last year and still eating it, no freezer burn [​IMG]
     
  6. bwmichaud

    bwmichaud Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Foodsavers are a great invention but they are a poor choice if you plan to package whole chickens. They work well for chicken parts and other meats but if you plan to freeze whole birds, use the poultry shrink bags. (I use the Foodsaver for everything except whole birds) Even the largest Foodsaver bags can't fit the huge broilers. They fit chickens up to 6-7 lbs max and that's pushing it. I freeze a couple hundred birds a year and I used to use the Foodsaver for all of them. I still use my Foodsaver for chicken parts and I think that it is the right tool for that job. A whole chicken has a large airspace in the empty chest cavity and when the foodsaver bag loses it's vacuum in the freezer, the bag expands and the chicken becomes covered in ice and gets freezer burn. This doesn't happen to every bird but it probably happens to at least 10-20% of the birds. A foodsaver is also not a high duty cycle device so make sure that if you use one, you give the vacuum pump time to rest between cycles or you will burn out the vacuum pump and have a $100-$200 paperweight. I have burnt out 2 already before I learned this. I used to get the shrink bags from Cornerstone Farm Ventures but found the shipping prices were way too high. I found some for sale on Craigslist from this woman in VT. Her pricing was the same per bag as Cornerstone Farm but she included the zip ties for free which translated into a few cents cheaper per bag. Being the cheapo that I am, I started buying them from her for a lot less. She just started the website www.nadyaspoultry.com Since she's local here in VT, I was able to pick them up and not pay any shipping. She said that she also ships them anywhere in the US and only charges the actual shipping charges. So...get a foodsaver for the chicken parts and the shrink bags for the whole birds and you'll have the best of both worlds.
     
  7. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has anyone tried any of the vacuum sealers from Cabela's? If so, are you pleased with it and what model did you get? I've had two Food Savers and consider them crap, so am looking for something better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  8. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not a FoodSaver fan. I bought one a few years ago to package venison and it barely lasted one season. The sealing mechanism got hinky and would almost never properly seal the bags.

    I also would suggest the shrink bags. The Planet Whizbang site has an article on them.
     
  9. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am looking at the vacuum sealer from Cabelas also - the commercial grade $500 one. [​IMG]
    I was so used to having a vacuum sealer, that I am willing to spend that much to get one that works!

    I had a food saver about 12 years ago, it was their more expensive one that had two pumps. It lasted about 7 years before I wore it out - I used is twice a week on average, plus cutting up and freezing a deer every year. The seal on the pump wore out and they said it would cost more to fix than to purchase a new one.
    Bought a new one, but it is a piece of junk. The first one only had a couple of bags that lost vacuum over the 8 years I used it, this new one I feel lucky if I pull something out of the freezer after a couple of weeks and it hasn't lost the vacuum.

    I like that Cabellas has a 15" wide bag available. I don't know if it will be big enough for a whole chicken or not, but will do well for roasts and such.

    NOTE: it is on sale at Cabelas right now for $360 !
     
  10. ChickChickChicky

    ChickChickChicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, my experience with the FoodSavers is the same as yours, never knowing whether the seal will hold. There were some times that, no matter what, I could NEVER get a particular bag to seal at all, sometimes the seal would seem to be good but fail in the freezer. I too am willing to spend the big bucks to get a sealer that is rock-solid dependable... the food I put by has too much value to gamble on a FoodSaver seal. When the seal gives out it is money wasted and you might as well just throw the food away (not to mention your time and trouble in putting it up).
     

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