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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone interested in forming a Food Saver support group? I was thinking we could meet at a different members house each week and eat whatever didn’t seal properly and is starting to get freezer burned. We could discuss interesting ways of removing certain body parts of whoever designed said units and marketed them as usable. I would start off by suggesting something on this forum but am concerned about being labeled a “fill in the blank here” under the un-patriotic act.

Anyhow, I would be willing to host the first meeting as I just theoretically sealed 50 packages of Elk steak which I know will be showing ominous signs of burnage in the near future.

On a related note, the dog has returned to the side of the house I was working on after fleeing when she noticed a certain Food Saver product being extracted from its storage location. The neighbors have also raised their blinds and children are now playing on the street again. Thankfully the Sheriffs Deputy neighbor wasn’t home today as I am sure a knock on the door was inevitable to make sure everything was okay in the household as I calmly spoke to each and every one of the “sealed” packages that was hermitically preserved for the upcoming year.

Wow, there must be something to this therapy stuff as I feel better already….. bring on the sausage and hamburger sealing. On Second though, maybe its just the prescription Rum kicking in. :cheers:
 

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My third foodsaver (yeah, I know) has recently gone on the fritz, so I share your pain.
I understand fully your desire (as expressed in your first paragraph above) to furthur share some of this pain with some of those connected with this product.
I have a few "tools" left from back when I was in the sheep farming business, which I would be happy to lend you.
If you run into someone with the connections to make several of us malcontents a smoken hot volume deal on machines which actually work, I am interested.
 

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I fried our last one using it to seal our Kettle Corn bags. I wasn't "vacuuming" them, just hitting the instant seal button to get the heat seal on the bag. Well, I guess the machine didn't like it and just quit all together. Made me have to break down and order the industrial heat sealer AND get a new foodsaver from Costco! :passout: The new one seems to be working fine so far (and I wish I would've sprung for the heat sealer a LOT sooner too!!). I am anxious to put it's claim to the test about being able to seal food like muffins now and not crush them. We shall see!! :wave:
 

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Never had trouble with mine, ya a bag every now and then not sealing up. I went through 6 roles packing tuna loins this summer and probably had two maybe three bags not seal.
 

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I'm in the same boat as Stick Fish. We seldom have a problem and when we do, it's usually some fault of the operator. I have found that pre freezing fish first help a lot. I put my filets on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes and then pack them. This keeps the juices from being sucked up in to the machine. I always buy food saver bags too. We tried the cheaper off brands and had lots of problems.
 

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I second the short pre-freeze when you have the time. With 20+Tuna in the truck there is no time for that so I wipe the edge of the bag off. Also carking tuna at least a full day after catch greatly reduces the juicing and firms up the loins.

Salmon on the other hand one its onezies and twozies its pretty easy to pre-freeze. Processing an Elk might not be too practical.
 

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The issue I usually have happens when I'm making bags. Cut, cut, cut, cut, seal, seal, seal, seal. By the fourth bag, the sealing strip starts heating up to the point that a full press (roughly five seconds) causes the seal to overmelt. I see bubbles in the seal itself and can guarantee that bag will leak. If I'm pressed for time, I'll shorten the sealing time by not waiting until the light goes off. Sometimes it works better than others.
 

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Turn the sealing time down to 3 seconds instead of 5 - if its dry more isn't better - also don't pre load your bags that way you give it time to cool off
 

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I try to keep any bones (from steaks, chops, etc) toward the middle of the bag. There is less pressure there from sealing and you are less likely to put a hole in the bag from a sharp edge. Like the last few posts, I'm lucky to not have had many problems. And I don't pre-load my bags, so it does have time to cool off in between.
 

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Best thing I have found is DO NOT cut the bag to short!!! An extra 2 inches makes a big difference trying to get the bag to lay straight in the "vaccuum channel' I know the bags are expensive, but it pays in the long run to make them a little longer.

Dan
 

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I have decided that our next vac pac machine will not be a Food Saver. It will be commercial grade.

In the long run, it will probably be cheaper than the FS........especially when you factor in the 'throw it out a window in a fit of rage' mode so common to the device. Windows aint cheap.
 

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I starting pre-freezing and now have zero problems.

BTW the commercial units .. some cost $1500 and up.
 

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If you're in a rush to get 'er done and don't have time to pre-freeze, I've found that if I put a paper towel in after I load the bag with fish, I get a better seal. The paper towel will absorb the extra juice before it gets to the unit. Make sure the towel spans the width of the bag. I sorta crumple them accordion style and wrap the ends in towards the outside edges of the bag.

The only drawback to this method is that if you unwrap the fish (or whatever else) while it's still frozen, the paper towel may have gotten stuck to the meat. In that case, a quick rinse with warm water will get it unstuck.
 

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Rum Runner. I have to suggest wrapping your game meat in waxed Butcher. I have meat stay good for several years in my freezer. I don't see any need to use your food saver.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rum Runner. I have to suggest wrapping your game meat in waxed Butcher. I have meat stay good for several years in my freezer. I don't see any need to use your food saver.

Just my 2 cents

I used to do that but found that even with the limitations of vacuum sealing it still worked better for me. Most often I do not plan ahead and spend time opening the freezer door, staring in and hoping something jumps out and says cook me. In this case, popping out a package of steak or pre-formed hamburger patties then putting them in a bowl of warm water to defrost for 5 minutes workes perfect for me. I hate microwaving to defrost don't generally plan ahead for most meals....

Most problems with my food saver units have been the lack of suction to get all the air out. It could be that at 4500 feet of elevation it has to work too hard to get all the air removed. There is an adjustment for high elevation but even with adjusted it just doesn't work well. Sealing for the most part doesn't seem to be much of an issue, it is the air left in the bag be it fish or meat that causes problems. I even tried to pre-freeze a bunch for this last hoard of meat but it didn't seem to make much difference although it prevented juices from seeping into the vacuum channel.

Someday when I win the lottery I will purchase a commercial unit. I priced them at around $1500 for a reasonable sized unit I could use at home.
 

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Two things the improved our sealing success rate;

Prewrap with clear "Saran wrap'. This provides an additional layer of protection from exposure to the atmosphere, and therefore, freezerburn.

Using soaker pads from your local meat market. They're made to soak up meat juices. Put the shiny side against the meat and it won't stick.
 

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Ruptured seals from pin bones in fish can be avoided by using a sheet of plastic (cut from the bag you used to transport the fillet). Lay it over the bone side, then seal. Extra buffer to keep those bones from puncturing the FS bag. Always pre-freeze when possible. When not possible, pat dry with paper towel, then seal.
I'm on FS machine #2 and only because I gave mom my older, smaller one. Until I can afford a commercial one, these work great for me.
Some models don't work as well as others though. Used a friends while camping and that machine was horrible. Had a ripple in the melt bar. Had to repack when I got home.
 

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I tossed my foodsaver after it went on the fritz and upgraded to a Vacu-Pack machine. A little more expensive at $250 7 years ago but well worth the money. I use mine non stop to seal game just about every weekend and I have had zero problems. I can seal bags continuously and it will seal right through wet stuff. Just have to turn the heat down to 1 1/2 seconds if you are using food saver bags. Once I figured out the heat settings I have had about 3 bags come loose in 7 years. It also pulls about 10 more inches of vacuum so your food stays fresh much longer. Check them out at the Sportman's Show. That's where I purchased mine and they threw in a 5 year warranty.
 

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SG do you have the Vacufresh or the Maxima?
 
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