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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Food Saver

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that many Mormon communities had facilities where you could buy foodstuffs at a reasonable price and can your own. The closest facility to me was pretty far away.

I was about to call them when Greg reminded me of our Food Saver. We bought it around 1989-90, back when it was very expensive and fairly hard to find, but it did a wonderful job of sealing containers.

It had hardly been used in the last ten years and wasn't sure what I'd find when I pulled it out. Age hardened the soft rubber gaskets, but I thought maybe I could find replacements for them online. No such luck. The company is alive and well, but this particular machine no longer exists.

Over the weekend, I had to stop by Costco and took a look at the latest Food Saver machine. It was $140 bucks, 30 dollars cheaper than what I could find online, PLUS it had a coupon for an additional $30 off. It had to be kismet.

These are my two experiments. I sealed white rice in the bag and dry milk in the jar.

I took it home and fondled all the buttons. Overall, I'm happy with it. It seals beautifully and moreover it seals canning jars, which is almost as good as sealing them at the Mormon facility--except that now I am out of canning jars.

Yikes! Must find more jars.

The nice thing about using quart size canning jars is that it is just the right size for a smaller family. For example: Milk. We don't drink it, but I do use it for baking and cooking, so I always buy dry milk and reconstitute what little I need. Canning dry milk is ideal for us.

I have to add that the new Food Saver did NOT come with the canning attachments necessary to seal canning jars. I used the attachments from the original Food Saver which thankfully is interchangeable. You can buy these attachments separately.

Back to the Food Saver itself. My orignal Food Saver was heavier and more rugged. The new Food Saver is prettier and most importantly, the gasket can be replaced if necessary. I'm not happy that the hose attachment (the part that seals jars) is set inside the machine. It has a nice auto return function so it is out of sight, but I worry what will happen if it ever needs replacing.

The only thing you have to do with the new machine is show it the bag or jar you want to seal and it does everything on its own. Digital technology at its best.

I want to leave you with a terrifc You Tube video I found on sealing jars with a Food Saver. It shows you all the different types of jars you can use to seal securely.

Final remarks: The Food Saver is still new and shiny so there's nothing to complain about. I kept the plastic guard it came with so that I can keep the gasket from being continually crushed (and weakened). I remove it whenever I need to use the machine.

Have you used a Food Saver? Do you like it?

Copyright © 2009 Maria Zannini --

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Stephanie Humphreys said...

I just bought the canning jar attachment for my food saver. My new favorite thing to do is seal chocolate chips in recipe size portions. Drives my kids nuts. They can't sneak any this way. You're right though, it sure uses up the canning jars fast!

Maria Zannini said...

Walmart is clearing out their canning supplies now, but the best I could score were lids and caps.

Sneaky mom, portion control chocolate chips. :o) I like it!

Heather B. Moore said...

I don't have a Food Saver. But I do have stuff that I canned at a Mormon cannery about 10 years ago. I'm trying to use it up, but I think I have just way too many dried apples :)

Stephanie Humphreys said...

My kids eat the dried apples like potato chips. I thin kI'm going to have to scour the thrift stores for more jars.

Maria Zannini said...

I loved dried fruit!

I think my biggest regret is that it's so hard to network and trade with local people for goods and services.

How nice it would be to find someone who would trade their excess bounty in return for mine.

Marshall Payne said...

Hi Maria, I sent you an email at your gmail addy. Can't remember which one I should use. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Got it. Thanks!

Marianne Arkins said...

I absolutley use mine, but don't have the jar attachment -- YET.

My DH hunts, and we use the food saver to vacuum seal the meat so it lasts all year. The bags are costly though, so I don't use it for much else (which is why the jar attachment is suddenly very appealing).

Maria Zannini said...

I am very stingy with my bags. Since most of my freezer storage is relatively short term, I prefer to use the bags for dry storage, this way if the bags are still in good shape, I can reuse them.

But jars are my mainstay. They do take up more room than bags, but they are reusable and you never have to worry about puncturing it.

I use the jar attachments more than I used the bagger.