Vacuum Sealer Recommendations

Triton14

Well-Known Member
I ended up purchasing one of these https://vacuumpackagingwarehouse.co...ts/320mm-food-vacuum-sealer-roll-starter-pack No brand name and cost $219 including a couple of rolls of sealing material. I have just sealed some veggies for the first time with the intent of freezing them for a few weeks. I steamed the vegies for about three minutes then threw them into some iced water and froze them for a couple of hours before packaging them. The machine seemed to seal very well. It will be interesting to see how the vegies come out after a couple of weeks. I've never frozen vegies before.
Congrats on the purchase.
You will never lose having one of these machines.

BUT!

You need to establish what these machines are best suited for straight off the bat & freezing vegies is not one of them.

If you want frozen vegies then get them from the supermarket!

The people who bring you frozen veg to your supermarket have done all the work, its like IQF & packaged in seconds.
You will never be able to match what the big guys do in frozen veg & how the end product ends on the plate.

The manufacturers snap freeze this veg at instant freezing temps holding in the freshness.

I use my machine in many ways but veg is the last thing I want to preserve for later use,

Just saying!
 

MrMiller

Member
I’d have to agree @Triton14… I’m also a chef of 20 years now… played the fine dining game for 15 of them. I’ve vac packed a lot of things over the years and have tested so many different ingredients with different pressures and temperatures. Vac packing is a very useful tool, but not needed for prepping veg. Just like any other tool or technique… it has its place and isn’t a one fits all type deal.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
I’d have to agree @Triton14… I’m also a chef of 20 years now… played the fine dining game for 15 of them. I’ve vac packed a lot of things over the years and have tested so many different ingredients with different pressures and temperatures. Vac packing is a very useful tool, but not needed for prepping veg. Just like any other tool or technique… it has its place and isn’t a one fits all type deal.
Ah, a fellow chef, now there at 2 here that I know of :)


In saying what I said about the veg its was more about storage.
I have however cooked veg in the bags(confit) before & they come out great but that's more high end type of cooking not general as you would be aware.

If you sous vide cook carrots in carrot juice you will end up with the best tasting carrots :D
 

cam04

Well-Known Member
My brother in law is a retailer consultant for a wholesale fruit and veg mob. One hunting trip he showed up with roasting veg, pre done in a cryo complete with garlic and rosemary, ready to drop in the camp oven. I’m pretty sure he grabbed them off a production line somewhere, but not peeling spuds, sweet potato and carrots was pretty good I must say..
 

MrMiller

Member
@Triton14 you still working in restaurants? I got out of them almost 2 years ago… found me a cruisey gig in aged care more suited to me and my young family. I found working 80-90 hours a week running high end kitchens just didn’t work for me anymore! And now I have more time to get out bush!

I’m not saying you Can’t cook veg in bags… you can definitely get some really good results. Heirloom baby beetroots cooked in orange juice, thyme and garlic will be bloody tasty and evenly cooked! And yes clean storage is always a plus. Just have to weigh up the amount of prep work and cost of bags one wants to put up with for a vegetable at the end of the day. You can get some pretty amazing results with just some raw baby carrots, some butter and seasoning in a pan over fire! So it’s not “needed”, but is available to those who choose.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
@Triton14 you still working in restaurants? I got out of them almost 2 years ago… found me a cruisey gig in aged care more suited to me and my young family. I found working 80-90 hours a week running high end kitchens just didn’t work for me anymore! And now I have more time to get out bush!
No I haven't really actively worked in stand alone restaurants for years but I work in large venues that have different types of food offering including restaurants, cafes, event spaces etc. I do have to do some restaurant services now & then but I mainly work in events- plated, buffets, canapes etc.

I have a good mate who is high up in a aged care company & he has offered to get me in somewhere but its something I dont want to do right now.
I have done that sort of thing before years ago when I did agency work for a while, not for me really.

Im sure it would be much less pressure that what I am currently under but Im also sure it would be 10-15K a year less to.

You cant have it all guess!

Ive been in the industry for 37 years & would actually like to get out but after so long its hard to convince a new employer to take you on in a different role, especially when your over 50.

Still I just started a new FT role & generally work 45-50hrs a week, 4 weeks A/L etc so its not to bad.
 

MrMiller

Member
No I haven't really actively worked in stand alone restaurants for years but I work in large venues that have different types of food offering including restaurants, cafes, event spaces etc. I do have to do some restaurant services now & then but I mainly work in events- plated, buffets, canapes etc.

I have a good mate who is high up in a aged care company & he has offered to get me in somewhere but its something I dont want to do right now.
I have done that sort of thing before years ago when I did agency work for a while, not for me really.

Im sure it would be much less pressure that what I am currently under but Im also sure it would be 10-15K a year less to.

You cant have it all guess!

Ive been in the industry for 37 years & would actually like to get out but after so long its hard to convince a new employer to take you on in a different role, especially when your over 50.

Still I just started a new FT role & generally work 45-50hrs a week, 4 weeks A/L etc so its not to bad.
Ah right. Yeah I haven't done too much large scale stuff... mostly boutique hotels and smaller high end restaurants... 50-60 seats but doing 12-26 courses.

I hated being in aged care at first as it's a MASSIVE step down and yeah a massive pay decrease. But it's not too bad now... I've finally got to experience some decent time away from the pass and weigh up what's important. Chasing the top spot just isn't for me anymore.
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
But it's not too bad now... I've finally got to experience some decent time away from the pass and weigh up what's important. Chasing the top spot just isn't for me anymore.
As you would know the industry had gotten away with taking advantage of staff to the tune of 20-40hrs per week of unpaid overtime for decades.

It took a couple of high profile celebrity type businesses to have successful law suits against them to wake world to the industry that they cant get away with slave labour anymore.

If the same thing happened in any other industry the unions would be in uproar & stop work protests would be an every day thing.

If it was the same at the government dept level public servants would stop the country from working & tradies would be charging you $200ph in call out fees!!!

Anyway enough of a rant, as you say life is about work life balance & the life part is is why we are all here sharing the other love, our pastimes.
 

MrMiller

Member
As you would know the industry had gotten away with taking advantage of staff to the tune of 20-40hrs per week of unpaid overtime for decades.

It took a couple of high profile celebrity type businesses to have successful law suits against them to wake world to the industry that they cant get away with slave labour anymore.

If the same thing happened in any other industry the unions would be in uproar & stop work protests would be an every day thing.

If it was the same at the government dept level public servants would stop the country from working & tradies would be charging you $200ph in call out fees!!!

Anyway enough of a rant, as you say life is about work life balance & the life part is is why we are all here sharing the other love, our pastimes.
Yeah its a tough industry and is definitely not for everyone… I choose to do the extra hours for the most part… I could have brought my roster down to about 45-50 hours but I was constantly trialling and working on menu and recipe development… also testing new techniques that I somehow came up with. But you’re right, a lot of chefs have copped it pretty shit with how it all works and not being payed a rightful wage. I get it though… you can’t charge $200 a plate otherwise you’d have an empty restaurant. There would have to be some sort of government subsidy in order for businesses to pay their staff a good wage and also have enough staff that is sustainable and not squeezing blood from a stone. The overheads are simply just too high in the restaurant industry. Also with the menu prices there isn’t enough revenue coming in for real growth like you see in other trades. Also front of house staff… most are rubbish as most are only working as a means to an end as a lot are backpackers, travellers or students. Me being from Canada and it being a tip driven industry over there you see some pretty gun career focused servers pulling 80-90k.
 

Burrrrrton

New Member
I’m looking at purchasing a vacuum sealer in the $200 range. I was looking at the Foodsaver VS6100 at Harvey Norman but there were a couple of reviews that highlighted several issues ie. hard to close, poor instructions and inserting kitchen paper in with the meat so that it would seal. That doesn’t do it for me. I was after recommendations for a reliable unit and where to pucrchase one. Any ideas? Thanks.
A good, reliable device at such a small cost can hardly be purchased. Have you considered increasing your budget?
 

GPS Guru

Member
I followed this website https://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/guide-to-vacuum-sealing-fresh-produce/ and both steamed and boiled the vegies. I then sealed them three or four weeks ago and have taken them out of the deep freeze today. The steamed ones still seem to have a little bit of air in the bag.
The vegies that I have experimented with are pumpkin (peeled), broccoli, broccolini and cauliflower. The cauli has changed shades….. So I’m going to thaw them out and cook them in the bags in boiling water…… and then try it.…. See how the guts handles it.
If this doesn’t work, I’ll get frozen ones from the supermarket, as per Triton, divide them up into portions and then seal them. Standby for an update.
 

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GPS Guru

Member
Following up on my previous post. Well it was a fail.... Once the vegetables had thawed out in the refrigerator (and I have since read that you can cook them in the bag in boiling water) they were soft. I cooked them in the bag for about four minutes and they were best described as being mushy, almost like being overcooked. I had a brief taste of each vegetable and there was some vegetable taste there but I wasn't overly confident in making a meal of them so didn't eat any more of them. I think that I'll vacuum seal frozen vegetables for trips. The only reason that I would vacuum seal frozen vegies is for space saving and to reduce any inadvertent spillage in the Engel.
 

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boobook

Well-Known Member
The last one I got was a vacpro, I don't even know if you can get it any more, but it has 3 really good features that I would look for again.

1)It has a double seal. So less chance of leaks ( and it does happen.)
2)It has a removable, cleanable drip tray.
3)The suction was from the top, most are from the bottom and fill with gunk when you get spillage.
 
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