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Foodsavers?

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Foodsavers?

Post  jjphoto on 4/2/2010, 10:36 am

With all the botulism and boiling and reboiling and panic and fear that has been stricken into my heart from my canning thread... let's talk about Foodsavers. Things like this... http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-T000-36020-V2040-Vacuum-Packaging-System/dp/B000OWLQ9S/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1270218881&sr=8-4

Anybody have experience with them and if they work well in freezing produce? I've never had one but would like to get one not only for the garden, but I have a Weber smoker that makes a lot of BBQ at once and it would be nice to eat some and freeze the rest for later.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  gogo400 on 4/2/2010, 5:08 pm

You know I would seriously not worry about canning. I have made my fair share of jams & jelly without any problems. Just keep things super clean and sterile (a dishwasher makes it really easy) and be sure to follow the processing times for the recipe precisely.

Now my grandma used to use wax to seal jelly jars (a serious no-no) and one time I watched my sister make some blackberry jam and processed the jars in a small pot that didn't cover the jars completely with water. Now to be clear I wouldn't do that, but the end product didn't kill anyone :-)

Now to your original question I think foodsavers rock. They really help keep foods super fresh if used properly. I use them to store a lot of fish and it make a big difference in the freshness.

I also have a dehydrater (a moderately priced Nesco brand) and you really can't screw that up or die from the end product that I know of.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  Kabaju42 on 4/2/2010, 6:10 pm

What kind of food are you looking at preserving? That could help you figure out what the best way is.

I have friends that use the food savers and love them.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  jjphoto on 4/2/2010, 6:29 pm

@Kabaju42 wrote:What kind of food are you looking at preserving? That could help you figure out what the best way is.

I have friends that use the food savers and love them.

Umm... just general produce I guess. I was thinking in particular tomatoes since they seem to be a little "iffy" when canning. We love love looooooooove homegrown tomatoes but can never eat them as fast as they're coming off. I'd love to be able to grow enough this year that we can use them in sauces and such through the winter (my wife makes a wicked marinara). I was thinking a foodsaver might be a good way to go with those... as well as corn, strawberries... the list goes on and on.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  camprn on 4/2/2010, 6:43 pm

@jjphoto wrote: I was thinking in particular tomatoes since they seem to be a little "iffy" when canning.
I have canned tomatoes for years using the waterbath method. Seriously, it's not too tough, I say easy, peasy, lemon squeezy! check it out and maybe give it a try. study
http://www.pickyourown.org/canning_tomatoes.htm


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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  herblover on 4/2/2010, 10:34 pm

I would definitely can tomatoes. Foodsavers are not really designed for use with liquids. I have one, am actually on my second and would not be without it. It is great to keep cheese from spoiling, and for frozen items. I use it for all kinds of meats, leftovers, coffee, nuts, just about everything. But don't be scared off from canning, if you pay attention to what you are doing and can boil water you can can.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  Kabaju42 on 4/3/2010, 12:46 am

@jjphoto wrote:
@Kabaju42 wrote:What kind of food are you looking at preserving? That could help you figure out what the best way is.

I have friends that use the food savers and love them.

Umm... just general produce I guess. I was thinking in particular tomatoes since they seem to be a little "iffy" when canning. We love love looooooooove homegrown tomatoes but can never eat them as fast as they're coming off. I'd love to be able to grow enough this year that we can use them in sauces and such through the winter (my wife makes a wicked marinara). I was thinking a foodsaver might be a good way to go with those... as well as corn, strawberries... the list goes on and on.

I would say to just can the tomatoes, but then I'd still recommend using a recipe that's been tested. Since you're using a home recipe and only storing it throughout the winter I'd say to just get some Gladware or something like that to freeze it in.

Corn and strawberries freeze well too (although they can be limp to mushy when thawing). The food saver would probably work great for those.

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Canning

Post  argardener on 4/3/2010, 12:52 am

Those tomatoes look soooo good! I can't wait to can/freeze my own veggies this year! I found Ball's website very informative.

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I have a 'seal a meal'

Post  kiwirose on 5/13/2010, 3:52 pm

I am actually on my 2nd in 2 years. They don't seem to last - both of them lost their heat seal - it will still suck out the air, but then won't seal the bag - doesn't even get hot. That being said, I think I get what I pay for - the food saver is more expensive, but it is also getting better reviews. I love love love my seal a meal when it is working though, and am totally going to get a food saver to replace it.

The only thing I don't like abuot it is they are fussy when sealing wet things like blanched veges or juicy meat. I work around it and make it work though. Most things aren't wet enough to cause a problem, and other things I just take a papertowel and dry the bags before I seal.

I highly recommend the concept - I just need to find my sealer that can keep up with my abuse lol

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  LaFee on 5/13/2010, 4:04 pm

Canning tomatoes is super easy.. the Ball Canning Company (www.freshpreserving.com) has an enormous site with lots of step-by-step instructions. (Tomatoes were the first thing my grandma taught me to 'put up'...I couldn't begin to tell you how many quarts I've put up since then...and never a single problem)

Just follow the instructions, and be very, very careful about keeping everything clean.

You might be interested to know that here in France, instructions (on the package of canning sugar!) for making jams and jellies don't even include canning in a water bath...they tell you to just turn the jars upside down after putting the lid on, and let them cool upside-down. There are 60 million people in France, and there hasn't been a single epidemic of foodborne illness traceable to homemade jams...so they must be doing something right! (Me? Grandma taught me to process jams and jellies in a water bath...so that's what I do. I made peach and apricot preserves last year, and am waiting for the right time to do some strawberry and four-berry preserves this year -- strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and blackcurrant...yum.)

The one thing I love here that we don't have in the states -- you buy 1-kilo (2-pound) bags of sugar specially labeled for jams and jellies -- the pectin is already mixed into the sugar, so all you do is mix the confiture (French for jam) sugar with an equal weight of fruit, and bring it to a boil, then ladle into clean, hot jars. Makes it super simple!

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  chocolatepop on 5/13/2010, 4:54 pm

love our off brand "foodsaver" got it 6 years ago because we are a hunting family and make our own sausage also. LOVE it. It is great for getting those family size packs of meat and saving the rest.

That being said, it won't work well with tomatoes. unless you take all the guts out and dry them. I'd stick to the scary canning, as well as just freezing in regular bags/containers.

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Freeze it first

Post  manitoak123 on 5/16/2010, 11:49 pm

I prefreeze my high liquid content items before sealing them. I save the plastic containers from cold cuts, etc. so I have uniform sizes. Works great for leftovers, homemade meat stock, etc. To seal fresh berries I lay them on cookie sheets and place in the freezer then seal them to keep them from being crushed.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  PB on 5/17/2010, 7:54 am

I have a Food Saver brand sealer. Love it!!

As to the tomatos. Get a Ball Blue book. Step by step instructions, very good pictures of each step! Tomatos are easy. You will want to branch out after that. Go ahead jump in!! I've helped and canned myself my whole life. The only things I've had go bad were jars that somehow came unsealed, or didn't seal in the first place. Which with a high guess might be 20 jars over 30 some years....

You can freeze the tomatos if you really want to, or dont have the equipment to can them, but once canned they are done, no electricity to keep them happy! Plus they are sooo pretty! One year I ran out of my canned ones and had to buy from the store. Yucky, bland, and they left the vine end on the tomato.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/17/2010, 9:01 am

Tomatoes are much better canned than frozen. The frozen ones are watery and have less flavour than the canned. And tomatoes are naturally acedic, so are about the safest veggie to can. Although, when I am in a hurry, I'll pop them whole in the freezer. When they thaw for a few minutes the skin peels right off. I have canned, dehydrated (mine has 20 trays!), and frozen just about any veggie and fruit that exists for 40 years and have never once had a problem with anything spoiling. If you are in a cooler clime you can even use the wax seal method on jams and jellies without problem as sugar is a natural preservative. Doesn't work here since the wax melts in the summer!

That being said, tomatoes are about the only veggie I can any more. I prefer most veggies frozen as it's easier to put up small batches, and I use my seal-a-meal for that. Mine is over 20 years old and still going strong.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  AtlantaAnn on 6/6/2010, 2:37 pm

jjphoto...i'm with you on the fear of canning and i can speak on the foodsaver in general. i have a first generation purchased years ago and it still works like a charm. we do a lot of smoking as well and the fs freezes & preserves beautifully.

i've not yet tried it with fresh uncooked veggies but those i cook or blanche and freeze are great at thaw. during the holidays i foodsaved some cornbread dressing n giblet gravy and 5-cheeze mac & cheeze....that was the best dinner a couple weeks ago. nothing odd or off about the taste @ all.

i'm gonna overcome my canning fear this week as i've purchased all i need to try the waterbath method.

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Fear of canning

Post  ander217 on 6/6/2010, 7:06 pm

Jjphoto, I think I'm the one who gave you the fear of canning. That is absolutely NOT what I meant to do. I've canned all of my adult life.

But I did mean to instill in you a fear of improper canning. Just buy an up-to-date canning book and follow the instructions. I canned tomatoes last year, and I also froze them for use in soups and sauces. Each method has its place.

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Re: Foodsavers?

Post  castoral on 6/6/2010, 9:49 pm

I got a Foodsaver a few years ago, the package one with all the canisters and different things and literally have used it once when I bought meat in bulk. But I found it to be too much trouble and went back to using Ziplock freezer bags. I froze tons of fruits and veggies last year (mainly to make into baby food for my dauhter) but everything turned out great - peaches, plums, pears, watermelon, beans, peas, etc. I did freeze tomatoes whole and then thawed and made into sauce, but I must admit, didn't turn out at good as the canned sauce we get from friends....more watery. I use pickyourown.org for instructions on how to freeze almost anything. But this year I am venturing into canning. Thankfully I have a neighbor to learn from though, but I'm confident I could figure it out on my own. Canning for dummies was a very straight forward book!

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Foodsavers?

Post  Bec on 6/7/2010, 8:50 am

I haven't canned before but a couple of years ago I had so many tomatoes and no time to even think about canning. I was getting ready to leave on vacation and had to do something with them so I stuck them in big baggies (single layer lying flat so they wouldn't get smushed) and popped them in the freezer. That was so great when it came time to make soup. Just took them out of the freezer, put them under warm water to get the skin off - which came off very easily, and popped them into the soup pot. A previous post said they taste better if canned so I may just have to try that this year - I have 15 beefmaster tomato plants growing right now. But when you need to do something quick and easy - the freezing method works great. I may have to some of both to test out the flavors. Mmmm. I can hardly wait for some vine-ripe, fresh tomatoes!!!

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Re: Foodsavers?

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