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Geisyer.I did check with my regional health authority,and my product is good to go.Vac sealing is encouraged here for some reason.Thanks for the tip.It's good to check.The only thing I'm not sure about is,if I ever had to, could I ship south of the border.I guess I'll find out.Anyone else ever encounter this? give me a shout. I'd like to know.
Mountain Man,

At the recent boat show here I had the opportunity to talk with the vacuum sealer vendor at some length. I suppose in the context, this conversation sucked a lot of smoke out of my vacuum sealer bags.

Before I get to that let me mention, I have a Sinbo type that SmokinOkie mentioned. I also have a FoodSaver. I also have bought a couple other brands in thrift stores that I have not fully tested yet. Most of the stuff I freeze, I now pack in Ziplock freezer bags, push out all the air I can, and freeze. I only break out a vacuum sealer when I have a large batch of something that I think might be spending a long time somewhere before it is consumed.

Vacuum sealers are basically divided into two types depending upon the type of bags they use. Generically they are "plain" and "foodsaver type."

Foodsaver bags are double walled and the air is sucked out of the bags by the little ridges between the two layers of the bag. Foodsaver bags are limited in variety and are relatively expensive.

Plain bags are just that, sealed on 3 sides, your vacuum device sucks the air out either by some type of little tube stuck in the bag or a bag chamber. When you push the seal button on the tube type the tube is withdrawn and the sealing wires seal the bag. Plain bags are relatively cheap and come in any size you might want dependent on your sealing equipment. Just go to the supermarket and look at all the stuff that comes vacuum sealed.

My discussion with the vender was that if you are going to vacuum seal commercially go with the chamber type, not the tube type or foodsaver type. For sealing stuff for your own consumption or to share with friends it really doesn't matter. The problem I have with my tube type Sinbo, is sometimes the seals last forever, sometimes they leak over time. That problem is really a result of two little sealing wires rather than a sealing bar.

The VacMasters that Will linked is the only way to go for commercial sealing, basically because they are commercial units. They start at about $1400 US and go up from there depending upon the size of stuff you are trying to seal. The difference the vendor said in the $1400 (Model 10) machine and the $1800 (Model 15) machine is the vacuum pump alone. The more $$$ machine is faster and the pump will probably work longer without need of repair. In short you get what you pay for.

VacMasters are widely available, you can check them out a Cabelas online or has a full line also. They are also available at more local supply vendors that cater to butchers. These local venders many times stock a wide variety of bags also, both plain and foodsaver type.

If I could afford a VacMaster I would probably use it daily. From my experience don't waste your money on anything else. If you price your fish and jerky properly, it could be your day job in no time, especially a stones through out of Edmonton. Wink
Thanks Jerry for your involved research. I know there are a lot of us interested in vacuum packing meats that we've smoked. I, too, have always just done the ziplock/squeeze out the air routine...with fair success...for family consumption. But, have been intrigued by the vacuum units, and wondered how much a guy would have to spend to make them come out like the pro's.
I owned a Vacmaster SVP-10 unit for several years (counter top model) this unit is suited for light duty only. The hydraulic cylinder that assists the lid failed quickly, I never replaced it. The unit heated up substantially after an hour of continuous use. I removed the plastic base and mounted a fan directed at the oil reservoir and motor to cool. This was not enough and I eventually had a replacement casing sand casted with additional oil capacity. this gave me the capacity to pack rib half racks with sauce continuously. If I had to do it again, I would just pay more for a heavy duty machine. I can't imagine doing any significant amount of packaging with a foodsaver.

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