Steve in Mass

What Brand Vacuum Pack Bags?

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About 6 months ago I bought a Nesco American Harvest vacuum sealer to replace my other one. The thing works great, especially for the price. Only thing that is not so good are the bags that came with it. They are kinda thin and are easily punctured, especially once the product is frozen.....just moving stuff around in the freezer can cause minuscule holes in the bag, and well, you know. It does not become apparent until the food is thawed out.

 

The machine can use any brand bags (or bag materiel from a roll). Wondering what you folks find to to be the best, as the integrity of the bag is the most important aspect of this process.

 

 

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I would bet a box of donuts that there is one vac sealer assembly line in whatever country its in where it all comes from.

 

I use the Food Saver Brand and I cant say Ive ever had one puncture.

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I use to have the same problem with getting punctures that compromised the seal.  Especially if the kids were searching for something in the freezer banging stuff around.   I changed to a chamber style vac sealer and that seemed to help a lot because the bags were a consistant thickness(4mil i think) , no grooves.  I used the foodsaver and their bags for years prior.  Owned 3 of them.  The bags I get now are about 5 cents each.  The chamber vac was 600 clams but I have recouped that expense in bag price over the last 4 or so years.  Plus you can vac seal wet.

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I get from a company foodvacbags on Amazon. 4 mil thickness. Bpa free. 100 bags $17 

Never had a puncture but I have a few that don't vacuum for whatever reason.

Had one order that I determined had more failures than was acceptable and they sent a whole new order no problem.

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23 hours ago, PaddyCrabby said:

   I changed to a chamber style vac sealer and that seemed to help a lot because the bags were a consistant thickness(4mil i think) , no grooves.   The chamber vac was 600 clams but I have recouped that expense in bag price over the last 4 or so years.  Plus you can vac seal wet.

Hey PaddyCrabby.... I've always wanted to upgrade to a chamber machine but the only ones I ever got to see in person were in commercial kitchens and were BIG and expensive.

 

If you don't mind....  What make/model do you have?   Any issues since you've had it?  Any disadvantages besides cost and size?

Can you adjust how much air is removed from the bags before sealing? - Some things, such as dried ****ake mushrooms, get crushed if the vacuum is too strong. 

Any other thoughts on would be appreciated.

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I'm interested in this thread. I use the food saver bags and I have one of the upper end food saver machines. The bags are subject to punctures especially when the product is frozen and especially if the product has bone. Sliding and scraping across the freezer or counter is the culprit, or banging against other rock hard frozen goods.

 

Still better than the off the shelf freezer bags at the grocery store.

 

And you have to be careful not to get the sealing edge wet or it won't seal. And the bag has to be placed in the machine just so. I do like the canning jar attachment for drawing a vacuum on stuff like jerky, nuts, beans, herbs and semi-hard items. Last year I wrapped a deer first using a Saran Wrap type of product then over wrapping with freezer paper. It worked well and easier than vac sealing.

 

I'm looking at the chamber type vacs and appreciate any info. Thanks.

 

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3 hours ago, MattituckMike said:

Hey PaddyCrabby.... I've always wanted to upgrade to a chamber machine but the only ones I ever got to see in person were in commercial kitchens and were BIG and expensive.

 

If you don't mind....  What make/model do you have?   Any issues since you've had it?  Any disadvantages besides cost and size?

Can you adjust how much air is removed from the bags before sealing? - Some things, such as dried ****ake mushrooms, get crushed if the vacuum is too strong. 

Any other thoughts on would be appreciated.

I am using the Vacmaster 215.  I got it on sale about 5 years ago for $575.  It is very heavy but small enough to fit on the counter.  You can stop the machine with very little vacuum so it does not crush stuff inside. I do this quite a bit.   I have had zero issues with it and it gets used a lot.  Just have to change the oil in the pump every few months or so.  Another thing I like is it seals it twice and the seals are about 2mm wide.  I just checked my bags and they are 3mil.  I have had very few failures with the bags.  Although I just recently had one when I sealed a whole seabass.  I cut the fins off with scizzors and the dorsal fin where I had cut it off punctured the bag.  You still have to keep the area where the seal is made dry but that is a lot easier than the foodsaver type machines since it is not sucking the air out the grooves in the bags which also draws out any moisture.

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11 mins ago, PaddyCrabby said:

I am using the Vacmaster 215.  I got it on sale about 5 years ago for $575.  It is very heavy but small enough to fit on the counter.  You can stop the machine with very little vacuum so it does not crush stuff inside. I do this quite a bit.   I have had zero issues with it and it gets used a lot.  Just have to change the oil in the pump every few months or so.  Another thing I like is it seals it twice and the seals are about 2mm wide.  I just checked my bags and they are 3mil.  I have had very few failures with the bags.  Although I just recently had one when I sealed a whole seabass.  I cut the fins off with scizzors and the dorsal fin where I had cut it off punctured the bag.  You still have to keep the area where the seal is made dry but that is a lot easier than the foodsaver type machines since it is not sucking the air out the grooves in the bags which also draws out any moisture.

Thanks for this information.  That Vacmaster 215 was the exact model that I was looking into.  Hearing your first hand experience with this machine is very much appreciated as I never know who to trust when reading the on-line reviews.

I also really like the double seal....    :thanks:   :howdy:  

Edited by MattituckMike

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21 hours ago, Shadhead said:

The bags are subject to punctures especially when the product is frozen and especially if the product has bone. Sliding and scraping across the freezer or counter is the culprit, or banging against other rock hard frozen goods.

This has been what I have found. I am not sure of the bag thickness of the Nesco bags that came with the sealer. I have some bags left over from the Oliso sealer that died on me, and they feel thicker and seem to hold up well and if I cut off the "zipper seal" that company employs, I can use them with the Nesco.

 

Tried to find out the thickness of the Nesco bags but no dice. Best thing I could dtermine is the product number of the rolls ends in R04, so perhaps that signifies 4 MM?

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Subscribe to the foodsaver email list. They have some excellent deals on bags from time to time. You'll have to know your math ( $ per foot, $ per bag ) when ordering.  They like to play around with numbers, Even though the same size bag could have significant price difference within the site.  I like their premade quart and gallon size bags.  

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I bought some cheap rolls from Amazon.  I found they often have wrinkles that make sealing hard, but they're SO much cheaper than Foodsaver!  It was FoodVacBags, 100' for $17.  I have a pretty cheap unit, I've found that double sealing helps. I keep a bowl of ice water handy with a sponge to cool down the heat bar when it overloads from too much sealing if I've got a lot to do, like small packs of smoked blue.

 

I've also found that putting the packs in a larger bag before putting them in the freezer helps avoid the banging around that puts a hole in them. I don't think there's much difference in the actual plastic between cheap and pricey, just the texturing and that wrinkling.

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I also like FoodVacBags. Sometimes I double seal but haven't had much of a problem with loss of seal over months in the freezer. Over the years I've used FoodSaver bags with my FoodSaver brand vac sealer, I'd have to say their bags are more perfect but, for the saving on FoodVacBags, I go with that brand unless I see a good deal on FoodSaver brand bags. You have to keep your eyes open for one of their sales. Also FoodVacBags vendor is reliable if you do have a complaint. They will replace.

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1 hour ago, flysully said:

I also like FoodVacBags. Sometimes I double seal but haven't had much of a problem with loss of seal over months in the freezer. 

I've usually found the issue is a bad seal right off the bat. I've started scrutinizing the vac sealed bags right away, and found with a single seal I often had a tiny unsealed spot. Now I seal, open slightly and shift the bag like 1/4"sideways, and seal again, every time.

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