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Things You Can Seal With A Food Saver Vacuum Sealer Machine

the-many-uses-of-a-food-saver-vacuum-sealer

The best food saver machine (vacuum sealer) is the one that you have! They’re great! (pretty much regardless of brand since they’re all so similar in operation)

The machine, combined with vacuum seal bags (or rolls) may preserve some foods up to 5 times longer than zipper bags (Ziploc) or other ordinary containers (in the fridge or freezer).

“Food Saver” has become synonymous with the “vacuum sealer” machine. Many people refer to these as a “FoodSaver” vacuum sealer because they were first with market share long ago.

Today there are lots of brands to choose from. The way they work is essentially the same: Suck out the air from the bag for longer shelf life – no oxidation damage or freezer burn – and a better tasting result!

It’s a great ‘survival kitchen’ tool with all sorts of multiple uses beyond just sealing food.

Lets get your input for the many things that you can do with a Food Saver vacuum sealer machine as it may apply to your own experiences.

Things to Vacuum Seal with a Food Saver Machine

Obviously it was originally designed to seal foods for the fridge or freezer.

Vacuum Seal Meat

I will say this regarding food and vacuum sealers: It significantly helps with preserving meat in the freezer! Vacuum seal bags eliminate freezer burn. Zero oxidation results in much better taste when thawed and cooked!

After sealing we write the month/year on the bag and the type of meat before putting into the chest freezer.

[ Read: How I Organize My Chest Freezers ]

Home dried Dehydrated Foods

There’s a great attachment to use for sealing canning jars containing dehydrated foods. It’s a “Jar Sealer”. It’s common to dehydrate vegetables from the garden such as peppers, onions, (whatever!), and store them in glass mason jars. Greatly extend the shelf life by vacuum sealing the air out of those jars:

Regular Mouth Jar Sealer Attachment
(view on amzn)

Wide Mouth Jar Sealer Attachment
(view on amzn)

Note: Requires a vacuum sealer machine with external hose accessory, such as this one:

FoodSaver Machine with handheld sealer hose accessory

Tip: We use ( this ) very handy jar lid opener when accessing our dehydrated foods (and our home canned foods). This way you avoid damaging the lid. And it’s just easier!

[ Read: NESCO Food Dehydrator (article) ]

Herbs & Spices

Spices are a LOT cheaper if you buy them in bulk. You may receive them already vacuum sealed. But if not, you can do it yourself! It really helps to preserve flavor over time.

Seal Fire-starter & Fire-making Supplies

Ordinarily I keep my mini firestarter kits in a Ziploc bag. But you might choose to use a vacuum seal bag for a kit on a boat or environment that you know will be wet.

Vacuum Seal Clothing

It compresses well. Nice to have dry socks and other basic clothing necessities in a GHB or other related kit or backpack.

Emergency Food Snacks

Vacuum sealing food bars or candy bars or other emergency snacks will increase the shelf life. Great for a survival kit to supplement other foods.

Toilet Paper for your Emergency Kit

Take a roll of TP and vacuum seal it in a bag. It will shrink a good bit. Use a vacuum seal bag larger than the roll so you can reuse it afterwards to store what’s left.

Canoe | Kayak | Boat Supplies

Seal whatever it is that you want to stay dry on your trip!

Paper Money

Although paper money can withstand some harsh wet conditions (i.e. the washing machine?), for long term storage of your ‘loot’, you might vacuum seal your stacks… (and hide them in the freezer?) ;)

Long term Gun storage

How about vacuum sealing a gun for long term storage? Properly oil first, wrap with oil damp rag, then vacuum seal.

Do you have more ideas for using a Food Saver vacuum seal machine?

Here’s a popular book that I purchased some years ago:

Food in Jars – Preserving in Small Batches Year Round

VACUUM SEAL BAGS

Quart
Gallon

FOOD SAVER ROLLS

8-Inch Roll, 20′ Long (2 Pack)

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67 Comments

  1. Love mine! I use it for just about everything in the freezer. For some items it is best to freeze first, then vac-seal. This will seal without crushing the items.

    1. DJ,

      We’ll usually semi freeze (30 minutes or so in the freezer) softer products as well before sealing. First time I sealed sausage links my food saver turned em into sausage patties lol.

      Night and day difference when storing meat in the freezer. None of that unwanted “freezer burn”

      Have also used to re-seal left over silica desiccant packets, has worked great.

      1. I have used mine to reseal oxygen absorbers too. When freeze drying sometimes you do not use all of a ten pack. Put the pink button in with them so you can tell if sealed well.

        1. I have never frozen food product prior to vacuum sealing (and then returning to the freezer). But if I was concerned about shape, I suppose it’s worth the effort. I only used vacuum seal bags and the food saver for meats – so it doesn’t matter (to me). The meats retain their shape adequately – and all is well. In fact all is even better upon throwing it on the bbq afterwards!

          1. Ken,

            I freeze things like blueberries and strawberries on cookie sheets in the chest freezer just long enough to harden, then I vacuum seal or use freezer bags. It’s easier just to take out a cup of blueberries, or whatever amount I need, if the berries aren’t all frozen together.

  2. Rice,any beans,pasta.boneless/skinless chicken breast or thighs,candy
    ( Jolley Rancher & Life Savers) to bribe neighbor kids to stack fire wood.

    Just found a good deal on Amazon on 50ft. rolls 8in.or 11in. wide.
    Sugar also.

    1. You can, some vac systems have a setting for soft foods and/or a manual pulse mode. Mine does.

  3. Fox News actually had an article earlier today regarding the “bleak” the future of the food supply and that the food supply “was breaking”.

    Get it while you can and stay safe and healthy.

    1. Silver Lodge, do you think TPTB are going to try and push that fake meat on all of us now? Other than pigs, I don’t know why they don’t leave the meat ‘on the hoof’ for now. What are we talking, a few more weeks? Months?

        1. DJ5280,

          Actually, for commercial chickens, they do. Commercial breed for meat birds is Cornish Cross. Raised the way they are commercially, all they do is eat and gain weight. A lot of them can’t really walk well, and will start to have heart problems if they go past a certain age. Lots of homesteaders raise cornish cross birds, too, but most don’t feed them non-stop, a quite a few encourage them to at least try to forage. The amount of feed a full grown cornish cross consumes is substantial, also, so any profit would be lost if held much past normal butchering date.

          1. Yes, we have some Cornish Cross coming in May. I also ordered some extra calcium to give them – supposed to help with the heart and leg problems until they reach butcher weight. I’ve also read some people pull their feed at night, only feeding during the day and to encourage foraging in the grass. We intend to pasture them in a chicken tractor in the orchard. Our first time raising our own meat birds here.

          2. DJ5280,

            When we raised the Cornish, we pulled the feed trays at night. Also, moved the water far enough from the feed trays they had to walk to get it. They were definitely healthier than the same breed raised using commercial practices. Good look with yours!
            P.S. Another great meat bird, and what I’m raising now, is the Freedom Ranger. A little longer to finish at 12 weeks, but amazing flavor and a much better forager. Beautiful birds – avg. finish weight between 5 and 6 pounds, with some outliers.

      1. DJ5280

        Nearly all the meat and eggs sold commercially in this country comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). With pork and turkey it’s almost 100%. It takes manpower, machinery maintenance, a steady source of properly balanced feed, committed transport, and waste management to get animals to best slaughter condition. To hold them at that condition, as other animals are scheduled to come in, would be cost prohibitive for many operators.

        Family in another state was telling me of a nearby potato farmer who sells for industrial use (packaging for restaurants and schools, and further processing) who was unable to ship his remaining stored potatoes. No one would take them. He put out a call and I wad told the nearby communities took up a lot of the slack. But taking home pounds of whole potatoes in your own sacks is pretty easy.

        1. Anony Mee, it’s so crazy that we never think about all this until the supply chain breaks down. Makes me want to …I don’t know…do something differently. Perhaps raising our own meat is best, tho it certainly isn’t right (or possible) for everyone, is it? Our kids have been raising most of our meat, and humanely treated too. (Spoiled is more like it, if you knew my DIL). We have our chickens for eggs, and bees for honey. An orchard and a good garden. Odd, I really feel blessed throughout all of this. This Covid thing.

          1. Support your local farmer! Their meat may be more costly than store meat, but it is not the same product most of the time. Animals are generally raised in a cleaner, healthier environment. And it’s mentally more healthy for animals to be in smaller groups. AND you can go inspect the farmer’s premises!
            And I vacuum-seal my local meat!

  4. Got a legit question don’t chop my head off for asking. Concerning the high pressure while sealing can you vacuseal ammo?

    My spidy senses tell me not to. The pressure can make something happen to initiate the primer? or how about bic lighters?

    Just a safety thing. If you tell someone you can vacu seal a weapon they might think to do the same for ammo.
    I have Mylar bagged ammo with O2 absorbers in the past. works great.

    1. White Cracker

      I’ve done it. I just did not let the vacuum run it’s full time, and doubled the O2 absorbers. I’ve shot a lot of it, and have no problems.

      Some ammo was sealed for a decade, no problems

      Ammo is most of the popular calibers, rifle and pistol

    2. Don’t vac seal lighters. They are already under pressure and the vacuum has caused lighters to leak. Those I have stored in a regular plastic bag.

  5. How many of y’all have used the jar sealer? Do you use it only for dehydrated/dry foods or can you put jerky in jars? Thinking of space and what is best to use. I would love to have one. I am thinking “mother’s day” gift! This would be great for us.

    1. We use the jar sealer, mainly for a variety of vegetables from the garden. Have not used it for jerky – but it should definitely increase its shelf life. For 15 bucks (or whatever it is) it’s worth it (to me).

      One time a few years ago there was a deep discount on vidalia onions. We bought lots of them, dehydrated them (do it outside!!), and jarred them. We still have a few quart jars left.

    2. Oh, I use my jar sealer all the time! Especially chocolate candy! Mmmmmm! (I was so ready for this lockdown, lol!). Also, whole nuts, lentils, specialty rices, beans, etc., Any dry goods. Just heat your lids as you normally would for canning. Then quickly wipe the lid of your jar and then quickly dry your lid. Top your jar and vac-seal. BUT…..here’s the thing….WAIT to open and remove the sealer attachment until you hear that ping!!! Sometimes it can take a minute or more. Took me forever to figure out why I had some failures. I wasn’t waiting long enough for the pop of the lid. Even when the machine stops and gives you the ‘seal’ you still need to wait. (Bend down close and listen, you can hear the jar seal). And some bulkier items in a jar may take running the ‘vac seal’ button twice before it seals.

      Good luck!

    3. I buy a years supply of pasta, sugar, etc. when it’s on sale pre-Thanksgiving each year. I put most things in 1/2 gallon Mason jars. I empty the pasta into the jars, then vacuum seal with the canning lid attachment. Works great. Pasta stays good for a few years anyway, but putting things in the big 1/2 gallon jars under vacuum should get me 5-6 years minimum. I like standardizing into canning jar sizes – makes pantry shelving much more efficient. Jars are moisture proof, insect proof, and airtight after a good seal. I have sealed up jerky in jars, but it still doesn’t last as long as I’d like. I found ‘breakfast’ jerky at a Menards store, that I could not be happier with. It’s bacon! So good for a snack, pulled out of my car’s glovebox (freezing doesn’t damage the stuff).

    4. Beans & White rice (separately) in the pint & quart jars with o2 absorbers. Rice doubles in size when cooked so larger jars are too big for our needs, 2 people.

      Will barley last a long time in vacuum sealed jars?

      1. Caliche Kid
        It is a grain, if you put it up the same as wheat, beans & rice it should be fine. I will finding out how my pearl barley did here soon. Believe it is in Mylar bags sealed with 02 absorbers. If I did it correctly it should be fine.

        We keep ours in the house because of temperature fluxuations outside can vary a lot were reside.

    5. I have successfully used my jar sealer to dry seal crackers and snacks for well past their best-by date. Crackers are a good example of not lasting very long anyway. I also drop an oxygen absorber in the jar. I get 9 to 12 month fresh storage easy, and they still taste very good.
      A quart wide-mouth mason jar seals a whole package (1/4th box) of crackers.
      Cheez-its don’t store as long as the plain crackers. I think due to the oils that go rancid more quickly. Same with ground coffee. It’s hard to stop the oils form going bad, even when vacuum sealed.

  6. All kidding aside, I use my Vac-Sealer a lot.
    Anything going into the freezer gets Vac. Well except for Ice that is.
    The Jar sealers are a MUST. I have dozens of quarts and 1/2 gallon jars with everything from Apple Slices to Zucchini dried and Vac.
    BTW is a GREAT way to keep spices a lot longer, both home dryed or whole spices.

    Another idea… to marinate meat, mix all the stuff together, moist marinade is best. Put it in a Mason Jar with the meat and pull a Vac on it. For some magic reason it seems the marinade penetrates more.
    Give it a try

    1. NRP,
      I also use the vac sealer attachments to seal jars … you and AC and others here gave me lots of pointers on that a few years ago. I have lots of cases of sealed jars of all kinds of things. This is an excellent way for me to store foods at BOL, as I don’t have to worry about pests, rodents, or jars cracking by freezing.

      1. So Cal Gal;
        You’re exactly correct.
        Wondering if you bought a truck load of 1/2 gallon jars like I did???

        On a additional note, get some Jar Lids…. they are starting to run short

        And Blue says more dog food and lots of TREATS!!!!

        1. No… I don’t go to Wally World, have not seen 1/2 gallons at target or other stores in my area. Lots of quarts, though… and got a bunch extra pints after Christmas on 75% off sale because they had snowflakes or some such thing. Bought more lids as well, regular metal… I’ve not tried tattlers with the mixed reviews here.

          And Blue deserves every extra treat he can get… maybe a few extra meaty bones in the freezer for him? Hugs to you both 🤗

  7. NRP & Blue,

    Can whole wheat flour be Vac-sealed and frozen? I haven’t tried it, and don’t want to make a mess, so thought I’d ask.

    1. Farmgirl:
      One needs to be careful Vac-Sealing powers like flour, it has a tendency to be sucked into the Sealer.
      I would simply freeze the flour for two weeks ( to kill any bugs or whatever), than just store in buckets with a stick of Spearmint Gum.
      For best “flour” store Red Wheat Berries and grind your own flour…
      A LOT BETTER

      1. NRP & Blue,

        Okay, that’s what I thought. I have the wheat berries and a good grinder, but I also have a lot of flour. I’ll pick up some gum! Thanks!

    2. You can vac-seal flour. Just keep it in its original packaging. Slip that into the vac seal bag. Then into the deep freeze.

      1. When you seal flour or grains, put a folded up paper towel between the grain and the top of the bag. Then seal. Works fine.

    3. Farmgirl
      If you are speaking about ground flour. In order to seal the flour in jars you have to place a cut out coffee filter over the flour. It may still enter into the vacuum tube during this process. After it seals, pull the tube and blow out the excess particles from the tube, then you can use it again.

      After the flour has gone through a freezing process. Then let come to room temperature for a few days. This way it has released any moisture in the ground flour. Place the “ground” flour into a 5 Mil Mylar(or thicker mil) bag for processing, along with the 02 absorbers.
      Opened a bag marked 2017 and it was processed this way. Made banana bread, could not tell any problems with it.
      I keep my wheat in the grain form, to keep it for years in Mylar with 02 absorbers. Only open a bag when I need to grind into flour.

  8. I vacuum seal my important papers i.e marriage certificate, DD-214, Passports, Will etc. This protects the docs from any water damage, helps prevent misplacement and it keeps everything organized and together should I have to leave in a hurry.

  9. I have a Food Saver vacuum sealer, and I love it. Use it for everything. I’ve had good success in vac-sealing 5 pound bags of flour and sugar, and they seem to be O.K. Made sure none of the bags were leaking though before I did them. Most stuff in my freezer is in vac-sealed bags, and boy does it last.

  10. I have purchased several pairs of leather work gloves from Costco and vacuumed sealed them for longevity, preps.

    1. -Jed…folks on here might know…maybe I am wrong.

      I don’t have a vacuum sealer, my experience is just from sealing as tight as I good in a Ziploc items similar.

      Found after a time they will mould/get mouldy smell. I assume you’re not putting them in freezer, after?

      Wonder if O2 absorber in with them would do the trick?

  11. Love my “sucky” machine aka food sealer. Do jars(dry goods only) but have to watch the seal on them. Have had problems getting some jars to seal. A Friend told me to use two lids when vac sealing jars and carefully take off the top one after it seals, can reuse it If you don’t bend it taking it off the sealed bottom lid. Check my dry goods regularly and all have been good even after they’ve been stored for a couple of years now. Don’t know if this will help, it seems to work for me when I have jars that won’t seal using one lid.

    1. I read that the lines around the top of the jars don’t all line up the same; therefore, two lids work best.
      Has anyone noticed any difficulty getting a spoon/table knife under the lids edge when opening canned goods…like they made the lids not as round???

  12. Has anyone vacu-sealed almond flour or coconut flour? I have to do a low carb diet. (diabetes) So I try to stick with what keeps the blood sugar down. I have been storing it in the freezer. But I need more space.

    1. Texasgirl;
      Have not Vac-Sealed either.
      But again I would use caution when Vac-Sealing a fine powder as to not suck the powder into the Machine. Same with doing liquids in the Bags. with ruin a Vac-Sealer post haste.
      As far as storing Flour, I still like the good old 5-gallon buckets.

      1. @NRP………..5-gallon buckets are actually a good idea. I use alot of those flours. I could just put them in 5 gallon bucket with Mylar bags…A couple of those would last a while for me.
        I definitely do not want to ruin a new Vac-Sealer.

        1. Texasgirl;
          I would use caution on storing Coconut and Almond flours for a long extended time (years and years) though, the “oils” in the flour has a shorter shelf life.

      2. I have put powder in paper sacks and then inside the plastic to seal.
        seems to work well.

  13. @NRP Good thinking………I will be wary. I will use wheat berries or flour as my back up. I am thinking I will be more physically active anyway. That might not be as bad on the diabetes. I have lost quite a bit of weight and my numbers have been great. I have not had any high sugars in quite a while.

    I am trying to get everything organized and see what I can get to vacu-seal before the stores run out of everything. They are getting low in alot of things. I am trying to get family members to do the same. As far as extra veggies, rice, etc go. I feel like my dehydrator is saying, I think I can, I think I can……..hahahaha…….poor little thing.

  14. I usually use up all my dehydrated food as snacks, cooking, etc, so storing them is going to be different…..its a learning process. Bear with my questions! Thanks y’all!

  15. Texasgirl
    No Problem.
    It is how we all learned from each other. Sharing is Caring, at this site we do a lot of both.

  16. Funny but I just got on the computer to go the site so I could go to Amazon for Food Saver replacement cutting blades. I’ll let you know if I find them..

    I seal batteries and they seem to last forever by doing so. Also seal greenbacks to prevent them from going moldy. All small electronic items that I’m concerned about get wrapped in foam, then in several layers of aluminum foil then vacuum sealed before going into the Faraday box.

  17. Like government and women, the more features a vacuum sealer has the more things can go wrong. So it is with vacuum sealers, my most expensive one hardly even sucks, although it might possibly be the operator’s fault. My cheaper one, both are Foodsaver brand, works very well. But I had to get a Lem I found on sale for $59 ($109 at Amazon). I looked up reviews and this is one item that reviews are not very reliable perhaps due to operator fault. I also picked up a good supply of bags as it seem those are in short supply. I just put some sirloin steaks in the freezer after sealing. A big problem with certain cuts of meat where there is a sharp point of a bone, usually pork, will cut through the bag. In such cases I will hit the point with a hammer or will seal it before it pulls to tight.

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