SURVIVAL KITCHEN

The Best Food To Keep In Your Chest Freezer For Preparedness Is…

MEAT

I am a carnivore. In fact I have been on a zero carb diet for awhile. Keto is great too — which is 20 carbs or less a day. The best I’ve felt in many years! But I digress…

This post isn’t about the carnivore diet or Keto (just thought I’d mention it). Rather, it’s about practical sensible food that you should keep in your freezer for preparedness. Here’s my opinion…

That freezer space is valuable. You’re paying for energy to keep the temperature in there below zero degrees (-10 F is great for meat). So you want to make the best of it, right?

What’s the most expensive food out there? Basically, meats. I don’t want to get into an argument with the vegetarians out there. But meat, it’s fat and protein are essential for good health and strength.

Most of my freezer space is filled with meats. Beef. Chicken. Pork. Fish.

Most all of that meat has been purchased on sale. So I’ve paid well below “normal” meat prices — because I had the room in my chest freezers for it.

I currently have two chest freezers. One has a decent amount of veggies (lots of our garden product for example). Though most of the overall cubic footage between all my freezers have meat in them.

Most so called “survival food” is loaded with (or mostly) carbohydrates. That’s okay. It’s cheap. Rice. Wheat. Etc… It stores well. No energy required. Most “professional” packaged “survival foods” also have lots of carbs. It’ll keep you alive. I have lots of that too.

However when talking about food for a freezer or chest freezer, I believe your best value is to fill it with meat.

Yes, I know that if the power goes out for long, you’re going to be in trouble… A generator will keep it cold if you run it for an hour – several times a day. Long term SHTF power outage — yes you’re going to lose whatever you can’t consume or preserve another way (e.g. emergency canning project). But other than that, freezer storage is one of many good ways to keep food for the long term.

How do I package my meats?

Everything is put in vacuum seal bags and sealed with a vacuum sealer. It makes a HUGE difference in longevity of freezer storage, prevention of ice crystals, and it just tastes better afterwards!

Anyway, I thought I’d mention it (meat for your chest freezers) because I just bought some more quantity of meat on sale yesterday. We vacuum sealed it and added to our meat freezer. Tenderloin on sale! Yum.

[ Read: How I Organize My Chest Freezers ]

[ Read: Keep Your Chest Freezer Running During Power Outage ]

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67 Comments

  1. I too consider freezer space valuable. I have lost my taste for beef over the years, but I always keep a few packages of ground beef because it’s so versatile. I tend to lean the heaviest in the bacon category, with chicken a close second. I have to consider my choices carefully as I no longer have a need for a chest freezer, so everything has to fit into my refrigerator.

    1. I forgot to mention that bacon has the advantage of already coming in a vacuum sealed package so it can go directly into the freezer. I vacuum seal all other meats into meal sized portions, so they take up less room.

    2. I believe it is the only beef I care for any longer. I have a huge box of other meats but as you say..I have so many ways to use ground beef, it is a staple here.
      Just bought 10 lb rolls for 2.10 a lb, cut into one lb., aluminum foil, vacuum sealed and froze.
      Spaghetti sauce, chili, cabbage/beef soup, taco soup, meat loaf, noodles/gravy/beef, beef/veg. soup, tacos, and lots more.

  2. Slightly off topic. 1) If your chest freezer isn’t full, fill the empty space at the bottom and sides with containers of frozen water to keep your precious frozen foods safe if the power goes out. I use empty milk or juice jugs. 2) If you keep a large amount of frozen goods in your fridge, move those from the fridge to the freezer if the power goes out and rotate some of the frozen water to the fridge to keep it cool. 3) But then keep both the fridge and the freezer closed until power is restored or you are at risk of losing the items. Then move them to coolers with ice. I also have a generator but have found that for short power outages, it is more hassle than the benefits. Only once with a 3 day power outage did I rely on generator power.

    Finally, I implemented the system (I think you suggested) of sorting my meats into different colored containers. I use shopping bags. Makes it easier to pull out items and get to the type of meat I need. When I pulled everything out and started this, I found a vacuum packed steak that was just at one year old. It was still as tasty as if it had only been frozen a short time.

    Since this spring, my chest freezer has been full of mostly meat. And as sales occur, I buy and use fresh rather than the frozen.

    1. The frozen water jugs is a nice idea and is commonly advocated. Problem is if you use plain fresh water it doesn’t do much to kerp the meat from thawing if the freezer quits.

      Meats freeze in a ballpark of 25-28 degrees F. Plain water freezes at 32 degF. So, if you lose power, the meat will be thawing or mostly thawed before the water meltings. The only value the water jugs add is thermal mass that does slow the rate the freezer warms up a bit.

      Now, the game changer is to fill the jugs with salt water.

      Add enough salt so the freezing point is more like 10-15 degF. A great deal of heat energy is absorbed converting a solid to a liquid. This is called the “heat of fusion.” If the salt water melts at 10 degF then as heat enters the freezer, it will start melting and absorbing this heat keeping the temperature in most of the freezer at it’s melting point. Only after it is melted will the freezer temp then increase up to the melting point for the meat. That can add not hours but days to how long your meat stays frozen depending on of course lots of factors.

      How much salt? Here is a chart that shows the freezing points based upon concentration by weight.
      https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/docs/documents/1187/sodium-chloride-water-freezing-point.png
      Note that chart is in Celsius not Fahrenheit so we need to convert. Reducing the freezing point by 15 degC is equal to a 27 degF reduction which puts us in the 5 degF temperature range. Not 0 or -10 degF as recommended but still not bad for a power outage. From the table a 15 degC takes a bit over 18% concentration by weight of salt. A 20 degC or 36degF reduction takes 22.5% concentration.

      1 gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds. To drop the freezing point to about 5 degF (18.5% concentration) takes about 1 and a half pounds of salt per gallon or water. To get down to -4 degF takes about 1.87 pounds of salt per gallon.

      Now you can better protect your meats.

      1. Bill – Thank you. Good information. My ice is just to slow the melt as you said since I do have a generator if down too long.

      2. Bill, It is called a super solution.
        I do the quart Gatorade bottles that way for coolers. It works great! AND no water from melting ice in the bottom of the cooler. I have found that even if the bottle isn’t completely frozen it still stays pretty cold for a while… Just remember folks leave enough room at the top of the container because ice expands.

        1. Actually its not a super solution. A SS is when there is more of a dissolved substance in the solvent than would be typical under normal conditions. A couple pounds of salt in a gallon of water is far from atypical. But we digress.

          We just want to lower the water’s freezing point. Salt is very cheap but other substances can be used as well; RV antifreeze, sugar, etc.

          The point to leave room for expansion is good reminder. I like to fill jugs about 85% then lay on their side to freeze. Fully filled PET plastic bottles will stretch and expand without breaking but won’t shrink to original size after thawing and multiple cycles can fail the bottle. Obviously never use glass.

  3. The best food to keep in the freezer?

    Anything edible and nutritious and lots of it.

    Based on the way things are going these days.

    1. Last year my DH co-worker found dirty martini freezer pops but everytime I went they were sold out. Has anyone seen them this year. That would definitely be a luxury item. We keep the Aqavit in the freezer. It needs to be very cold.

      1. MamaLark

        Some people of Scandinavian heritage put some camphor block into a bottle of Aquavit, place it in the freezer and take a shot every morning. I have know some very happy 90 year old people.

  4. We look at our freezers mostly as short term storage space.The reason behind that is in the event of a long term power outage. We will keep power long enough to pressure can or eat up the contents.We also try to buy meats on sale when ever possible.We do some vacuum sealing but not a lot.
    We always buy 2-3 rotisserie chickens on every Costco trip, and turkeys when on sale to go in the freezer as well. For years we have also put water jugs in any vacant spaces.
    For long term meat storage we can up chicken,turkey,hamburger,stew beef and pork chunks.We are going to try link sausages to see how they turn out.

  5. We have 3 deep freezers. Meat is mainly what we keep in them. We can most of the garden veggies. We don’t buy anything that’s not on sale, but when it is on sale we buy bulk. We found flat iron steaks for $5.99/lb and bought 10.

  6. We have a few freezers, two filled with beef we’ve raised on our property. Our beef processor vacuum seals the meat so we are blessed in that regard. One freezer has always been a catch-all for all the weird stuff. We emptied, defrosted, and cleaned it out recently. I was going to throw most of the things out since they were dated 2012 (this is not a freezer we get into very often), however I wanted to know the condition of the food for future reference.

    First were many large, vacuum sealed bags of Red Star yeast, instant and regular. I opened a bag of each and added a teaspoon of yeast to a cup of warm water mixed with sugar and flour. I also proofed a bit of fresh yeast as a control. Fresh yeast bubbled beautifully as expected, but surprisingly, the old instant yeast did, too. The old regular yeast was much slower to activate, but it was still alive. I repackaged the opened yeast and all the rest went back into the clean freezer.

    Next were frozen eggs. We had an abundance of eggs in 2012 so I experimented with freezing them. I opened 4 eggs, mixed them with a pinch of salt, and put them in small Rubbermaid screw lid containers. I had about ten dozen eggs in 30 containers. I defrosted one and made some scrambled eggs and they were excellent in flavor and texture. They also went back into the freezer.

    Cheese. We weren’t as fortunate there. I didn’t vacuum seal the shredded type so there were a lot of ice crystals in the bags. When defrosted, the cheese was a wet clumpy mess. The block cheese defrosted fine and tasted good, but fell into a bunch of crumbles when I tried to slice it. Block cheese went back in, shreds got tossed. I think I’ll try vacuum sealing shredded cheese instead of putting it in the freezer in it’s original bag.

    My addiction is French vanilla Coffeemate. I froze some in clean water bottles. After defrosting I was pleased to find it didn’t separate and the flavor was fine. It went back in, too, along with vacuum sealed bacon, butter, and fish.

    Eight years has been a good test for frozen food. Most vacuum sealed items were good while most things frozen in their original packaging were not.

    1. AZoffgrid,

      If you have not already, check out Townsends on youtube for “egg preservation” starting at the 7:10 mark for the best 18th century method of preserving eggs. We are talking 8 months with 100% success. Might come in handy if power goes off. Hope this helps.

      1. SS
        Thank you. I have never seen that YouTube series and I’m looking forward to watching all the videos.

        1. AZoffgrid

          You are welcome. Amazing stuff on that channel. What they ate and how they made it in the 18th century. We might be doing that life style again, who knows. Truth be told……I can’t wait. One of my favorites is the White Pot bread pudding. Easy to make and it is good. They have a pretty cool store too. Quality stuff, but I make my own knives. Take care.

    2. AZOffgrid,
      That’s so funny about the cheese. Unlike you, our block cheese goes in the fridge and our shredded goes in the freezer. I agree that the block cheese crumbles after freezing. Because of that, we don’t put it in the freezer. I haven’t had a problem with shredded cheese. Sometimes there have been ice crystals, but it’s never been much of a problem at all. Even then, it was only for cheese that was pushed to the back and overlooked.

    3. AZoffgrid, I wonder if the shredded cheese turned into clumpy mess because of what is added to shred cheese rather than how it is stored.

      1. DA
        Could be. With that in mind, I think I’ll keep block cheese in the freezer for long term storage. I guess there’s not too much of a difference between shreds and crumbles.

  7. We too have 2 large deep chest freezers. Freezer one has beef, elk, buffalo and pork Including beef bones from the butchering of home grown. Freezer two has chicken, turkey, seafood, dairy and veggies (and the occasional loaf or two of bread). both refrigerators have bottom drawer freezers, and this is used for icemakers, homemade ice creams, sorbets and sherbets as well as ice paks and the rare frozen pizza or junk food. We also use the colored shopping bag method for sorting beef/buffalo/elk/pork and it is a great way to see which item might be getting “short”. The chicken/turkey/seafood also goes into colored bags, though the whole turkeys are pretty self explanatory!
    When we roast a whole turkey, or even a half…I make sure the bones go in for a bone broth pot and then we “can” that. Whenever we boil potatoes of make rice, some pastas, we use bone broth (home canned beef/turkey/chicken) as the wetting fluid. Soooo very delicious and healthy too.
    BTW, we had a week-long power outage a few years back on the mountain and found that running a generator for 4 hours every 24 hours kept the freezers in full freeze. I keep a baggie of ice cubes at the top of each freezer as a gauge.

  8. I live way out in the country and I harvest my own animals, so I have multiple freezers. Some are connected to the whole house standby generator, others have their own gas-powered generator. I recently harvested two 400+ pd hogs of which I got about 500 pds of pork of various cuts. In spring, I harvested meat rabbits and I also have some berries and veges and a few store-bought items in that freezer. In the next couple of months I’ll be harvesting the barn-yard-mix roosters and I will take delivery of a half of a beef steer. During the cold weather I begin freeze-drying the oldest meats (the FD is noisy and creates a lot of heat) to start clearing freezer space for next spring’s harvests. I trade some pork/poultry for fresh goat milk and cheese from a farmer down the road. I also barter meat for repairs (which I can’t make).

  9. We have 2 large chest freezers which are full of elk and venison. The venison is from 2017 and I continue to eat it – it has lasted very long! I recently found some elk frozen since 2016 and ate it – and it was quite tasty. We butcher wrap and vacuum seal, or just vacuum seal. Both techniques have remained good to eat for several years.

    Like Ken, my DH has been low or no carb for a long time. This lack of carb diet for him appears to be anti-inflammatory which is great for his auto immune disease. We both believe this has kept his disease from progressing. So trying to figure out what to stock to last him at least a year in prep food is difficult! We have the wheat, the rice, the beans, but those are things he should not really eat but will eat if that is the last case scenario. Has anyone tried to long term store almond flour? Or coconut flour? Meat is definitely the top choice for what to store in the freezers.

  10. Mine is full of animal protein, my favorite source of nourishment. I was in the market for a second freezer, as we have been eating fresh mostly and keeping thee frozen back for the plandemic emergency, but I was slow to pull the trigger and now they are like hen’s teeth.
    No matter, we’ll just keep on pressure canning.

  11. Grate topic, Wife and I are very big on freezing meat, mostly beef. We keep our chest freezer full. I find rotating a bit of a problem but I have adopted your suggestion about using bags to help manage this.
    Thanks for the article.
    Man on foot

  12. Someone mentioned testing foods that are vacuum packed or been in freezer long times.
    I can testify that the slaughter house saved me a lot of money when I paid $3 a lb. for packets years ago, which at the time was a lot for us to pay.
    I can’t say how many years those little packets of 1 lbs lasted, but it was many years…because we shared a cow with a friend that year and bought the prepackaged frozen ground beef right after we started stocking food in 2009.
    So, if I just used the last packet 2 years ago, wow— that meat vacuum sealed lasted 8/9 years??
    Amazing and I never found a freezer burn or bad taste in any of those packets.
    And amazing that that slaughter house still sells those prepackaged, frozen, 1 lb ground beef packets for $3. Just have to pre-order.

  13. Lots of stuff in mine but most valuable is fats – butter and various oils. No milk cows nearby so until there is frozen butter is LTS. Have fat on hoof (pig) and claw (chicken) but for everyday cooking in the uncertain future I keep lots fats in the freezer.

    1. butter keeps well in the freezer. I keep several pounds there and rotate them as I use them. If the electricity fails, I have a basement that stays about 50 degrees, summer and winter, so my butter would keep a while. I also keep some coconut oil and olive oil in my cupboard for when the butter gives out.

      1. You Might try making GHEE from unsalted butter. very easy to use and still has good flavor and can be used as an oil to fry eggs in, then just pour the unused ghee over toast or biscuits to butter them. It will store for a long time in the icebox. Probably longer in the freezer. I store mine in mason jars. It doesn’t expand much on freezing.
        Lots of info on ghee on the internet, and lots of how tos about making it and uses for it. Much cheaper to make your own than buy it.

    2. Question Anony,
      Does the butter have to be vacuum sealed? Just curious if butter stored for a length of time will get some of the smells/flavors from the freezer.

      Regards

      1. INPrepper, no butter does not have to be vacuum sealed. I too store butter in the freezer and never had any off taste or smells from the freezer.

      2. Make Ghee out of Kerrygold grass feed unsalted butter. Simmer in pot (around 225 degrees) until there are no more bubbles, let it get to a light brown color for a nice subtle nutty flavor. Put in mason jar. This is great for cooking, has a higher burn point than whole butter. It will last hundreds of years on the self. As most properly prepared and contained animal fats will. Also only use a freezer that does not defrost.
        This is for the comments on chesse. Do not freeze cheese. Just vacuum seal it in usable portions and keep in the fridge or a cool dark space. It will sweat a little in the bag depending on the type of cheese. Freezing breaks down foods that have fats and liquids combined. Store bough products use additives to prevent this. Home made always better.

  14. Another great topic. Meat. Protein. Yes. We have 2 standing freezers in our garage. Backup generator outside, wired to power the entire house. FueI. One stores standard stuff and the other game. Some have already mentioned butter, fats, color-coding, ice cubes in baggies as a gauge, etc. In the standard one, store bought items and many extras are added and rotated. I am diligent about checking them while coming and going but let me tell you a horror story. In June I noticed a terrible smell. Inexplicably, a 3-pronged plug came out of a socket with no warning. Never, ever happened before. I had not been in the game freezer for 3-4 days so when I opened the door I nearly heaved ho. What a mess to clean up and what a loss to our provisions: a deer and a half, pheasant, quail, rabbit, fish, dove, turkey, squirrel and so on. We hunt. Also, starting 3 years ago, I started to take the venison I harvested to a processor that cut it exactly the way I wanted it and vacuum-sealed it so there was never any freezer burn. Lost. During one of the hottest weeks of the summer I had to clean that out. Needless to say, a mask came in handy. Hot water, vinegar, soap and baking powder helped get the smell out but it was someone’s suggestion to add black, burned, whole logs of wood into it that finally restored it to order. Mistake on my part and a loss of those animals. In a pinch, there were 8 deer in the back yard this morning ;) so we’ll make due. Glad urban archery starts on Sept 5th.

    Part of my security SOP was to maintain cognizance of my resources and when I blinked, something failed. Dumb. It’s not paranoia to have a mental checklist to run through regularly.

    I enjoy this site. Laughed reading about where NOT to hide a door key. Imagine someone scoping out your house with that thread printed out as a checklist. Hahahaha.

    Not inside the lock
    Not near the door
    Not under the carpet
    There on the floor
    Not under a fake rock
    Not inside of fake clocks
    Not taped to the old car
    Propped up on square blocks…

    Our TV is off. Going to enjoy this evening and weekend without all the doom and gloom.
    Best to all who read this.

    1. Some Vicks VapoRub placed under the nose might have helped with the smell some when cleaning out the unfortunate loss of food. The nose might run some but it masks the smell a little.

      Regards

  15. Mostly ground beef and lots of fish, chicken and sausages. I make soups that I freeze. I grow and somehow find the time to prepare my fava beans every other year. Love them, which add to my soups. This winter is the other year. 😩 other than that, strawberries and raspberries to make daiquiris to keep DW happy when it’s hot.
    My secret is using the frozen juice concentrate, Hawaii’s Own Strawberry Guava. Add 1/2 can of that along with the strawberries and a handful of raspberries makes a couple full glasses. Don’t forget the rum or if you like tequila.
    Just saw a couple small freezers at H.D. and bought them as a backup with the way things have been.
    What I’m worried about is my large freezer at our 2nd home. Has anyone had any experience with any type of alarm that would call or text me if power goes out?

  16. I have an upright freezer. I finally ordered a chest freezer just as this pandemic started. It was supposed to be delivered May 1. Then June 6. Then August 22. Now it’s not until the end of September. Do I even believe them? (We need some investigative reporting. Surely they’ve had time to make my freezer by now, even if parts are harder to come by. Is the government buying them up and keeping them from the common man? Is China not shipping an essential part?) This has made me a canner of meat this summer. We tried some of the canned pork loin for the first time tonight (before I can a bunch more this weekend), and it was delicious! If my freezer had been delivered, I probably wouldn’t have canned as much this summer as I have, so there IS a silver lining to this!

    As for answering your question, I keep all kinds of things in my freezer. The best things for preparedness in there are probably the meat, for the reasons you listed above, and the oils that let me store them for a long time by having them frozen, yet will be fine even if the power goes out.

  17. Our freezers are very important to us and we store a good amount of meat-pork, chicken, turkey, Duck, pheasant, deer, lamb, fish, and even some ground beef. Most meat has been raised by us or our friends. Meat is the bulk of the chest freezer fare. However, we also store butter, some bone broth, veggies from our garden, fruits, jams, Pedialyte, Yeast and ICE CREAM!

    I enjoyed switching over from cardboard boxes to the colored bags that Ken suggested. They work well and are much easier for me to lift out of the chest units. Thanks Ken!

  18. best use of our freezer is to preserve smoked meat from the Orion smoker/oven. this grill consumes a half bag of charcoal at a time but you can stuff it with enough meant to last all year. We do that and vacuum seal it.

  19. Don’t throw out those old chest freezers. We use our old chest freezer for storage of 50 pound animal feed sacks. It has a metal liner and an easy access lid that keeps insects, rats, squirrels, opossum and skunks out of the feed sacks. It doubles as a milking stand for Nigerian dwarf goats.

  20. My freezer is a stand-up model. I still keep frozen water bottles in the bottom shelf for purposes of rotating out each day. I keep a frozen 1 gallon water bottle in an ice chest in the back of my truck. I keep it partially filled with soda, water and my work place lunch items.

    My freezer is mostly filled with meat and cooked meat left-overs. ( tonight, I placed 4 ziplock bags filled with pre-made taco meat filling for use in tacos tomorrow. I find freezing left overs, large batches of spaghetti, meat purchased near the expiration date to be the best use for my freezer.

  21. Ken,

    Would agree 100%. I must also say picking up a food saver last year may have been one of the best purchases we’ve ever made, night and day difference with vacuum sealed meat.

    Have also recently implemented Ken’s colored tote bag system for organizing the different types of meats. Much easier than digging through the entire freezer!

  22. Beef we buy by the quarter, 1 or more deer per year that I harvest and process myself with an industrial grinder and wrapped steaks etc. Chicken, Lots of frozen vegetables some bread etc.mostly proteins that we don’t can. 1 upright 1 chest freezers.Eat well keep energy level up, were gonna need it.

  23. Honestly I wish I could get everybody to stack canned food and dry goods at this point. Also sheet plastic, many uses but the major one would be to line a bathtub and fill it with life saving water.

    1. Water Bob’s are perfect for that. Keep one under the sink in each bathroom with a tub. 100 Gals of water if you have the time to fill it.

      1. If you have a waterbed liner (queen/king) with a bit of sidewall reinforcement (usually cardboard), you can lay out two waterbobs side by side inside the liner.

        Once full, the sidewalls will provide support to the waterbobs and contain any failures.

        If we have some warning of a need to store extra water, the plan is to set this up under a bed where it would be out of the way.

  24. This is my second attempt at this question. Hopefully, someone can chime in.

    Can anyone make a suggestion for a specific vacuum sealer?

    I’m looking at FoodSaver, but I can’t decide which model is best? I’ve never actually used one. My stepfather would like to also use it and go in on the bags (they seem pricey). I’ll use it for meat other than beef (we get our gf beef from local farm and it’s already sealed) as well as produce.

    Thanks.

    1. MSG12B

      I have a LEM, commercial 15in. Very powerful, but, no port for sealing jars. Works on a continually sealing and does no over heat

      I have a Cabelas, 15in commercial sealer, with a port to seal jars. Love it. Works on a continually sealing and does no over heat.

      I have a Cabelas, 12 volt sealer for field sealing of fish and fowl. Works fine, but, will over heat will continued use.

      I have a FoodSaver, 15in sealer, new in box, never used. Back-up to the back-up. You know, 2 is 1, 1 is none.

      These are pricey, but, I seal alot.

    2. MSG12B
      Sorry thought it had been answered for you. Many like the food sealer because of price. I have personally wore out 6 over the years on #7 at this time. At the present time my food saver is model #FM2110, simple sealer with port vacuum. I keep the units simply as it keeps the price within reason.

      What I did was check for the best vacuum units out there. Found a rating for 13 units, here is the #1 top pick and will go down from there:

      Western Pro 2300/Avid Armor A100/Crenova VS100S/Food Saver 2244/Food Saver 4440/Geryon E5700/Gourmia GVS435/Nutrichef Compact PKVS18SL/Nutrichef Food Preserver PKVS30STS/Vaucpack Elite Vacuum Sealer.
      The balance would fit into the commercial category for food sealers.
      See what will work for your families.

    3. MSG12B:
      I have a Food Saver V4825.
      On my second, bad things happen when ya drop it.
      I use mine most every day.
      Would highly recommend one.
      Get the Jar Sealers also.

      1. NRP & Blue,

        I have a question for you on the jar sealer attachments. I have a really old food saver and bought the jar sealer attachments (reg & wide mouth) and they work great. But, the newer food saver I bought for BOL has an accessory port that doesn’t fit my existing jar sealer attachments. And it looks like the accessory port is now being used to seal food saver containers, not canning jars.

        Do you know if there is a newer jar sealer attachment to work with the newer model accessory ports? Thanks!

        1. So Cal Gal:
          On my FS the Accessory Attachment actually comes apart that allows the use of the Jar Sealers.
          If I remember correctly the top/hose end poped off. With a little help. I never reatched the original part.

          1. NRP,
            Thank you – I just looked at mine, and I don’t think it will do that. The accessory hose for the jar sealer has a gray plastic fitting on each end, and I don’t think it’s coming off without me risking breaking it. And the accessory fitting on my newer unit is too large to connect to the gray plastic fittings on the hose.

            I’ve resorted to using my older unit only to seal jars… hoping to extend its life by not using it for bags or roll material at all. I’m going to look again to see if there is something else I can do with the new unit to seal jars.

          2. So Cal Gal:
            I would hit up the Manufacturer’s web site and ask some questions.
            Ya never know.
            I personally use the heck out of the jar sealers

          3. BRP,
            Good idea… I use the heck out if the jar dealers too, so I was disappointed when my sealer hose wouldn’t fit the accessory ports on the newer units.

            I’m going to hop on the site and see if someone can give me info on how to seal jars with the newer units. Thanks again!

          4. So Cal Gal,
            I also had an older hose attachment( grey tipped). This will not fit the newer machines. Is you accessory port lime green? If so call food saver and tell them ya need a new cord. One should have come with the new jar sealers.
            Just what I found when I got my newer machine. Last year
            Good luck
            PEACE
            MadFab

          5. MadFab,
            The new one is green, I’ll ask how to order – like NRP, I use it all the time. Thanks for the scoop!!!!

  25. Hi MSG12B:

    I have a Foodsaver model V2461. It replaced a smaller Foodsaver that failed over seven years ago. I’ve pulled deep vacuum thousands of times with this machine, using aftermarket bags with great success and long lasting seals. One caveat… When you are knocking out packages too fast, after about 8-10 seal cycles, it will overheat as indicated by a blinking light and will need a few minutes to cool down. If you keep going at a fast pace, that cycle count will drop to 3 or 4 before needing to cool.
    —- If you are like me and weigh out your portions — and trim the excess off your bags and date your bags, there will be enough time to cool off between seals. I love the thing. Had it many years. I want to say it was around $70 on eBay.

  26. MSG12B – Your decision may depend on what you are wanting to seal and for how many. My immediate household is just 2 people. So we are only packing 1# burger or 1 steak or 4 chicken thighs, etc. We have the basic Foodsaver 2000 model purchased at Wally World. We have had good luck using the non-Foodsaver brands of rolls and bags. We mostly just use the roll plastic to make the bags ourselves. I worked once with someone who bought a brand from a large sporting goods store that worked well, but didn’t work well with other cheaper types of bags and rolls. And the original brand was expensive. We recently had a steak I discovered at the bottom of the freezer that was a year old. It was just as good as fresh. Also if you haven’t used one before, take your time and follow the instructions. My daughter thought she knew how to use it without looking at the instructions and plunged into packaging up 20 pounds of burger. We had a wonderful laugh till you cry discussion as she described the mess she made in the learning process. Like many things, you will get the hang of it and develop your own extra steps or order of processes to make it work best for you.

  27. So Cal Gal
    Why not order the replacement parts that make the vacuum sealer work? It could be as simple as the oval rubber gaskets on the inside of the machine.
    I would order the older number machine, like that which I listed it has the vacuum port for the jar sealer.
    Guess I had better place an order for this older machine since you & NRP have one that I was not aware of until now.

    1. AC,
      I’m just concerned about burning out the motor or power source or whatever on my older machine if I use it for both jars & bags/rolls. I figure if I only use it to power sealing jars it will extend its life.

      Meanwhile, I’m going to take NRP’s suggestion and get on their site to see if someone can let me know how to seal jars on the newer models. I haven’t seen any info on sealing jars That works with the newer ones ( as opposed to their re-usuable food containers that I don’t want).

      I just wish they made newer models with the older-style accessory ports. Thanks!!!

      1. SCG ,,,,,,,, what you need is a vacuum sorse ,,you might try harbor freight for a vacuum pump , might be some learning curve to use it but would last forever in that kind of use ,,
        And there are hand pump vacuum tools used for brake bledding

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