Best “budget” vacuum bagging system?

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mille162

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For those in the US, whats the best budget friendly vacuum bag system you’ve been happy with? I’m thinking retail under $300, home/personal use. Overall size for storage is also a slight concern.

I had been using the Food Saver V2866, but I’ve found the sealing ability of it ok enough for freezer storage, but even when I double seal, over the course of a few hours in a water bath it tends to fail.
 

ian

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I just use the Geryon $40 sealer... never fails, even with multi day cooks, unless I try to vac seal something really wet and don’t notice that the moisture has compromised the seal. And this doesn’t happen to me anymore, since now I just check, dry the exposed part, and seal again. Never had a problem since I learned to do that.
 

Paraffin

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I've been using the FoodSaver V4840 for about a year and a half, I think it's around $180. Haven't had any problems with it so far. Not a single broken seal with sous vide, including 24 hour cooks at fairly high heat. One of these days I want to upgrade to a commercial-grade vacuum sealer, but right now I don't have room for one. This is fairly compact and fits in a corner of the kitchen.

I don't try to seal really wet items. For sous vide (and below 180 degrees), those go in Zip lock bags with an open top and a water pressure seal when they go into the bath. For vacuum packing things for the freezer, if it's really wet I'll freeze them in Zip lock bags first, and then vacuum pack when they're solid. My only complaint with the FoodSaver is that it doesn't handle liquids well.

If your bag seal is failing that quickly on a sous vide cook, I'd suspect a problem with the heating element if it's failing on that top or bottom seal. Or else an off-brand bag. Are you using the FoodSaver brand bags, or something else?
 

bahamaroot

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I use a FoodSaver FM5480 I bought at Costco on sale for $99. Works great, the seal is twice as wide as the older FoodSaver it replaced.
 

Rangen

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I went through two Foodsavers and finally decided to get something more robust, a Cabela's Professional. It has been with me for at least 10 years.

I know you asked for budget, but my own luck with budget has been bad.
 

daveb

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I've seen some of your other toys :cool: Reach a little and go for a Vacmaster. Or reach deep and go Vacmaster Chamber. You can do a lot of fun infusions with a chamber sealer.
 

aboynamedsuita

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+1 for vacmaster, I got the pro350 model. Picked up a lot of bags/rolls from cabelas during a sale (they were actually relabeled vacmaster bags), but within the past year or so they’ve changed their bags. They work Ok with the vacmaster still and seal fine since the bar is 5mm wide (I read some reviews how they don’t seal completely)
 

Kgp

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I've got a Weston 2100 that I purchased in 2007, still going strong. They sell a kit to replace rubber gasket and sealing strip for around $30, done that twice. 8x12 4 mil bags off ebay and keep couple of rolls for odd shape needs. Burned through two Foodsavers before I broke down and bought this one. If you have the room, it's worth the investment. Love it for resealing mylar bags of frozen vegetables, snacks, etc.
 

29palms

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I have an Anova because of it's small footprint. I use it then lose it to a pantry shelf. I think it's 15"x3"x4" and I buy rolls of bag material from Amazon. It was the best $50 I'd spent in a long time.
 

Juna

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So I had a nice food saver branded sealer which was great but after lending it to a few family members it never made its way back. In a fit of frustration and resentment, I ordered a $20 sealer off Amazon that while no where near as nice, certainly gets the job done. For bags I order either 3rd party bags in bulk off Amazon or food saver brand at Costco depending on the time constraint, no issues with either types of bags.

my Amazon cheapie is no longer available but similar to this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DFJ1VQM/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_i_PZZQAR932R3P5BBSGV8C
 

rogue108

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I was using FoodSaver V2244 for 6 years but gave it to my mother. I need to disclaimer it was never used heavily. I'd use it for sous vide and occasionally for packing bulk quantities of food. The Nesco VS-12 ($99) seems to pop up a lot in the "best of lists" for vacuum sealers online. Never used it but considering one now but might need to something with a smaller footprint.
 

JASinIL2006

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I use a Foodsaver (a low to medium priced model; don't know the number off the top of my head) and it works pretty well for cooking sous vide in a water bath. What it does not do so well, ironically, is save food in the freezer. The Foodsaver (and Gamesaver) bags become a little brittle when in a freezer and too often, they crack and let in air. Cheapo off-brand bags are even worse.

I would love to get something that uses heavier - and more pliable - plastic, similar to what meat lockers and other processors use, but without spending $1500 on a machine. The Foodsaver is great for cooking sous vide, but if I spend several weeks curing 20-40 lbs. of bacon, I don't want to lose it to freezer burn because the Foodsaver bags are cheap.
 

daveb

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A good quality strip sealer can be had under 4 bills. Cabella's (prob Weston), Weston, VacMaster, off the top of my head. Bags from Vacuum Sealers Unlimited. The high end strip sealers are priced just below the lower priced chamber sealers - and that's a whole nother world.
 

JASinIL2006

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A good quality strip sealer can be had under 4 bills. Cabella's (prob Weston), Weston, VacMaster, off the top of my head. Bags from Vacuum Sealers Unlimited. The high end strip sealers are priced just below the lower priced chamber sealers - and that's a whole nother world.
Are you referring to something like this?

 

btbyrd

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America's Test Kitchen / Cook's Illustrated gives top marks to the Nesco Deluxe vacuum sealer, which can be had for $100.
 

Krouton

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Anyone have the weston pro 1100, I noticed I can get it from Costco? I don't do sous vide, I just want a good sealer for freezer storage.
 

Kgp

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Anyone have the weston pro 1100, I noticed I can get it from Costco? I don't do sous vide, I just want a good sealer for freezer storage.
I have the 2100. Been perfect for at least 10 years. I replace the rubber seal and heating strip every 4 or 5 years. They sell a kit for mine, probably do for the 1100, also. Buy your bags off of Ebay.
 

Krouton

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I have the 2100. Been perfect for at least 10 years. I replace the rubber seal and heating strip every 4 or 5 years. They sell a kit for mine, probably do for the 1100, also. Buy your bags off of Ebay.
Thanks, I might have to go for it. Appreciate the tip on eBay for the bags
 

Michi

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Thanks, I might have to go for it. Appreciate the tip on eBay for the bags
Be careful. I've been bitten by a low-cost eBay offer in the past and ended up throw a bunch of rolls away. You need 3 mil thickness, and most of the cheap options are thinner than that (and usually don't state thickness). The result is bags that will lose their seal, or bags where the ceiling strip burns right through the plastic and ends up cutting it instead of sealing it because the plastic is too thin.

I've reverted back to buying brand-name rolls, such as Food Saver or Luvele. They cost a lot more, but that's way preferable to having bags that open while in the water bath or ending up with freezer burn.
 

Kgp

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Be careful. I've been bitten by a low-cost eBay offer in the past and ended up throw a bunch of rolls away. You need 3 mil thickness, and most of the cheap options are thinner than that (and usually don't state thickness). The result is bags that will lose their seal, or bags where the ceiling strip burns right through the plastic and ends up cutting it instead of sealing it because the plastic is too thin.

I've reverted back to buying brand-name rolls, such as Food Saver or Luvele. They cost a lot more, but that's way preferable to having bags that open while in the water bath or ending up with freezer burn.
I buy 4 mil for about $65-$70 for 500 quart size, which I use for 90% of my sealing. Never had a failure that wasn’t my fault and I’ve probably used 2,000 of them.
 
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