Vacuum food saver


John Neuser

Good day everyone. I'm considering buying a food vac machine. Read lots of comments on this site re: said machines and how most people think they are invaluable. Although it's just my wife and I we shop at Costco which means we typically buy larger packages of meat and fish. Additionally, when I smoke I like to do big batches. Last month I smoked a 12# brisket. LOs went into the freezer. This morning I took one of the packages out and it was full of ice crystals. So that pretty much sealed the deal. Also, love to do bacon, jerky, ribs, pork butt, etc. I do have a few questions.
1. I'm considering the Nesco VS-12. It gets good reviews and was Americas Test Kitchen's first choice. Any one have any experience with this brand and model?
2. How many of you bought a vacuum sealer but after six months or a year it's collecting dust?
3. Do use use name brand bags or do you procure through some other avenue?
4. What are your thoughts on the jar attachments?

Any additional thoughts, comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you and enjoy your weekend.


P.S. A little Costco humor. About ten years ago I developed this mantra, "Costco, where you buy more, eat more and throw more out."
Hi John,

I swear by my FoodSaver. Had it about 15 years, zero issues. Gets used often.

I can't speak to its canning/jarring capabilities, though. My model is a step down I think.

There's better, pricier options out there. But given that space is a bit of an issue for us, we went with one that easily stows away.

Only time I've ever had crystal formation is my own fault. Too much liquid left in a PP cook...failed to seal about 1/16th of an inch.

I use generic bags and see no difference between them and name-brand.

Sounds like you might want one that can handle canning and dehydrating..

Hope this helps!

No experience with Nesco, but I trust ATK reviews so it should be good. I've had 2 FoodSavers over the last 25 years and both have worked well. I have only used their branded bags, purchased at Costco, but now I see they have their own Kirkland version but have not yet tried them. As for attachments of all types, including vaccum sealable containers, again I've only used those from FoodSaver and they are not that great. They work initially but after some use (or lack of use sitting at the back of a cabinet for several years) the seals get less pliable and they don't hold a seal. But when new, they seem to work well.
Ho John. Here are my comments:

1. I'm not familiar with that one.
2. I cannot conceive of not having a vac sealer; I would not be without one.
3. I always buy generic bags from Amazon (link below)
4. I very briefly experimented with one ages ago that came with one of my first sealers but for my personal taste it's an attachment that collects dust.
I have the NESCO VS-12 and like it very much. I use it mostly for sous vide cooking and freezer storage. I've purchased generic bags on Amazon, and they are satisfactory, though not as good as name brand bags.
I have a Foodsaver and am content with it, but when it’s days are over I will get one that double seals. I know Anova has a model that does and I believe the NESCO does also. I do double seal with the Foodsaver, it just adds time to the process.
Same situation here. Just the wife and I and we buy most of our meat in large packages, whether at Sams Club or when local market has sales on larger quantities. I'd be lost without a vacuum sealer. I use bulk rolls (generic from Amazon) rather than bags and also have a jar sealer attachment. Both save a bunch of money if you use it a lot. Jars are great for preserving herbs, spices and other dehydrated goodies.
Like others have said with just Barb and me it's almost mandatory to have a vacuum sealer.
We buy a lot of meat on sale and vacuum seal the extra.
We have a food saver game saver model which is no longer available. Had it about 5-6 years and it gets used a lot. I like this model because you don't have to let it cool down after so many seals, a real work horse.
We use generic bags I get from EBay, done thousands of them and no issues.
My family has the Nesco VS-12 but I personally do not have a ton of experience using it. Not sure what kind of bags we're using.

We've not tried the jar attachments.
Not familiar with the Nesco.
Have had Foodsavers for over 20 years. I double seal everything and it does take more time. I'm going to explore the Nesco because my Foodsaver is showing end of life signals.
I went to generic bags about 3 years ago and never had a problem.
I don't use the jar attachment.
I order vacuum rolls off of Amazon and have been happy. I freeze lots of leftovers, and raw food.

I buy three pack ribs at Costco, take them out of the cryovac and rinse them ,get the bone bits off of them from the sawing, peel the membrane, trim any loose stuff...... And then vacuum seal them and freeze them individually. They thaw out really fast under water or microwave when needed. Maybe 20 minutes.

One thing to look at on vacuum sealers is the vacuum level it reaches. More vacuum is better. No, they don't all reach the same vacuum. All the other features depends on how often you use it.

In fact I just thawed out a rack of loin back ribs and cooked them this afternoon.

If you've got the room for a commercial grade is something you'll never regret. They just work. When you use lighter duty ones you have to wait in between sealing items for it to cool down. When you're doing a lot of things that can get a little bit annoying. It's not long you might have to wait 10 seconds or so but still , you might have to wait.


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I have only had food saver brand and they have worked well, on my 3rd 1 If I remember correctly, it;s a auto and love it, it has been going for 6-8 years now, I am looking forward to putting a couple 3 deer again this year. I dream of the $$$ chamber sealers but out of my price range I'm willing to spend.
I will *NEVER* *EVER* buy anything branded FoodSaver again. I've had 2, and both of them failed, the second one was particularly short lived. I've bought an Ary VacMaster Pro260 (model no longer available.) Ary's customer service is top notch, I was never able to contact anybody in FoodSaver (okay, Rival,) customer service. Good media is pretty easily available online these days, and that's a big part of a vacuum sealer. I've never been able to exceed duty cycle on the VacMaster, I did pretty regularly on the FoodSavers when they were working.
We wouldn't be without a vacuum sealer. They're just too useful a tool. About 15 years ago, after going through two Foodsavers, we bought one made by a commercial vacuum sealer company. It's been great and we haven't managed to break it yet!

That being said...

We don't have problems with seal failures, but we've had numerous vacuum failures happen while in the freezer, from small abrasion tears in the "waffle" side of the plastic. Yes, we've tried many, many different bags to end up with the same result.

If we had it to do over, knowing everything we know now, we'd spend the $$ for a chamber-type sealer. They use bags that are a lot tougher than the waffle-pattern bags used by the non-chamber types. Think of the commercially-sealed things you find in the supermarket, and that's the kind of bags we're talking about. The bags are also available in different gauges and materials, unlike the waffle-type bags.

We're this close (fingers held a millimeter apart) from doing so right now.
I'm probably 95% happy with the bag roll material I use, but there are a few failures. Most are caught and resealed before they go into the freezer. A tiny leak in the freezer isn't necessarily the end of the world . Probably more important for things that aren't Frozen... Anything sharp, hard and pointy needs care... Even putting another layer of material over the sharp pointy edges before pulling vacuum maybe needed.

Out of desperation when I was out once, I purchased FoodSaver bag material from Walmart one time and was fairly dissapointed with it. It definitely felt thinner and even had a wrinkle in the roll. It was clearly lower quality than what I buy off Amazon that is marketed as commercial. You can look at the thicknesses etc before buying.
Most are 3 mil. You can find 4 mil. That said the thinner bags are just fine for most everything. Thicker may not work well with all machines. There's a lot of reviews out there you can read.


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I’ve had a vacuum seaLee for a couple of years and am very pleased with it, just used it to suck pack a couple of chuck roasts.
no experience with jar sealing. I don’t use it heavily, a few bags at a time. After the initial learning to not try to trim the bags too small and allow the thing to cycle fully. Glad to have it!
. After the initial learning to not try to trim the bags too small and allow the thing to cycle fully. Glad to have it!

That is a great point. If you trim one bag too small and have to throw it away.... It offsets having a half a dozen of them longer than they need to be. It's simply not worth it to try and trim bags too short it actually end up costing you money instead. Because you will... Misjudge especially with thicker objects like chicken breast. it also affects your ability to make sure there's no wrinkles in the sealing surface and get a good seal.

Besides that, sometimes you end up with a bad seal anyway , maybe a piece of food debris in the seal... Or a micro wrinkle.. and it's nice to have enough room left to cut that off and seal it again without having to use a whole new bag. Or just to make a second seal above the original. It's a lot better with a couple of extra inches.
(That's what she said)
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My neighbor gave me Nesco V-12 when he moved, along with 4-50’ rolls of bag material. I pretty much just use it to repackage meats when I freeze them. I just hit the vac/ seal button, don’t really know what the others do. I’m gonna read up on it, maybe I’ll use it more. It works well, the vacuum rolls look to be some generic brand. Never had any problems with a bad seal.

I had two foodsavers die. Bought a cheap no name brand on amazon 2 years ago. It's working well.

I bought the Kirkland bags from costco and they work well too.

I'm sure a higher end unit is better but the one I bought was about $30
Costco has a Foodsaver on sale right now for $75. For that kind of money you can’t go wrong. If you don’t like it, Costco will take it back. I have that unit and like it. I’m sure there are better/nicer/whatever units out there but it does the job and frankly, I don’t use it enough to worry. My main use is sealing meat that I buy in bulk from Costco and putting up pulled pork when I smoke a pork butt. It works just fine for those usages.

If I wanted top notch vacuum sealing, I’d get a chamber vacuum sealer.