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Thread: Seal A Meal

  1. #1
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default Seal A Meal

    I have been looking at getting a vacuum packer and saw that seal a meal vacuum packers are a lot cheaper then the food saver. Do these work ok? Can it be used as a substitute?

  2. #2
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Default My vote goes to:

    Vacume sealers.

    I have used mine so much I had to replace it a few years ago. Vacume sealer bags seem to be more heavy duty so you can boil them if needed.

    Personally, I figure that I spend hard earned money fishing and hunting (Sure I enjoy it) but why chance it when it comes to protecting your investment (Food).

    In fact I just opened a pack of halibut over the weekend that I caught in Homer in 1999 it was sealed and frozen. That halibut was just as firm as when I put it in the bag.

    I use it to make boil-a-meal for hunting and fishing trips to reduce weight, clothes to keep dry, survival equipment, T.P., electronics you name it.

    So.....I would have to say vacume sealer all the way.
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    Member wldboar's Avatar
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    Default food saver

    I would get a food saver. As previously stated why run the risk of freezer burning food, etc. I have had mine for quite a while and I love it. I got mine from Costco awhile back. Machine and 4 boxes of bags. Price really wasn't that bad.

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    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't think he is debating getting a vacuum sealer of some type - I think he was asking about a specific brand.

    My experience is that like most outdoor gear there is a difference between the ideal, which many people will say is the only thing to buy, and something that will "work"...for a while.

    I've broken a few cheap vacum sealers - food saver brand included - and if I had the money (which I don't) to buy a good one - it would feature the following:
    • hands free once you start it
    • wide seal (over 12" maybe?)
    • strong pump (double piston?) that is fast (saves you time and gets a better seal)
    • a clear window to let you see your alingment of your bag
    • and maybe most important - adjustable seal time...hate to burn through bags
    If you're going to be packaging large game or dipnet trips worth of fish every year - it probably won't be more than a few years before you wear out your first cheaper unit. Does that make it worth spending 2-3 times or more? I don't know...but if I had the extra cash I'd get one in the $300 - $400 range. There was a post here a year or so ago that had a website to a great looking brand I'd never heard of...thought I bookmarked it but I can't find it.

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes my question was about the 2 different vacuum sealers. The food savers started at around $125 and whent up to about $300. The seal a meal vaccume sealer was around $40 and I was wondering if any one had experience with them.

    Thank you for your responses.

  6. #6
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default

    After going through 1/2 dozen inexpensive vacuum sealers in 10 years we went last year to Alaska Butcher Supply on Mountain View and purchased a chambered vacuum sealer. We bought it right before the last sportsman show and got a good deal on it, but it was still quite expensive. We're able to vacuum seal a couple of processed deer in 15-30 minutes. It is very efficient and should last a life time. Our brand and model is the Mini-Pack MV-31 made in Italy.

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    Member jmg's Avatar
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    I have had good luck with Food Saver brand. In 4 years I've replaced mine once. The newer one I got has hands free operation, wide sealing band, but I think not a double piston pump (maybe though). Seems to do a good job. If doing a lot of fish or game, they are definitely worth the investment. I wish I could buy a chamber style, but a little too much for my wallet. Cabelas has one in their brand I think that is about $300 that is really nice.

  8. #8
    Member alaskanmoosehunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmg View Post
    I have had good luck with Food Saver brand. In 4 years I've replaced mine once. The newer one I got has hands free operation, wide sealing band, but I think not a double piston pump (maybe though). Seems to do a good job. If doing a lot of fish or game, they are definitely worth the investment. I wish I could buy a chamber style, but a little too much for my wallet. Cabelas has one in their brand I think that is about $300 that is really nice.
    That's the way I goin' too when mine gives out....Cabela's makes a nice commercial grade sealer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanmoosehunter View Post
    That's the way I goin' too when mine gives out....Cabela's makes a nice commercial grade sealer.

    I have the Cabela's Vacmaster SVP-15, don't know how I ever lived without it. I have burned up 2 of the foodsaver pro models now, I won't buy another one of those.

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    Member AKGUPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    After going through 1/2 dozen inexpensive vacuum sealers in 10 years we went last year to Alaska Butcher Supply on Mountain View and purchased a chambered vacuum sealer. We bought it right before the last sportsman show and got a good deal on it, but it was still quite expensive. We're able to vacuum seal a couple of processed deer in 15-30 minutes. It is very efficient and should last a life time. Our brand and model is the Mini-Pack MV-31 made in Italy.

    kingfisherktn
    Quote Originally Posted by kenairmk View Post
    I have the Cabela's Vacmaster SVP-15, don't know how I ever lived without it. I have burned up 2 of the foodsaver pro models now, I won't buy another one of those.
    Wow $1.5-$3G's is alot of dough. I've had a Foodsaver Gamesaver Pro for several years now with no problems. The one thing I think some people don't do is let the thing cool-off after after a few vacuumings. I know time is money for commercial guys, but someone's got to stop and have a beer every once and awhile.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKGUPPY View Post
    Wow $1.5-$3G's is alot of dough. I've had a Foodsaver Gamesaver Pro for several years now with no problems. The one thing I think some people don't do is let the thing cool-off after after a few vacuumings. I know time is money for commercial guys, but someone's got to stop and have a beer every once and awhile.

    You are exactly right, heat is the issue. The foodsavers just can't handle the speed at which I need to go. The vacmaster has the same issue, but the manufacturer instructed me to ventilate the case. I did this and installed an exhaust fan inside the unit. Now I can work at a speed that works for me and the unit builds hardly any heat at all.

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    Member SuYentna Dave's Avatar
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    Default Has anyone own or use "Frisper" Type?

    It is a sealer I seen on the forum site as sponsor. The product uses ziplock type bag and is made by Oliso

  13. #13

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    Im renewing because this guy never got his answer and Im looking for the same one.

    Has anyone ever used the 'seal a meal'?

    Its $40 at Fred Myers. Im not dipnetting, and Im not planning on hunting a moose. Only sport caught fish so I will not use it very much compared to many of you.

    From the previous posts, it seems like the biggest problem with most of them is that they need to be replaced after a year or two. If that is the issue, I only need mine for a few months then I can give it away to someone on the forum.

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    Default 2 Thumbs Down For Foodsaver

    I seal all of my dipnet fish, sport fish, and moose. I started off with a basic foodsaver middle shelf sealer and eventually ended up with a top of the line foodsaver model. I personally think if you are serious about keeping your food fresh you should stay away from the Foodsaver brand. I have gone through almost all of there models and all of them have broke in a short amount of time. I think i will spend more money and get a professional grade sealer. Its worth it to me not to have to stop what i'm doing to either let it cool off or even worse get another machine.

  15. #15

    Default 2 thumbs up for Foodsaver...

    We bought ours at least 6 years ago; I think it's a Professional II model. Sounds odd that so many of you are having or have had trouble with them. Maybe they made them better in the past? We've processed hundreds of pounds of fish (salmon/halibut) with that unit. We don't use it all year long, but really push it hard in July/August. One thing we do is to make sure to keep the unit clean.
    We don't really baby it and we always manually lengthen the vacuum time, putting more wear & tear on the unit. Never let us down yet. Our fish typically lasts a year in the freezer, not sure if that's good or not?
    I have operated commercial models during gillnetting and would LOVE one, but big $$$$.
    The commercial units more consistenly produce vac packs with little or no air pockets.
    I feel fortunate that ours is still kicking (knock, knock).
    Jim

  16. #16

    Default 2 thumbs up for Foodsaver...

    We bought ours at least 6 years ago; I think it's a Professional II model. Sounds odd that so many of you are having or have had trouble with them. Maybe they made them better in the past? We've processed hundreds of pounds of fish (salmon/halibut) with that unit. We don't use it all year long, but really push it hard in July/August. One thing we do is to make sure to keep the unit clean.
    We don't really baby it and we always manually lengthen the vacuum time, putting more wear & tear on the unit. Never let us down yet. Our fish typically lasts a year in the freezer, not sure if that's good or not?
    I have operated commercial models during gillnetting and would LOVE one, but big $$$$.
    The commercial units more consistenly produce vac packs with little or no air pockets.
    I feel fortunate that ours is still kicking (knock, knock).
    Jim

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    Default

    To answer the initial question, unless they have changed the "Seal-a-meal", it's not actually a vacume packer, just a sealer. It puts a heat seal on the package but does not remove the air. It's a short term thing. Ziplocks are about as good.
    That's the rteason for the price difference.
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  18. #18
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    Did some looking & the Seal a meal is indeed a vacum model now days (guess I'm getting old).
    Here's a thread comparing the two.
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/444825
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Default Easiest Way I've Found

    There are lots of commercial vaccuum packing places around that do it for about a $1.00 a pound (that includes the bags). I've found that my time spent on packing 40-50 pounds of fish, the cost of bags, etc comes in higher than that.
    If ya get a big load of fish and want to do it yourself, Alaska Butcher Supply in Anchorage will rent you one of their commercial grade packers for a how ever long you might need it. Just an option if you won't be using it for a long time.

  20. #20
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    I own both a Food Saver and a Seal a Meal.

    The Food Saver is the better unit when it comes to speed. The Seal a Meal is slower to suck the air out of a bag.

    Both will seal up food and it keeps just fine. I have used the Food Saver to process my dipnet catch for years with no issues other than having to take a break every now and then when the unit starts to over heat. We take a break, have a coffee or beer and then go back to processing.

    The Seal a Meal is used as a back up unit and for small jobs around the kitchen. I do not use it for the big dipnet jobs mainly due to the speed issue. I can do two or three food saver bags to one seal a meal.

    If you are not going to be sealing 50+ pounds of meat at a time, either one will work for you. It comes down to how often you will use it and how much you are willing to pay.

    FYI, Seal a Meal is on clearance at Fred Meyer (I saw them at Anchroage midtown location) for 20 bucks as of last week. I picked up one and may take it dipnetting this year along with the food saver. Will see if this model is faster than the other one I have.

    By the way, I have been using the same Food Saver to seal my dipnet fish for 10 years now. I may finally break down this fall and buy a newer model with hands free operation, but this old thing just keeps on going.

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