by Gaye Levy
15th January 2014
A few weeks ago, I received an email from a Backdoor Survival reader asking my opinion on a device she had seen being promoted to preppers. It was basically a vacuum sealer that could be used to seal up packages of dry foods. The cost was about $300. Holy moly! I could hardly believe that someone would consider something like this when an $80 FoodSaver would do the same thing.
I have had a FoodSaver for years. I use it for all sorts of soft and dry goods, such as cheeses, meats, specialty flours, and even things like coffee beans and tea bags. It works great. The surprising thing, however, is that at least half of of the time, I don’t bother with the bags. Instead, I use Mason jars.
You have seen me talk about my sealed mason jars many times in the past but I have never gotten around to telling you about them in detail.
Enter contributing writer, Rob Hanus, who has done all of the work for me. In today’s Fast Track Tip, Rob will explain how the FoodSaver jar attachment works in words while I show you how it works in pictures. (And by the way, those M&Ms make for great comfort items while hunkering down for whatever reason!)
Vacuum Canning Using a Food Saver Jar Attachment
Thanks to the numerous infomercials, there is hardly a person in the US that doesn’t know what a vacuum sealer is. The most common being the Food Saver units. You’ll find that even people that aren’t preppers will have these in their home. Vacuum sealing works great for keeping food fresher, especially in the freezer. To get an idea on how long you can keep some foods, check out this recent blog post: How Long Do You Freeze Food?
If you have ever used a vacuum-sealer, you know that one of the pitfalls of using one is having to buy more bags. Even when you try to save a little money and buy the rolls of bags, you still have to spend time cutting them and sealing one end before you can even use it. And washing the bags doesn’t work as well as it would seem it should.
However, there is something that you can do to vacuum-seal food without having to buy replacement bags. It’s not a complete replacement for using the bags, but in some ways, it can be more efficient.
Getting it all set up. Note the canning funnel.
I’m referring to the jar sealer attachment. There are jar sealer attachments for both wide-mouth and regular-mouth jars. Mine came with the wide-mouth and we bought the regular-mouth size for less than $10. This is a good investment as it allows you to use both sizes of jars.