Vacuum sealing for beginners

In the Sous Vide Recipes Forum
Hi Everyone,

I have never used a vacuum sealer and don't own one.

What appliances do I need to get started, what are your recommendations, are there any best practices for vacuum sealing? What does vacuum sealing work the best for? Anything suitable equipment from this review for my needs?

I'd like to keep equipment expenses under $300. We'll be purchasing a basic chest freezer soon too.

Thank you!


2 Replies So Far

You don't necessarily need a vacuum sealer. I do have one and use it when I'm doing long cook times or relatively high temperature cooks (above 158F). But I also use the ziploc freezer bags and water displacement for smaller/shorter/lower temperature cooks.

I'm not sure if your $300 budget also covers your immersion circulator or not. You can get deals on different vacuum sealer units (I got a Food Saver model on sale for ~$60). I don't know a lot about different brands, but I see sales on Amazon (lightning deals) almost every day for different off-brand vacuum sealers.

ChefSteps (the manufacturers of the Joule) have an article about doing sous vide without even a circulator...
https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/cook-sous-vide-tonight-stovetop-method

Looking at the link you provided, I see there are some sealers that can use wider bags. My Food Saver can't do that. But it *can* use expandable bags--but really, you won't need that unless you have a very large container in which to cook. Many times you want to portion your food before the sous vide, so unless you are doing whole briskets or similar, that may be more of a 'nice to have' rather than a 'must have' feature.

HTH.


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