Costco Vacuum sealer Discussion ??

GregE

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Judy is looking at vacuum sealers- actually one arrived recently but it's not working so getting ready to ship 80# back to VacMaster.........
She saw the ones in Costco - and I told her there were some problems discussed last year on that model. Not having any luck searching.

Anybody have a link to the discussion thread- or remember some of the comments to give her?

G
 

tunacraze

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There's a ton of threads under "Chamber vacuum sealers."
 

esgeo

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Judy is looking at vacuum sealers- actually one arrived recently but it's not working so getting ready to ship 80# back to VacMaster.........
She saw the ones in Costco - and I told her there were some problems discussed last year on that model. Not having any luck searching.

Anybody have a link to the discussion thread- or remember some of the comments to give her?

G
I have one of the Costco Maxvac ones, if you can‘t find the thread. I like it so far, probably one of my favorite purchases for the home yet. I’ve probably done 40lbs of shrimp in 1# bags with it, some fish, a couple smoked turkeys, and do the whole pre-cooked chickens from the grocery on a regular basis (Reheat a couple days later on medium in microwave in the bag with the corner cut and they are even better that the day they are cooked). I’ve smoked or jerkied some fish I had in the freezer and have used it to seal that. I’ve used it a couple times to marinate as well. Also buy logs of fresh mozzarella to make bruschetta and I use it to reseal the cheese. Plus a bunch of dry goods (rice, beans, flour). I haven’t done a big meat haul of fish yet, but I see no worries when the time comes. Biggest drawback is you can’t do like a whole salmon in a single bag because of the chamber being too short. I’m guessing I’ve run it 150 times at this point and I haven’t noticed the oil level dropping. Sealer works fine. sometimes I have to wipe moisture off the inside of the chamber dome after I do something really moist (cooked chicken for example). You can customize pumping time, but factory setting has been fine. I bought like 1000 large bags for like 35 bucks, it comes with an assortment of small and large bags, spare gasket and sealing strip, and enough pump oil to fill the pump twice. Feel free to PM if you want more info.

Eric
 

G-Spot

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Judy is looking at vacuum sealers- actually one arrived recently but it's not working so getting ready to ship 80# back to VacMaster.........
She saw the ones in Costco - and I told her there were some problems discussed last year on that model. Not having any luck searching.

Anybody have a link to the discussion thread- or remember some of the comments to give her?

G
I don’t remember the thread last year about the Costco one having any negative about the unit. I remember several people saying since it was made in I think China it was gonna be basically bad.... And you need to call Thom, because he is the only guy in the United States or maybe the world that can get you a vacuum sealer... 😀
 

GregE

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Finally found the Search--- how long has it been under the FORUMS tab??


The VacMaster 215 is the one we have- very sturdy but won't power up. Finally had the tech rep talk me through opening the top and found a loose wire on the power switch. Reconnected it earlier today- and my boomerang still won't come back!!
Calling them tomorrow, again....
 

TonyG

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7000 threads on this. Buy quality or gamble in less. Nobody is convinced on these conversations except some like me when @Reel Hooker steered me right to talk to Thom and get a minipak.
 
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G-Spot

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7000 threads on this. Buy quality or gamble in less. Nobody is convinced on these conversations except some like me when @Reel Hooker steered me right to talk to Thom and get a minipak.
see.... here it is... Call Thom or you loose!
 

GregE

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Well.............. I would but I'm not sure who Thom is or how to reach him

Link me up or ID him please
 

FishPimpII

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Well.............. I would but I'm not sure who Thom is or how to reach him

Link me up or ID him please

Thom runs that website from maple valley. His contact info is on there. I’m hoping to upgrade to one of his machines soon.
 
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liltrouble

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Think through your purchase. what do you want to do in the LONG RUN?

Vacmaster will seal bags all day long. however, if you want to do retort, call Thom at VacuPack and fork the shekels for quality.

Vacmaster won't/ can't do retort, neither can the costco one. sealing Mylar bags takes heat, pressure on the sealing bar, etc.

If you did dry goods, make sure you use oxygen absorbers. Just vacuum sealing doesn't necessarily preserve stuff.

I still keep a food saver too. Sometimes you want to seal flares, things that go bang, pte- greased wheel bearings etc that you don't want all that pressure on.

Think it through to make sure you only need to buy once. Some times spending the money can save you money in the long run. you definitely will save a ton on bags!
 
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G-Spot

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Think through your purchase. what do you want to do in the LONG RUN?

Vacmaster will seal bags all day long. however, if you want to do retort, call Thom at VacuPack and fork the shekels for quality.

Vacmaster won't/ can't do retort, neither can the costco one. sealing Mylar bags takes heat, pressure on the sealing bar, etc.

If you did dry goods, make sure you use oxygen absorbers. Just vacuum sealing doesn't necessarily preserve stuff.

I still keep a food saver too. Sometimes you want to seal flares, things that go bang, pte- greased wheel bearings etc that you don't want all that pressure on.

Think it through to make sure you only need to buy once. Some times spending the money can save you money in the long run. you definitely will save a ton on bags!
depends on the size and model of Vacmaster. My VP545 seals 4 retorts at a time all day long....

on an old conversation someone was using the small VP and purchased a cheap bag seal bar and adds a second seal prior to cooking and has success with that.

all depends on your budget. Do you want to spend $800, $1200 or $2500......
 
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Ali

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Vacmaster will seal bags all day long. however, if you want to do retort, call Thom at VacuPack and fork the shekels for quality.

Vacmaster won't/ can't do retort, neither can the costco one. sealing Mylar bags takes heat, pressure on the sealing bar, etc.
Have you tried? I read all the stuff saying it won't do it.

I sealed 38 retort bags with mine. Only 2 failed.

I have put literally thousands of bags through my Vacmaster 215 without a problem.
 

liltrouble

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Great points Ali. I have put thousand is bags through my VM too. Love it! I will be replacing the pump seals as a winter project.

Great points G-Spot. The bigger VMs retort like a champ all day long! Most people usually start the taking point at the VP215c.

I took retort bags, set them on the highest settings and the inner layer of the Mylar, which is the critical one, failed the pull apart test. Miserably.

I only sealed one without vacuum, so it had air in it, put it in the vacmaster and ran it through the sealing process on a 30 second cycle. It blew out every time. If i remember correctly, it was like within 5-6 seconds. Same result with VM and retort no matter how high or long i cranked it up.

Retort canning my tuna is a lot of work so there are two factors : preserving my catch with a high success rate, and safely preserving my catch!

I have gone to the USDA "Canning Ladies" seminar at the OCEAN show in Salem many times. they know i will always come up to them and ask of any new info on retort. i usually get the boiler plate response of "best research indicates it shouldn't be tried at home, with that being said..." we have discussions.

They have directed me to "the guy" at SeaGrant who has helped the the independent commercial guys get their niche goods correctly processed for small scale sale for CSA's and such.

What is critical in retort canning is the seal is the seal. I have heard it said that botulism sucks. We don't hear a lot about it because our modern canning techniques have pretty much eliminated it. it is almost an eliminated illness that is found predominantly in the home canning peeps.

In Washington State and the PNW, research had shown we have the largest concentration of naturally occurring botulism spores in North America. If you have ever put your coolers, fish, knives, etc in the yard and rinsed them, there is a high probability they would test positive for botulism. And it only can be killed at 100 minutes at 10# pressure at Sea Level. The spores are extremely hardy. most of the soil botulism spread in NA had come from agriculture items grown Wray of the Cascade Ranges moist climates, sent to grocery stores, or in compost piles, and the gift keeps giving.

Talking to these guys have given me a solid respect for the seal, 10# for 100 minutes. i have racks that go in my All American canners to keep the pressure on the bags and don't allow them to over expand (making sure it isn't the sealers fault), have HDPE mesh to go between bags at the edges of the rack to makes sure the steam can get between the bags so they get to temp. I went to a marble countertop place and had them cut plates and drill holes with the vanity sink cut out pieces for top weights in the canner.

At this point, your are provably on "over thinking it" alert! ;p. I did spend a lot of time taking to people who make canning safety their living. i have heard the current gen VM can do retorts. I have one that is 8 years old and won't fork the $$ to see if it can. I have my VM and my Mini. Happy with both and the purpose they serve. this was a long response, i need to stop and get moving after a long, sporty day on the big pond yesterday. i have work to do,6 bearings to finish up on the trailer, 2 transducers to change and fish to pack. Both sealers will be used for the lings and butt.

Ali, i still have your post on your BFT trip earlier this year bookmarked and read it regularly! My Yummies i brought back from OBX sit rigged, on my table ready and waiting...
 

GregE

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Follow up:
Judy had checked the fuse and replaced it. Once we opened the top found a wire loose from the spade connector on the power switch. Replaced the connector and installed- still no power. Checked the power cord continuity- good.
Tech support asked several times about the fuse- I found she had left the spare in the holder but none was in the contacts. installed correctly
Power on. :)
I really didn't want to pack and send this thing back........
 

Chasin' Tail

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Vacmaster won't/ can't do retort, neither can the costco one. sealing Mylar bags takes heat, pressure on the sealing bar, etc.
Ive had my VP215 for 4 years.
Process probably 100-150 retorts a year on it. Still going strong and I havnt killed anyone yet.

I usually have 5% or so blow out in the cooking process.. Odd thing though, is its almost always one of the sides of the pouch that has the factory seal that blows.
 
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“biteme”

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Just rolled over 800 sealed bags with my costco chamber sealer, still works great. Retort works too, just run a secondary seal before canning, no issues
 
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Fish_on!

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Just rolled over 800 sealed bags with my costco chamber sealer, still works great. Retort works too, just run a secondary seal before canning, no issues
What settings are you running on it? I feel like mine doesn’t get enough air out. Ran about 20 bags through it so far.
Thanks,
Ben.
 

“biteme”

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I have the time cranked to 32-35 seconds on it. I have had too dry of things (like dehydrated peaches, apples) puncture the bag but other than that its worked great. We played with settings A bit at the start to get it figured out.
 

Hard Chargin'

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Sorry to hijack a bit- what are the benefits of retort over traditional mason jar canning? Space and cost? Or are there other benefits as well?

Ive just always used Jars. Maybe I’m an idiot.
 

goatram

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Sorry to hijack a bit- what are the benefits of retort over traditional mason jar canning? Space and cost? Or are there other benefits as well?

Ive just always used Jars. Maybe I’m an idiot.
Drop a jar then drop a bag.

Store 50 retort bags in a paper sack, Than move them around.
now do the same with 50 glass jars!
 

Hard Chargin'

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Drop a jar then drop a bag.

Store 50 retort bags in a paper sack, Than move them around.
now do the same with 50 glass jars!
I get the obvious difference in physical characteristics between a bag of something and a glass jar.

i was wondering about things like taste, texture, shorter canning cycles, longevity or similar metrics.

Thanks
 

G-Spot

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I get the obvious difference in physical characteristics between a bag of something and a glass jar.

i was wondering about things like taste, texture, shorter canning cycles, longevity or similar metrics.

Thanks
Taste and texture are the same... Canning cycle Same... it might actually last longer than jars due to light, but I think it’s basically the same.

the canning process is much cleaner, the bags are sealed prior to cooking, so it doesn’t smell, the canner if cleaner, no oily seepage into the canner causing odor and mess....There’s a small leaning curve, but it’s nice!
 

Hard Chargin'

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Andre
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Taste and texture are the same... Canning cycle Same... it might actually last longer than jars due to light, but I think it’s basically the same.

the canning process is much cleaner, the bags are sealed prior to cooking, so it doesn’t smell, the canner if cleaner, no oily seepage into the canner causing odor and mess....There’s a small leaning curve, but it’s nice!
I’m always up for less of a mess. I may have to give this a shot.