Not all chamber sealers will do retort bagsThis guy (Thom) is local (http://vacupack.com/). Just type Vacupack in the search section on YouTube which will bring up a bunch of his videos of the various sealers he has. The chamber sealers are expensive but really are the way to go if you can spend the coin. Fast and best of all you can use a heavier ml bag which the pin bones won't punch through. I haven't tried it yet but they will seal a retort bag which will allow you to can in a bag or a pouch instead of a jar.
Yup...Talking with Thom when I bought my Minipack he doesn't like the VacMaster for doing retorts. I have read elsewhere the VacMaster will seal a retort but...Not all chamber sealers will do retort bags
The one I was talking about in my previous post is the same one Goatram is selling. Looking at Cabela's now, it seems that they changed the design but the one I and Goatram have are pretty sweet. If you don't have the coin for a full on chamber sealer and want a step up from Foodsaver, I would highly recommend buying Goatram's vacuum sealer.I got a Cabelas Commercial vacuum Sealer Plus 300+ Bags. I went to the Vacmaster 215 Now.
I second the VP 112, Its as cheap as 2 cheap units from cabelas and will outlast 10 of them, bags are cheap and I get the zip-loc bags so I can pack pepperoni sticks in and not have to eat them all at once, just zip it closed, my only problem with it is its like 53# and kinda awkward to be lugging around so you need a cart or a dedicated location for it Had mine since they came out and haven't had any problems !! Great unit IMO !!Stay away from overpriced cabelas packers. Buy a chamber sealer. I have the cheapest chamber sealer made and its 10 times better than any vaccumn packer. Its a vacmaster vp 112 and new they are around 600 shipped to your door. It will not do retort bags but works fine on 4 mil. Bags are dirt cheap as well and in many sizes.
I couldn't find the video of Thom from Vacupack demonstrating vacuum packing a long fillet outside a chamber sealer but I think you can do it with an embossed style of bag. I do remember seeing the last year when I was researching chamber sealers. I tried it yesterday on my MVS31 but couldn't get it to work with the style of bag I had here at the house which was from a roll. The ribbing was cross ways so maybe the diamond style of embossing would work or there is a trick to it. Of course a call to Thom would probably solve it.I've had the Westin now for about 5-6 years and its been flawless. The nice thing about it vs. the chamber style is I can vacuum full length fillets for bbq'ing. I paid around $400 at Sportco.
X3 - Use it daily on the counter. At first it was too big and heavy but now it has earned its place.I second the VP 112, Its as cheap as 2 cheap units from cabelas and will outlast 10 of them, bags are cheap and I get the zip-loc bags so I can pack pepperoni sticks in and not have to eat them all at once, just zip it closed, my only problem with it is its like 53# and kinda awkward to be lugging around so you need a cart or a dedicated location for it Had mine since they came out and haven't had any problems !! Great unit IMO !!