FoodSaver Saves the Day

I know that I’ve shared with you all the merits of a FoodSaver previously, but my enthusiasm for it has recently been refreshed. FoodSaverLast week I wanted to use up some brown bananas and make some banana bread. I usually put walnuts in my banana bread, but for some reason I was having a challenge finding my walnuts. After searching for about 20 minutes, I finally found a large half-gallon Mason jar of them which I had sealed via the FoodSaver Mason Jar attachment. Inside the jar, I had the walnuts still in their original packaging which read “Best if used by October 10, 2007.” Nearly three years old on a food that is notorious for going rancid quickly. So…the moment of truth…

FoodSaver Keeps Foods Fresh

  I opened the jar and smelled the contents. Hmmmm. There wasn’t any rancid smell. Ok. Now for the taste test. Even though I’ve done this for a long time I still was amazed that the walnuts tasted perfect. There wasn’t the slightest hint of any deterioration in the flavor or texture. I was so tickled! I decided to get into some other items that had long been stored in a Mason jar using my FoodSaver. Peanut M&Ms. The oldest I could find were 4 years old. The taste test yielded another perfect, fresh taste…and a half-empty jar by the end of the day. *sigh. Brown Rice…after being sealed for 2 years there was no hint of age. I was stoked and had brown rice that night to celebrate. I could go on and on, but I was so pleasantly surprised with everything I tried. I’ve had several things that I’ve tried previously, but since I rotate my foods fairly well, it’s not like a lot of my jarred items have aged for very long. But I am that much more at peace knowing that even if I miss some food items, I still won’t be wasting my time and my money on foods that I entrust to this preservation method. So hopefully, now you’ll have a little bit more peace in your preparedness efforts as well. FoodSaverFor those of you who need a little reminder, FoodSaver jar attachments come in 2 different sizes—wide mouth and regular size. All you have to do is put your food item in the jar. Be sure that you do not put finely sifted items in the jar as they may clog up the sealing tube. When I want to preserve cake mixes and such, I simply poke a couple of holes in the bag that holds the mix with a needle, and then place the entire bag in the jar. Once your food item is in the jar, place the flat portion of the lid on the jar, place the FoodSaver jar attachment on top and then connect the suction hose to the attachment and the FoodSaver. Press the automatic sealing button on the FoodSaver and wait for the sealing process to end. (The motor will whir loudly until it’s finished the suction process. You’ll also see the light turn from green to red on the FoodSaver.) Then remove the suction hose from the jar attachment and then remove the attachment. This makes it easier for you to remove the jar attachment, otherwise there’s too much suction.

FoodSaver is the best gadget you have in your kitchen for preparedness

You can store the jars sealed just like that or you can screw on the rest of the lid. The nice thing that I love about using this preservation method is that I can easily get into the jar and then simply reseal it. So long as you don’t bend the lid while you’re getting into it, it’s just fine to reuse again and again. Also, you do not need the have new lids for this process. So you finally have a use for your old lids that you used to store other food items. I use this FoodSaver method for cereals, marshmallows, nuts, crackers, pasta, brown sugar, cake mixes, cookies and so much more. You can get a FoodSaver in the kitchen gadget section of any department store, Costco, Target, and Wal-Mart. I how you enjoy this process as well as I do. By the way, I’ve also included the Banana Bread Recipe below. I am especially proud of it because I was able to use coconut oil instead of margarine or shortening.

Pantry Banana Bread

Mix the following in order:  ½ cup of coconut oil (the oil should be firm, not liquid) 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 3 mashed ripe bananas 2 cups of wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 pinch of salt ½ cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Makes 1 loaf and can easily be doubled and tripled. Here's an 11 1/2 minute video showing you how I use the FoodSaver for items such as Panko crumbs and Chocolate Chips. (What? You didn't know Panko crumbs should be on your list?? *grin*)

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Comments

Since I don't know what a Food Saver is, it's hard for me to visualize your directions in using this on a Mason jar. A video would be helpful in showing how to use the attachment you talk about.
Thanks.

We've been meaning to get a food saver for a while, but preparedness energy (and funds) keep getting called elsewhere, like gardening and getting a pressure canner. We have an old dehydrator, but I'd take a food saver over a dehydrator any day.

- Ranger Man

Preparedness Pro's picture

I got one for only $34 on E-bay!

Kelene

Perfect timing... I already have a food saver but lost the original containers and just found a second Food Saver (Tilia) at a yard sale this past Friday for $2 and it included one of the containers. I couldn't remember how to use the hose thing to suction out the air so thank you for sharing the tips on how to do it.

Anna in Ohio

Just curious, Kellene, does the Food Saver work as well on half-gallon mason jars as it does on quart-size jars? I'm just using oxygen absorbers for the mason jars in which I store my dehydrated fruits, veggies and meats but I'm open to the possibility of getting a Food Saver. Have you done a comparison between oxygen absorbers and the Food Saver to see if there's any difference in effectiveness?

Preparedness Pro's picture

There is so much that can go wrong with the purchase of oxygen absorbers, whereas with a FoodSaver I know that it's working. Oxygen absorbers cannot be used again and again, whereas a FoodSaver can. I mostly use it on half gallon jars, but also have some quart jars.

I have used mine with half gallon mason jars with great results. It just takes a little longer to seal but only a few seconds longer!

Have a food saver but have only used it for meats. It came with a 10x10" bowl ( I figure this is for marinading) I do not have any attachments for jars....am I missing something,do I need to buy and can I buy the jar attachment somewhere (also some instructions) would appreciate info from anyone. Thank you.....PS Kellene no one has said anything, but I do so hope that your friend is on the way to being a survivor.

razr

The more expensive Food Saver came with a hose and lid sealer thing that takes air out of jars. I haven't really used mine and lost the original containers so I was happy to see instructions on here as I have long since lost the instruction booklet.

I'd be curious to know about the oxygen absorbers mentioned in the previous post as well.

Anna in Ohio

Preparedness Pro's picture

Yes, Razr. You'll need to purchase the mason jar attachments. They are between 5-10 dollars depending on where you get them. They come in the two different sizes I mentioned in the article.

My friend has a long road ahead of her still. I've got a lot more praying to do, that's for sure. But thanks for thinking of her.

I love my Food Saver for sealing dry goods!

I use the half gallons to store flour, sugar, and cornmeal all of the time.
The trick with powdery contents is to make sure you leave at least 2 to 3 inches of head room in the jar and lightly tap the jar on the counter to pack the contents more tightly. I've learned these lessons the hard way, lol!

Oh, I forgot to add, if you have older jars and are having trouble using the Foodsaver jar attachments (the older jars have a wider outer lip), you can CAREFULLY shave away the inside rim of the attachment with a box cutter or sand paper, and it will work just fine. I had to remove about an eighth of an inch, but now it works great on my vintage (and much prettier, lol) jars.

Oh yes! I have a food saver too. I am loving this. Thanks for sharing your taste testing with us. I have not had mine that long and was curious about nuts and brown rice whether it would last as long as you said or not. Now I know. YAY!

And thanks for the recipe. I am collecting more and more of them that contain coconut oil ever since I read about it on your blog. Thanks So much for all you share with us Kellene!

I have been using the FoodSaver to store rice, beans, pasta, etc. and then I use the Pump n' Seal on jars when I use them often. I couldn't find the food saver lids for jars. They are not making them anymore. I also use my vacuvin pump for my wine to remove the oxygen from my jars. I push a push pin into the lid of a jar and puncture it. I then cover it with a piece of electrical tape 1" wide that I have lined with double sided mounting tape and cut into strips. To make your own: take a strip of about 3" long of 1" wide electrical tape, sticky side up and place on flat surface. 2. then cut a 1/4" wide strip 3" long of double sided mounting tape (peeling off one side of the mounting tape and place the sticky side down on the center of the electrical tape. You will now have a piece of electical tape 3" wide with the mounting tape running down the middle of the electrical tape. 3. Then cross cut the electrical tape through the mounting tape. You will have two outer pieces of electrical tape and the middle will be a piece of mounting tape. 4. Place the mounting tape portion over the hole in the jar lid gently pressing the electrical tape onto the lid. Do not press the mounting tape until you have pumped the air out. 5. Place your vacuvin pump over the tape and pump it until the air is out and you see a dimple in the mounting tape. Press down firmly. You have now removed the air from the jar. To remove the lid, you must gently lift the side of the mounting tape until you hear the air release. Now you can unscrew the lid. Repeat with Vacuvin pump to remove air. You can also purchase the Press N' Seal for $20 online. You can also purchase their tabs in bulk if you don't want to make your own. Just another way to preserve our food reserves.

I love my Foodsaver. It has a permanent place on my counter. I vaccum pack everything. :) I brown hamburger, spread it out on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer till slightly frozen then I vaccum pack it in either the quart or gallon bags. It comes in handy when I'm short on time.

I just purchased a foodsaver a few months ago and I am going crazy with it. It is so great!! I have flour in my tube though. How do you get it out. Can you wash the tube??? I did not know the flour would klog it up. I will take your advise about leaving the cake mixes in the bag and poking the small holes in it. Am I going to have to purchase a whole new tube?? Also do you have a shelf life list for all the different items that you can seal/can?
Thanks, Cheryl

Preparedness Pro's picture

I would certainly try to clean out the hose with hot water pushed through it repeatedly.
As for shelf-life, the standard is 3-5 years, depending on the temperature and humidity of the environment in which you store the jars.

Cheryl,

Cheryl,

Try putting a coffee filter between your jar and your vacuum sealer port

I've used the Foodsaver Wide mouth lid attachment on 1/2 gallon Mason type jars. It sucks all the air out with no problems. One of the few times I can use the term "It Sucks" and it's good. I just use the the lid for canning that came with the jar. I figure if I can't lift it easily I'm probably okay. The ones that I have vacumed pack need a can/bottle opener to lift the lids.
Cheryl you might try a pipe cleaner on the tube. Otherwise check the "Foodsaver" website, I think the tubes were fairly low cost to replace. Shipping may cost you more than the tube. I know Fred Meyers usually has a good selection of parts for a "Food Saver".
I got my Foodsaver for free at a yardsale on the last day. They had a great comforter, a blocky end table and the food saver and a bunch of of potential bags. I got the table and comforter for $20.00 and a foodsaver and all the bags for free. They just wanted it all gone.

Kellene,
Thanks for the banana bread recipe. I've never thought of using coconut oil. I wonder if you can substitute coconut butter? I have a jar of that in my fridge, no coconut oil though.
Also has anyone else noticed that the new type ball jars (regular mouth) are not sealing well with the food saver attachment?? I ordered some new jars with the silver lids and i have to try and seal them 5-6 times for each jar before it finally seals properly. My husband decided to just try and pull the sealer off the jar as it was sealing and that made it easier to seal the jars(hope I described that right). Thanks again. :)

Preparedness Pro's picture

yes, you can substitute the coconut butter and you should not have to make a modification on the flour. I use the coconut oil with the wheat flour because with the white flour it's too soft, but with the wheat it's just right.
Read how I seal the lids in this article. The key is to remove the hose first once it's done sealing. Then you will be able to remove it just fine. It does seal, it's just that when you remove the attachment, it pulls of the lid a bit. I use the new jars/lids too.

I ordered my lid from Foodsaver.com direct and signed up for "Specials". I receive sales offers regularly. Thay may have additional parts that may not be on E-bay or Amazon.

I think it might have been on this website where I learned you could put a jar with a twist top, button lid into a food saver canister & suck down the lid. I had to play with how tight/loose to do the lid but finally got it to work where the button was sucked down & I could hear the pop when I released the lid.( I tighten it all the way then back off about a quarter of a turn). I also found that the jar lid attachment worked on some button lids as well. Now I can utilize the large jars I get bean salad in from Costco. When I open a #10 can I can put the contents in jars & seal the lids thereby extending the life of the product. It works great!

Preparedness Pro's picture

Cool to know about the button lids!

Pardon the newbie question:
You mentioned the walnuts and M&M's were in their original bags, I believe. Did you open the bags before sealing the container or did you leave them completely closed? Banana Bread recipe looks great.

Preparedness Pro's picture

Usually I dont' keep items in the jar unless they are candy bars, granola bars, or fine powder. I'm not sure why I kept the walnuts in their bag except perhaps that I was being lazy cause the bag was already opened. When I keep them in the bag, I make sure to puncture them a couple of times with a pin.

Hi there
I purchased some real bacon bits that don't need to be refrigerated until opened. The expiry is 18 months from now, but I see on your site here that bacon bits can be vacuumed with the foodsaver to extend the life. How long would you estimate the bacon bits would be good for - if I opened the package and used glass jars for the vacuum storage?

Thanks so much for all the extremely interesting and valuable info you share with us so willingly.
Carol

You're easily looking at 5-8 years depending on storage conditions. (cool and dry maximize)

I am so excited about this option! I am looking for my foodsaver today! Thank you!

OH my goodness, my girlfriend from California just gave me this site, and I am delighted. I have a foodsaver, have used it for a few things.....but, was curious as to whether it would keep dry cereal for a long time. No problem, if all those other things keep, then so will dry cereal. I have never tried putting meats in my jars, vacuum pack....is that what you are talking about? Or, sealing meats in the bags?

I pressure can the meats. It's only dry goods that I use the FoodSaver on with the jar attachment.

I got a REALLY good deal on some individual packages of gravy mix, for "biscuits and Gravy" (like, 10 cents each!) They were so close to their expiration date......WELL....they are now in my jars. Yes, I pin poked a hole in the packages, and have them all socked away for winter or, whenever I need them.

Thanks for the hint of poking the packages with a pin. It works perfectly, and does not suck the dry ingredients into the tubing.

I found a Foodsaver Vacuum 1050 for 50 cents at an estate sale but it didn't have attachments. Does the hose come with the jar sealer and, if not, where can I get/buy an inexpensive jar sealer hose? Thank you.

You can find just about anything on Amazon.com

I LOVE your site, Kellene. You are my new hero. I bought a wide-mouth Foodsaver jar sealer and want to seal cream of wheat (bought in bulk) in 1/2 gallon jars. I understand from this article that the finer products can get sucked into the tube. Should I put the cereal in some plastic bag (sealed? unsealed?) before putting it in the jar? Is there a way I can seal cream of wheat in a jar with the Foodsaver? Thanks for your help.

Yes, I would put it in a ziploc bag, sealed, with all of the oxygen squeezed out and then in the mason jars. Good luck!!!

Ok I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but since I just got my attachment hose today (I had already gotten the wide and regular mouth jar attachments from amazon) and ran out of jars (sealing dry goods in jars is addicting...LOL), I figured I would try to ask it here.
Do you have a specific recommendation on where to buy jars? I bought a 12 pack of quart jars (a generic brand, not ball) from walmart for $7.88, and with tax it was $8.27. That makes it 69¢ a jar. I know the following statement may sound a little silly...but...that makes the food I'm sealing more expensive in a sense. For instance, I got some small pasta shells on sale 2 boxes for $1. I can store a tiny bit shy of a full box in the jar. That means I actually spent $1.19 for the one box of pasta, which is more than it costs if I had bought that box of pasta regular price. Is there a better, cheaper way to get the jars? I feel like I'm spending more money than I should be. I realize that the jars can be reused, especially once I get to the point when I have enough food stored that I can begin to use and replace the food items stored, but that's a loooong way off, as I'm only able to afford to do it a little at a time. I saw some quart jars at goodwill but they were priced at 89¢ a piece, so I didn't buy them since it's less for me to just buy another case of 12. Also, I can't seem to find the 1/2 gallon size anywhere. Not walmart, target, ace hardware store, or my three local grocery stores even have a shelf tag for them.
I really appreciate any suggestions you might have for a cheaper way to get the jars, and where I can find/order the half gallon size.
Thanks so much!

Five Star Preparedness offers the wide mouth jars in all of the sizes, but it's a special order I believe. You can go to their website and ask them for the price on them. I just get them as often as I can at the thrift stores and from neighbors and family. I'd also check out freecycle.org you won't believe how well that works for getting what you need. And, as silly as it seems, when I'm desperate for a solution on something I need or want, I pray about it and everytime I've done so diligently, it comes my way.

Try Menards, if you have one

Try Menards, if you have one near you. They have a lot of canning supplies, and I saw 1/2 gallon jars.

I am avirgin to all the saving and want to know when to preserve in vacuum seal bags over sealed jars...any other advice is appreciated!

I havw a lot od trouble getting my lids to seal - even using new ones, and on dry item like pasta. Any suggestions?
Thanks

pull the tube off FIRST and then take your jar attachment off.

Ii read in one of the posts about using a manual vacum pump on the foodsaver if the power goes out. Can you tell me what i need so that i can use it anytime....with or without power.. thank you

i just got my jar attachements for regular and wide mouth jars!! SO excited at all the possibilities. I bought half gallon jars and started to store flour,sugar,crackers,oatmeal,cereal,etc and also candies (peppermint) and halls cough drops that always seem to get sticky if you dont use them all up.
I also have an herb garden and after herbs are dehydrated will vacuum those to for later use! the possibilities are truly endless. The beauty of mason jars is they are easy to clean/sterilize and reuse over and over and over and the lids are inexpensive to replace when needed. This product is truly wonderful!

Just tonight, my son made a great discovery. If you have the canister accessories for the food saver, you can seal almost any jar with a pop button in the lid. Just set the jar in the canister with its led screwed on. Then put the lid on the canister and vacuum as normal. We did the little minced garlic jar, Jelly jars, and mayo jars. Basically, any jar that your mason sealer attachment doesn't fit can be seal using the canister, if it has the pop button in the center of the lid.

Help! I am trying to vacuum seal Ball jars for the first time. The lids will not stay on! The hose is tight on either end, attachment pushed down on the jar (wide-mouth), and detached the hose first before lifting the attachment. I'm panicking with the money I've invested. Can anyone advise me as to what I could do? Thank you!

Update from previous post-I tried putting the hose on jar attachment before I put the attachment on the jar and it worked! YAY! I don't get it but it worked and I'm happy...breathe again.

An interview with the company found that sealing jars this way was not ideal and that many seals have eventually released over time, as such, the manufacturer does not advise using the canisters for this purpose.

Of course Ebay. I should have thought of that. Also someone said they used the canister to seal other jars. Do they make a canister large enough to seal the large pickle jars? Has anyone done any that large? Would the 80 oz canister do it?

I keep finding them on Ebay for a song because someone's trying to get rid of them. I also have found some good deals on Amazon as well.

Hi, You mentioned that you use your foodsaver to seal boxes of rice a roni and things like that using the bags. Do you know of an economical place to get bags. Obviously I don't buy the "Foodsaver" bags they cost way too much. I have found some off brand ones that work well but they are still not cheap.
Thanks

There are no specific "FoodSaver lids". You can either use the Tattler lids or the mainstream lids sold all over in stores now for canning. If you are using the "antique" style lids, then now, this technique would not work.

Hi Kellen, I apologize if you have addressed this before but I'm a beginner and trying to "catch up.". I am eager to begin using my FoodSaver to save foods in jars. I've read your info & watched your video (awesome) but noticed you use lids that are different than the ones I have that use the rubber rings & screw tops. Can this type be used with the FoodSaver lids, too?
Thank you. I am learning so much; truly appreciate all info you share.

Ball, Kerr, and Tattler all work interchangeably. The exception being that Tattler never rusts or warps and can be used again and again, whereas the flat lids should not be used twice for pressure canning, however you can use the flat lids to can your dry goods with the FoodSaver.

Hi Kellene, quick question - can I dry can raisins, dried cranberries & prunes w/FoodSaver? Are they too moist? Thanks.

Kellene,
I thought only Ball canning lids would work? If you have had success with
Tattler, I will try those since I just purchased a new supply for canning season.
For fine products that clog up the vacuum hose, cut a circle out of coffee filters
(round ones)you should be able to get two round circles per filter. Place that on the top of your item, I am using it for cinnamon sticks, and bread cubes. I have done this before for fine material that causes the system not to work.
Filters are not the cone units, but he older style, hope that helps for items not in
plastic bags.

I wouldn't mind doing raisin and dried cranberries, but I wouldn't get nearly as long with prunes due to the moisture. You'll have a shorter shelf life with them.

You're right. I need to put that on my list of video instructions to make. all hand pumps like that should have a directional piece that can be inverted to pull out oxygen rather than pump oxygen in.

Love all of your information Kellene! Have a question about some info in the food saver saves the day video, here. You mention using a tire pump for manually resealing the dry preserved jars, if there's no electricity. Do all tire pumps have a way to change out the pump to make it pull air instead of sending in air? Did you make a video that addresses this wonderful tidbit?
Thanks for all you share!
Sue

Hi Kellene,

Hi Kellene,

I know you have a not-so-secret love affair with your FoodSaver and are all about saving money so when I saw this tip I knew I had to share...it's so simple it's just silly so you may even be doing it but it's new to me. Cut your foodsaver bags BIGGER than you need so when you open them you can cut at the seal line on one side, wash the bags really well and use them serveral more times! And here I've been trying to cut them as small as possible to fit what I need and stretch my rolls as far as possible! Live and learn. :-)

Because of Autoimmune

Because of Autoimmune diseases my Husband and I are starting a Paleo lifestyle. We like to shop at Costco and buy things in bulk because of living in a rural community. I have ordered gallon buckets of different coconut shreds, big bags of organic raisins and dates. I also like to prep for emergencies. Should I dry can these items with the food saver or will they have a long shelf life in the original containers?

Unless long-term shelf-life

Preparedness Pro's picture
Unless long-term shelf-life is what the manufacturer specializes in NEVER rely on someone else to ensure the shelf-ife of your foods. You'll never be sorry that way, IMO.

New to dry canning using our

New to dry canning using our food saver. I just received the jar attachment. I understand the need to use a mason jar, lid and the attachment. Does the lid need to be new or can I reuse a lid in excellent condition ?
i want to dry can powdered milk...read tips in the. Comment section
And chocolate chips!!

You can use used lids that

Preparedness Pro's picture
You can use used lids that are in excellent condition for dry canning.

So when using Tattler lids,

So when using Tattler lids, do you warm up the rubber seals or just use them cold and dry? I tried using my tattler lids once and never got them to seal, so I'm trying to see if there is a secret or if I just didn't have something set right.

The Tattler lid site has

Preparedness Pro's picture
The Tattler lid site has videos showing you exactly how to use their lids. Nope, heating the rings is not necessary.

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