Welcome to another episode of the Be Prepared Channel. It has been a few days since my last post. I have been working on some projects related to the blog that I hope you will enjoy over the coming weeks. Today we are going to show you a simple technique on how to store food using a Foodsaver vacuum sealer using canning jars.
Canning Jars? Vaccuum sealing? Have you lost your mind? Yep, yep, maybe....
Why canning jars?
1. Rodent and infestation proof.
2. Versatile, they can be used for dry pack vacuum sealing like we demonstrate here, or they can be used for traditional wet bath canning or pressure canning.
3. They can be reused over and over as long as you take care of them.
We will be using the Foodsaver V2040 for this sealing demo. This unit was chosen for 2 main attributes. It has the canister sealing port on the top of the unit where you can plug in the vacuum hose for sealing jars. The second attribute is that it is the cheapest model Foodsaver I could find that had the canister port. You can however you any Foodsaver model out there with the canister port. And I guess the 3rd reason for choosing the Foodsaver is that I have had experience with it and it seems to work. Plus there are lots of accessories for the Foodsaver such as plasticware containers, and canisters that can also be sealed with it. The V2040 comes with the hose needed to seal canisters, some sample bags, and a sample roll of bag material for sealing items in the traditional Foodsaver plastic bags. Note: I have no affiliations with any products, companies, etc. This is just my own personal experience and what I have to do the job with.
Foodsaver Optional Accessories:
You will need the Large Mouth Jar Sealer if your using large mouth jars(which I highly recommend), or you can purchase the regular mouth jar sealer if you have regular mouth jars. It does not matter if they are Kerr, Mason, Ball or some other brand. It appears that the dimensions appear to be similar so the sealer top should work. This sealer top costs between 9-12 bucks depending on where you buy yours. This is the only optional item you will needed for your Foodsaver.
Other items needed:
Canning funnel, canning jars(choose your size based on the number of people you will be storing food for, the common sizes are 1/2 gallon, quarts, pints), lids and rings for your canning jars. You can also get some oxygen absorber packs. You can find these at Honeyville Grain or Emergency Essentials, and a variety of other places on line. You would want 2 100 cc packs per jar if you use them. I have had good luck both with and without the oxygen absorbers and so the process I show you here does not include the absorbers, but keep in mind that these can be helpful and can add some peace of mind if your concerned about your food storage. Something to seal up: Beans, lentils, peas, wheat, rice, dehydrated fruit, dehydrated vegetables, pasta, and dried spices.
Some examples of things that you can easily seal. I picked up the following items at Walmart and are inexpensive. You will be surprised how much food you can buy for not a lot of money.
Another item good to store is rice. Below is an image of one of the many types of rices out there. I have read it is not good to store brown rice even though it is my preference due to oils and spoiling. I however do not now for sure that you cannot store brown rice. So for now I am buying varieties of white rice. Below is a bag of Basmati that I purchased. Again you can buy a lot of food for not a lot of money.
Now let's show you how this works. Below is the box and the picture of the V2040. The small box on top is the large mouth jar sealer.
The item on top of the Foodsaver is the large mouth jar sealer. It is an accessory that does not come with the vacuum sealer and must be purchased separately.
Below are the accessories you get with the unit, the hose, and a cord and hose holder you attach to the back of the Foodsaver:
Sample roll of vacuum bags that come with this package:
Sample bags that come with the vacuum sealer:
Comes with a quick start guide:A reference guide, and an accessories brochure:
And lastly a registration card:
Now for the process:
Wash and dry your canning jars, and get your supplies out like I have shown above.
1. Take your empty jar, place your funnel in the top.
Note: I am using 1/2 gallon size jars here.
2. Begin filling the jars:
Until you have your ingredients appearing in the mouth of the funnel like so:
Now shake your jar and let the ingredients you put in to settle in the jar, and repeat adding more to the jar. You will typically do this shaking routine 2 or 3 times before it won't settle anymore. It should look something like this:
Note: If you have the oxygen absorber packs now is the time you would put them in the jar.
3. Remove your funnel and place a jar lid(round metal lid with a gasket like material on the back) on top of the jar(do not put the ring on it at this time):
4. Take your Foodsaver jar sealer and place it over the top of the jar. Press down until it is fully seated on the top of the jar like so:
5. Attach the hose to the port on your Foodsaver, and to the hole in the top of the jar sealer lid like so:
6. Now you press the button on the front of your Foodsaver that says canister. This will cause the vacuum sealer to run and make a fair amount of noise. It takes approximately 20-30 seconds per jar for it to seal. The Foodsaver automatically stops when the jar is sealed.
7. Remove the jar sealer, and now you can put the jar ring on the jar:
8. You have now sealed your first jar! It is easy, actually kind of fun, and not expensive to do once you have your Foodsaver and jars. The actual food is pretty affordable, and many things will keep up to 30 years stored like this.
You will want to develop a storage plan next and date your items as you put them up for storage. Store what you eat, eat what you store, and rotate it. So it does take a fair amount of work to get your storage plan in place.
I hope you enjoyed this episode. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading.