Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Food Storage - Vacuum Sealing in Canning Jars

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.

Vacuum Sealer(Foodsaver):
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.



Let's begin:
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.

42 comments:

  1. Thank-you! Great information and easy to understand.

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  2. Do you have a list of what you have done in jars and the shelf life? I would like to do this but can oly find a short list like yours. what ele have you done

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  3. You can vacuum seal any dry type items. Beans, lentils, rice, wheat, pasta, nuts, fruit(as long as it is completely dried). I have also sealed up sugar and salt however I am not sure that I really needed to seal the salt. I also understand you can preserve seeds this way, but I have not tried it yet. I hope to seal some seeds this year from the garden.

    I have been rotating through some of the things in my storage namely nuts and fruits and they have been fine. I was concerned about them possibly becoming rancid(oils and possible sugars and moisture). But they were fine and had been sealed for over a year. So I am feeling pretty comfortable that you can easily store things for a couple of years like this without any problems. So I find this is an excellent way to seal things in sizes that my family uses and makes it more convenient to rotate through them. Overall this has been a good investment so far.

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  4. Thank you for taking the trouble to prepare such a nice presentation. I purchased the same vacuum sealer and the wide mouth accessory, and some smaller jars to test it out with. I would like to know one way or another definitively whether or not brown rice can be viable if vacuum sealed. And I wonder about other high protein grains, such as quinoa, amaranth, chia, etc. Also, what about fire roasted pumpkin seeds?

    BTW, my vacuum sealer does not work when I attempt to use the bags for vacuum sealing: it will either seal or it will either vacuum, but not do both on the same bag, and that is with dry goods and the bags that came with it!?!!?

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  5. Can a 2-piece self-sealing lid be used instead of the Foodsaver? Thank you.

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  6. On the topic of brown rice I have seen several articles and posts that you shouldn't try to store the brown rice long term as there are oils that will cause it go go rancid. Now if your storing in jars like I am I do not try to store long term such as 10+ years in my jars. My intent is to rotate and use what I have over the course of a few years so I have not worried so much about the concerns raised about brown rice or any other grains as my time horizon for storage is a 3-5 years at most before I rotate it out. If your wanting to store for a longer period of time then I would think the concerns raised by some might be more applicable.

    I have experimented with sealing nuts and they seemed to keep well in my limited test for a year. So I will be sealing up some more nuts and seeds shortly to begin another test and I will see how they keep for a longer period of time with a couple of jars as a test case.

    On the topic of the self sealing lid. There really isn't such a thing... it is just a rubber compound around the lid itself and really does not self seal. With the food saver and the canning jar adapter you place your "self sealing" lid on the top of the jar and then have the foodsaver vacuum out the air in the jar. Then simply place the ring over it. Any method that does not remove the air from the jar and provide an adequate vacuum should be avoided. If you want to try a manual way of doing this you can go down to an automotive parts place and buy a brake bleeder. You can then adapt the hose from the brake bleeder to the hose for the Food Saver canning adapter and then you can hand pump the air out of the jars by hand. I would say to pump it until you see about 20lbs of vacuum in the jar to be safe, but you can experiment with that and it gives you a way to seal jars even if the power is out.

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  7. I use one of the black models of the Foodsaver machine. I use it mostly to seal individual portion sizes of lasagna, spaghetti, etc. Have any of you guys ever purchased from www.thevakshack.com ? I have heard great things about them...just wanted to see how they compare to Foodsaver bags. I'm honestly getting sick of forking out so much money at the store for just 26 bags :( Going to give The Vak Shack a try...

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  8. It's a good business actually. So rare to see some who do it in our area.

    wine bags

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  9. Thanks, for sharing such large information .It definitely helps a lot of people.

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  10. my jars ain't sealing properly don't know why

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    Replies
    1. Try turning the jar around a bit after you put the jar sealer on it. This is to make sure you have it on properly.

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    2. Just pull out the tube an instant before the Foodsaver stops vacuuming.

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  11. Vacuum Sealing in Canning Jars is a good process to storing food for long time.Thanks for this post......

    channelled vacuum bags

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  12. Vacuum Sealing in Canning Jars is the great process to store food for long time.......


    channelled vacuum bags

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  13. do you know how to store amaranth grain for long term storage (25 years)? I could add oxygen packs to a vacume pack bagged or jar if that would help..Thanks

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  14. have you ever frozen i.e. tomato sauce then vacuum pack the frozen block?
    Would this then have to be kept in the freezer or could it go on the shelf like canned items?

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  15. Awesome!! Keep me posted on any great ideas :) regarding
    vacuum packing machines


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  16. There is a neat way to turn a pressure cooker into a vacuum chamber and using an automotive vacuum pump, vacuum seal (AND remove the moisture) from the jar and product. Our church has been doing this for a year to
    have an emergency food supply available to the community/church family during times of disaster (hurricanes).

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  17. Great,
    I realy like this and Appreciate,
    good work.....

    Vacuum Packing Machine.

    Thanks

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  18. Thank you for such a great detailed post about vacuum sealing in a jar. It was great! You probably all ready know this, but you can also vacuum seal "Meals In A Jar". We do it all the time ( first trying the meal to be sure we'll like it) :) You can go to Cheftessbakeresse.com and click on her 52 jar method and find all the information you need. Just an FYI in case you're interested:) Keep up the good work, your post is awesome:) HUGZ:)

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  19. Do the lids have to be new?

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  20. To keeping fresh to food is not work. We have to do many steps to keep fresh and safe. When I found this post and have to say that we all have to make food storage vacuum sealing in canning. It is safe and easy.


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  21. I had visited your website which was really good Plastic Manufacturer

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  22. Wow! very beautifully you had explained about food vacuum sealing and packaging. I have to say that for this post many people will say big thanks to you.



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  23. I have to say that is is my pleasure to get this wonderful post. It is very impressive post.


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  24. This is superb, you have shown all the product packaging. This is really great and very helpful.

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  25. Feeling so great to read this amazing post. I had read many blog that relates to food storage vacuum sealing but it is fabulous.

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    ReplyDelete
  26. It is really wonderful post having good content. I would love to say that this one is the best post I read yet.
    Good Job Keep it up!

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  27. Vacuum bag sealerMay 25, 2015 at 9:33 AM

    Thanks for sharing! I just knew about vacuum sealerwith ziploc, which is not very useful. Will try with canning jar for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Your post is so impressive and I like to share it. You did fabulous job! Nice one!


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    ReplyDelete
  29. Your post is so impressive and I like to share it. You did fabulous job! Nice one!


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  30. I'm using FoodSaver V3880 to make salad in a jar. That sounds good. Thanks for your shares, that helps me very much!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for sharing, your information is very helpful for me and a lot of people.

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  32. Best quality food saver is vaccum sealer. now, there is no need to waste food. we can preserve it for long time.

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  33. Great blog on vacuum sealing of food content. For Vacuum seal applications check out this website http://www.darcoid.com. Its got some useful information to share for these type of vacuum applications

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  34. This will take long time and energy, it is better to buy a vacuum sealer and use it as food preservator.

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  35. Hey its awesome. I am thinking to get one of them. So nice to get an idea about the food saver. Thanks for this post.

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  36. I grate my own cheese and seal it in with the sealer, I just keep resealing it every time I use it. Had one quart jar last 3 months before I got the bottom of the jar, and there was NO mold on any of it. Love this feature!!

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  37. Wow nicely innovative blog & informative content.

    Thanks for sharing.

    It's really good to read your post on vacuum packaging machine.

    ReplyDelete
  38. A vacuum sealer would be handy as we purchase dry goods and meat in bulk – this would help to store those items longer.

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  39. I have found the best way to store food in the freezer is using a vacuum sealer. I think the food stays fresh a lot longer and doesn’t get the freezer burn taste as fast. It is good to know that when storing broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower to blanch them before so the bad doesn’t expand. I will keep that in mind the next time I’m

    ReplyDelete