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Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Posted by liz_h 7/8 (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 25, 07 at 0:33

I read that people do this, but I don't have the faintest idea how! Is there a nice step by step explanation somewhere? If not, could someone step me through it? I have a lot of peanut butter jars that I like to store things in, but can purchase canning jars if necessary.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

You don't need canning jars, but you do need jars that accomodate canning lids. Make sure the jar rim is clean and dry.

What you need to do is put the lids in hot water to soften the sealing compound just as if you were canning, then dry them, put them on the jar, apply the sealing attachment with the hose hooked in on the other end to the port on the machine.

Then seal as usual. You don't need the ring.

There are some differences from model to model.

The lids can be re-used (warmed and dried then applied) as long as the compound doesn't get brittle.

Here's the FoodSaver page with manuals to download if you need one.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: FoodSaver Product Manuals


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Foodsaver pumps are NOT designed for canning foods. They are OK, for short term storage of dried items and any cheeses and spices you want to keep from molding. As well as anything else that could fit in one of the canning jars, or even on their seperatly sold plastic canisters. Things like coffee beans and such fit into these canisters of various sizes. The correct jar type IS a canning jar however, either a regular mouth or wide mouth type. Foodsaver sells a plastic cover (sealing attachment) that has a rubber seal inside that covers over ONLY a canning jar with a lid in place, and the rubber ring on the attachment seals around the glass bead that is just below the threads of the jar, and not usually found on other jar types. The attacment is connected to a vacuum outlet on the FS machine, and you draw a vacuum on the jar. Once the vacuum is released by the hose, it forces a small burst of air back in, that pushes the jars lid down against the seal area, leaving a partal vacuum inside.

I use this same attachment for making my non heat processed pepperoncini, but they are canned in full strength vinegar, and I use a special high vacuum pump with an attached moisture trap to catch any possible liquids. If a liquid is accidentially pulled into a FS pump, it can void the warranty. MY pump is so powerful, that it has cracked several of the square plastic FS canisters, so I only use mine on round canisters. I had stored some freshy grated cheese in one for 8 months without a single speck of mold, of course it was in the fridge at the time.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Thank you both. I hadn't planned on canning food with these, just storing dry items. It sounds as if this is best done for long term storage, not packages that I want to partially use on a regular basis. Otoh, it would be ideal for some things - like grated cheese.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

You know, I have to admit that I have not found a lot of use for my foodsaver. I do use it with a lot of frozen products, especially meat, but for other stuff? Not so much.

A good friend of mine talked me into buying it because she uses hers all the time. She will vacuum seal everything - cheese, produce, salsa, etc. She uses it several times a day. But I have not. I don't really see the point of sealing a jar of salsa after opening it, when I know the jar will be eaten up within a week, if even that long. I just don't taste a loss of flavor in that time. Same with cheese, cheese stays good for quite some time, so why do I need to vacuum seal it? Especially if I am using it every day, then it's a pain to seal after every use.

This same friend visited this summer and went to our local home store with my husband. She talked him into buying the jar-sealing attachment for me, claiming that I would love it. I have yet to use it.

I keep thinking I'm missing out.

Ann


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

I use mine for sealing my meat pies, for bagging and sealing freah made sausages, and other meats I cure, as well as meals like stuffed peppers. I also use the canisters to assist in curing meats, but then use my external high vacuum pump, but with the same hose associated with the FS machine. Its nice to be able to pull air out of a big container of grated cheese and have it last for many months. I also have several quart canning jars of dried herbs like Dill and Basil and these keep very well for a long period of time. I guess its just a matter of how creative you are and what foods you prepare. All the ads on TV say that Ziplock bags prevent freezer burn, and I must say they don't. I don't care if they have ten zipper seals, or have adhesive sides, they are just not dense or thick enough to keep a meat from losing moisture, color and the all important flavor. The next best thing to a FS bag for meat storage in the freezer is heavy freezer paper and then packed in a heavy plastic bag.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

I have been using FoodSaver to seal Mason jars and it works great. But I have a problem opening the jar lid that has been vacuumed shut. FS said to use a spoon. Really hard to do. Any tips? Thanks alot.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

For a vacuum sealed canning jar, I use the back of a fork, spoon, or butter knife. Find the last bit of molded glass thread at the top of glass jars, apply the back of the fork, spoon, or knife to this area and lift, which will pry the lid off. This method is just for standard canning jars with the top most part of the threads being very close to the metal lid that overhangs slightly. Here is a link for an all purpose lid set, which fits most any size of jar or even a can. It has to remain on the container its sealed on to.
http://www.foodsaver.com/ProductDetails.aspx?productid=2467

NOTE: Yes, that vacuum is quite strong. Sometimes stronger than the natural processing/canning will do.

Here is a link that might be useful: Foodsaver 2 pc jar sealer


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

ksrogers: Thanks for the tips/links. Will look at them and try your tips. attymusic


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Ken, I'm surprise you mentioned prying the lid off at the point where the top thread meets the metal lid. I prefer to remove the lid at the farthest point where the glass thread is away from the lid. I mark an arrow on my jars where I asked my kids to open. They sometimes use a church key and accidentally break off that top thread. Haven't had a problem since. What benefit by opening the jar your way. Please explain?


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

I have been using a FoodSaver to seal Ball canning jars for three years now. For me, it's most useful for doubling or tripling the fridge life of prepped fruit and vegetables. Cut melon, blanched broccoli, pureed fruit and vegetables for my kids, cut veggies for dipping, whatever.

I also buy the freezer safe jars for freezing lots of fresh stuff that is ruined by freezer burn: stock, homemade ice creams and sorbets, tomatoes roasted in olive oil, caramelized onions, soups, etc.

I think it's great. I've often run out of jars and ended up doing a case-control study (in which the control was the leftover batch in a Ziploc or Tupperware). I think the sealed jars last at least twice as long, with a few exceptions: strawberries, for instance, last longest uncut and unwashed--jarring them with the FoodSaver makes little difference.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Strawberries that are just frozen plan tend to loose a lot of the color and flavor. Adding a sweetener and slicing them seems to work better and the color is much brighter.

As to the top most thread bead on jars, I use a flat butter knife against that and the lid, and its easy to pry up the lid if you have a very close thread 'nub' to help. I've never broken any threads off, and church keys tend to bend lids which makes for a very poor reseal once opened. Not saying to reuse the lid, but if the item thats canned isn't used up, what good is a bent lid, as it cant protect the rest of the unused contents. Foodsaver plastic bags have several layers of plastic, and because the air is removed and the plastic bags are held firm against the item being frozen, there is less chance for any freezer burn. If the item were a loose pack, like beans, peas, and other small bits, a Foodsaver cannot get all the air out, but can still give decent protection for a few months. I have steaks here nearly 2 years old and if compared to one that was frozen last week, its very hard to tell the difference. Glass jars are OK for frezing, provided the contents is allowed to expand so the glass jar doesn't crack. I don't really like to put any glass in the freezer, after a horrible experience when clearing the sediment out of home made sparkling wines.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Hello,

We love our FoodSaver for vacuum sealing freezer items. Using NCHFP storage guidelines as a guide, we are gradually trying to build up a pantry stocked with a one to two year supply of staples.

I recently was able to pick up 1.5 Liter Wide Mouth Bernardin Mason Jars. These proved perfect and were a manageable size for keeping stocks of dried goods (grains, flowers, salts, sugars, rice, dried fruits etc.) fresh and safe from pests. We purchased the FoodSaver wide mouth Mason jar sealer and it works quite well, 95% - 98% success rate at sealing jars.

I picked up the regular mouth FoodSaver jar sealer today to herbs, spices and other smaller quantity items. It fails miserably. Im only getting a 5% success rate at sealing. Ive warmed up both new and previously used lids and applied them clean and dry but they fail 95% of the time.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any ideas on improving sealing success rate?

(frustrated) Bill


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Nope. Mine are 100% sealing all the time. I use the larger attachment for the half gallon jars. My herbs like dill weed are stored in regular mouth quarts or pints. I do NOT heat the lids, but do use new, clean ones. The hose fitting that attaches to the jar lid device that sits on the jars glass bead is pulled off after its pulled a vacuum. This action gets a blast of air sucked in, and that blast is what immediatley pushes the lid onto the jar to make the seal. Mine are very tight, and seal perfectly. I use that same technique for canning my full strength vinegar pickled pepperoncini. The vacuum MUST run a long time for bigger jars. I the FS has a switch for a medium and and strong vacuum, use the strong #2 setting. Let it pump for as long as you can, or the machine will allow. While its still pumping, is when you pull off the hose fitting at the end where the jar is. Admittedly, here, I use a special diaphram pump with two stages and a moisture trap. This was a setup I put together just for canning my delicate peppers, but also works great for the use above. Becuase it has no vacuum sensor switch it continues for as long as its on. Allowing the FS pump to stop, and then press the release vacuum button will not give you that big slug blast of air that forces the lid down.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

I have both the wide-mouth and narrow-mouth sealer. At one point I was having difficulty. I called the company and they sent me a new attachment. It works perfectly.

It's possible there's a pinhole or other problem in the gasket. I'd recommend calling. Service in my experience has been good and they can direct you to an appropriate fix.

Carol


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

When I use mime, I take it out the soft rubber ring and clean it in soapy water seperate from the plastic device. Make sure the hose fittings are pushed in tightly too.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Carol and Ken, thanks for your responses.

Carol, I first suspected that the product may be defective so I exchanged it yesterday. The new unit still fails to seal jars effectively so it is probably a user problem.

Ken, I do have a FS unit that has the option for both medium and strong vacuum. I have tried both without much success using the regular mouth sealer. Heres what Ive been doing (with good results using the wide mouth unit):

1) Connecting hose to FS and jar sealer;
2) While holding the sealer down on the jar, I start the vacuum / seal cycle;
3) Once the vacuum cycle completes, I cancel the seal cycle;
4) I release the locking handle on the FS to release the vacuum and remove the jar sealer;
5) 95% of the time I groan as the lid falls off while removing the sealer.

So, from your response, I gather that I should not be letting the vacuum cycle complete before I pull the hose off of the jar sealer unit (ie. not using the locking handle to release the vacuum).

Did I understand you correctly? If so I give it a shot this afternoon.

Thanks again,

Bill


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Allow the vacuum to go to completeion or at least very close to it. You basically want a burst of air to rush into the adapter and that quick blast is what pushes the lids onto the jars. Using ANY jars that are NOT the Ball, Bernardin, or Golden Harvest type will not give you the same glass bead just below the threads, so no real vacuum will be created properly. The adapter, at the attached hose fitting, is what you pull off while the pump is still running a few more seconds. Doing it the way you mentioned doesn't give that very necessary fast burst of air as it bleeds back in slowly through the hose and the machines' release valve. Basically, don't depend on the FS to release the vacuum, its done right at the jar adapater by pulling the plastic fitting off while the pump is still running.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Ken,

OK, just so I understand...

Do I pull the whole jar sealer unit off while vacuum is underway or do I pull the hose adapter from the jar sealer unit while vacuum is underway?

I am using Bernardin jars.

Bill


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

You pull off that small oval shaped plastic device that was originally pushed into the jar seal adapater. Its what the clear plastic hose is attached to it. Be sure the jars top lip has no debris on it and the lid is new and flat. I just simply place the lid on top of the jar before I put on the adapter. I have to always push the adapter down to fit tightly around the adapters big O ring and glass bead on the jar. The soft rubber O ring is 'U' shaped if you view it from a cut open side. The open part of the U is face down once its on a jar. Usually you can tell when the pump starts to labor a little that its reached a vacuum. The newer, highest ended FS has a switch that only turns on the vacuum pump, and will not shut off until you want it to. This is not an option on the lower ended machines so your at the mercy of your ears, techinque, and previous experience for successes.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Got it, thanks.

I'll give it a shot after supper. Gotta get the pork loin in the oven!

Bill


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Ken,

Couldnt wait till after supper You Da Man! (as kids say). Worked every time (10 in a row).

Thanks for the help. Im concerned about the plastic hose attachment and jar unit wearing out from repeated in/out connections so Im going to try to rig up a quick release component to the hose connection.

Funny, the large mouth unit performs much better using my old method?

WARNING: When I get some time Im going to pick your brain about your pepper marinating procedure!

Thanks again!

Bill


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

The bigger jar lids have more surface area to work with, so they will slam shut faster whe they see that blast of air. I would still use the same procedure I mentioned for both sizes though. The tapered plastic hole on the jar attachment and hose fitting are quite rugged. Mine is connected to a vacuum pump that is self contained with two pistons and diaphrams. The output of one diaphram goes into the input of the second diaphram. This gives a much higher vacuum for my pickled peppers. I don't use the FS pump for that, as even a trace of brine (even its vapor) that might get into the FS pump, can damage it. I also have a 16 ounce plastic moisture trap thats attached onto the input port of the vacuum pump. This will catch all moisture before any can get into the pump. Because my diaphram pumps' internals are mostly rubber, the concern about corrosion from the brines is much less problematic. I do need to change the seals and wafer tabs on my pump, as its taking a little longer to pull a tight vacuum now after 2 years of use. I even have a dial gauge to show actual vacuum, attached to the line after the moisture trap. The trap is huge and looks a little like those filters you see on residential water lines. It has a clear plastic bowl and its screwed on to the top. I bought the pump and dial gauge off eBay, and the moisture trap was from a company I found on the internet. The whole rig cost me about $85. I also had to get some brass and/or stainless steel threaded fittings, like 1/8" NPT reducers for the moisture trap, and a T for dial gauge, then a 1/8" NPT to plastic hose adapater to adapt from the all metal vacuum lines to the plastic tubing on the FS hose. That accessory hose can be bought seperately from Jardin. Teflon tape is also used on the NPT threads to give a vacuum tight seal. All this is because I used to work with this same kind of stuff some years ago. Thats how I can do all my own home plumbing too..


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Can somebody explain to me whether the canning jar attachment for the foodsaver uses regular mason jars/lids, or do you have to purchase special lids from foodsaver for this to work? I'm interested in sealing things like flour, dried beans, etc for storage.

Do any particular models work better than others for this?

Thanks (and hi!--I'm new, though I've been reading posts for months now)
Carrie


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

There are two sizes of the FS canning jar attachments. One is meant for regular mouth canning jars, and the other is for the larger mouth canning jars. Yes, they use the exact same lids used in home canning. The lids are placed on top of the jar, and the attachment is pushed down over it to make a seal between a rubber ring and the glass bead just below the threads of the jars. Once air is pulled out, and you pull off the vacuum hose from the attachment, a tiny 'slug' of air, blasts into the small vacuum hole and the lid is forced down onto the jar and seals it. You remove the attachement then and rinse off the jar if its wet. The seal is very strong and is usually far better than a regular canning process would do. As mentoned, The FS vacuum pump is NOT powerful enough to be safely used as an alternative to regular canning processing. Besides that, if the very small vacuum pump inside the FS gets any trace of moisture in it, it can cause damage to the FS machine. I use a much higher powered piston type vacuum pump and also have a water/moisture trap on the vacuum line. The pump I have quickly goes down to 30 inches, which is sufficient for a decent vacuum. I also vacuum seal dried herbs like dill weed. It remains very fragrent and bright green color, even after 2 years of storage.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Thanks for clearing this up--that info is virtually impossible to find. I doubt that liquids would be an issue because I was thinking dry storage primarily.

Is the high powered vacuum pump you use a commercial one, or did you create your own?


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

I bought a commercial one that is used in the laminating industry. Its a dual piston pump and is quite large and heavy. Previously I used a dual diaphram pump which was a bit slower and less powerful. My mump was bought on eBay and is a Thomas brand. When I got it, the price was so low, I thought it was bad, but when it arrived, there were three of the pumps and I have only cleaned up one for use with my needs. They have 1/2 inch NPT type fittings and these all get removed and replaced with other Stainless steel ones along with a large capacity moisture trap. At some point, I may fix up the other two and set them up for sale on eBay in the future. With this kind of piston pump and its vacuum gauge its easy to see that its pumping power has more than doubled what the smaller diaphram pump type was. I do not use this pump for sealing Food Saver bags, only use it with the vacuum hose attachment that is permenently mounted on its input fitting.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

My daughter in law was telling me last night that her sister and mother use the Foodsaver to can sauces. They get the Mason jars fresh out of the dishwasher and while still hot add the hot sauce. Seal and put on the shelf. I truly don't think this is safe. I would rather freeze it and be sure. Anyone have any input on this?


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

Sandy, No this is not safe for shelf storage. You need to bring the sauce up to a tem high enough to kill off any bacteria. http://canningusa.com/ is a good site to look at.

Here is a link that might be useful: canning usa


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

ksrogers,
I too am going to be canning a large amount of PEPPERONCINI peppers, in quart jars. What are the specifications, brand, and any other information for your vacuum pump, that would be helpful in purchasing one. Also, What is the optimal vacuum that you would suggest?


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

ksrogers, if you're still around, THANK YOU for all of these posts. Very helpful. Might you know which Thomas dual diaphragm pump you finally found as suitable They have sooo many pumps.

Thanks again!


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

I have tried every suggestion and it seals the jars about once in 10 tries. Would take all day at this rate.


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RE: Sealing jars with FoodSaver vacuum sealer

I've never tried using Food Saver vacuum sealers for canning. I always use mason jars because they are made of heat-tempered glass which are very durable and can be reused. I think they are also safer to use. Seems like you need to read this article on residential canning. Hope it helps. Good luck! --Scot

Here is a link that might be useful: Residential Canning


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