ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Food Safety

Minnesota Cooking: Repackaging Foods Bought in Bulk is Easy with FoodSaver

Updated on March 9, 2018
Frozen Shrimp repackaged with Foodsaver
Frozen Shrimp repackaged with Foodsaver

FoodSaver is the Brand

For years, thirty-three to be exact, my hubby and I have packaged food for our freezer in either plastic wrap, plus freezer paper or we have used specially marked plastic zipper bags.

We don't always get to our food immediately and oftentimes, our food would get dried out by our freezer, since we weren't good at sealing our packages and the resulting air would add a dehydrated burn to our foods. Unappealing, and of course, we'd throw that food away. Gross!

Ice crystals in with the food
Ice crystals in with the food
Our chest type freezer
Our chest type freezer

Vacuum Sealing

There was one time, we transported sleeping bags to the cabin up north by placing them in a large garbage bag and putting the nozzle of our vacuum cleaner into the mouth of the bag and sucking all the air out of the bag around the sleeping bags and then, twist tieing them shut. It was kind of fun to see the sleeping bags become a mere inch thick instead of the twelve inch roll they started out as.

So, when we purchased the FoodSaver, we were at least, somewhat familiar with the process.

No Need to Be Afraid of New Technology

The machine that we purchased is called the FM2100. It opens like a clam. Today, we were using a roll of bagging. The roll is stored in the machine and there is a handy cutter that you can use to slice a neat, straight edge on your bag.

Yes. Making your bag is the first step. You pull enough of the roll bagging out of the holder, and place it under the blade system. Press down, and pull the slicer across the bag. There is a slight hook at the edge of the slicer and it hooks underneath your bag and as you slide the slider sideways, it neatly separates your measured bag from the rest of the roll.

Making a Bag

Convenient roll storage in unit
Convenient roll storage in unit
Lift the cutter bar up and pull the bag out underneath
Lift the cutter bar up and pull the bag out underneath
See the cutter blade? It hooks under the edge of the bag roll
See the cutter blade? It hooks under the edge of the bag roll
Pull on end of roll and decide how long you want your bag to be
Pull on end of roll and decide how long you want your bag to be
Pull the plastic roll towards you.
Pull the plastic roll towards you.
When you have the size bag length you want, pull the cutter bar down on top of your plastic roll
When you have the size bag length you want, pull the cutter bar down on top of your plastic roll
This is the cutter
This is the cutter
It slides all the way to the other end of your bag to ensure a straight edge
It slides all the way to the other end of your bag to ensure a straight edge
Make sure you have the cutter hooked under the edge of the bag to ensure that the blade slices the bag. A gentle pressure downward is enough to hook it underneath. Then, slide white blade sideways to other end of cutter bar.
Make sure you have the cutter hooked under the edge of the bag to ensure that the blade slices the bag. A gentle pressure downward is enough to hook it underneath. Then, slide white blade sideways to other end of cutter bar.
to remove bag, grasp the newly cut bag with your fingers.
to remove bag, grasp the newly cut bag with your fingers.
Pull out. See. A freshly cut bag. It is open on both ends and already sealed on the sides. You are now ready to seal one end.
Pull out. See. A freshly cut bag. It is open on both ends and already sealed on the sides. You are now ready to seal one end.

Sealing the Edge

The next step is sealing one edge of the plastic, so that your food will not fall out. It is open on both ends and sealed on the sides. Pick one end and place the end in the sealing machine, across the drip tray. There are foam pads on the sides of the hole and you just need to get your plastic across the hole.

Then, you close the lid to hold the end of your bag and turn the switch to operate. There are a couple buttons at the top back of the unit and when you are making the bag, you need to press the button labeled Seal. A red light will come on, and will go off when the seal is complete. Wait for it.

Light out, turn switch to open and remove your bag.

Sealing One Edge of New Bag

Target Area for edge of bag
Target Area for edge of bag
heater bar on top edge of unit
heater bar on top edge of unit
Pick one open end of your bag to seal. Place edge across drip tray, making sure the edge is straight and even all the way across.
Pick one open end of your bag to seal. Place edge across drip tray, making sure the edge is straight and even all the way across.
Close the lid to secure the edge of the bag
Close the lid to secure the edge of the bag
Turn switch to Operate
Turn switch to Operate
Press the button marked Seal
Press the button marked Seal
The red light will be on as the heater bar seals your bag.
The red light will be on as the heater bar seals your bag.
The red light will go out when your seal is complete
The red light will go out when your seal is complete
Turn the switch back to Open
Turn the switch back to Open
See the seal. You now have a bag.
See the seal. You now have a bag.

Food Into Bag

I had a box of frozen shrimp that we had in the freezer for a while. It was a box full of about 5 layers of shrimp. We had purchased several boxes of them at Sam's Club a while back and, well, you can only eat so much before you turn to something else for dinner.

This seemed like the perfect first trial for trying out my new Foodsaver machine. So, armed with my first correctly sealed bag, I lifted one layer of shrimp from the box and inserted the cardboard end into my newly made bag, and let them slide into the bag.

That was nice. I didn't even have to touch the food, just chute them into the bag.

Placing Bulk Food into a Bag

The shrimp come in a 3 pound box. Frozen and packaged with cardboard between each layer of shrimp. The entire box is wrapped in a light plastic. Not resealable.
The shrimp come in a 3 pound box. Frozen and packaged with cardboard between each layer of shrimp. The entire box is wrapped in a light plastic. Not resealable.
See the layer? The shrimp are sitting on a piece of cardboard. Each layer has another piece of cardboard. That makes it convenient to pick up a layer and slide the shrimp into the bag.
See the layer? The shrimp are sitting on a piece of cardboard. Each layer has another piece of cardboard. That makes it convenient to pick up a layer and slide the shrimp into the bag.
Like a chute. In the bag they go.
Like a chute. In the bag they go.
Now, they are in the bag.
Now, they are in the bag.

Vacuuming and Sealing the Bag

Here's the moment I was waiting for. My first attempt at using my vacuum and seal button on the Foodsaver.

So, I placed the open end of the bag into the Foodsaver and made sure that end was centered across the drip tray. Then, I closed the lid down to hold my bag and pressed the switch to Operate.

Now, I pressed the switch that says Vacuum and Seal. I heard a noise. It was the vacuum. Almost like the vacuum cleaner that I use on my floors. The bag started to move and flatten around the shrimp. One it had removed all the air, it switched to seal. The red light came on above the Seal button and I waited until it turned off.

It took a few seconds and then, I turned the switch on the side from Operate to Open and removed my bag. It was sealed. It was sucked down tight around my food. It was amazing!

Vacuum and Seal the Bag

Shake food to one side of bag. Make sure it's clear of edge that you are sealing.
Shake food to one side of bag. Make sure it's clear of edge that you are sealing.
Close cover over edge of bag.
Close cover over edge of bag.
Turn switch to Operate.
Turn switch to Operate.
Press Vacuum and Seal button. This starts the vacuuming of the bag.
Press Vacuum and Seal button. This starts the vacuuming of the bag.
As it is vacuuming, the seal light will be off.
As it is vacuuming, the seal light will be off.
See how the bag is tightening around the food as it removes the air in the bag?
See how the bag is tightening around the food as it removes the air in the bag?
Now, it is done vacuuming and now the red light is on for the Seal mode. Wait until the light is off before you open the unit.
Now, it is done vacuuming and now the red light is on for the Seal mode. Wait until the light is off before you open the unit.
Light is Off. Your package is sealed.
Light is Off. Your package is sealed.

Labeling the Package

Since the food was in the bag, and sealed tightly, now was the time to make sure the package was labeled so that later, when I decided to open and deep fry the shrimp, I knew that the shrimp needed to be deep fried for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.

I wrote all the information on the bag with a black sharpie marker.


Label and Place in Freezer

Write on Plastic with Black Sharpie pen what is in the bag, and some cooking instructions.
Write on Plastic with Black Sharpie pen what is in the bag, and some cooking instructions.
Place in Freezer.
Place in Freezer.

Purchasing More Bags

I found that the price we paid at Fleet Farm for our bags was a really good deal. We got 5 rolls for $35. It was on sale. I also found a place online that sells the bagging for $20 for a fifty foot roll.

When I was reading the description for the fifty foot roll, it mentioned that you could actually cook your food while still wrapped in the plastic. If you had vegetables in that bag, you could just fill a pan with water and place the package in the water until the food was cooked. Now, mind you, these bags are rather large, and I'd need a 12 inch pan to accommodate the bag, but, still - what a concept.

I also learned that if you poked a hole in the bag, you could put the bag into the microwave and cook your food.

Specialty bags for Game, like Venison steak or Squirrel Jerky [Smile]
Specialty bags for Game, like Venison steak or Squirrel Jerky [Smile]
Bags Come in a Multi Roll Package.
Bags Come in a Multi Roll Package.
Reordering is Easy if your store doesn't carry.
Reordering is Easy if your store doesn't carry.
Free cutter with product registration.
Free cutter with product registration.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • firstcookbooklady profile image
      Author

      Char Milbrett 6 weeks ago from Minnesota

      Mary Norton: Thank you for your comment. I have only had mine a few days, but so far, so good. I like it.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I had been looking into getting one of these but as we are often away, I am not sure if it will be worthwhile. After reading this, I might just do this when we get home.

    working