So on the one hand a vacuum sealer is a good idea on the other hand it is spendy for something I may not use very much since I have an itty bitty front yard garden. On the third hand (mind if I borrow your hand for a bit?) if the vacuum sealer thing works keeping things fresh in my pantry it might be useful in flighting my nemesis freezer burn.
Yes, I tried sucking the air out of the bag with a straw. It didn't work.
I decided to make a vacuum sealer and give it a try. If my inexpensive homemade vacuum sealer works well us, I might spring for a real one. If it doesn't work, I'm only out 20 bucks instead of a couple hundred.
How to Make a Mason Jar Vacuum Sealer
Vacuum sealing is only for dry foods. Powdered dry goods like flours generally will not seal because the fine particles will clog the brake bleeder/pump. Vacuum sealing cannot safely replace pressure canning wet foods.
Homemade vacuum sealer
You will need:
Brake bleeder/pump (you can buy one similar to mine here.)
FoodSaver regular mouth jar sealer (or wide mouth if you are using wide mouth mason jars) (you can buy it here.)
Canning jar lid
Food for your jar
1. Place the dry goods in the mason jar. For this example, I'm vacuum sealing some fenugreek I bought from an international market.
2. Put the canning lid on the mason jar.
You can reuse canning jar lids for vacuum sealing as long as the edges are not bent or wonky.
3. Put the jar sealer on the mason jar. I am using a regular jar sealer. FoodSaver makes jar sealers for wide mouth mason jars too.
4. Put the hose and cone tip that comes with the brake bleeder together and place the cone tip into the opening on top of the jar sealer.
5. Pump the air out of the jar with the brake pump for about 5-15 minutes. I usually stop when the gage reaches 500 pounds of pressure.
Tip: You might need to hold the cone tip with your hand to get the pump to work and create a seal.
Sometimes I have to hold it. Other times I don't.
4. Label the jar. You're all sealed up and ready to store!
You don't have to use a canning jar ring on a vacuum sealed jar.
I do because it helps me keep track of the rings and keeps my paper label on the jar lid.
The homemade vacuum sealer works well. I recommend it if you seal one or two jars at a time. Any more than that and my hands were killing me to hand vacuum seal any more!
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