Vaccumn Sealer & Dehydrater : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I'm looking to purchase a vaccumn sealer and dehydrater. Any suggestions and experiences on what to buy and where to buy them? I saw the Ronco dehydrater on an informerical and was considering that brand. Also, how long lasting is vacuumed pack food? I did search the food archives, but still would like more information on these two items. Thanks in advance.


-- quietly (, June 24, 1999


Vacuum packing should at least triple expected shelf life vs in sealed plastic bag. If it's a high-cost item (powdered eggs, dried broccoli, throw in an oxygen absorber.

Vacuum packing in bags is tricky - easy to puncture. Best we've found is buying used quart masons at Goodwill (15 cents) and new lids.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), June 24, 1999.

You will still require electricity to run these appliances. There is a website for making your own vaccuum sealer at and ones for solar dehydrators at and

-- marsh (, June 24, 1999.

The FoodSaver manufacture by Vila in California is the way to go.

Do not just buy the entire machine though. Just buy the Vaccum canning jar hood. They sell two sizes, one for regular jars, and the other for wide mouth. Both sell for $15.

NOTE: only use Kerr lids if you plan on using wide mouth jars.

Now, I went out to a national local parts store chain and bought a hand vaccum line tester. It runs about $40. This will seal up to 30psi. It takes 15psi - 20psi to seal the jars.

So if your power is out, just squeeze the hand pump eaisly to seal the jars, the FoodSaver will not work if the power is out. It depends on electricity.

Also, the FoodSaver unit is $200. It comes with the wide jar hood attachment and it vaccum seals plastic bags. I have one, it really works.

The bagged stuff does not last as long as the jars. The jars with an oxygen absorber has lasted well over two years on dry goods. ei. Sunflower seeds, rice, unbleached flour and the like.

I live only a few towns away from Multi-Sorb in West Seneca NY. My wife's grandma lives three blocks away. They are the largest manufacture of food grade oxygen absobers. 100cc or 50cc costs 6 cents each. I laughed at the Sportsmans catalog. They are selling these things for 1.66 each. (30 dollars for 50 of them). So Sportmans is making a 1.60 killing on people.

Oh, BTW, the automotive vaccum tester kit has all the attachments to mate up with the Food Saver line and hood. The kit even uses to same food grade type plastic as the hose.

One hood $15 (find vila on the web and order via 800#) One pump $40 (local national auto parts store, AutoZone, Parts Amer.)

three doz jars $12 (Big Lots, The harvest jars work just fine, canning under pressure, not so good.) ---- $67 You can do this reall cheap.

Once you have the pump and hood (the setup), you only need jars and lids. Rings are not needed. :)

Muti-Sorbe does not sell direct to the public. Only Food companys, HOWEVER, if you call them at 716.824.8900, they will refer you to a supplier in your metro area for their products.

You can have everything in a matter of two weeks once you call the orders in for both FoodSaver and Multi-Sorb Technologies.

Another tid-bit, If you only need a half cup out of a jar, you can re-seal the jar with the fresh pax oxygen absober. Thus still saving the rest resealed in the jar.

MRE's and the like are to costly. The GAO mentioned that it will take about 30 months or so before this y2k wave finally levels out on dry land. 30 months is a long time. If it will be a bump in the road, I still will vaccum pack, prices of food still will go up. If it gets all the worst, (more than likely), I have this to fall back on once the can goods and vitamins are used up.

Shalom! In Yeshua's Name

Joe Martin

-- Joe Martin (, June 24, 1999.

Jim, good tip about Multi-Sorb. I took a chance with a URL based on the company name, and found it!

I'm going to go look around there, and see if they have a list of dealers online.


-- Arewyn (, June 24, 1999.

We have lots of oxy absorbers for sale at Four Star Foods. 300 cc, in packs of 60, and cases with 2400 absorbers per case. Prices are:

pack/60....$9.00 case/2400..$288.00

Our web site: Our cannery is in Hillboro, Oregon (near Portland)

-- Rex P. (, June 25, 1999.

Re: dehydrators - We've been dehydrating for about 20 years, on and off. I have purchased several used dehydrators over the years at garage sales, flea markets and through the want-ads. You can also put a "Wanted" ad in your local penny saver or thrifty nickel "buy and sell paper" and pick up a decent one for maybe $20. There are several cheapies on the market, round types with just a heating element in the bottom and totally plastic. These are easy to wash, but they have no fan unit which really aids in drying and cuts the drying time by 1/2 or more compared to those with no fans, and they often have no temperature control. Some old, used dryers may have window screen material for the shelves and have a wood type housing. I would stay away from these. They are too hard to clean. And any with shelves with wooden frames. I recommend something with a clean, paint-coated exterior case and plastic shelves(6-10), with a hinged-type swinging door, termperature control and circulating fan. I guess these units new would cost $150.+ now, but they are so readily available used, why pay so much. Rarely have I seen a used one that has seen much use. I have even purchased used ones and sent them to friends in Hawaii. When we lived in Hawaii, I never saw them for sale "secondhand". But here in Calif., I see them at garage sales, secondhand stores, in the paper, and at flea markets. We usually keep 2 on hand for the busy season. They last forever. They're such a great item. We love the banana chips, jerky, granolas, leathers, dried - cherries, kiwi, apples, pineapple, etc. we have made over the years. I've purchased used ones for $1.- $40. I've purchased so many because we've sold them every time we moved and knew it would be easy to buy them used again.

-- johan (, June 26, 1999.


I have a Harvest Maid dehydrator that I bought at a garage sale a number of years ago. I like using it because it dries more consistently than my old method: food spread out on a plastic lined card table out on the back porch. That 'solar method' worked but my dehydrator can be used over-night or in rainy weather (and don't forget that you don't want to dry onions in the house!) I've also made fruit leather in the car-just pick a hot day, make up the puree and pour it into a plastic lined tray-set it on the dash of your sealed up car.

I forget who posted about her multiple dehydrators but she had great recommendations-plastic frames rather than wood ones and a fan is a definite plus.

Hope this helps. Linda

-- newbiebutnodummie (, June 26, 1999.

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