Food Saver Frenzy

Twenty some odd years ago, I received a Food Saver as a wedding present from the girls in my wedding party.  At the time it was fairly new on the market, but even then I loved the newest gadgets.  This wonderful gift stayed in its original box until we moved into the house we were building.  After that I used it faithfully for a few months and then the thrill wore off.  I wasn’t canning at the time and using it to seal meat from the grocery store seemed pointless, as we ate it almost as soon as I bought it.  I didn’t have a chest freezer so there was no place to store anything.

One of the reasons I wanted the Food Saver was it came with a wide mouth mason jar attachment.  I’m not sure why this was important to me at the time, but I must have had some sort of intuition because it is certainly coming in handy now.  After more than 20 years I  pulled the old Food Saver from the box in the basement and gave it a prime spot in a convenient cabinet along with my food processor, juicer, crock pot, and bread maker.  These are all things I use at least once a week, so I keep them handy so I’ll use them.

The first time I used the jar accessory about two months ago to seal some brown sugar,  I was thrilled.  I couldn’t believe how easy it was.  Immediately I went online and ordered a regular mouth accessory.  An accessory for my unit was not available, but I took a chance a bought the current one being offered by Food Saver.  I was disappointed when it arrived without a tube and my the tubing from my wide mouth piece did not fit it correctly.  Then, to make matters worse, for some reason the wide mouth accessory began giving me problems and wouldn’t seal jars consistently.  So I put it back in the cabinet, out of sight.

For two months the accessory sat in the cabinet mocking me.  Every time I opened the cabinet to take out the food processor or other appliance in there,  I felt sick.  Finally, after telling my husband about it, he suggested we go online to see if we could find a tube to fit the accessory.  We didn’t find a tube, but we did find several reviews from other Food Saver owners having difficulty with their jar accessories not sealing because of a lack of pressure.  That was my problem.

There were several suggestions:

  1. Try pulling the tube off the accessory or the unit as soon as it finishes sealing before it depressurized.  The theory was that when the unit depressurized, it unsealed the jar.
  2. Put two lids on the jar.  After the sealing process, the second lid will not be attached, but it will give the accessory extra pressure to make a good seal.
  3. Press down firmly on the accessory and wiggle it a little until you feel it grab on and start to seal.

All of these sounded like they just might do the trick.  Plus my husband suggested to use some vaseline around the connections before hooking the tubing up to the unit and to the accessory.  This would help keep any air from escaping.  I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten this trick.  Last summer when my pressure canner would not seal I learned that the gasket was old and needed to be lubed with vaseline in order to enable it to seal again.  It worked beautifully.

Starting with a jar of homemade granola I lubed the connections and tried the regular mouth accessory with one lid.  It sealed!  Awesome.  But, was this a one-time thing?  Would it do it again?  So I tried again.  Nothing.  Okay, so let’s try with two lids.  It sealed! The next two jars sealed as well.  I was thrilled.  Then I tried the wide mouth accessory and spent the next half hour sealing jars one after the other.

There were a few jars that would not seal, but they were not true mason canning jars.  In reading the reviews on the internet I learned that  you might get mayonnaise jars to seal sometimes and sometimes not.  It’s hit or miss.  Further, not all mason jars will seal either.  There was no explanation, but certainly worth knowing about.

I love my Food Saver.  I still don’t use it seal meat very often, but I do use the bags for vegetables.  The one feature that makes this an indispensible appliance in my kitchen is the jar sealer.  If it weren’t for the internet I would never have figured out how to get the accessories to work consistently, and for this I am Simply Grateful.

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