This is my FoodSaver!
We smoked two pork shoulders, a huge pork loin and 8 chicken thighs last weekend. Those meats are going to feed us for months! This is how we keep them free from freezer burn.
I originally bought a Seal-A-Meal from Target back in the late 90s. I wore it out! This FoodSaver is my latest preservation/freezing tool. I've learned a few things over the years on how to make this process much more efficient.
You need to leave plenty of headroom in any FoodSaver bag you use. Whether you use their preformed bags or you buy a roll (cutting off a piece, then sealing one end - adding in the food), the open edge needs to roll into the slot and have plenty of room for the sealer to come down and seal the deal.
Don't overload the bags. Consider how many servings you might eat for one meal and put in bags accordingly.
You can freeze many vegetables whole in these freezer bags, especially tomatoes. I wash them well, pat them dry, then cut the stem out then freeze them whole! (See note below for instructions on how to seal the bags.)
If there is too much moisture in any meat or vegetable you want to freeze, it will NOT seal properly. Too much moisture will flow out before the "seal" starts, creating a non-seal and potential for freezer burn. Here are a few notes on how to deal with "moist" items you want to seal:
Sauces: freeze in smaller plastic containers beforehand then when solid, put into the FoodSaver bag and seal.
Vegetables (like tomatoes, etc. that have lots of juices): freeze on trays then when solid, put into the FoodSaver bag and seal.
Meats: wrap meats up in plastic wrap then put into the FoodSaver bag and seal. Here is what we did with the smoked meats from last weekend (shredded chicken meat not shown - but it was done similarly):
Let me know if you have any tips and tricks for preserving your food. I'll talk about canning in another post.