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What Is the Best Vacuum-Seal Machine for Saving Lettuce?

What Is the Best Vacuum-Seal Machine for Saving Lettuce in Mason jars? This is a common question around here. This post is a discussion of factors to consider. We will specifically explore three options.

Which Vacuum-Pack Machine Should I Buy--a full-size vacuum-pack machine

In addition to questions about the feasibility of adding veggies to vacuum-packed jars of lettuce, readers ask me most often about which vacuum-pack machine they should buy. I’ve done some homework and tried out a few different systems to save you the trouble and give you some choices.

When I started vacuum-packing salads, I used a vacuum-pack machine similar to the one above. I ordered the wide-mouth attachment and purchased wide-mouth (easier to seal and fill than regular-mouth) quart-size glass canning jars.  

Required equipment

Unless you have plans to vacuum-pack most of the food in your refrigerator and freezer, you don’t need a fancy machine. However, to make salad-in-a-jar my way, you must have the following:

  1. a port on the machine (see picture above)
  2. the wide-mouth attachment (ordered separately)
  3. a hose

Please note the hose comes with the machine, not the attachment. You can order a replacement hose here.

mason jar of lettuce with a wide-mouth adapter used to vacuum pack

Handheld vacuum-pack systems

I still love my full-size FoodSaver and use it occasionally. But I’ve found some cheaper and space-saving alternatives.

The handheld system seen below is also manufactured by FoodSaver but costs only about $20 and sometimes you can find it for less. You still need the wide-mouth attachment as seen in the picture, but not the hose. 

You must press firmly against the opening in the top of the attachment to seal the hole so the machine can vacuum properly.  It’s rechargeable. This gadget can also be used with specially-designed zipper bags sold by FoodSaver.

fresh saver vacuum-packing lettuce

Another option I recently discovered is a hand-held sealer by Reynolds called a Handi-Vac. Again, you don’t need the hose, but you still need the wide-mouth attachment.

Reynolds Handi-Vac and a jar of lettuce

This works the same way as the Food Saver hand-held device. Position the nozzle over the top of the wide-mouth attachment and press the button to suck the air out of the jar.

using the reynolds vacuum-pack device to seal the jar

This is my personal favorite because it is cheap, small, relatively quiet, and it works!  Hope you can find one.

Using a canister to vacuum-pack

I do have one more option in case you already own a regular FoodSaver machine and a large FoodSaver canister. Attach the hose to your machine and the canister lid. Put the jar inside the canister and seal. Immediately remove the jar and place the metal collar on top of the flat lid and repeat with your other jars.  

This is a really good use for these canisters because they are not good for storing food.  My experience, shared by many, is that these canisters quickly develop cracks, making them useless–except for sealing salad in a jar.

I have not tried any other brand of full-size vacuum-pack machines because I have not found any with the large-mouth jar attachment.  If you know of one, please let me know.

Also, I have not received one dime for references to FoodSaver, Reynolds, or Reyn-Lock in this post.  Just sharing what works for me.

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Did you try this recipe and enjoy it? Consider helping other readers (and me) by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula



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susan

Saturday 21st of December 2019

may I put other things in the lettuce in a jar like cucombers, tomatoes ,onions and like all things in a green salad

Paula

Saturday 21st of December 2019

Hi Susan, You can read my thoughts on this subject: What Happens if I Vacuum-Pack Lettuce and Vegetables Together?

Emily Buker

Monday 9th of May 2016

Hello,

I just wanted to let folks know that vacuum sealing homemade yogurt (in mason jars) is a great way to keep it fresh if you make more than you can consume quickly. There are just two of us at home and I make about 4 quarts of great yogurt each time I make it, I have a proof box that can be used for raising bread dough or making yogurt, I love this proof box, you can google to find it, I won't name brands (might not be cool?).

Emily

Sean Tite

Monday 29th of February 2016

I’m thinking of buying this model for my household to save left overs and avoid throwing away perfectly good foods just because they grow stale out in the open air.

ana

Thursday 7th of January 2016

Thank you! I was thinking of a cheaper way to seal my jars and I had questions too. You really helped out! Thank you again! Ana PS. I stumble upon this youtube video where a guy custom made his own jar sealer using a bike pump. I thought it was kind of silly but it doesn't seem a bad idea. I would make a couple of changes though. Make it safer to use because of the lead contamination.

Paula

Saturday 9th of January 2016

A bike pump? That would be a little tricky to store in the kitchen or else it would be quite unhandy stored in the garage. Hope you enjoy the vacuum-packing method.

Abigail Murdock

Sunday 6th of December 2015

This is a complete guide and great that I has been viewed. Thank you so much Paula! The share of vacuum sealing jar is extremely valuable. I will share it for my friends. I would like to share a bit of personal experience in the process of using a Foodsaver vacuum sealer. I am also using Foodsaver v4880 automatic vacuum sealer that is all in one machine, very convenient. Though you spend more money but bring vacuum sealing efficiency is higher. Because its capacity is greater than handheld vacuum sealer.