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Vacuum Sealer bag size and thickness - what is most useful/best?

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  • schuffr
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 3

    Vacuum Sealer bag size and thickness - what is most useful/best?

    Hi all,

    I just purchased an Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer and as somebody new to vacuum sealing, I am curious what you seasoned pros find to be the most useful bag size. Specs for the AA say the max bag size is 11x13 but I have seen folks say 11x14 will work. The bags available from AA are sized 6x12, 8x10, 10x13. I am guessing that the 8x10 and 10x13 are the most useful.

    What about thickness? My uses will be mostly for freezing, but a little bit of Sous Vide.

    Thanks!

    Rob
  • mgaretz
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 821
    • San Ramon, CA
    • Mark Garetz
      Rec Tec pellet grill
      Weber Genesis Gasser
      Maverick ET-732 and Thermapen and others

    #2
    3 mil thickness is all you need. I mostly use an 8x12 bag (my smallest size) but also use the largest my machine can take and also one intermediate size. You do not need to get bags from just AA.
    Last edited by mgaretz; May 25, 2020, 05:17 PM.

    Comment

    • mountainsmoker
      Banned Former Member
      • Jun 2019
      • 1851
      • Bryson City, NC

      #3
      My machine lets me make bags from rolls of bag material. So I have a 6" roll and an 11" roll and I can make them as long as I need. I just send them them through the sealer pull it through and use the cutter to cut to size.
      '

      Comment

      • IowaGirl
        Club Member
        • Dec 2018
        • 596
        • Northeast Iowa, USA

        #4
        I use 3.5 mil bags. I'd be okay with 3 mil, but I definitely wouldn't go any thinner. Tiny sharp edges, such as small bones, and just everyday abrasion as you move packages around can create pinhole leaks. A thin vac bag is a "penny wise, pound foolish" choice, IMO.

        I mostly use 8x12 bags (1 quart). I also use a few 11.5x13 (1 gallon) mostly for larger cuts of meat and 6x10 (pint) bags for 2-person meal sized portions of peas and other veggies. If you can only get one size, try the 8x12 size first. I think that is the best all-around size unless you're cooking for a large family.

        I have a roll of bag material to make really odd size packages, but I almost never do this. My strong preference is to use the premade bags instead. I know that's not everyone's cuppa tea, however..

        Comment

        • AZ Fogey
          Club Member
          • May 2019
          • 125
          • Surprise, AZ
          • Mike O'
            RecTec Stampede w/ Grill Grates
            Makers Mark on ice with a dribble of water.

          #5
          @shuffr - Check out chamber vac bag prices on the net, and compare them to AA prices. Amazon also sells them. I didn't buy mine there and I can't remember where it was, but I bought 1000 each of 8X10" and 10X13", 3 mil. Average price per bag for the two was about 5 cents. We get 2-3 uses out of most bags, depending on what they contained. While you're at it, buy these bag funnels at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 . My wife and I buy meat in bulk, once a month, and it's fairly common to seal 30 or more bags at one go. We can fill 3 bags a minute easily without worrying about contaminating the seal area with moisture. No more rolling down the mouths of the bags which is a giant PITA.

          Comment


          • RonB
            RonB commented
            Editing a comment
            I just cut the bottom out of a soup container from the local Chinese restaurant...

          • AZ Fogey
            AZ Fogey commented
            Editing a comment
            Some of us are considerably more resourceful than others. 😉
        • RonB
          Club Member
          • Apr 2016
          • 12597
          • Near Richmond VA
          • Weber Performer Deluxe
            SNS
            Pizza insert
            Rotisserie
            Smokenator 1000
            Cookshack Smokette Elite
            2 Thermapens
            Chefalarm
            Dot
            lots of probes.
            CyberQ

          #6
          Welcome to The Pit.

          Comment

          • schuffr
            Club Member
            • May 2016
            • 3

            #7
            thank you all!!

            Comment

            • DavidNorcross
              Club Member
              • Nov 2017
              • 1432
              • Virginia
              • Rec Tec RT-680
                Coleman RoadTrip LXX
                Javelin Pro Duo
                More Cast Iron than I care to admit

              #8
              I have the Avid Armor as well and love it. I buy the rolls and use the 8" and 10" the most. This is an underrated sealer with great support.

              Comment

              • Bighorn Dave
                Club Member
                • Aug 2018
                • 240
                • Nampa, Idaho

                #9
                I use 4 mil bags now as the 3 mil did fail a few times when cooking sous vide. And yes I use quality bags. As far as size goes I use 4 different sizes as one size does not fit all needs without waste. Investing in a vacuum sealer isn't cheap so get the tools needed to take full cost saving advantage of the sealer.

                Comment

                • ComfortablyNumb
                  Club Member
                  • May 2017
                  • 3197
                  • Northeast Washington
                  • KBQ C-60
                    PK360
                    Thermoworks Smoke
                    Thermoworks Thermopop
                    Thermoworks Dot

                  #10
                  I purchase them by the case of 1000 here:

                  https://www.webstaurantstore.com/sea...ndor=VacPak-It

                  I purchase the largest size that my sealer will take (10x13) and use that exculusively rather than keeping several different sizes.

                  They also sell a 'bone guard', a 6mil sheet you put around the bone to protect the bag. I have not used it yet, but plan on getting some with my next order.

                  Comment

                  • schuffr
                    Club Member
                    • May 2016
                    • 3

                    #11
                    So, anyone near Portland OR want to split a box of 1000 10" x 13" 4mil chamber pouches? I can't see myself using 1000 of them any time soon but the price per bag is quite good.

                    https://www.webstaurantstore.com/vac...6CVB41013.html

                    Comment


                    • ComfortablyNumb
                      ComfortablyNumb commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thinks outside the box, you can seal anything with a chamber. Important documents and photographs to protect them. Small parts, nuts, bolts, etc. to keep them together. Purchase bulk foods (sugar, beans, flour) and seal into smaller portions for storage. Refrigerator storage is endless. For example, potato salad. Cut top off, take some out, reseal. No smells, no leaks. You'll find all sorts of uses you hadn't thought of and those bags will be used quicker than you think.
                  • TriciaRay
                    Former Member
                    • Jul 2020
                    • 1

                    #12
                    I agree that 3 mil thickness is enough. But I mostly use big bags for cooking and hermetic food storage, but the small ones when I freeze the remains of food or lunches for the job. You can always use other generic brands, not just those of the same brand as your vacuum sealer. But it is very important to use only vacuum bags because the plastic bags will not work. And be careful about the manufacturer you use. There are a lot of low-quality fakes now. Also, you can find all the necessary information about your question on diligentchef.com.
                    Last edited by TriciaRay; July 2, 2020, 04:30 AM.

                    Comment


                    • RonB
                      RonB commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Welcome to The Pit.

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