Review of the Vacucanner Dry Canning System

The Vacucanner is available at http://vacucanner.com/

I am very impressed with this product and think it will be serve high volume preppers that like to buy in bulk and still eat what you store and store what you eat.  Specifically to take large bulk items like dehydrated veggies from Harmony House and #10 cans like Mountain House and process them into usable sizes without sacrificing long term storage life.

 

42 Responses to Review of the Vacucanner Dry Canning System

  1. Thanks Jack

    It’s got me thinkin, I’ve already got a vacuum pump for AC work and a pressure cooker I don’t use much anymore.

    Just wondering how something fine/powdery would work. Like dry milk or flour.

    • Modern Survival

      They do flour on the video on their site so I don’t see why not. If you have a pump and an old canner I would build your own, it isn’t really difficult to do.

  2. Will this vacucanner work with the tattler reusable lids?

  3. I am on several lists that have discussed other dry canning sealers. Apparently if you put an upside down coffee filter on top of powdery things like dry milk powder and such, it helps keep the powder in and not sucked out onto the rim where it can interfere with the seal.

  4. I have to agree that this seems much faster than a food saver.
    I have had a couple bad jars over the years.
    Maybe one or two at most.

    My 2 1/2 year old loved the video Jack.

  5. I can see where it would come in handy if you are doing massive amounts of dried product, with different sized jars. But for the most part I get along pretty well with using the food saver and the two different size jar attachments along with my tattler lids. Although I do have all of the necessary parts and pump right in my garage to build one of these. So for that, I appreciate seeing an alternative to the food saver. Always look forward to your reviews and podcast.

    • Modern Survival

      Many people love foodsavers, I did, I bought one an thought it rocked it stopped working, I bought another and after it crapped out I was done. I don’t rely on things that seem to break as a matter of course. I am happy to hear how many people have good results but 2 foodsavers collectively lasted me 4 months, so I am personally done and can’t recommend them.

  6. Looks like a good product and a great vacuum pump. Could use the pump with the individual jar attachment sealers and this would be fairly quick since the volume is small. I have also connected a plastic tube to the foodsaver and pulled a vacuum on mylar bags until they are as hard as a brick and then sealed the bag. This pump would be even better.
    Thanks for showing the product.

  7. Wow, really you went through 2? I’m actually pretty shocked with that. Did you call the company? I sure as heck would have. I have used tilia brand food saver since its inception. Every year their product seemed to get better and better. In fact I had to justify upgrading when they came out with a new one since my previous one still worked so well. Gave it to my step son. They now have the upright one that takes a little less counter space, but I can’t justify putting out the cash for that one. Mine is only 3 years old or so.
    I can say that the first one I ever bought sat in my vacation home and hadn’t been used in quite a while, went to use it but the seals went bad. When I bought it the company offered a ten year warranty on it, so I called them up to see if I Was in the warranty period. Alas I was not, but they had told me that they do sell used ones, that are refurbished returns for $35.00 . This was several years ago so they probably cost a little more now. But for your listeners that want to get one, they might want to try that option. Just call up (don’t have the number handy) but just look up Tilia and ask them about the refurb sales.

    • Modern Survival

      First one was replaced under warranty, didn’t bother on the second when I buy something and it breaks twice I move on. I can’t endorse such a product. I see no point in contacting the company a second time, failure like that it doesn’t matter what they say, I have simply determined I can’t count on them for high volume use. I am not the only one, go read some Amazon reviews. My guess is say 10% of the products are sub par and I got the bottom twice.

  8. Very cool. One modification that I might do would be to put in a 3-way valve to effectively “t” from the pump to a foodsaver jar sealer. This would allow one to individually seal off jars after use. That way you don’t have to break out the full “pressure cooker” to evacuate just one jar after use.

    • Modern Survival

      I don’t think that is worth the effort. Dry goods are fine for a few months in a jar, that is kind of the point of going down to small sizes with bulk items. If a quart is to much of something put it in pints. Hell you can even use those little bitty jars for herbs and such.

  9. Hey Jack,
    A warning from a chemist who works with high vacuum pumps every day: don’t leave the pump turned off with a strong vacuum pulled on it for a long period of time. If you do that, what can happen is pump oil will go up your tube and into the canner. It takes a while (more than an hour), but people should be aware of it. I’ve done it with vacuum lines and it’s a pain in the butt to clean out all that oil.

    ~Matt

  10. Jack,
    Thanks for the video – well done!

    I am very glad you discovered this. I had thought I would get a food-saver w/attachment but you totally sold me. I had a friend who demonstrated on an empty jar to show me how his food-saver vacuum worked. I was impressed but compared to this – it is excruciatingly slow. This method is like the autobahn of vacuum sealing.

    If I wanted to convert an existing canner – is it a “one-way” proposition? Can I remove the hardware and use my canner the traditional way?

    I recently was given a huge homemade (and very well-made) dehydrator and experimented at the end of the growing season – can’t wait to experiment with dehydrator + Vacucanner.

    One of my new favorite snacks:

    Dehydrate tomatoes. Place your 1/4 inch tomato slices on your dehydrator screen. Liberally season with salt, garlic salt, pepper, and a meat-rub seasoning (used for smoking/grilling)
    Dehydrate until they flake off screen like potato chips – Ummmmm, ummmmmmm, ummmmmm!
    For a variation – sprinkle with cayenne pepper or other spicy seasoning.

    Dehydrate + Vacucanning = long, long, long time storage.

    Cheers,

  11. Jack. Great video. And to think I almost tossed the old pressure cooker that has a missing weight on it since I’ve bought a new one. My only concern for myself is that if that were ME opening that can of rice, it would have gone EVERYWHERE! Do you think the vacuum pressure could be dropped somewhere between 25 and 29 to avoid the mess I’ll be making? Man, those guys are really on there!

    Take care

  12. Very impressive, if I had the money I would buy one, but I think I will build one instead.

  13. I’ve made a bad jar. (Chipped it with something) But I’ve had one fail on my righ tout of the box.

  14. Modern Survival

    @Jake

    I am sure you can go both ways with a canner conversion and if you do one or the other a lot and the second a little (say lots of dry canning but only a bit of pressure canning) it is likely worth making the changes back and forth. Me, I would buy this system and keep it for such use or I would buy a decent canner and dedicate it as a full time conversion.

    The one they sell you has a DO NOT REMOVE sticker on it that specifically states don’t use it for pressure canning period.

    • I would consider buying a pressure canner and order a replacement lid from the manufacturer. Then you could do any needed modifications to the lid for vacuum canning and not have to disassemble to swap back and forth. If I had an extra lid it would allow me to find someone with a TIG welder to seal up that little pop-up lock on a lot of the pressure canners.
      For that matter if you just buy two canners you could have one lid set for vacuum canning and two bodies. Then while one was being sealed you could be loading the other. Just a wild thought…
      Great find Jack!

  15. Tammy on Dehydrate2Store shows how to use a spoon put into the narrowest thread and twisted can easily open the sealed lids. Have used seal a meal to do jars – look forward to using this method. Thanks Jack.

  16. I can definitely see your point on the food saver . I guess I’ve just been lucky. Sorry to hear that you’ve had such bad luck with them. I probably would have moved on as well had I had such problems. But now you’ve got a hard core bulk vacuum sealer. So kudos on that.
    Love the reviews and the podcast. Keep em coming. Can’t wait to get my TSP ant silver rounds and death and debt copper. Still waiting on my freedom girls.
    Proud to be a member of your support brigade

  17. This may be a dumb question, but I’m on a tablet that won’t play the video – can it can wet stuff too like sauces?

    Also, when our foodsaver stopped vacuuming good, just needed to replace the little oval O-ring and it was good as new. Just FYI in case it helps anybody.

    • Yeah just an FYI side note, Jack – none of the videos are showing right on the site using Dell XPS 10 Windows 8 tablet out of the box. It does play correctly if I go to YouTube and play it directly there on your channel, so I know my Flash install is good. Maybe something that you can tweak or update on WordPress? I dunno. Just thought I’d let you know.

      • Modern Survival

        Okay well they are embeded Youtube videos? So effectively it is a youtube issue and some tablets seem to have that. From now on I will post “see this video on youtube” in the notes, try this

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aXoVHJ97IdA

        It really has nothing to do with WP.

        On wet stuff, absolutely not, this is for dry canning of dry storable goods.

        • Ok cool. In hindsight I feel pretty retarded for having asked that, but when I first read about “dry” canning, I thought it meant dry as in “not the traditional waterbath over the flame”. Silly me! ;)

          On the tech side – no prob, just wanted to give you a heads up & let you know, cuz I’m sure as you know more & more folks are coming in on tablets, so it’s good for us site entrepreneurs to make sure our content works easily.

        • And yes, your link works no prob – so I’m guessing it is something either to do with WP & how it is embedding the videos or YouTube and how they are sharing their embedded links.

  18. Wow, this is really cool! I’m very interested in using this dry pack method. But just one question, do you have to sterilize these jars in any way before using or can you just pull them out of the box or dishwasher and seal away without worry?

  19. Hey you can combine this with freezing and maybe freeze dry some stuff. Simply freeze it first in the freezer then put it in the vacuum canner. I think you have to leave the vacuum on it til it warms back up and all the water will be pumped out.

    Also you do not screw the rings on tight right? I mean the lids of the jar’s have to be free enough to lift for air to escape the jars.

  20. One question here.. I tried to contact the company on this but have not received an answer so I thought you may know. Can you order this with an unmodified lid? I have been looking at getting a pressure caner and this with the extra lid would solve both canning issues. On a side note with some small changes to the vacuum lid it looks like it would work nicely for distilling fuel, just add condenser.

    • Modern Survival

      I doubt they would assume the liability. They mark the unit clearly with “DO NOT USE WITH HEAT” but I agree that if you had two lids it would work fine and be almost impossible to screw up.

    • It would be simpler to just buy a pressure canner and rig up the vacuum side yourself with their pump. In a lot of pressure canners you have a hole in the lid where the pressure gauge goes. Remove the gauge and with a few parts from Lowes and a pressure gauge off Amazon you’d have your vacuum canner. Oh, the vacuum line could connect to the preexisting nipple that the rocker goes on.

      …Okay, mine also has a little pop-up lock. Maybe if you could fit a rubber O-ring under the top of that the vacuum would seal that as well.

      I wish they had an option to buy the pump and fittings only. Then I wouldn’t have to go shopping for them.

  21. I have seen a glass jar with a “poppy” lid on it being used in a food saver canister vac to accomplish the same thing, obviously not as Long term though. Perhaps if you had the chance, you could try using an old pickle jar or something you may have leftover and let us know if you think it’s ok to do. Being able to reuse things always makes it more appealing. Thanks for your video and bringing this product to our attention.

    • FWIW – I can say we have had tremendous success with the Tattler reusable lids. We bought ours from The Berkey Guy, but you can get them anywhere (though he had the best price at the time and of course is a sponsor of our community). That was with the traditional water bath and/or pressure canning method though. I have no experience with this dry vac system and no idea if Tattlers will work with it.

  22. If you really want to speed up production, get an old air compressor tank and run it inline between your pump and your canner. Run a valve between the tank and the canner.
    Now you use your vacuum pump to vacuum out all the air in the tank and lines. When you seal up your canner and want to seal you simply open your valve between the tank and the canner and woosh. Instavacuum.
    If you could come up with a way to mount a gauge/switch so anytime the vacuum in the tank drops below 29 the pump kicks in and turns off again above 29.
    If you think about it, if the pump were dealing with vacuum while you were loading and unloading the canner it would only take a few seconds to apply vacuum then release and start unloading again.
    As I said, this only would be helpful in a high capacity situation, but it would speed things up and also allow you to put the tank and pump outside so it wasn’t so loud in the house.

  23. How likely would bending the lids be a cause of failure; like what you experienced in the video? Are the lids robust enough to resist bending?

  24. We live in Canada and were able to order the Vacucanner. It works great! In addition to dry staples, I might try dry canning some hard candy and other treats.

  25. Could the used coffee bags with the vent hole be re-used to store dry goods using this? I imagine you wouldn’t want to use stuff that could be crushed like dehydrated veggies but for brown rice, beans, and the like, I imagine it could work.

  26. Jack,
    Just getting caught up on some of the videos (and podcasts) and I wanted to mention that you shouldn’t necessarily throw away that jar. I’ve seen lots of jars over the years with slightly uneven rims that work fine when you pressure can with them, because the rubber gasket portion becomes more malleable with heat and form fits to the jar. This might not be the case when using only a vacuum. I’ve used the Foodsaver for years, but mostly on packaging and not jars, and this looks like an interesting gadget to look into. Thanks for the video.

    • You may be right, but I’d say the potential cost incurred by a questionable jar it would just be better to toss and replace any that weren’t perfect. I’d rather buy another jar than have even a 1% greater risk of a jar unsealing.
      It would be worth the cost just to not have to keep your pressure canner and vacuum canner jars separate.