We use vacuum sealing on board for a variety of purposes: extending foodstuff life, protecting valuable mechanical parts from moisture damage, reducing package size and isolating smelly or messy garbage. In the past, we’ve always used 8-inch and 11-inch continuous roll bags. These work well for most applications, but not so well for breads. It’s difficult to seal them properly without crushing. Ideally we’d freeze breads, but our freezer has no space after we’ve loaded it with meats for longer trips.
This year we bought four 6-quart vacuum seal canisters. The canisters are 11 inches tall with an 8.5-inch diameter, the biggest FoodSaver sells. At $25 each, the canisters aren’t cheap, but they look and feel solid, and are attractive enough to sit on a counter if we had the space. We filled the canisters with croissants, pita bread, outdoor buns and small loafs. Opening and resealing the canisters to periodically remove items over the course of several weeks was simple and efficient using the attachment that came with our sealer.
Everything lasted at least 3 times beyond their freshness date. The croissants and outdoor buns lasted particularly well—3 weeks instead of the best-before date of about 4 to 5 days. Moisture seemed to be the main life-reducer rather than staleness. The salty crust on one bread particularly attracted moisture. Next time we might try including a moisture-absorber such as Ever Fresh.
Overall we were pleased with the canisters and likely will buy some different sizes for storing dry goods and perhaps for marinating. We also liked the fact the canisters are reusable, more so than the bags, so are more environmentally-friendly.