This is written to share my approach to keeping my pecans fresh.
The bottom line is that I now vacuum pack my pecans in a TV2 bag and store them in the refrigerator.
I originally thought that the best way to keep nuts fresh was to simply put them in a Mason Jar and vacuum out the air. However, I found out that doing this dried out my pecans because they were exposed to a high vacuum, with lots of space inside the Mason jar for moisture to evaporate. Just as bad, being un-refrigerated, the pecans naturally decayed, losing both their color and flavor over time. I was distraught because I loved having pecan halves spread over my blueberry pancakes, smothered in real maple syrup and whipped cream. (OK, I know that this may be a bit over the top on calories, but let’s not be judgmental.) So I had to find another way to keep my pecans fresh after I opened the bag.
I tried to think this through. I reasoned that storing my pecans in a TV2 bag might be much better than storing them in a vacuum jar because the TV2 bag minimizes the empty space surrounding food and thereby minimizes dehydration.
But that was not enough. I also needed to keep the pecans from decaying, and this required refrigeration. I did both, and it worked. I now vacuum pack my pecans in a TV2 bag and store them in my refrigerator. My wife now tells me that I am gaining weight.
The new ThriftyVac® Full Service (TVFS) vacuum bag works with heat-sealing vacuum machines, yet remains resealable. Now you can use an electric vacuum sealer to vacuum pack your food in a resealable bag, without needing vacuum hoses or adapters. The key is an innovative technique, combined with a special bag design (patent pending), that lets the TVFS bag temporally hold a vacuum even when it is partially open.
It works like this:
Place your food inside the TVFS bag and press the seal nearly completely closed, leaving 1/4 inch open at one end.
Next, place the TVFS bag inside the vacuum sealer and start vacuuming.
Turn off the vacuum sealer when the bag is fully packed (the moment the heating strip turns on).
Open the vacuum sealer, withdraw your vacuum packed bag, and press the open segment of the seal closed.
Please see the demonstration video below:
Reusable and Low Cost
To reuse the vacuum bags that ordinarily come with electric vacuum sealers, you must cut off the segment that was melted shut. This shortens the bag and can make it unusable. In contrast, the resealable TVFS bag can be vacuum packed and re-entered multiple times and stay the same size.
Best yet, the TVFS Vacuum Bag is half the price of “one-and-done” vacuum bags, costing just 25 cents each, plus shipping. The TVFS Vacuum Bag is sold in packages of 20, and is now available on www.thriftyvac.com and Amazon.com.
More Good News for Heat Sealer Owners
Starting February 19, 2015, all orders for ThriftyVac® Mason Jar Vacuum Packing Lids 5-Packs (which include the vacuum pump), will include a free Vacuum Hose Adapter. The Vacuum Hose Adapter mates a heat sealer’s 3/16-inch vacuum hose to the ThriftyVac® Check Valve. Thus you can use your existing vacuum sealer machine to vacuum pack ThriftyVac® Mason Jar Vacuum Lids as well as the ThriftyVac® System that vacuum packs bags.
This is a brief update with news that you can use.
Holiday Special: 20 Free TV2 Vacuum Bags with Purchase of the ThriftyVac® System
Buyers of the ThriftyVac® System will get a package of 20 free TV2 bags with their purchase. This special will last through December 31, 2014.
ThriftyVac® Vacuum Bottle Stopper Price Reduction
In mid-October we shipped all the preorders for the ThriftyVac® Vacuum Bottle Stopper, along with a $5 rebate. That rebate reduced the cost to $11.95 for a set of four including the vacuum pump, and $9.95 for a set of four without the vacuum pump (which Kickstarter backers already have). We have now passed on this price reduction to all buyers. The ThriftyVac® Vacuum Bottle Stopper holds a vacuum for months, compared to just days for conventional vacuum stoppers. Further, it is the most dynamic product of its type – making an impressive “swoosh” when you pull up the check valve to release the vacuum. Even though the holiday season is drawing to an end, the ThriftyVac® Vacuum Bottle Stopper is an ideal gift for a person who has everything, including ordinary vacuum bottle stoppers. Both the ThriftyVac® System and Vacuum Bottle Stoppers are sold on www.ThriftyVac.com and Amazon.com.
Several of my Kickstarter Backers have suggested that I add a vacuum bottle stopper to our product line. We have now acted on those suggestions and will sell our vacuum stoppers online by the end of October, plenty of time for holiday presents. Check out the video below that we posted on YouTube at http://youtu.be/Llv8QEI9raA.
You may pre-order the ThriftyVac® Vacuum Bottle Stopper now and get priority delivery by sending a PayPal payment to firstname.lastname@example.org. They are sold in packages of four: $14.95, plus $1.95 shipping, without the vacuum pump; and $16.95, plus $2.95 shipping with the vacuum pump. Orders with the pump ship in an attractive color box and make a great gift item.
The ThriftyVac® Vacuum Bottle Stopper draws a stronger, longer lasting vacuum than similar products, which is important for preserving flavor.
More news to come shortly regarding other significant developments.
This past week we celebrated the first anniversary of the ThriftyVac® Kickstarter project. Once again, thank all of you for providing the support that enabled our commercial launch.
Over the past year we have made several significant product improvements. First, we improved the seal between the outer bag and the Check Valve by adding added a food-grade silicone rubber sleeve around the Check Valve stem. See photo below. The rubber sleeve creates an airtight seal between the Check Valve and the outer bag. This tight seal gives you more time to close the food bag, before air starts seeping back in.
Another important improvement was eliminating the sharp corner at the base of the sealing ramp in favor of a “ski slope” design. This continuous gentle slope minimizes bending stresses on the food bag’s seal, and thereby promotes better vacuum retention.
We also changed the color of the Housing to a brighter white that better matched the white color of the pump. Finally, to increase the life of the outer bag, we eliminated all sharp edges around the periphery of the Housing.
Some customers wanted to use their existing electric pumps to evacuate either the ThriftyVac® outer bag or the Mason Jar Vacuum Lids. In some cases they wanted to use the vacuum hose that comes with electric vacuum packing machines, while in other cases they wanted to use a battery-powered, hand-held vacuum device. We accommodated both needs. We created a “Vacuum Hose Adapter” that is simply a silicone rubber tube surrounded by a plastic shell. One end of the adapter fits over the end of the vacuum hose, and the other end fits over the Check Valve.
The adapter for battery-powered vacuum devices is simply the rubber boot on the bottom of the ThriftyVac® Vacuum Pump. All you have to do is slip the rubber boot off the end of the ThriftyVac® Vacuum Pump and sit it atop the Check Valve. You can then place the section end of a hand-held electric vacuum pump on top the rubber boot, and start vacuuming.
Finally, we also created an adapter that allows people to use our premier TV2 vacuum bags with their electric vacuum packing machines. Since the TV2 costs just 1/3 the price of comparable vacuum bags, existing owners of electric vacuum packing machines can now vacuum pack their food more economically.
ThriftyVac® Web Site
In addition to selling on Amazon.com, we now have our own Web site, “ThriftyVac.com.” Visitors can now see all of our demonstration videos at one place, and purchase all of our products, except the adapters. We will start selling adapters after the production tooling is up and running.
TV2 Vacuum Bags
The ThriftyVac® TV2 vacuum bags are now available in large quantities. You can maximize your savings by buying them in bulk, with a limit of 200 bags per order (ten packages of 20 bags). When bought in bulk, the shipping cost is only $5.75, which is less than 3 cents a bag for a 200-bag order. These prices are only available on our ThriftyVac® Web site.
Finally, last week we started advertising ThriftyVac® on television, and will soon roll out our campaign nationally.