October 5, 2010
When you spend as much time in the field as our Sportsman’s News team, it’s safe to say we process more than our fair share of game and fish. Two chest freezers and one standup have a home in my garage and are usually filled with salmon, trout, elk, deer and other various game which has been processed into burger, sausages, fillets and other forms of edible goodness. My family definitely enjoys the harvesting part and processing them is an enjoyable family affair as well.
To make sure our processed food has the longest shelf life in our freezer, we use the L.E.M. MAXVAC. This unit isn’t what I consider your small, throw in a drawer, disposable vacuum sealer. The MAXVAC is a hardcore, top of the line vacuum sealer which can handle years and years of use. It can process for hours at a time to accommodate anyone’s day to day needs, up to the professional end users who package thousands of pounds of game and fish each and every year.
The L.E.M. MAXVAC is a very simple unit to setup and operate. My ten year old daughter was able to pull this unit out of the box, read the instructions and start vacuum packing some freshly caught catfish in less than ten minutes. The end result is a one pound package of fish with no air in it which will give me a good solid year of shelf life in my freezer. The operation is as simple as plugging in the power cable, turning the unit on, loading your goods to be sealed into an L.E.M. vacuum bag and hitting the start button. Once you hit the start button, the air will be siphoned out by the high powered vacuum. When all of the air is gone, the bag will be sealed with an extra wide heating element which makes for a long lasting seal. The unit is also equipped with a manual seal button. This button is used when you opt to make your own sized bags out of rolls of bag material instead of using the premade quart and gallon options available. This comes in handy when you want to package a whole salmon for future use on the BBQ. You can cut your bag to the appropriate length, seal one end with the manual seal button, insert your fish and start the vacuum process. You now have a fish that will last until you are ready for the family picnic.
I’ve tested and used vacuum sealers for many years and until we started using the MAXVAC, I wasn’t very impressed with their results. I’ve burnt up more than my fair share of units do to the heavy usage and demand we put on them. This unit will cost you two to three times what a small countertop unit will cost you, but you won’t be looking to replace it every year either. We know of several Alaskan fishing lodges that use this unit for processing thousands of pounds of fish for clients each and every year and work for three to five hours a day during the season and are still going strong. If your unit doesn’t get out all of the air or make a good solid seal, you will start throwing away valuable meat and fish due to freezer burn. This alone makes it worth the added dollars for a L.E.M. MAXVAC. See our compete video product review of this product at http://www.sportsmansnews.com
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