I am James, the husband of Abigail. I have ‘borrowed’ her blog to write about something important to me.
I thought that some of Abigail’s readers also have husbands like me who are big on hunting and fishing.
Table of Contents
- Why Do You Need Best Vacuum Sealer For Fish And Game?
- 5 HUGE Benefits Of Vacuum Sealer For Outdoorsmen
- How To Pick The Best Vacuum Sealer For Fish + Game?
- Reviews On Foodsaver Gamesaver Models
- Which Model Is The Best For Avid Hunters and Fishers?
- Pro Tips For Sealing Liquid-Rich Foods
- (*) Best Commercial Vacuum Sealer for Fish and Game
- 6 Essential Notes When Vacuum-Sealing Your Fish, Game:
Why Do You Need Best Vacuum Sealer For Fish And Game?
What do you do with dozens of pounds of venison or tuna?
How do you preserve your meat in top quality for a long time?
All that you need is the best vacuum sealer to preserve your fish and game!
Vacuum and seal, freeze them, and when you open them months later, your fish and meat will still be as fresh as the day you caught them.
You say you can preserve your hunt just using butcher paper or Ziplock freezer bags. They may help, but the meat will not stay long:
- The meat kept in the freezer for a long time develops freezer burn – that ugly, brownish-grayish matter on top of meat;
- When you cook it, it’s dry, tasteless and low nutritional value.
Get yourself best vacuum sealer for fish and wild game, and prolong the enjoyment of the fruits of your hunt.
- Vacuum seal and freeze all the fish and game, and you can enjoy them for years to come;
- When you open the freezer bags, your meat will be as fresh as the day you vacuum sealed them without freezer burns.
We have many brands of vacuum sealer on the market.
But with my experience, I can show you the 3 of my favorite Foodsaver Gamesaver models that are best suited for hunters and fishers:
GameSavers Comparison Chart
Choosing vacuum sealer bags for your meat is as important as selecting a machine.
Selecting the right bags will help you achieve the highest vacuum sealing efficiency and avoid freezer burns. Those are our ultimate goal.
Here are my tips on choosing food-grade bags and rolls:
- Only use high-quality food bags and rolls, especially when you want to freeze your food for a long time;
- Use the bags and rolls that best fits your vacuum sealer;
- Use different bag sizes according to your food sizes.
I highly recommend you to use the top quality Foodsaver bags and rolls below:
(*) Best way to preserve your hunt fresh as long as possible:
5 HUGE Benefits Of Vacuum Sealer For Outdoorsmen
Make sure that you have understood the importance of vacuum sealer machine.
Before we make comparisons and reviews to find the best one, let us give you the HUGE BENEFITS of buying and using a vacuum sealer for your game – things you might not know.
1- Your catch in the freezer is preserved in best taste and quality, without freezer burn
- When you put food in the freezer without vacuum sealing it, it will have freezer burn, that brownish-grayish matter;
- The long freezer time will also dry out your meat or fish, and when you eat it, it will taste like cardboard;
- When you vacuum seal before freezing, you seal in the freshness of your food;
- Even if you eat it years later, it will taste and look as fresh as the day you vacuum sealed it. That is great!
2- Your bait will be preserved by the most professional way
- That is a big help especially if you are using natural baits like eels, ballyhoo, fish heads or sea clams;
- If you leave it out, it will lose its freshness, and the smell will change;
- Vacuum seal your bait to keep it fresh, and when you store it inside your freezer, it will not leave any unwanted odors;
- If you are using other kinds of baits that don’t need to be kept fresh, you can still use the vacuum sealer to organize your bait box;
- Different kinds of baits for different types of fishes. You can sort them out, seal in labeled bags, and make things comfortable and convenient for your next trips.
3- Protection of essential items is critical
- When you go fishing or hunting, you never know when you’ll end up wet, so it is good to carry some essentials in waterproof bags, or vacuum sealed bags;
- You can put together your emergency kit with your medicines along with matches, flashlight, map and so on;
- Put inside one bag, and vacuum seal it to save space and to protect it from the water;
- I also put in another bag my wallet, cell phone and keys. So when I need something, it is easy to pick the right see-through bag containing it;
- Aside from these emergency situations, you can also use the vacuum sealer to preserve your hooks and terminal tackles from getting rust on them.
4- You can have a very orderly and organized freezer
- Vacuum sealed bags are comparatively smaller in size, more compact, so it gives you more freezer space as compared to other kinds of containers;
- It is see-through, so you don’t have to claw your way through many bags, and you can quickly label it, too;
- You can have this same order and maximized space when you vacuum-seal your clothes and other essentials before putting inside your bag;
- Put underwear together, toiletries, photocopies of license or id for more organized luggage.
5- Tastier meals and easier transport
- Just because you are out in the wild, you eat like a wild man. You can bring some of the pasta your wife has prepared for you;
- Just vacuum-seal and keep in your freezer, and when you are ready to eat, re-heat using a microwave or by putting your food bag in a pot of hot water;
- And of course, you cannot bring the wild game or the fish you hunted still dripping with the water. Vacuum packaging is a great way to transport your harvest. No smell, no unwanted mess!
How To Pick The Best Vacuum Sealer For Fish + Game?
This is a question of hunters and fishers when looking for a vacuum sealer.
A unit may be the best for you but may not be the best for the others.
Your answer will depend on:
- Your budget;
- Your needs – the criteria that you deem most important.
The best model for avid hunters and fishers should have:
- Good vacuum force
- High-efficiency sealing
- Large capacity
- Easy operation
- Convenient carrying
Quickly, we highly recommend the following Gamesaver models because they meet the essential criteria:
Why do we pick them?
What are the good and bad sides of them?
Let’s dig deeper…
Reviews On Foodsaver Gamesaver Models
Our reviews have compiled various feedbacks from HC+ members.
They are Pros in the field of hunting and fishing, and we feature their words good or bad to give you a thorough and unbiased analysis.
Let’s come to the first one…
#1- Foodsaver GameSaver Big Game [BEST]
I so love to go to the wild myself on weekends and live as hunters do – hunting for food and bringing it home to the Missus to cook into a marvelous meal.
Other times, it’s a weekend of fishing.
Every hunter knows how precious the meat is, and would want to use all methods to preserve it:
- First, a big game of deer can give meat for months to come;
- Second, as it is the wild, there are other animals eager to steal the meat from you.
It is good to quickly put away the meat to keep it both fresh and safe.
I’ve used the GAMESAVER BIG GAME to seal in the freshness from the wild to my kitchen.
Why I love the Gamesaver model
This vacuum sealer is built specifically for hunters, like me.
It is rugged in structure, and has all features for convenience, usability, portability and can withstand the harsh outdoors.
(+) Its cost is reasonable.
- It is an excellent price to pay for the efficient and usable equipment.
(+) The design is specific to outdoors:
- The Gamesaver Big Game is rugged and durable;
- Its size and weight do not make it difficult for individuals to carry around;
- The machine has a built-in storage for the rolls, and a built-in cutter;
- It has a side compartment for storage of accessory hose that is used for vacuum-sealing jars/containers or attachment to a quick marinator;
- The Big Game unit comes with a 15-foot power cord that can easily connect to the DC power of a vehicle like a pickup truck, boat, RV and more. It only requires 12 volts to run;
- I highly appreciate the DC adapter. I like to work at the back of my pickup with the Gamesaver plugged in the adapter;
- The buttons are large and rubberized – made for our large hands and fingers. They are also non-slip buttons;
- The Big Game model has a carrying handle that makes it easy to bring around with just one hand;
- After using, the machine can stand vertically to save on counter space, and for easy carrying in your vehicle.
(+) The Gamesaver Big Game has a powerful motor for numerous seals:
- With a power of 240 watts, the Gamesaver can vacuum quickly and efficiently;
- The model can do continuous seals, up to 80 seals, or up to 240 pounds of game meat. Therefore, it can help serious hunters perform onerous tasks;
- You can clean, cut up and vacuum-seal big games like deer, elk or wild boar;
- If we are a group, we divide the game among ourselves, so each one goes home with something.
(+) The vacuum sealer is easy to operate:
- To lock in the bag in place, pull down its lever to CLOSE;
- To make a bag from your roll, press the SEAL button;
- To vacuum and seal, press the VACCUM & SEAL button;
- Easy to customize the size of plastic bags thanks to integrated bag storage and cutter;
- There is a LED to monitor the operation of the machine. And we will not have to guess.
- The trick is to pat-dry the meat or fish before vacuum sealing. You can also wrap them by butcher papers;
- Another way is to hang the bags in front of the model during sealing, and the liquid will stay down;
- If any liquid makes its way up, it is caught by the removable drip tray to prevent it from getting into the motor. The drip tray is dishwasher-friendly;
- Another great way to vacuum-seal your liquid-rich foods like the deer hearts is to use a foodsaver container.
The limitations of the Big Game
(-) Some hunters say they can’t continuously seal, because the unit overheats.
I haven’t had this problem because I can go 2 hours of vacuum-sealing, but maybe to avoid this, you can pause for 5-10 seconds in between.
(-) Others complain about the noise.
The Big Game machine is a powerful motor, so understandably, it would have a loud noise.
But this unit is made for outdoors, where there is no confined space, and thus, the sound is not amplified.
(-) I hope the next generation of the Big Game will have a place to store the 12V DC cord.
This Gamesaver Big Game can be your best friend in the wild. It will preserve your meat up to five times longer.
- Vacuum-sealing your game before freezing keeps away the freezer burn that will dry up the meat;
- When you open vacuum-sealed meat, it is as fresh and juicy as the day you caught it.
Whether you like to hunt wild boar, deer, or you want to go river fishing or deep-sea fishing; don’t leave home without your GameSaver Big Game.
Next is a beast…
#2- Gamesaver Titanium machine [Heavy-duty]
I am an avid outdoorsman; I love to hunt and fish.
Months ago, we got a couple of wild boars, and I thought it would be great to preserve a whole one for some roast pig on Abigail’s birthday.
The problem was it was 5 months away.
While I could still hunt on a nearer date, I was not particularly hopeful I could find a game that was the perfect size.
I would be distraught if I did not have this FoodSaver Titanium:
I cleaned the meat, put spices on it, and vacuum-sealed it before putting in the freezer.
Here’s the best part, Abigail’s birthday was last week, and the roast pig was not only beautiful to look at, but it tasted terrific.
I love this machine!
This Gamesaver Titanium is built specifically for professional outdoorsmen.
(+) It is sturdy and luxury:
- I was impressed with it by its shiny stainless steel finish;
- And have a beautiful deer medallion in the cover center.
(+) The design and features are simple but very functional:
- The big guy is straightforward to operate;
- The handle of the lid helps this model close and lock exceptionally easily;
- There are two huge, rubberized buttons on top to either seal or vac-seal;
- Beside it, there is a green led light to indicate the level of vacuuming;
- Once all done, the light becomes a steady red while sealing is going on. The light automatically shuts off once sealing is done;
- The Gamesaver model has a built-in roll holder and cutter for making food bags quickly;
- There is a removable drip tray that catches any liquids or crumbs, thus protecting the motor of the machine;
- The machine is also designed with a pair of handles to carry.
- The Titanium has a 240-watt motor with the dual piston pump;
- The remarkable feature makes it possible to vacuum faster and stronger than the other guys;
- That is why it can last up to 100 seals (single seals, not double seals) without overheating;
- That’s equivalent to 300 pounds of game meat being processed.
(+) The Gamesaver Titanium has dual sealing options
It has two seal options to choose from – repetitive and double seal:
- If you are doing single seal, but with many bags to seal, then choose repetitively;
- If you want dual seals on each bag, which is excellent if you need to preserve your spoils for long periods of time, then choose the DOUBLE seal.
(+) It has huge width capacity:
- The extra-long seal strip can accommodate up to 15 inches wide bags. It is best suited to the largest cuts of game;
- You would need the big roll bags when storing big animals, like elk, moose, hogs, or a whole salmon.
The limitations of the Titanium
It has a few quirks I am not entirely fond of, but I can live with them.
(-) The size is huge and bulky:
- So while this is for outdoorsmen, it is bulky to lug around;
- This machine would be great if you have an RV, and it gets a permanent space in your kitchen;
- Also, it must be plugged into an electrical outlet.
Perhaps the inventors have sacrificed portability for the power and ultra-long sealing strip.
(-) When using the double seal, it cannot last up to 100 seals:
- It is advertised as able to do 100 seals, which is true, but the manufacturer did not specify that when doing double seals, it can’t last up to these many seals;
- You have to rest it after 15 minutes. This will also help extend the life of your machine.
(-) It can be wasteful on plastic bags
Manufacturers also instruct leaving 3 – 5 inches on the top of plastic bags.
I thought this was somewhat wasteful, especially since I was already consuming such big bags to pack in large portions of meat.
To make up for it, I re-use these big bags the next time around, after a thorough cleaning.
(-) The unit is tall, and the bags tend to slide off even when it’s locked in
The unit is a bit tall, and the tendency is for the bags to slide off.
And you need to hold on the bags while it vacuums and seals.
This height is also a reason for wasting our expensive plastic bags.
(-) It is pricier than most
Since this is a powerful machine, it does come with a hefty price tag.
For me, though, it is a good investment if you are a serious outdoorsman.
Besides, it has other uses as well and is not limited to the game I catch.
I love the outdoors; like the smell of the wild, the sea.
I have a meat business and have suppliers of prime meat, but the game I catch is the sweetest meat of all.
Call me barbaric, but I love to go home and present the Missus with my catch of the day.
If you are a Professional hunter or butcher, the GameSaver Titanium is a significant investment.
In the last position is a handsome guy…
#3- FoodSaver GameSaver Wingman [Nice]
Our kitchen – like yours, maybe – is filled with my wife’s equipment and gadgets, which are frilly, decorative and often, pink.
Let me introduce you to a kitchen partner that is indeed made for us men – the Foodsaver GameSaver Wingman:
In design and function, it is made tough for big boys like us who like to hunt or fish.
Why I love the Wingman model
The model also has the same essential functions as best Foodsaver vacuum sealers for home users.
However, no wife would like this design in her kitchen, and it is great to have a kitchen gadget that is all mine.
The camouflage design is unique to outdoorsmen.
Also, the Wingman model is sturdy and compact.
- We can take down a 180 pounds of deer meat, clean it and vacuum-seal in smaller portions;
- The Wingman works great with small to medium-sized game, fowl or fish;
- Once sealed and frozen, it can last up to years in the freezer, yet stay fresh and juicy, without freezer burn.
My favorite thing about this unit is its design that is specific to outdoors.
As I keep saying, this is no wife’s kitchen toy; this is a ‘man toy’:
- The compact Gamesaver is made for traveling with its TRAVEL setting that makes sure the lid is locked and does not open during transit;
- There is a space to hide the electric cord so it does not get in the way;
- The Wingman unit has a built-in storage for rolls, and a built-in cutter for comfortable and convenient production of bags;
- The dashing sealer also has a quite powerful motor for numerous seals. It can do up to 60 consecutive seals or 180 pounds of game or fish;
- When we are traveling as a group and sharing the use of this vacuum-sealer, hours of sealing will not cause any problem.
Operating with its simple design is easy:
- Just press SEAL to make rolls, or to seal without vacuuming, or press VACUUM AND SEAL for the whole operation;
- You can also see LED lights that indicate the status of the operation and automatically shuts off when the process is done;
- The Wingman Gamesaver has the unique setting for wet foods or meat with juices or marinade. The “moist food” function helps you to extend the sealing time more than ordinary seals;
- It can also seal in liquid-rich food with its extra-wide sealing strip to make sure there is no leakage or failed seal.
The limitations of the Wingman
(-) Foremost, this unit is a bit pricier especially that it is somewhat limited and straightforward in functions.
Its key feature is its design, and if you want just to emphasize the ownership of this vacuum sealer, that it’s a ‘man toy,’ then you can splurge a few dollars more.
(-) The machine is only equipped with a motor of 120 watts that makes its suction vacuum not as fast and robust as the two Gamesaver models above.
(-) Some hunters pointed out they can only do 40 seals before they had to rest the unit to avoid overheating.
(-) This unit also does not come with connectors or adaptors that can be plugged in a vehicle’s 12-volt source.
So it has to be connected to an electrical outlet.
It just means I do the cleaning and the cutting in the RV or in the rented cabin, which is not a big deal.
(-) The absence of the handle also limits the portability of this Wingman model, although it is quite compact.
(-) Its small buttons are also not convenient for hunters and fishers when operating as the large buttons of the other two models.
If you are an outdoorsman who likes the rugged life of fishing and hunting, you can now preserve your game by using the Foodsaver GameSaver Wingman.
- You can clean, cut and vacuum-seal your harvest before you go home to the Missus.
- When it is all neat and tidy, you bet she would be much happier to cook your favorite meal!
Which Model Is The Best For Avid Hunters and Fishers?
For the answer, I will compare the three Gamesaver models based on these critical aspects:
- 1- Cost
- 2- Portability and Design
- 3- Performance and Capacity
The Titanium has an unpleasant price tag. It is the most expensive of the three Gamesaver models.
I think the Titanium machine is suitable for professional hunters and fishers who will get good ROI in the future.
The Big Game and Wingman are similar regarding initial cost.
However, while the Big Game possesses functions and designs specifically of severe hunters and fishers, the Wingman does not.
I can assert that the Big Game unit is a worthwhile tool for anyone who wants to preserve precious games away from freezer burn and spoilage.
- #1- Gamesaver Big Game
- #2- Gamesaver Wingman
- #3- Gamesaver Titanium
2- Portability and Design
Yes, the ability to carry is especially important when considering an outdoor machine!
Because we work and play outdoors, we want a unit that can also stand the outdoors.
The Wingman model is beautiful and compact. Its camouflage design can never be mistaken for any wife’s kitchen gadget.
But sadly it lacks a sturdy handle and an adapter for DC power like the Big Game model.
The Gamesaver Titanium is a giant, its size and weight are not easy to carry.
It also needs to be attached to an electrical outlet, so this can only be used when you are in your cabin or RV.
I think we should fix this giant on your counter!
In this aspect, the most portable and outdoor-friendly function is the BIG GAME.
- It is not bulky at a mere 8.3 lbs. And has a sturdy carrying handle;
- It has a built-in roll holder and cutter, a side panel to hide the accessory hose, and when not in use;
- The Gamesaver unit can also sit up vertically, thus taking up lesser counter space;
- The unique feature is that the Big Game has a 15ft power cord that I can attach unto the adapter for 12 volts power;
- It means we can process game meat and fish, then vacuum-seal them right on our vehicles, in the middle of nowhere;
- You can also buy a handy carrying bag for it. That is the great tool to organize all of your accessories.
3- Performance and Capacity
Perhaps no one can beat the Titanium beast in this aspect.
It surpasses the rest!
- The TITANIUM has a dual piston pump with the 240-watt motor that can vacuum air from the bag faster and stronger;
- It is also able to do 100 seals, or vacuum-seal 300 pounds of meat without overheating;
- The Gamesaver machine has an extra-long seal strip, able to accommodate 15 inches wide bag. Help you can vacuum-seal a whole mid-sized wild boar or whole salmon;
- It also has two settings for seal – single or double and the double seal is preferred when the bag contains massive meat inside.
The Gamesaver Titanium has excellent performance for heavy-duty tasks!
The next in rank in performance and capacity is the BIG GAME, which can do 80 seals or 240 lbs. of meat, with 240 watts power.
And in the last place is the WINGMAN, which only has 120 watts power, and best to use on small to mid-sized fish, game, and poultry.
After considering all the factors of the top 3 vacuum sealers for avid hunters and fishers:
- FoodSaver GameSaver Big Game
- FoodSaver GameSaver Titanium
- FoodSaver GameSaver Wingman
Pro Tips For Sealing Liquid-Rich Foods
Our raw proteins will always have liquid in it – they are wet/moist items, and the juices that come in our vacuum sealer will cause some damage so be careful.
Vacuum sealing liquids is a common problem of external vacuum sealer like our FoodSaver GameSaver models.
Here are some solution for sealing your raw fish and meat:
- You can pat-dry the meat or fish to remove moisture with a paper towel, and at the top edge of your bag, roll up some paper towel to absorb whatever left-over liquid is there;
- If you have a liquid marinade, freeze the meat or fish with it in the bag. After an hour or so, vacuum seal. The liquid would have frozen by then, and will not be sucked out. Pre-sealing is paramount for external vacuum sealers;
- A good trick is to hang the bag from the edge of the table or counter, so all liquids are at the bottom, then vacuum seal;
- Besides, the FoodSaver brand has also a product, Foodsaver barrier bags, which has moisture-absorbing pads to block liquids doesn’t get sucked out, but the price per pack is a bit hefty.
The above are personal vacuum sealers.
So what machine is suitable for commercial users?
Yes, if you are looking for…
(*) Best Commercial Vacuum Sealer for Fish and Game
I can assert that no vacuum sealer can beat the following machine regarding performance:
Among the brands and models, this is the Ferrari being the best commercial vacuum sealer for hunters and fishers.
Because of its top-notch features:
- The VacMaster VP210 machine has a super-powerful motor with a capacity of 482 watts + dual piston pump, so it can exhaust the air out of the chamber quickly;
- The VacMaster VP210 is a chamber machine, is also the best vacuum sealer for liquids because the pressure inside the bag and the chamber are the same; therefore, your fluids will not be sucked out;
- Its technology helps you forget the troubles encountered when vacuum sealing wet fishes or game meats;
- You can seal a large number of food bags without pausing;
- Its double seal helps keep food in the long run;
- The overall design may daunt you as too complicated, but once you get it, the chamber is easy to operate;
- Can be used with any brand of bags. A great thing to reduce the cost of bag material!
- Its features are extensive and do not limit you to vacuum sealing;
- The VacMaster VP210 chamber is also the best vacuum sealer for sous vide cooking;
- We can make a tasty liquid marinade for cuts of meat or fish and place it in the food-grade bags before putting them in the best sous vide container. Our flesh will be more flavorful after vacuum sealing;
- The machine is very durable. It looks like a silver box with bells and whistles.
- Its size and weight of 83 lbs., makes it difficult to bring around. At the same time, the big guy is not suitable for those who have a narrow kitchen;
- The VacMaster VP210 is a high-end machine, comes with a considerable price tag. Not budget friendly for home users.
6 Essential Notes When Vacuum-Sealing Your Fish, Game:
- Use top fillet knives to filter all the bones and fins to ensure your bags are not punctured;
- If you need to clean a large volume of fish, we recommend you should use the best electric fillet knives;
- As for your game meat, should apply the best boning knives for deboning;
- Put the bag flat and straight with the sealing strip;
- You should only use freezer food-grade bags for your fresh fish or game meat;
- Before sealing, you should divide your food into the diet suitable for individual or family that you intend;
- After sealing, let the heat seal cool down before throwing it into your freezer;
- Also, do not forget labeling for each food bag – this is very important for tracking!
(*) Last updated by James on Jan 14th, 2019.