How to Vacuum Seal a Mason Jar

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About: I am a photographer and ex-Engineering Student with more than just a curious mind. I use my knowledge about photography and basic engineering to create stunning videos for my YouTube channel (madsciencehacks...

Intro: How to Vacuum Seal a Mason Jar

Lets get started!

In this quick life hack, I'll show you how to make a super cheap vacuum sealer that you can use to vacuum seal mason jars! A really great build if you're a prepper!

Here's what you'll need

  • A 'Mason' jar - I used an empty jam jar that a friend was about to put in the trash can.
  • A syringe - Any syringe will do. Bigger is better.
  • 8 inches of air line tubing (pet store)
  • 2 check valves (pet store)
  • and a 3 way air line connector (Pet store)

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The easiest way to follow along with this Instructable, is to watch the video above or on my channel by clicking this link - http://bit.ly/1ODLIwG

Step 2:

Lets start by cutting 4 pieces of air line tubing to about 2 inches in length

Step 3:

Take 1 of the pieces, and cut one end at an angle like this.

Step 4:

Attach the other 3 pieces to the 3 way air line connector, Just like this.

Step 5:

Grab a check valve and for markings that say IN and OUT.

Step 6:

Attach the Input side of one check valve to the center of the 3-way connector and the syringe to any other side.

You should have something that looks like the last picture.

Step 7:

Next, unscrew the lid of the jar and drill a 4 millimeter hole in the center. I say 4 millimeters because the outside diameter of the air line I used was 5 millimeters. Try and make a hole that's half the size of the air line for best results! - So if your air line is 6mm , make the hole 3-4mm for the tightest fit.

Push the angled piece of air line that you cut earlier,through the hole.

Step 8:

Attach the input side of the other check valve to the lid and screw it back onto the jar.

Attach the 3-way connector to the check valve on the lid

It should look like the last picture.

Step 9:

Now begin pumping the syringe until you can't pull back the plunger.

I suggest using a bigger syringe to speed up the process.

Step 10:

You can undo the vacuum by simply detaching the check valve on the lid.

You can use this idea to extend the shelf life of anything from food to ammunition primers and powders.

If you've made it this far, congratulations!


If you'd like to see this vacuum sealer in action, just watch the video here -

Subscribe to my channel by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1ODLIwG

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57 Discussions

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cjraabe

3 years ago on Introduction

Great video! Also the one about removing the air from plastic bags. I'm not much of a food scientist, so please bear with me. Would this keep nuts and nut flours from going rancid without refrigeration? And can it really replace traditional canning, which I believe, perhaps wrongly, used the boiling water bath to kill organisms that spoil food or cause illness?

8 replies

no! it will not replace, traditional canning. and if there is even a small amount of water in the material, a vacuum will pull the water out. nuts do have some moisture, and could depreciate their quality. as the water vapor will null the vacuum.

with traditional canning, sterilizing in the boiling water for at least seven to ten minutes. when you put the lid on while hot, it will try to form a vacuum. but the water vapor will fill the vacuum. and a vacuum, will not prevent extremely dangerous anaerobic ptomaine and other bacteria from forming that thrives without air.

I'm not sure what you are saying about traditional canning. My definitions are canning in a boiling water bath for ingredients with a high acid content like tomatoes and canning in a pressure cooker for ingredients with lower acid contents. . .

yes i have watched, my mother, grandmother, and aunts do this for many years. and even something, called blanching to preserve food. and i am sure my mother, explaining to me if it is not done right. people can get sick and die. even how to sterilize the two part lids, in the pressure cooker where the boiling point of the water is higher than at normal atmosphere. and the inner lid, is loosely placed over the jar. and that the outer ring is not sealed until the end, so their is no danger of the jars exploding.

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KristinM5cjraabe

Reply 3 years ago

I like this hack, but you are correct. This would only remove air, not any organisms that would spoil foods. This may be a better idea for seeds, rice and other "dry" foods. My only issue with this is you can't stack the jars with the check valves on them and you would have to continue to purchase tubing and valves (although tubing is relatively inexpensive, not sure about the valves tho)

yes it would be neat, is someone could figure out how to vacuum and seal at the same time. so that you, did not have to leave the check valve in. and the one thing about these cheap check valves, is that they do occasionally fail. most especially when too much moisture or material collects in them.

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roz_rustycjraabe

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

We have been storing raw nuts for 20 years. We have used a food sealer with the attachment for jars and have processed nuts for many years. We actually stored some raw almonds and cashews for many years and didn't start to notice any taste of rancidity until they were 10 years old. That's in a cool (probably never over 70 degrees), dark shed. In a root cellar it would be even better.

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This will work for most dry materials. Wet materials will already have some bacteria in them that must be pasteurized before storage, Thus the boiling is necessary. Pulling a vacuum on a wet package will ultimately fail due to the fact the water will "evaporate" into the vacuumed space thus losing the benefit and likely allowing leaks. You could vacuum seal a wet item and then freeze. It will them keep much better than just freezing alone and will prevent freezer burn.

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Thanks to both KristinM5 and bill.harvey.100. Your comments verify my concerns. I'm going to try this or the plastic bag method with my nut flours.

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KyleTheCreator

3 years ago

Fantastic instructable! Interesting technique to preserve foods and ammo. I was even thinking that this could be useful for science projects. Keep up your science madness!

5 replies

Thanks Kyle!

What I created here is basically a vacuum chamber. Perfect to test how a vacuum affects physical objects (like marshmallows), water and sound!

yes this is a neat use for this in science enthusiasts. however i no longer, use this method for my vacuum chambers. kind of neat though, to watch water boil at room temperature. or fill a balloon, without any additional air. don't put any living animal in it, it would make a horrible mess. never got around, to trying this out on popcorn.

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IrinaL

3 years ago on Introduction

Super smart - thank you!!! I was looking for it!!!

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I like the check valve idea and also I wanted to say what a great video you made

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luani

Question 7 months ago

Great instructable, but do you have a link where it is possible to buy these materials?

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charliewinters

2 years ago

As far as sealing the tube to remove the valve, I would reckon that one could use a very hot pair of pliers to crimp the hose melting the end together. Then you could cut off the tube above the crimp.

Another option would be to make the valve flush with the lid by turning it down sideways so that it is as near flush as possible. Then you could glue on a ring to the lid that allows the jars to be stacked.

If you get some funding to do it, it would be easy enough to design a lid that could be mass produced all in one piece of plastic to simplify it. Just hook it up to your vacuum pump/syringe, and viola. Vacuum sealed jar.

As far as storing any food stuffs, it is highly recommended by food safety professionals that one should not store food in a dry pack jar.

This could be useful for all sorts of dry supplies though.

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sydkahn

3 years ago on Introduction

What's stopping you from putting a short piece of plastic attached to the mason jar - and pump until it is collapsed - then heat sealing it with a very hot pair of pliers.

I had something like this where a small tape tab was used to seal the hole once it was vacumend out ... like the tab-checks on http://pump-n-seal.com/shop.html

or bags like http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-Quart-sized-Vacuum...

this looks promising too - http://beyondseals.en.alibaba.com/product/75886812...