I've been using a basic $50 Foodsaver from Kroger to seal my meats for cooking them sous vide. Unfortunately, it does not have a "liquids" setting, so I can't really add a liquid flavoring. While using only dry seasonings can still be tasty, I'm tired of putting up with this limitation. Does anyone know of an inexpensive vacuum sealer that won't suck all of the liquid out? My current one doesn't even fully seal the bag if there is even residual liquid.
To the best of my knowledge, to vacuum seal liquids, you have to have a chamber type vacuum sealer, and they are very expensive. One way to get around this is to freeze the liquid solid and then vacuum pack it with the food to be cooked (obviously doesn't work with liquids that don't freeze, like alcohol.)
The sealer that comes with the Sous Vide Supreme has a setting for liquids- it just seals without vacuuming. So the essential idea is to use less pressure (not vacuum as much). A fully vacuum sealed liquid will boil. If a sealer has a manual stop button or a lower setting, you can try to use it to seal liquids.
I haven't tried this, and in fact I just received my chamber vacuum machine this afternoon, in part to get around this problem, but I happened to see an interesting solution(?) to this problem online. Simply seal the liquid or whatever in a Ziploc bag, squeezing as much air out of it as is reasonably possible, and then put the bag inside the FoodSaver bag and run the vacuum as usual.
Even if the Ziplock pops open due to mishandling, the seal on the FoodSaver bag should still hold.
Good luck -- if it works, it will certainly be cheaper than a chamber vac!