Your Guide to Purchasing the Right Vacuum Tumbler for Your Process

Purchasing a vacuum tumbler can be a daunting task.

Do a quick Google search for “vacuum tumbler” and you will find thousands of options to choose from — all claiming to be the best on the market.

So how do you know which vacuum tumbler is right for YOUR specific meat product?

We laid out a new process below to help you choose.

Know What You Need

Before you start checking out vacuum tumblers online, make a list of what you need and any sizing or space limitations. This will help you weed out the options that do not work for your production line and make the search a lot easier.

Tumblers vs Massagers

Manufacturers will often use these two terms to describe the same equipment, but often not in the correct context.

The difference between the two is related to the speed and design of the machine.

Massaging is a slower and longer process designed to gently work the meat to maximize protein extraction.

Tumbling is a faster and more aggressive means of driving ingredients into a meat block. The focus here is on ingredient addition and pickup.

Not all tumblers make good massagers and not all massagers make good tumblers. In fact, there are very few manufacturers that make a design conducive to both applications.

It’s essential to know what you want to achieve: protein extraction (massager) or ingredient addition and pickup (tumbler).  (With this statement we are eliminating the fact our B series is the ideal platform to achieve both tumbling and massaging.  This needs to be reworked)

To Cool or Not To Cool…

Cooling the product while tumbling is the most effective way to improve yield and product texture while decreasing process times.

Not all products will benefit from cooling (take jerky for example), but most will, so you need to think through how you want to cool your product.

Integrated Cooling

Some manufacturers offer a glycol-jacketed tumbler with integrated cooling.

Be sure to check your local laws and regulations on cooling equipment and media as much of this equipment is manufactured in Europe and European standards don’t always align with U.S. laws.

You can learn more about integrated cooling options in this article.

External Chiller

It is often more efficient and no more expensive to install a standalone chiller that meets local and federal standards.

For those facilities that have multiple tumblers, these standalone chillers can be sized to serve multiple pieces of equipment.

Space and Capacity

Next, look at size and space limitations:

  • Floor Space – How much space do you have in your facility for the vacuum tumbler?
  • Processing Capacity – How much meat do you need to marinate in each batch?
  • Loading – How will you load the product, manually, automated dumper or vacuum loading?

Features & Options

Once you have this information, consider options or additional features you may want:

  • Lid Support – Do you want the lid attached to prevent damage or injury to the equipment and your personnel?
  • Additional Cleaning Ports – This may make change overs faster and easier for the person responsible for cleaning the equipment.
  • Ingredient Addition – Do you want to add ingredients while the tumbler is rotating?
  • Weighing System – Do you need to know the weight as you add product to the tumbler?

Henneken Brand Vacuum Tumblers

Now that you know what you need, it is time to choose the vacuum tumbler size that is right for you.

At Fusion Tech, we primarily carry two Henneken brand vacuum tumblers that you can test in our innovation center:

Type B Vacuum Tumbler

The Henneken Type B Vacuum Tumbler is the most popular tumbler in the world. Thousands of these tumblers operate daily on every continent, except Antarctica.

The popularity of the Henneken B-Series tumblers is due to their exceptional performance across a wide variety of protein applications, such as beef, poultry, pork and fish, as well as a wide variety of non-protein foods stuffs, such as fruit, nuts, candy, and more.   

With our uniquely designed helical fins, Henneken B-Series tumblers are adept at both tumbling and massaging. In addition to the traditional tumbling motion, these fins move product from the front to back and back to front. This “3-D” motion eliminates dead spots, improves product quality, and decreases processing times.   

Customers who have purchased a Type B vacuum tumbler have seen a marked increase in yields and consistency over their previous tumbler.

Other features included in a Type B Vacuum Tumbler:

  • Sturdy construction with precision drum.
  • Frequency controlled rotational speed ranging from 0.5 to 10 RPM.
  • Diagonal fins for controlled, turning, sliding, and gliding movements.
  • Touch screen controls are user friendly and programmable.
  • Ingredients can be added during the cycle.
  • Easy to maintain and easy to clean.

While those are the standard features available, every Henneken Type B Vacuum Tumbler will be customized to fit your specific needs.

To read more about the key features, click here.

Visit our YouTube channel here to see this vacuum tumbler in action.

Type CVM Vacuum Tumbler

The Henneken Type CVM Vacuum Tumbler is perfect for any sized processor looking to produce a wide variety of products from marinated meats to salads, gravies, sauces, and sausage batters.

In short, the CVM platform is the ideal equipment for the processor who needs broad functionality, the ability to make a diverse range of products and who has a multitude of batch sizes.

Due to the ability of the CVM vacuum tumbler to adjust to different angles, this platform is conducive to batch sizes ranging from 5-100% of capacity.

The Type CVM Vacuum Tumbler also features three interchangeable rotating mixing arms in addition to the tumbling arm. These mixing arms contribute to the broad diversity of applications this platform is suited for.

Some of the key features of the type CVM Vacuum Tumbler include:

  • A vacuum system that can be fully inspected and cleaned.
  • A fully serviceable system where every operational component is accessible and serviceable without having to cut into the tumbler to access components.
  • Ideal for multiple applications and batch sizes in a single platform.
  • Space saving footprint.

This piece of equipment is customizable to meet your specific needs. You can add a tumbling arm, mixing arm/rake, control panel connection to PC, a double jacketed cooling system, and more.

You can see more of the included features here.

You can see this vacuum tumbler in action by visiting our YouTube channel here.

Is the Type B Vacuum Tumbler or the CVM Vacuum Tumbler right for you?

Henneken brand vacuum tumblers are the best on the market when it comes to maintenance, cleanability, and durability.

If you would like to try one of these tumblers but you are not sure if you want to purchase it yet, we give you the option to test the product before purchasing it. You can schedule a test by visiting our Innovation Center.

If you have any questions about trying out or purchasing a tumbler or if you want to request a quote, contact the experts at Fusion Tech today. We are happy to assist you in any way we can and look forward to working with you!