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Old 04-14-2008, 11:16 PM   #141
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Reynolds Handi-Vac revisited

I'm in the evaluation phase...with this reply post.

I had heard of this product for the last year or so, but had been using a FoodSaver.
I read all the reply posts here and shopped for one today. I found the simple starter Handi-Vac at one local Target store. Most were sold out. Wallmart in my area stopped selling them for some dumb reason.

First off, the price. There were basic units left on the shelf that have 3 qt. bags. One unit had a $3.00 instant rebate sticker on it. My total price
was $ 3.69. How could I pass that up? I bought some coppertop batteries for it.

Next stop was the supermarket where I bought a pack of chicken drumsticks and a pack of chicken thighs. Also some green onions.
While at the supermarket, I found the same unit "on sale" for $10.99.
One thing Target didn't have was extra bags. The supermarket did.
14 bags for $3.99. Not bad. I bought a pack. (I'll need to go online to order bigger bags).

I got home, carefully razored the package open and attached the reciept to it (in case I want to return it).

I looked at undoing the door to the battery compartment when my finger hit the units ON button. It started working...cheapie alkalines are included!

I semi froze the chicken as I do with FoodSaver, so the juices don't start coming out during the vacuum process. I placed 3 pieces of chicken in the qt. bag and sealed the bag and pressed the unit onto the seal circle.

Nothing happened. I then moved the swivel head of the unit around and found the sweet spot. Aha! You need to move the head of unit around untill you get some action. No wonder they put the head on a swivle.

Air got drawn out of the bag, and when the unit motor made a deeper sound, I stopped 3 seconds later. Repeated same with chicken legs.

I also Handi-Vac'ed some scallions to go in the veg compartment.
I plan to see how long they stay vacuumed. Non-blanced vegetables give off gases and are surely bound to not keep vacummed.

I've yet to try the gallon bags to freeze a roast. My current FoodSaver does it just fine. I always partially freeze roasts before FoodSaving.

Reynolds says "just bag the thawed meat, vacuum seal it and put it in the fridge. Hmmm, I may try that, but I have my doubts. Even FoodSaver says to partially freeze meats before vacume sealing.

Oh ya..lol what's it with some sites calling it "vacuum" , others "vacume."

I'll post my findings in a day or so...(actually, the chicken wasn't that frozen...I let it get really cold, but still pliable). We'll see
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:25 PM   #142
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Caslon, one of the things I do before I put foods into my Handi-Vac bags is to wrap them securely in plastic wrap. That may sound dumb, but I learned that if I do that, then I can remove them when they are frozen in order to thaw them without being in the Handi-Vac bag. I just put them into a normal zipperlock bag to thaw in the refrigerator. This way, no meat juices are left in the Handi-Vac bag and I can use the bag again, within reasonable safety. I always wash it out with hot soapy water anyway.

I KNOW the directions recommend tossing the bag if meats, etc. have been stored but, so far, none of the meat juices have leaked into the bags I have used. Just my experience/observation.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:42 PM   #143
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Not a bad idea, if you can get the saran wrap to tightly seal odd shaped pieces of meat. Sometimes I can't.

Good tip tho. You also don't wash away the "oil" on the ziplock seal.

As for disgruntled feedback...it's mostly from owners who had a bad batch of bags. One Amazon feedback edited his bad review after Reynolds sent him a coupon for a free batch of new bags.

Anyways...lol..my vacuum (or vacume) packed stuff is freezing now. Hope the bags seals hold. As for the scallions in the veg drawer? I plan to use them in the next 2 weeks anyways.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:01 PM   #144
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I just bought another one of these after the first one had stopped working properly. Hope that THIS one lasts longer.

Though I'm NOT going to use this as the primary vacuum bag sealer. The Foodsaver will be for packaging and sealing items for long-term storage in the freezer.

The Reynolds unit will used mainly for vacuum sealing cold cuts, cheese and other items stored in the fridge.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:15 PM   #145
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I hope you have as good longtime luck with your new unit as I have had with my first.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:35 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
I hope you have as good longtime luck with your new unit as I have had with my first.


Thanx, but I'm not going to rely on this unit entirely. The Foodsaver will do the bulk of the vaccum sealing for long-term storage in the freezer.

That might be why the Reynolds thing had wimped out so prematurely.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:09 AM   #147
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I also noticed a couple days ago that mine was not vacuuming down a bag. It was a bag a had reused several times. Turns out it was the bag.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:23 AM   #148
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Could be, but I just don't have the confidense in this product that I once had when I tried it and liked it before.

I only bought a replacement because I still have lots of the bags, and it would be a shame to let food spoil in them when they can be vacuum sealed and air-tight.
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:42 AM   #149
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well. I know this is an older thread.. but.. our landlord got one and he loves it. I kept looking at it for the past week or so and decided to get one..
I ordered one off ebay, shipped and everything it came to 8 bucks.. I saved a couple dollars.. big whoop.. I almost didn't want to win so that I could have it now.. although I don't have anything that needs freezing LOL.. And while I was at Walmart I picked up some bags.. I'm going to be needing gallon size as I'll be making lots of spaghetti sauce (my parents are growing tomatoes...)
I am eagerly awaiting it though!!
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:24 PM   #150
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You don't need to wait to freeze something to use the Handi-Vac bags. Just about everything loose in the pantry, refrigerator, garage, first-aid kit, and car are vacuum-sealed. Amazing the things you learn to use the bags for to protect and increase the storage life for.
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