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Old 01-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
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FoodSaver - my experience.

This weekend I made a large pile of sausage. Since it is fresh sausage (breakfast) and we can only eat so much I need to freeze it. The last time I did this I used the Ziplock bags with the air extractor. It works ok, but some of the bags lost seal and the bags are fairly expensive for freezer bags. Also my arm was plumb wore out by the end of it and you have to pump like a mad man to get the air out.

This time I remembered we have a Food Saver system. We were given this thing years ago for Christmas and we put it in the basement with the intention of using it. Well, it kinda got shuffled to a spot and was forgotten about. The closet it was housed in has the main water valve for the house and a few years ago we had to have the water main replaced to the house. While there were no geysers from this there was a bit more moisture left behind than we realized. When I cleaned the closet out to make a nice place to store canning/wine making and other preserving tools and products I noticed the Food Saver and the box was wrinkled and had some mold on it. I gave the box a quick clean up and then promptly forgot about it again.

Yesterday I get the machine out, open the box (breaking the factory seal) and get everything set up. As I have never used one before I figured a test run on some pens would give me the knack of it. The thing didn't work. At all. No lights, no sealing, no anything. I was not exactly happy.

So I make a run to Target to get a new one. I knew I would need extra bags anyways because the old one only comes with a short roll to get you started. I picked up the V3440 in black.

This thing worked really well. Doesn't take long once you get the feel for it to cut off a bag, seal one end, get the food in and then vacuum and seal. My only real gripe is the "20 seconds between operations" that you are advised to wait for the machine to cool. I got caught a few times with it telling me it was too warm and needed to cool. There was a whopping 36 total packages I needed to make and the timeouts were a tad annoying, especially when you are working with frozen (or mostly frozen) sausages and trying to get everything done quickly so you can restack the freezer.

I am looking forward to using the machine on other things.

The only other downside I see if the 3 inches of bag you have to leave for the process to work. For 36 packages this works out to 9 feet of bag that isn't being used to contain, merely there for the process. That seems excessive to me.

I bought the 8 inch bag rolls (20 feet in a roll) and got two boxes. The bags were $.50 a foot. I failed to notice there is two rolls per box.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #2
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I really like our FoodSaver and I use the Ziploc vacuum bags, too. But...I don't use their air extractor. I have a small hand-held battery-powered (rechargeable) FoodSaver one that I use in place of the pump one. Much, much easier and far gentler on my arthritic hands.

Because of the wide "lip" that is left on the FoodSaver bags, that's why I use the Ziploc bags when I store our garden produce. Plus, our Kroger often has the Ziploc bags on super sale during the canning/freezing season, so I take advantage of that and stock up.

I most often use the FoodSaver bags for more delicate goods that will suffer from being frozen. Things like baked goods, etc. But, I always freeze the baked items first before vacuum packing them. Otherwise, my cinnamon rolls would become cinnamon pancakes.

All in all, I am somewhat selective as to what I use the main FoodSaver for. Otherwise, the little hand device is a real winner when using other types of vacuum bags.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:49 PM   #3
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I bought one awhile ago and used it for less than one month when the vacuum pump went out on it. I threw it in the trash and won't buy another.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Why didn't you take advantage of the year warranty?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Why didn't you take advantage of the year warranty?
I didn't register the product when I bought it and was just disgusted with the thing. A lot of money for something that broke in less than a month. Why would I expect the replacement to be any better than the first one?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:57 PM   #6
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Why? Because sometimes things break because of a bad part. The manufacturing process is not perfect. It happens.

I wouldn't just toss out something I spent that kind of money on without trying to get a replacement or refund first.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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I really like our FoodSaver and I use the Ziploc vacuum bags, too. But...I don't use their air extractor. I have a small hand-held battery-powered (rechargeable) FoodSaver one that I use in place of the pump one. Much, much easier and far gentler on my arthritic hands.

Because of the wide "lip" that is left on the FoodSaver bags, that's why I use the Ziploc bags when I store our garden produce. Plus, our Kroger often has the Ziploc bags on super sale during the canning/freezing season, so I take advantage of that and stock up.

I most often use the FoodSaver bags for more delicate goods that will suffer from being frozen. Things like baked goods, etc. But, I always freeze the baked items first before vacuum packing them. Otherwise, my cinnamon rolls would become cinnamon pancakes.

All in all, I am somewhat selective as to what I use the main FoodSaver for. Otherwise, the little hand device is a real winner when using other types of vacuum bags.
That I saw Foodsaver indicating thatthteir zipper bags were not intended for freezer use?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
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A friend of mine has one. He uses those rolls of bags that one finds in the produce sections of grocery stores. He gets his green grocer to sell him a single roll. Says it works out much cheaper than the Food Saver rolls.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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That's too bad, Tim. I love my Foodsaver and use it often. It really does make frozen foods last longer. I also use it to seal chips and snacks in their original bags.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #10
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We got a Food Saver for Christmas one year....2004?

We gave up on sealing foods for freezer or refrigerator long ago. Bags are too expensive and don't seem to perform that much better than plain old ziplock bags. The vacuum seal canisters that were included didn't hold a seal.

It still works great however for resealing commercial packages of chips, cookies, cereal, etc. I think it earns it's counter space and saves money just doing this little task.

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Old 01-30-2012, 01:17 PM   #11
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Why? Because sometimes things break because of a bad part. The manufacturing process is not perfect. It happens.

I wouldn't just toss out something I spent that kind of money on without trying to get a replacement or refund first.
I really do understand your reasoning, but at the time, I was very disappointed and angry. I simply took the thing off the counter and tossed it in the trash.

If I do buy another one, I'll register the warrenty this time and take advantage of it when the new one breaks after a few uses, if that happens again. I have a friend who has had the same one for several years and uses it all the time. He's the one who talked me into buying the one I had.
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:21 PM   #12
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Frank, I suggest you relieve the vacuum before letting the frozen sausage defrost.

The bag material can get expensive when you're individually freezing stuff like breakfast sausage in portions for two people
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Old 01-30-2012, 01:24 PM   #13
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I really do understand your reasoning, but at the time, I was very disappointed and angry. I simply took the thing off the counter and tossed it in the trash.

If I do buy another one, I'll register the warrenty this time and take advantage of it when the new one breaks after a few uses, if that happens again. I have a friend who has had the same one for several years and uses it all the time. He's the one who talked me into buying the one I had.
Perhaps your friends machine was manufactured before Jarden Corp took over FoodSaver.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #14
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I went camping/fishing with a bunch of guys who brought one. They hooked it to a generator for power and after cleaning our fish we sealed them on the spot and placed into a seperate ice chest. The fish stayed for days that way until we got home and froze some.

I have had one for almost ten years and will break down larger cuts of meat or buy meat in qty and use it to repackage.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:02 PM   #15
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We bought one and really liked it. We bought my Mom one for a present. Ours lasted about two years, Moms about a year. I have no plans to buy another one.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:25 PM   #16
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I have found that I can reduce the amount of bag required for the sealing process by placing a cutting board in front of the Food saver. By raising the food and packaging closer to the vacuum slot, you can still get a seal without quite as much bag material. It may only save an inch per bag, but bagging material running about 5 cents per inch, it can add up if you are doing a lot of sealing.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:07 PM   #17
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I've owned 2 FoodSavers. I got rid of mine when Reynolds EZ VAC came on the scene. Lugging it out each time was sort of a hassle compared to the hand held vac system.
The model FoodSaver I had was designed kinda dumb. The pump ran when you wanted only to seal one end of the cut roll, really annoying. It was also kinda loud.

As for the EZ-Vac bags, Debbie Meyer (green bags) took over selling bags, but she has ceased production now as well. You can still buy ZipLock vac bags tho, and the Reynolds hand held vac works with them. The Ziplocks are priced more reasonably. I think maybe ZipLock's won't be available one day either, so I'm stockpiling them.

P.S.I also used a cutting board with my FoodSaver to raise up the level of the bag to be even with where it draws out air.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:19 PM   #18
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I have found that I can reduce the amount of bag required for the sealing process by placing a cutting board in front of the Food saver. By raising the food and packaging closer to the vacuum slot, you can still get a seal without quite as much bag material. It may only save an inch per bag, but bagging material running about 5 cents per inch, it can add up if you are doing a lot of sealing.
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P.S.I also used a cutting board with my FoodSaver to raise up the level of the bag to be even with where it draws out air.

Fantastic tip, thanks!!!
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:58 AM   #19
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I have a foodsaver and it worked wonderful that one time when I wasn't too lazy to reach down into the cabinet, pull it all out and use it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 10:48 PM   #20
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I have a foodsaver and it worked wonderful that one time when I wasn't too lazy to reach down into the cabinet, pull it all out and use it.
Mine was noisy, garage shop loud. I'd have to get a folding step, retrieve the unit, the rolls and plastic roll cutter from a cabinet behind a kitchen fridge... and pile it all back in again afterwards.

Then there was Handi-Vac
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