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
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.