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Old 12-07-2008, 06:46 PM   #1
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Question FoodSaver

We are thinking of purchasing a foodsaver. I would appreciate any feedback that you may have.

Is it better to use the "roll" or actual bags that are already cut?
Can the plastic be reused?
Do you store mostly raw meat or cooked meat?
If freezing cooked meat what is the best way to defrost?
Can the plastic be put in the microwave?
Is it possible to store soup or chilli? if so how?

I hope I have not overwhelmed everyone with my questions, I just want to make sure it is worth the investment. There are only two of us at my house and we tend to do alot of freezing.
Thanks so much for your help!
Redwind

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Old 12-07-2008, 06:57 PM   #2
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Is it better to use the "roll" or actual bags that are already cut?
I prefer the rolls. You can cut them to any size you happen to need at the time.
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Can the plastic be reused?
Yes it can. This is another reason the rolls are better than the pre cut bags. If you plan on reusing the bags then make sure to make them on the large side as each time you open then you will lose about an inch or so off the bag. The bags can even go through the dishwasher. I used to turn my bags inside out and send them through the wash.
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Do you store mostly raw meat or cooked meat?
I do both.
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If freezing cooked meat what is the best way to defrost?
It depends, but I am a fan of putting it in a bowl of cold water and weighing it down so it is completely submerged. Make sure the water stays below 40 degrees F for safety reasons. This is a very fast and safe way of defrosting things.
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Can the plastic be put in the microwave?
Yes it can, but be sure to open the bag first or at least poke a hole or two otherwise you risk it exploding.
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Is it possible to store soup or chilli? if so how?
Yes it is possibly. The easiest way is to fill the bag and then freeze it for an hour or two before sealing it. After it is frozen or at least partially frozen it is very easy to seal. I actually take it once step further sometimes and use ziplock bags to put the chili or soup in first. I fill the bag and zip the seal working out as much air as possible. I then freeze that flat. Once frozen I take the zip lock bag out of the freezer and open the zip lock. That bag goes into a food saver bag and is then sealed. The benefits of doing it this way is that by freezing flat it takes up very little room in the freezer. Also the zip lock bag makes it so the food saver bag does not get dirty so I do not have to wash it if reusing.

I actually do not use the bags very often at all. I use the food saver canisters most of the time. The do not work in the freezer though so freezing is the only time I use the bags.
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:31 PM   #3
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I just got a Food Saver V2840 Advanced Design, today was the first day I used it. I love it so far, but have only sealed up a few packages of walnuts and cheeses. I have both the bags on the roll and the precut bags, used the precut ones today.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:16 PM   #4
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I use the rolls, the bags, the canisters, and the mason jar sealers all the time. Since I'm single I tend to use the pint size bags the most for storing single-serving sizes.

You can reuse the bags as long as your next need is for a bag smaller than the used one so it can be resealed. Never reuse a bag that contained raw meat however.

If I have a need to reuse bags I actually will use the Reynolds or Ziplock vacuum seal bags that have zipper openings. Those get washed and reused over and over again, except the ones that held raw meat.

For defrosting I actually have one of those thermo defrosting trays that draw out the cold, but a microwave works good too. The FoodSaver bags are the only ones safe to put in a microwave. You can also boil foods in them.

To store liquids, like soup, you can fill a foodsaver bag, lay it in a fairly flat container unsealed so the liquid is flat, then freeze it. After frozen then seal it.

I also use the FoodSaver bags to store flour (kills the bugs too), rice, dried beans, dried vegetables from the dehydrator, and many other items. Also good for storing first aid items, emergency supplies, etc., so they stay fresh and clean.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:11 PM   #5
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I've had a foodsaver for years and I generally love it.

But, has anyone had trouble with bags made from the rolls losing the vacuum seal? A lot of times when I make bags from the rolls, I notice that the bag gets air in it after a week or so in the freezer.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:32 PM   #6
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I've had a foodsaver for years and I generally love it.

But, has anyone had trouble with bags made from the rolls losing the vacuum seal? A lot of times when I make bags from the rolls, I notice that the bag gets air in it after a week or so in the freezer.
Every once in a while this happens to me. Maybe 1 out of every 12 packages will lose their seal. I know that you have to stop to let the machine cool after a certain number of bags and I think that's why they lose their seal. I tend to just keep sealing one after the other. I seal ALL of my meat, poultry, fish, etc. and because I buy in large quantity and split up the package into small one-person servings, I have a lot to seal. And to answer the original question: I prefer the rolls since I package a lot of different sizes and the rolls keep the waste down. Sometimes the bags, being precut, will be too big or too small.

BTW, while we're on the subject, I broke my FS a couple of days ago. I know someone on this site mentioned the new models that stand vertically. I haven't seen it yet so if anyone can explain how this works vertically and/or post a picture, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:41 PM   #7
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If you have an older model FoodSaver you may experience a poor seal occasionally with the newer, thicker plastics. I sometimes would do a double seal if it was something I did not want to lose its vacuum over time.

Problem solved with with the newer units that make a much wider and longer seal. Downside is the cycle between sealings is longer than before which some people do not like.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:42 PM   #8
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Every once in a while this happens to me. Maybe 1 out of every 12 packages will lose their seal. I know that you have to stop to let the machine cool after a certain number of bags and I think that's why they lose their seal. I tend to just keep sealing one after the other. I seal ALL of my meat, poultry, fish, etc. and because I buy in large quantity and split up the package into small one-person servings, I have a lot to seal. And to answer the original question: I prefer the rolls since I package a lot of different sizes and the rolls keep the waste down. Sometimes the bags, being precut, will be too big or too small.

BTW, while we're on the subject, I broke my FS a couple of days ago. I know someone on this site mentioned the new models that stand vertically. I haven't seen it yet so if anyone can explain how this works vertically and/or post a picture, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
Here you go
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:43 PM   #9
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I think a lot depends on the model you have. I have an older model, but it is a professional model which is designed to do seal after seal after seal without taking a rest. I also have a dial on mine which lets me determine how long the seal takes. I can set it to seal very quickly or if it is something that I think might take longer to seal then I can dial it up and seal it longer.
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:57 PM   #10
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DramaQueen,

Thanks for the tip. I do like you - I tend to get on a roll andseal a bunch at a time. I'll try your suggestion and give it a rest in the middle and see if that helps. Thanks again!
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:02 PM   #11
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The new vertical model looks pretty cool, but it got a couple of pretty bad reviews on Amazon.com. Check it out:

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Food saver V3440 Vacuum Sealer
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:26 PM   #12
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I think a lot depends on the model you have. I have an older model, but it is a professional model which is designed to do seal after seal after seal without taking a rest. I also have a dial on mine which lets me determine how long the seal takes. I can set it to seal very quickly or if it is something that I think might take longer to seal then I can dial it up and seal it longer.
Mine has a speed setting and a moist food setting, but I thought that was more for sealing delicate foods (breads) and of course, moist foods, where the vaccum will draw slower to help prevent juice being drawn into the machine.

And for the record, I have seen vaccum sealed meats that I got from my butcher that use a very narrow seal. I don't think the width of the seal has any bearing on the quality of the seal.

And also for the record.... and we know I'm not the food police or a member of their fraternal organization , but I reuse bags all the time that have had raw meat in them. I wrap all meats in plastic wrap, put them in the bag and seal them. Then I will open the bag, take out what I need and reseal/vaccum the bag. The bags stay clean this way, at least physically looking clean, and frozen. I don't thaw out foods in the FS bags. Or the Handi-Vac bags for that matter.
I used to do the, turn inside out and stick 'em in the dishwasher thing, but that's a PITB. I'd just as soon keep them frozen in the freezer and put like foods back into them.

Oh, and I have had them both, FS and H-V lose a seal. I don't always blame it on my seal. It could be the sides of the bag, too, or a pinhole.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:03 PM   #13
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The new vertical model looks pretty cool, but it got a couple of pretty bad reviews on Amazon.com.
Interesting. That's the model I have now and I absolutely love it, but yes it does waste a lot of the bag when it seals and I sent a comment about that to the company. I consider it the price I pay for the hands-off convenience and of a new product and I got used to it. In all other respects it lived up to and exceeded my expectations, but I realize that one cannot please everyone.
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:30 PM   #14
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In all other respects it lived up to and exceeded my expectations
So, you don't have any trouble with the automatic features not working, like mentioned in the review? I'm asking because my Foodsaver is pretty old and I've been thinking it might be time to upgrade. So, you're happy with your vertical model?
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:24 PM   #15
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Can I use the food saver on frozen chicken breast, frozen foods etc.?
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:27 PM   #16
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Yes you sure can.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:46 PM   #17
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So, you don't have any trouble with the automatic features not working, like mentioned in the review?
Not at all. I went and looked at my unit and I have Model #V3840.

Automatic Bag Detection -- this is what takes the extra length of bag that is kind of a waste. You have to allow 3" to push into the unit. But...no more lifting the lid, inserting bag just right, closing and locking lid and holding a button down. It's all automatic and hands free. I'm used to it now and it doesn't bother me that much about the wasted bag , but it's something they need to improve upon in future models.

Retractable Accessory Hose -- for your canisters and I love this feature of not having to keep the hose and attachment in a drawer, finding it and having to hook it up. Done now in a second and the hose reels back in to the unit.

Automatic Liquid Detection -- senses food type and automatically adjusts seal level for a secure, reliable, air-tight seal. I actually experienced this first hand when I bagged some liquid. Afterwards you can tilt back the top of the unit and lift out the tray and empty it. No mess. There are also buttons on the unit to specify in advance what you are sealing.

Marinate Mode -- Haven't tried this option yet but it may actually create a higher vacuum that usual since you are using a special container.

Vacuum Process Gauge -- Displays vacuum progress visually and I think this is a cool feature. Its like a round gauge with red at the end when it seals and goes backward when finished.

Integrated Bag Opener -- pops out from the bottom but I forget its there and have never tried it. I think it would be better higher up.

Two Speed Settings -- for regular and gentle vacuuming needs. I use it for sealing loose flour and other items that don't need the strong suction. Nice option, plus you have the Seal Now button if you want to stop early.

Extra-Wide Sealing Strip -- provides a better seal and the strip is longer for those gallon size bags. It says it will seal regular bags also (potato chip, pasta bags, etc) but I have not tried that yet.

Built-In Roll Holder w/Cutter -- holds up to gallon size rolls and has a built-in slide cutter. Haven't gotten used to this yet since I never had that with my former units.

Auto Shut-Off -- goes into standby mode when not used. Touching any button wakes it up. Since the unit is 'automatic' it does kind of stay on all the time, so if you make not like this if you are trying to cut back on power usage.

All in all I love it as I previously said, but it may not be a unit for everyone. If you want more control over where the bag seals, etc., you might be better off with the less automatic variety.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:52 PM   #18
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Can I use the food saver on frozen chicken breast, frozen foods etc.?
You will virtually eliminate Freezer Burn if you vacuum seal food for freezing and storage time will increase by many months.

I get those bulks bags of food and I come home and seal them in smaller portions in FoodSaver bags and put those in the freezer. Much easier and you don't have to mess with a big bag with only one piece left in it either.
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:58 PM   #19
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Thanks so much for all the information! Sounds perfect. I think I have something else to add to my Christmas list!

Thanks again!
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:24 PM   #20
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Here you go
Thanks LadyCook. I like the way it looks so I just bought one an hour ago at Costco. Price $149.00 with cannisters, bags and some other stuff.
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