Tuesday, April 24
PRODUCT REVIEW: FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer
"FoodSaver: Vacuum Sealer" Overview: Love it, simple to use, serious money saver
(Photo with front open)
I actually won my original FoodSaver from a contest at work. It was the FoodSaver Mini and honestly it sat in its box for almost two years. One day I was watching The Food Network and noticed how often chefs were using vacuum sealers for marinades, quick cooking, and preservation. I pulled mine out, gave it a whirl, and the rest was history. That was six years ago. in the beginning the small portable sealer worked well for me, usually cooking for 2, it allowed me to break up large packages of meat and easily store the remaining for later use.
I ended up outgrowing the Mini and got the Counter top version, its not the the fancy Gourmet Chef one, but it has all the same features. It gives you the option to change the type of seal you want with an easy touch of a button. These options include, marinade, canister (there is a little tube that attaches to the base for canning), dry or wet foods, which is great for vacuuming baked goods, and very airy foods.
What I like about the machine is it has a wide variety of sealing options. Most of which can be found in Target, Walmart, Stop n' Shop, Bed bath and Beyond, and on the web. Your options include:
* 8" vacuum bags
* perfect portion bags
* vegetable steamer bags
* canisters, similar to a Maison jar
* 8" sizable roll (shown to the left)
* 11" sizable roll (shown to the left)
Having this many options really allows you to seal exactly what you want, the size you need, and breakdown large packages into smaller ones. This is where the money saving part really comes into play. Being able to by the large bulk meats when they go on sale, break them down, and seal them really helps with the grocery bill. Vacuum sealing significantly extends the life time of frozen food, by almost 5-6 times. Meaning, I can buy chicken today and use it 6 weeks from now. With no freezer burn to worry about! Its great, I do all my meat shopping at the beginning of the month or when they have a great sale and the house is all set.
As I said in the opening, the machine is extremely easy to use. The buttons are one touch, lights indicate the mode your in, and it is ready to go in just under a minute from turning it on. The machine has a built in storage area (larger counter top models only) to keep the sizable roll in, and a safety covered cutting blade to easily slice the roll to your desired size. It also flips open with a touch of a button for easy cleaning. I will admit the counter top models are between 150-320 dollars, but it is a very good investment. I think the machine paid for itself within the first two months I owned it. Between the time saved from not shopping every week, to the money saved by buying bulk, the machine itself it worth it. As for how often you need to buy storage refills. I buy a refill box roughly once ever 4 months.