54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
save food = save money,
This review is from: FoodSaver V3835 Vacuum Sealing System (Kitchen)
I got this unit at Costco, includes the marinate dish, 12 - quart size bags and a roll of bag material.
I've wanted a foodsaver for years but (1) didn't know a lot about them beyond the infomercials (2) didn't know anyone who had one (3) wasn't sure that it was a worthy investment. Things have changed! I've had a few people recommend them and it piqued my interest. We were at Costco and walked by and looked at the box and decided to get it on an inpulse (and it was[.]off). We also buy a lot in bulk and for 2 people, it's hard to go through EVERYTHING before it goes bad.
At first glance it doesn't look like anything spectacular. The box/packaging isn't all that appealing.
SETUP: The cardboard insert is VERY CONFUSING - it tells you to throw it out, but the picture on it makes you think you should throw out the plastic insert as well - I'm glad I didn't. That would have been BAD! STRONGLY recommend reading the instructions first so you know what buttons to push for what. I couldn't figure out why my bags weren't sealing, I had to push the Seal button twice so it would seal to make a bag instead of thinking it needs to vaccuum it out first. Figured that out when the machine spent 3 minutes whirring really loudly and my bag wasn't sealed.
Aesthetics. It stands upright so it takes up little to no space (NICE). We have ours on the counter and it's going to stay there. I like the chrome look, so far it's stayed clean. No fingerprints! It's also nice that it will hold a roll of bags on the inside. (I would recommend getting the bag holder accessory - [..] so you can store the quart size baggies). I would make your own quart size baggies vs. buying them, less expensive that way.
What I've used it for: At first I went a little seal happy and played with the machine. I got bulk size nuts and separated them into 4 packets. We sealed meats (we used to buy freezer ziplock bags but the meat always had freezer burn on them). I've resealed bags of chips (in their original packaging - it won't take the air out, but much easier than wrestling with the bag clips).
DOWNSIDE: You cannot vaccuum pack veggies unless you've blanched and froze them first! That seems like a pain because I like my veggies to be raw to cook. Also have to "pat down" the inside of the bag when sealing meats - the juices rise out of the bag which doesn't seal it properly (some of the juice got between the seal strip) and can damage the machine (figured that out from other users). Also if you're planning on freezing baby food, stock, anything wet, you have to first freeze it, then seal in their frozen state. Instructions recommended using ice cube trays.
Common Complaints: The slot where the bags go is thin and yes cumbersome for some bags but it's been great for me. I leave the item there to vacuum and I don't have to hold the product when the suction has started. it holds itself. It's true that you need to have about 2inches of bag in the slot before it will seal (if you don't, the machine will attempt to seal and it's just a waste of time). However it's not that big of "waste of money". I calculated that each inch of bag is only a few cents per inch.
Trying out: I just purchased a set of canisters (recommended for storing items that are crushable, veggies, moist and use often items). I went to Bed Bath & Beyond and got the set for[..] with 20% off coupon). Looking forward to trying them out. Also looking to purchase the 6qt canisters for storing dog food and rice.
This all seems like a "lot of work" but in the end it's worth it. I defrosted a steak that I "foodsavered" and it was tender, juicy and amazing! I never knew that freezer burn could destroy the meat like that. It's definitely changing my outlook on the value of this little machine.
I'm also excited to use this machine now when we travel and pack our wet items and seal it. We use space bags for our clothes to conserve space, but this will help prevent spillage of shampoo, lotions etc.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 13, 2009 3:00:19 PM PDT
DOWNSIDE: You cannot vaccuum pack veggies unless you've blanched and froze them first! That seems like a pain because I like my veggies to be raw to cook
This is not a downside of the FS, but of the veggies. You can freeze most veggies without blanching, but they just won't taste as good when you thaw them out .If vegetables are not blanched, or blanching is not long enough, the enzymes continue to be active during frozen storage causing off-colors, off-flavors and toughening. Blanching stops the enzyme acftion so they taste fresher when used later.
That said, I have vac-sealed green beans and summer squash/zucchini without blanching and frozen them. They didn't taste "farm fresh" but they weren't bad.
In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 2:25:14 PM PDT
this was a recommendation of the manufacturer instructions on the veggies. i've noticed the bags crumpled my veggies (broc) so i've tried using the canisters, but the canisters aren't consistent and sometime loses the vac seal.
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