on November 22, 2007
If you have a refrigerator and/or a freezer and store food, you want one of these! I was torn between rating this four or five stars. It does have one flaw, but there is a simple work-around (See Cons below). It does everything the manufacturer says it will do and more. I have the v2490, which I think is the Costco version of this model. I've been using it for a year and a half now. I am very pleased. It has definitely paid for itself through savings in bulk purchasing and preserving leftovers. I have kept food in the freezer for embarrassingly long times without any freezer burn or other detectable deterioration. It is so simple to use that one does not need to read the instructions to begin using it. However, I do recommend reading them for important maintenance information and to learn how to get the full benefits from this appliance.
It always works as expected.
Simple and easy to use.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Relatively quiet for a vacuum pump.
The gaskets are a bit of a problem. There are two foam gaskets, one on the lid and one on the base, that meet to form the seal when you lower the lid to vacuum and seal. The problem is that after a while the weight of the lids begins to compress these gaskets and they begin not to seal. When this happens you can hear the pump trying to get the air out, but it never finishes. I was very disappointed when this started happening. I searched the Internet for other users' experiences, and found this to be a fairly common problem. The problem is the two sealing gaskets.
Here's what I did to remedy this problem. First I removed the gaskets (very easy to do) and gently washed them with warm soapy water, letting them soak for about ten minutes. I hung them dry for a day and put them back in (also easy to do). This fixed the problem. My FoodSaver worked like it did when it was brand new. I was amazed. As far as I could tell, there was nothing in the printed instructions that dealt with this issue.
Second, I got a small piece packing foam and put it between the lid and the base to keep the lid from closing all the way when not in use. If you do this, be sure to position the piece of foam so that it is not touching either the foam gasket in the lid or the one in the base, as this will cause indentions in the gasket foam and prevent it from forming a seal.
Third, I called the manufacturer and ordered some replacement gaskets as backup. They were only one dollar per pair plus a mailing charge. The new gaskets were here in a couple of days. I haven't used them yet as the work-around using the piece of foam to hold the lid up seems to be keeping the old gaskets in working order.
I think that the manufacturer should design a catch of some sort to stop the lid from closing all the way when the appliance is not in use. This would eliminate the problem with the sealing gaskets. Other than that the FoodSaver seems well designed, sturdy, and very handy to have in the kitchen.
Highly Recommended. If you eat food you need one of these.
This is my first experience with a vacuum seal product and it has been a great one. I shop at a wholesale club, but I cook for one. I've had this less than a week and I have completely transformed my freezer. I have things packaged in individual serving sizes, including poultry, fish, seafood and even desserts.
I have two disappointments, but no regrets. The first is that the appliance is huge. The flip up design is a necessity and even then it looks imposing. In fairness to Tilla, the dimensions are listed on the box. I'm out of counter and cabinet space so mine lives on top of the refrigerator.
My second complaint is that the canisters are not freezer-safe. This is very disappointing because it adds extra complexity to freezing items that contain a lot of liquid. You need to place items on a baking sheet in the freezer and then use the FoodSaver bags once the items are frozen. For liquids, you need to freeze them in solid blocks and then place them in the FoodSaver bags. The instructions also suggest you use canning jars designed for the freezer when freezing liquids. I've tried to find the canning jars, but I've had no luck with the usual suspects. I'm not ready to order a full case from Amazon, but maybe that's the only way they are sold. Things would be so much easier with freezer-safe caninsters.
Even with those two complaints, my purchase was worth it. I've gained freezer space and my bulk items will last longer.
It hurts to leave three inches of bag material unused when sealing items, but I'm convinced this is still less wasteful and more efficient than the tons of freezer bags I go through. The bags are reusable and can be washed in the diswasher.
The DVD was extremely helpful. The bags and bag material included are enough to whet your appetite. If you register the product online, Tilla will send you coupons for the accessories, but they are only good for purchases directly from FoodSaver. You can't use them at another store.
Must-have accessories are the bottle stoppers and food marinator.
on August 1, 2006
I love this product! This is my second FoodSaver I've had in the last 4 years. The first one stopped working properly after 3 years so I purchased this one and I LOVE IT! I recommend this FoodSaver to all my friends and those who have bought it like it too.
Tips: If it stops giving a complete vacuum, remove the gaskets - both top and bottom, put them back in; lock the handle and press the vacuum and seal button. When it is finished, wait 6-7 seconds before releasing the handle. This will reseed the gaskets. One suggestion I received from CS was to soak the gaskets in hot water for about 2 hours and let dry completely before re-installing them. They said this would help keep them more pliable.
I use this to seal virtually everything. When I grill out, I make extra brats or burgers, seal them in packages (the size of one meal for two) and re-heat in the bag in boiling water. You'd never know it was cooked months earlier. We enjoy BBQ all year long this way.
Bottom line, I don't every want to be without one.
on February 25, 2006
I bought this vacuum packer for myself for a Christmas present this last year. I had used the old style for 4 years straight without any problems. It finally started faultering at times, which it had a right to; I used it everyday and sometimes all day packaging meat during hunting season. I knew I needed something that could do larger jobs and this packer can do it! I found it's quiet, easier to use, has simple "NO BRAINER" buttons and even a cutter inside! You put the bag in, pull it through under the arm cutter, Vacuum what length you want and then cut it off. Fill the bag and turn it around and seal the other end. I just have to touch one button and the machine stops when it has vacuumed all the air and sealed. All my meats and products look professionally done;if not better than the meat market! I opened some nuts I had packed a year ago and couldn't tell it from this years fresh nuts. If you don't buy bulk like we do but need something for occasional vacuum packing I still reccommend this V2840 for the first time buyer. I think this one will outlast the old model as well as make your experience of Vacuuming more pleasureable. Oh, I almost forgot about the moist button. If you package something moist it won't harm your product or the machine! Good going FoodSaver!
on December 9, 2006
I already had an older model Foodsaver and used it frequently, but I waited before buying a newer model until it had ALL the functions I was looking for. Well, this model has it all! I liked my old one, but LOVE this new upgraded model! I keep it right on my counter because it folds up out of the way taking up hardly any counter space at all, so I use this Foodsaver model even more than the old one because of this convenience. I like the removable vacuum tray so I can clean and replace it without any fuss, but have found it doesn't get as dirty as my old model because of the 3 speed settings: high, normal and gentle, AND the moist and dry seal options. No more problems with air-tight seals when sealing moist foods with this model. I can even control the amount of air I want taken out of the bag for fragile foods like breads, cakes or muffins. That means, no more pre-freezing fragile or wet foods on trays before sealing them! And, I've had no problems vacuuming and sealing bags, one right after the other like could happen with my older model.
My husband couldn't believe I bought another Foodsaver when my old one still worked fine (which my daughter now has and uses often), but he quit complaining when I had to travel out of town to help care for a sick relative for two weeks. I was able to quickly make him homemade TV dinners and various single-serve desserts with the Foodsaver and put them in the freezer for him to eat while I was gone. He said the dinners and desserts tasted like I had just made them when he reheated them!
He and I both love that now when I cook or bake, I make large quantities so I can freeze single servings. That way, he can simply grab the frozen meal of his choice for himself and I can select a frozen serving of soup for me for lunch when we head to work each day.
I wish there were large freezer-safe canisters available as others mentioned, but have found that various sized canning jars work great using the Foodsaver jar sealing attachment and then freezing them. I find myself filling and sealing more and more canning jars with various sugars, flours, coffees, marshmallows, cereals, baking mixes, granolas, nuts that are in my cupboard and they stay perfectly fresh when processed with the Foodsaver and it's easy to see what's in each jar. My cabinets actually look nice with everything in canning jars instead of the boxes and bags they came in.
Buying in bulk and cooking in bulk, and then using the Foodsaver to seal them into smaller units is a HUGE money- and time-saver!! You can't go wrong with this model!
on January 15, 2006
I carefully researched food vaccuum storage systems, and this model came up as my top pick. It has proven itself to be a winner!
The FoodSaver V2840 Advanced has it all. The flip-up design allows you to store a roll of bags, the attached precision bag cutter, a pen and the accessory hose all on the unit itself, while still saving precious counter space. The sleek look is right at home in any kitchen.
You can't beat the V2840 for ease of use. In addition to the easy use of the attached precision bag roll cutter, this model also gives you several settings to choose from. Whether you're storing wet or dry foods, in bags or canisters, or crushables items like breads or chips, there is a simple push-button setting to do it easily and efficiently.
If you've already decided to invest in a vaccuum food storage system, this is the certainly model you want!
on October 8, 2007
Ordered this item about a month and a half ago and I really like it, when it works. After about three weeks, the seals on the machine started to malfunction. I contacted Tilia who gave me the instructions on returning the unit for a replacement. I returned the unit over a month ago, incurring shipping charges of $23.00. Still no unit. In trying to follow up with the company, I'm finding that customer service is almost non-existent. They can't provide a status as to when I will receive a new machine except to say within 4-6 weeks. That's ridiculous. The problem is that I've already converted to using this machine on frozen products which I haven't been able to use because I can't reseal them.
Recommendation: Instead of returning the item, ask for a refund. Then order a new one. The problem here is that I really like what the machine does. The other problem is that it would appear that a lot of these machines are being returned. Hence the low rating. Without the return this would have been 5 stars.
on November 21, 2007
I have had this unit which I purchased from Amazon.com for 6 months. The FoodSaver works quite well for the job intended. I will caution anyone regarding the gaskets that seal the vacuum chamber. Never store the lid *fully* locked as that will mash the gaskets, and they will fail to achieve maximum vacuum after a period of time. Also the gaskets should be wiped off occasionally with a damp cloth. When the vacuum fails to function properly, and it will, remove both closed cell foam gaskets, and place in about 1.5 quarts of water with a pea sized drop of liquid dish washing soap. Thoroughly squeeze the soap into the gasket, and then thoroughly rinse the soap residue out of the gasket with clean water. Allow the gaskets to dry for 24 hours before replacing them into the machine. Any debris, dirt, etc will impede the vacuum from operating properly, so clean the unit often. You will not be able to secure new gaskets from FoodSaver. It has been my experience that they will simply tell you to return the unit and for a price you will be sent a new one. Of course, it will be less costly if the unit is still in warranty. I have no idea why they will not sell gaskets, as I would love to have a spare set should they be needed. When this gadget works, it works quite well, when it doesn't, I clean it!!
on March 14, 2006
I've wanted a food saver device for many years, but could not get past the price when Ziploc bags were so much cheaper. I am here to tell you there it is no comparison and a food saver is well worth the price. For years I would find myself having to throw out meats and prepared foods because of freezer burn. No longer; and I feel better about not wasting food.
on January 26, 2007
I have always just naturally tended to cook/grill/smoke larger quantities than my wife and I can eat, so this appliance gets a lot of use. We've had it about 4 months. We work at home and get busy so it's a challenge to schedule cook days when the weather cooperates, so I like to make the most of them when they happen. There's always something good to eat- just pop open the freezer. We just enjoyed some slow-smoked pork tenderloin during an ice storm. I had cooked them a couple of weeks earlier on a gorgeous day. It's also a great way to distribute food to friends and family. I'm smoking all day anyway, why not throw on extra and share? People love getting something that's frozen, but still delicious as they can enjoy it at their convenience. Some people bake cookies, I give people vacuum sealed frozen smoked tenderloins.
The Foodsaver works as advertised and is quick, too. I haven't used the canisters so can't comment but the bags are top-notch. I do marinades in the vacuum bags as well and it does seem to speed up and help absorption. Since they are water tight it's easy to soak in lukewarm water to thaw. The other factor that speeds up thawing is that food tends to be vacuum sealed flat, whereas packing into a squarish plastic container makes a larger mass that takes much longer to thaw - simple physics.
I smoke my steaks and burgers with black walnut (try it!!) and pull them right off the grill and throw a couple right in the foodsaver bags, seal and into the freezer and they come out about 90-95% of what you'd have right off the grill, even after freezing for 2 weeks. You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference if you didn't know, the smoke pops right out at you. The bags do a good job of sealing in flavor and aroma too.
You can pry it out of my cold dead fingers :-)