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Why is food saver so great?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi,


Everyone talks so highly of foodsaver vacuum sealers. They definatly can cost more than other brands. What makes food saver better than deni, seal-a-meal, or kenmore?

 

Thanks in advance,
Norman

post #2 of 19

I had a Seal-A-Meal for more than 25 years, when it still used the perforated bags, and didn't have a vacuum sealer. Loved it.

 

When it finally gave up the ghost I got a Deni. It was incredibly bad, didn't work half the time, and, of course, you couldn't use it to seal liquids. I swore I'd never have another vacuum sealer. And that's where it stands today.

 

So, yeah, I'd like to know what the shouting is about too.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 19

Food Saver pulls a harder vacuum than the others. Less leftover air in the bag = longer storage.

post #4 of 19

Well, if the name of the game is pulling a hard vacuum, you can achieve that without any equipment.

 

Take a zipper bag of food and close all but about a half inch of it. Then submerge the bag in a tub of water, right up to the zipper. Comlete the seal. There will be no, zero, nada excess air in the bag.

 

Don't forget to wipe it dry before transferring to the freeezer, though, or it will stick to the shelves and other items.

 

One advantage of this is that you can vacuum seal liquids, like soup, which you can't do with the sealing units.

 

The one thing about the FoodSaver that has intrigued me is the ability to use it with canning jars. Just can't decide if that feature is worth the purchase price.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 19

I can't comment on other brands, so I will try to keep it brief. I bought a food saver at a large store starting in wal and ending in mart... but it was under $100. For fish vacuum sealing is the way to go but you can get similar results by freezing fish in water, so that the block of ice surrounding the fish prevents oxidation.

 

I've found the food saver to be very versatile. I recently had a last minute call to come BBQ at a friends house, and I wanted to bring a large sirloin from my freezer, so to defrost it I wanted to set it in the sink in water. It would not fit in my 1 gal ziplocks. Instead, using the foodsaver I measured off the meat and cut and sealed a larger bag, then vacuum sealed the meat for defrosting. It can handle light liquids but be smart about it.

post #6 of 19

I had a seal-a-meal for 5 years or so until last month.  The fuser decided to turn on for no apparent reason, burned nearly white hot, destroying the thermal tape and started to melt the casing.  Not cool.

 

I picked up the new Foodsaver (V3800) a couple of days latter.  I have to say I love it.  It is way easier to use (I found the seal a meal sometimes required much banging and holding the lid down to get a decent seal)  and hasn't given me the false or premature seals I used to get. 

 

Its vacuum is much more powerful than any home unit I've found.  To my surprise its possible to get compressed vegetable effects with it. On the "moist" setting it handles liquids very well.

 

My need for a sealer is for sous vide cooking, not storage.  KH's water pressure method works just fine for storage purposes.

 

--Al

post #7 of 19

It's true that the FOOODsaver is a better product but if the bags you use are horrible then it doesn't matter. Take the "NEW" Foodsaver bags. I have never seen such a horrible product. The bag seams.....not the one I make but the factory......will split with any product temp over 160. The bags also melt to themselves when filling porduct of the same temp. I had two seams come apart on me tonight and I have been using the same procedures for filling the bags that I have used for the last 15 years. All in the name of cutting costs!!!

post #8 of 19

Well, if the bags are not good, what would be the point of buying one? While I'm sure there are old style bags still carried in stock, once they're gone they're gone.

 

OldSchool, did you contact the company about this problem?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 19

I buy the non-tilia bags here http://www.goodmans.net/get_list_204.htm, the ones that say work with the food saver. Never had issues with them. The food saver doesn't just remove the air. It actually creates a vacuum and will pull air out of recesses in the food so much less oxygen compared to using the water trick.

post #10 of 19

For the record....it wasn't ntil recently or when Sunbeam aquired Tila or foodsaver that I noticed a decrease in things. I have had 4-5 Foodsavers over the years with trhe current one being the last purchased in 2003. Invested in the Pro II 

 

KY,

Yup! Sure did. They actually responded in about 2 hours instead of the 1-2 days that the confirmation email mentioned. Something about expert attention to solve.

 

For what it's worth.....the bags that they sold just a couple short months ago were far different than these. The seam actually separated on the bags I purchased and used today. I also am not reckless or neglegent when it comes to this stuff. We do a great amount of home canning  and preserving in addition to the Foodsaver. I understand and have learned the limits of the Foodsaver products. It has been a great tool in the kitchen but no lately.

 

Still, In the past I even took sauce that was just cut off from a simmer (close to 200deg) and placed it directly in the bag. That was not the case today since the Marinara sat for a good hour after being cut off. Temp was around 140-150 when I bagged things up.  If I had ried anything higher, it would have melted the bag's entire seam in addition to the bag stretching out of shap or meltimg it completely judging by how they reacted.

 

Also to further explain the bags melting together........I take and roll a cuff on the open en and then pour or ladle the food in. This makes it easier and adds some shape for the bag to stay open. The bag also doesn't always sit as it would filled and sealed and some creases form. Normally it would just retain it's normal shape when i would lift the bag but today the bag was melted together wherever it was creased.

 

I have never see this before.

 

I did retrieve the box from the recycle bin and the wording has changed. The bas were capable of a Boil in option previously. Now there is an asterisk and it states "simmer in bag".

 

I don't know about most of you that have used these for boil in in the past but I seriously do practice safe food handling at home and would heat the food to boil and then simmer for commensurate to  what food was in the bag. I would even use it in the oven to reheat ribs and BBQ. There was never any and I mean any sort of issues.

 

I saved the bag that the seal failed on and also one of the bags that melted so bad I couldn't't use it. I'm taking them back to Wal-Mart....where they were purchased at.......and show the the tremendous hazard and potential liability that this could bring. I did end up  with Marinara sauce all over my hand and foot. I personally haven't blistered yet but it was cherry red.. Although...........things could have been far more serious if my daughter would have been helping like she has in the past.......... she would have been hurt rather badly.

 

There are a good many companies out there reducing quality in the name of profits. Like most things when they are done short sighted and for short term gains.....it will come back and bite very hard in one form or another.

 

This, like so many other things these days is very disturbing.

 

 

I'm gonna have to look at Mary B's source..


Edited by oldschool1982 - 7/26/10 at 10:31pm
post #11 of 19

It actually creates a vacuum......

 

FWIW, I was recently informed by a chemist/science teacher friend that though you, and I, and the rest of the culinary world think so, this is incorrect. I don't even come close to understanding his explanation about why vacuum sealers do not actually create vacuums. But there you go.

 

and will pull air out of recesses in the food so much less oxygen compared to using the water trick.

 

Not a big deal either way, Mary, but I'd like to see you try and justify this statement. The "water trick" displaces all internal air, to the point where the plastic molds around individual pieces of food. I don't believe there is a home-vacuum machine that can do that as well.

 

The downside to the water trick is that it's slow, potentially messy, and has that added step of assuring the bags are dry. But laying that against the lousy job my very expensive machine did, it's a trick well worth knowing---and using.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #12 of 19

Eastshores  Glaze freezing of fish  by dipping in water and freezing is a far cry and gives way different results when used on fish. On meat or poultry I would tend to agree. The fact that when fish is left in water the cells expand thus the fish is waterlogged and in fact if you squeeze the fish it will pour out like a sponge. Vac. sealing is the way to go . The dipping of a plastic bag in tub of water to displace air is even better then glazing, as is using a vac. cleaner hose. Commercially when water glazed the fish is Flash Frozen using liquid nitro> You can't do this home./

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #13 of 19

Using the jar sealer as an experiment I can stick marshmellows in a jar, attach the sealer lid and pull a vacuum. The marshmellows almost double in size. When used on meats you can actually see the meat compress as you seal the bag. The older machines have an actual vacuum pump in them and not a wimpy fan that removes some of the air.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tI-AhZ6qGDs

 

When used on bread and other soft items I have to first freeze then vacuum pack or the product will turn into a small blob of goo.

post #14 of 19

Ed I wasn't referring to glaze freezing (as some poultry is available in store). I am referring to something perhaps you'd never done in a commercial environment, but the fish is placed into a deep container which is completely filled with water, then frozen into a large solid block of ice. The fish is completely suspended in the water and no air at all can reach the fish.

 

I can't say I have done this often, but the results seemed fine, and on a large fishing forum I originally saw many people swear by the method. For my time and freezer space the vacuum sealer was worth it.

post #15 of 19

Eastshores We have done extensive testing where I work with every way possible. The whole thing reverts to when water is left in contact with fish. The results for us not good. Some fish more then others Cod comes out completely water logged. We process and use about 800 pounds of fish a week in season. We still vac pac dry.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #16 of 19

I still trying to talk my bosses' into springing for one as I'm sold on Ed's R&D particularly for dealing with portioned venison and tuna...

 

Unfortunately the best I can hope for is 'made in china'... but I'm old enough to remember when made in Japan was a 'bad thing' so wtf let's get the ball rolling... Not all descions get to be based on quality!

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #17 of 19

I have a FoodSaver, and it works for me.  I can marinate in twenty minutes instead of 24 hours, so something must be happening in there????  I have tried freezing fish in water, and personally don't like it.  The fish seem to break down, and are mushy.

 

I have purchased the cheaper bags from Walmart.  They are thinner and don't hold up to repeated use like the FoodSaver bags, but I still use them.  One trick I have learned from a friend was to fold a paper towel to the size of the air vacuum channel, place it in the channel, to absorb moisture that the vacuum pulls.  It worked for me.

 

I have seen some new vacuum products out there.  I don't know how well they work.  When I bought mine Food Saver was the only game in town for home products.  Whether vacuum sealing works or not, I won't argue, but it makes me feel better about my storage needs.  That makes it worth the price for me.

post #18 of 19

I have used the Food Saver for years with excellent results.  For fish, I freeze the filets overnight  on cookie sheets on Release Foil before vaccuum sealing.  I'm pretty sure this is what the company recommends.  It is also important to use a large enough bag or you might not get a good seal.

 

I also vaccuum seal brisket, ribs, pork butt, and pastrami after cooking and have had excellent results.  While I haven't reheated any vaccuum sealed food in boiling or simmering water, a lot of bbq enthusiasts do, and apparently have good results. 

 

I have not used the latest generation of the vaccuum sealer, or evidently the newest bags.  I was not aware the bags had changed.  I just bought a fresh supply so I guess I will find out if the quality is different.  I would have a hard time getting along without mine.

post #19 of 19

I've had two, the first I had was fairly simple, vacuumed and sealed.  It was also the sturdier of the two, but I wore it out. My second is a VAC800.  I have always made my own bags and purchase directly from Tilia.  I especially like it for cheese.  I love cheeses of all kinds, I am also a single person, I can not use cheese in a specific period of time.  I usually make a fairly good sized bag.  I cut the label of the cheese from the packaging that surrounds the cheese and put it in the bag with the cheese so it can be read from the outside and seal.  I can cut the edge off with scissors, use an amount of cheese, put the remainder back in the same bag and resealing immediately and refrigerating. Thus, saving it, and never having moldy, slimy or hardened cheese.  I have not had deterioration of quality of flavor or texture by this method.  I've saved a fortune.  I use it for myriad of other tasks and foods as well: freeze individual fruits, vegetables, single packets of tomato paste, tablespoons of ingredients that are used in recipes but necessitate opening a larger container at the time of first use.  For households with one or two individuals it is one of the greatest food extenders on the market today.  I freeze ground beef, sausage, and other ground meats in a package that is flattened to about 5/8 of an inch thick and sealed. In its flattened state it can be stacked and takes less space. It thaws far faster than meat frozen in a thicker chunk.

 

And, I vacuum seal my yearly bunch of bills, receipts, IRS copies, etc. labeled clearly with year and it stores in less space.  If I'm not using yarn or wish to keep a bunch of skeins together, I vacuum seal, I can see the color, I can record the amount it can be filed upright, it's corralled and it's kitty proofed.  And, upon re-hydration retains its original loft.

 

It will be sad indeed if the company loses their original quality if they have sold out.  Unfortunately, in the corporate world the buyers seem to believe that they only buy the reputation of the product's past and do not feel an obligation or responsibility to maintain it or build on that reputation and customer loyalty that was part of the reason the company was purchased in the first place. But, their CEO probably got a fat raise.

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