A few years ago, I was able to snag a meticuluous used vacuum packaging system on Craigslist from a nice sultana who had just upgraded her gadget.
I regularly barter for foodstuff in bulk to take largess of the better price and repackage it, but sometimes my food would putrify with freezer burn or the bugs would blow in it and I would just arrive finally losing money.
And it metamorphosed that, made me flabbergast at how much I ended up using it.
Eventually it came time when I was champing a bit to upgrade my own, and after unraveling lots of food sealer reviews, I came to a halt choosing the model V2840- the tiptop piggyback food saver system to buy on the market now.
First Things First – Why to Vacuum Seal Foods?
Why should you utilize a home vacuum packaging machine anyway? What’s so super-duper about it?
- Extends storage time of frozen, dried and refrigerated food.
- Helps prevent freezer burn and is perfect for marinating cuts of meat.
- Removes oxygen to prevent oxidation which can cause off-flavors or colors in foods.
- You will save money because of less wasted food.
- Because a food vacuum sealer machine is so great at preventing freezer burn, it is just perfect for portioning food for the freezer, like meal-size portions of precooked ground beef, veggies, chicken, you name it.
- You can buy big canisters of drink mixes and seal up part of it if you don’t use it quick enough – then it won’t end up getting moisture and going moldy on you.
- It’s great for sealing up dehydrated food from your garden (it worked like a charm for my sundried tomatoes!)
You can use them for a huge variety of different foods and for long-term or short-term storage.
You can also use it for non-food uses such as for toiletry kits for camping, emergency kits for the car, important documents, etc.
You could even use it for a few baby wipes to stash in your purse… they will NEVER dry out that way!
How Does it Work?
The Automatic Process
It has an automatic vacuum, sealing and shutoff process that eliminates the potential of insufficient vacuum and overheating of the sealing strip once the seal is complete.
In other words, you don’t have to time the seal yourself, hoping you get a proper vacuum, or end up pressing the seal button too long and melt the bag right through.
Not only that, but it all works at the touch of a button for a hands-free operation – no more pressing with both hands trying to find the “right” spots while you try not to ruin the vacuum. It’s literally a push-button system.
They have a “Crush-free Instant Seal” allows you to quickly package those items that can’t take a complete vacuum seal – potato chips or other delicate foods, for instance. Their extra-wide sealing strip allows for a more secure seal that won’t pop open easily.
The old seal strip on this professional foodsaver vacuum sealer model was much thinner and would fail a lot easier, especially on powdery things like hot cocoa mix (I buy mine in bulk because the kind that I like the best is ONLY available 25 lbs at a time… crazy!).
Customizable Vacuum Speeds & Levels
Dual vacuum speeds and adjustable food levels allow more control for sealing different types of food from wet foods like marinated cuts of meat all the way to dry powdery foods such as bulk amounts of flour or cocoa powder.
What’s Included in the Package:
- heat Seal machine Unit
- Starter kit with bag material
- Quick Start Guide
- Instructional DVD
- Traditional Instruction Manual
- Vacuum Accessory Hose
How Big Is it?
It flips up to give itself a narrower footprint to take up less space on your countertop.
This is perfect if you are anything like me and have tons of gadgets! But seriously, who doesn’t have limited counter space?
This particular vacuum food packaging machine is light enough to stash away in a cupboard when you aren’t using it which is what I usually do, but I like the flip-up feature because I find that I go through periods when I end up using it a ton and want to keep it out.
The stainless steel lid is easy to clean (awesome!) and looks really great in the kitchen.
And in case you DO want to measure out cupboard space for this, it measures 16-3/4 by 9-3/4 by 14-1/2 inches.
Why vacuum sealer machines from Foodsaver specifically?
Aside from the fact that they are extremely well built, Foodsaver sealing machines have few advantages.
It’s In The Bag!
In my opinion, their main advantage is their wonderful bags. While the bags are admittedly pricey compared to the cheaper imported knockoffs, they are sturdy and reusable – in fact, you can even run them through the dishwasher and reuse them until you run out of sealing space.
There are cheaper machines on the market with cheaper bags, but this is one area where you definitely get what you pay for (quite cheaper but best food sealer for food) – the ratings on Amazon speak for themselves.
Something else that comes in VERY handy is the ability to “seal a meal” in a bag and heat it up in hot water within the bag itself. Some foods just get unappetizing if they are reheated in the microwave, but sealed up in a bag they are no problem to quickly reheat in a pot of hot water and taste just as good as when they were freshly cooked.
This is great if you cook ahead of time and put a lot of meals into the freezer.
Bags aside, their sealing strip is thicker and more sturdy than most, and the brand has a huge variety of models for different needs and budgets.
How Do You Clean it?
Simple to clean – just take out the drip tray and throw it in the dishwasher. It’s the only part that could potentially get messy aside from maybe the outside, which is easy just to wipe off with a damp cloth.
The drip tray (removable, dishwasher safe, and antibacterial) is great for vacuum seal meat and anything else where you might end up with a little liquid inside – this is a big improvement over the older models that do not have a removable drip tray.
One of my bigger frustrations with my older model sealer machine was just that the inside of the drip tray was a pain to clean out – having something you can remove and toss into the dishwasher makes life so much easier, and makes me a lot more likely to seal up raw meat!
Tell Me About the Bags & Accessories for this model!
The Precious Precious Baggins
The amount of bags included will get you off to a pretty good start.
The bags can be quite an investment and they include enough for you to use before you decide if you want to just buy a smaller package of the bags or invest in bulk quantities of the bag rolls.
Making custom bags is simple with the built in roll holder and cutter. It keeps the bag roll in one place so you can unroll, cut, then seal it together pretty quickly.
I usually buy my bag rolls off Amazon, though sometimes they are a better price at Costco when they have a coupon.
Again I’ll warn you – don’t be tempted by the cheaper knockoff bags! Yes, they might work but the quality is so much lower that you’ll have a lot more seal failures, you can’t run them through the dishwasher and you can’t use them to make “boil-in-the-bag” food.
Remember that the cost of the Foodsave brand bags can be offset by reusing them!
I am very much a thrifty, cut-corners kind of person but there are some things that end up costing more in the long run if you go the cheaper route, and this is one of them.
The accessory hose is a great addition and helps you in sealing non-bag things. They sell sealable canisters to store dry goods in, and you plug the hose right in to the canister to seal them.
Having said that, I will be honest with you in saying I have not had good luck with the canisters. I find them inefficient and they do not hold the seal for long periods of time. Looking at the reviews for the canisters on Amazon, it seems like I am not the only one.
I much prefer their canning jar attachment. It’s a separate attachment that you use with the accessory hose that allows for a vacuum seal on a canning jar with a metal lid.
This is not a substitute for processing with wet foods, but is wonderful for bug-and-rodent-proof long-term storage of dry goods. And the best part is, you can reuse the lids – just open the jar, use what you need, then reseal when you are done.
It’s also perfect for those “cookie mix in a jar” type gifts, because it will really help keep the ingredients fresh until your recipient uses the mix.
How Do I Learn To Use this food packaging equipment?
This kitchen vacuum packer has a pretty good instruction manual that’s easy to read.
And even better, there’s a great instructional DVD that will demonstrate just how simple is to use it.
What Are The its Drawbacks ?
Amazon users have given this item a rating of 4.3 stars out of 5and I would concur. There are very few drawbacks to this machine.
The Seal Wastage
The main thing I don’t like is the fact that the seal is designed in a way that wastes some of the bag when you create the seal. To fix this, I cut them a little longer to begin with, and then that allows me to use that bag for a longer time, continuing to re-seal.
Bethany’s Tip: I have found that once a bag gets too short to really be used for much, I can usually use it to make little seasoning packets for on-the-go. They are great for camping and even just when I’m busy and don’t want to pull out my individual seasoning bottles.
The Seal Strips Compressionage
The only other thing people don’t like about this food saver vacuum is that the seal strips themselves can become compressed. This is an easy fix just by a quick soak in warm water, which will refresh the seals pronto.
Other than that, I haven’t found anything that isn’t to love about this machine. It’s beautiful that makes my life easier and helps me save money and waste less food.
About ten years ago, a good friend of mine got one and she just raved about it… I wish I had paid attention to her then! But at least I’ve got one now, and it is definitely rave-worthy.
What’s the Bottom Line – How Much is it?
It retails at $280.00 but you shouldn’t pay more than $250 for it – Amazon usually has it for right around $200.00.
What Others Say About it:
This vacuum pack machine has gotten such rave reviews online with an average of 4.4 stars from reviewers on Amazon and Viewpoints.
Here are some of their comments:
- “I have completely transformed my freezer”
- “My husband can’t tell the difference between frozen and fresh meat anymore”
- “Has definitely paid for itself”
- “Love this new upgraded model!”
- “Can’t beat the V2840 for ease of use”
- “Lettuce in a bag lasts for weeks!”