@givemeyoursoul How much did you save when you factor in electricity costs for five years, plus a freezer full of meat for five years you cant use for something else or paid for a bigger freezer to start with, plus the risk of a power outage ruining it all?
Seems to me, on-demand purchasing, even at a highet unit cost won’t save you all that much. And certainly not when the Trumpocalypse arrives and the nukes take out the grid.
@mike808 The cost difference between freezing something for 5 days and 5 years is near zero. Your freezer is going to be running the entire time anyway. Once heat is removed from the food the cooled volume protects your freezer from temp swings when you open/close it. Since you are replacing less cold air with warm air your freezer has to do less work. Non-frozen foods that you add should also freeze faster. And during power outages, a FULL freezer will stay frozen for a very long time if you don’t open the door.
Five years is definitely excessive… but it’s great being able to buy “family pack” portions and grabbing something when it’s on sale. Having portioned/frozen meat in the freezer is as much a convenience as it is a cost saving measure.
@mike808 I use these for cooked foods to save money and labor. I make large pots of stew, meatballs, pulled pork, chili, etc to freeze in smaller portions. Grilled chicken and burgers bring back a taste of summer on a cold winter day.
@mike808 I use the one I bought previously for sealing dehydrated food for camping. Even after i factor in the cost of dehydrator and vacuum sealer I save a ton of money over buying the prepackaged stuff. My teenage son can eat a commercial 3 servings package and start eyeing my dinner. The only thing i still buy is dehydrated mashed potatoes at the grocery store.
@mike808 RE: Purchasing bulk on sale vs. daily price…
The last time I bought boneless, skinless chicken breasts they were on sale for $1.37/lb. I bought, sealed and froze 40 pounds. Today at the same store the price for the same boneless, skinless chicken breasts is $5.99/lb.
Factor in the cost of bag material and the electricity cost to seal and freeze those items (not the freezer operating cost since the freezer would be running anyway) I’ve saved a minimum of $175. That’s just on chicken. I also do this with ground beef, steaks, beef roasts, etc. Over the course of a year I’d be surprised if my savings didn’t exceed $500 just on meat alone.
@sammydog01@Moose I guess I’m double the sucker because I bought the last two that meh sold. And I’m still thinking of buying this one. Suckerhood must go up exponentially, right? So I’ll be four or eight times the sucker if I buy this one.
@SSteve These things work about 70% of the time. I use this to seal imported italian pizza flour I buy as well as regular meats etc…30% of the bags don’t seal properly, and are soft a week later. the teflon “tape” over the heating element develops a wrinkle and the bags don’t seal. I’ve owned two of these sealers and they both developed the same problem.
@jbartus yes, it seems to not matter what I’m sealing. example, being a lobsterman I freeze lobster meat in a bowl, then put the frozen “puck” of meat into a bag to seal…1/3 of the bags don’t maintain a vaacum. Double sealing is one method, or making bags big enough to accommodate trimming off the seals and resealing, but again, only 2/3 effective.
@MrGlass I’m going to second this (for the V2222 I got here a few months back)
After a few months of using it I can barely get it to kick on (when it even lets me use it). And while these do have a 1 year warranty, Foodsaver requires you ship the device to them on your dime (which totals to about 20 bucks)
@Mehsturbator I have mine packed away somewhere, so I can’t verify this, but I’m almost positive there’s a setting called “Moist” for wet items. The moisture can collect where the sealer melts the bags together. The moisture makes it necessary to use more heat to seal the bag.
Bring back the simpler food saver for $22 plz. I’ll buy another one “just in case”. Don’t bring back the Rival brand one that was like $15, that one won’t let you seal without vaccing, which reaaaaaly sucks for making bags. It also at least twice as loud.
I think I’ll get this to replace my fancy one I got at Costco several years ago. It lost its suck and even though it’s clean and no cracked hoses inside, it just won’t reach full vacuum anymore. I use it a lot. I also HATE the stainless which always looks dirty so this one just might be better.
I buy chicken and beef in bulk when it’s on sale, then use the 2 Rival refurbs I bought here last year. I’m obsessive about double sealing my bags, so I run 2 simultaneously to save time. I’ve sealed well over 200 pounds of chicken breasts and probably 150 pounds of ground beef and they’re still going strong.
I also use them to portion up stuff I don’t use that quickly like coffee, flour or sugar.
I even use them to seal batteries I keep with my camping gear just in case the batteries leak.
I use the vacuum sealer for sous vide cooking. Does this actually work if there’s liquid (like some olive oil) in the bag? Because the Rival and other FoodSaver I bought here really suck at that. I thought the other FoodSaver would be better than the Rival with liquid but it’s actually worse. Worse all around, really, so I’m going to feel like a moron if I get another FoodSaver and it doesn’t do what I want.
Or maybe I should just forget the whole thing. The author of the sous vide cookbook I got says he almost exclusively uses the displacement method with a ZipLoc bag. And I still have a bunch of the ZipLoc bags I bought here in Sep 2015.
@SSteve You don’t need liquid in the bag when you seal it. Dry it off before you put it in the bag. I used to use the ziploc method until I got my foodsaver. No more clips or worrying it will slip under if the circulator catches the bag at the wrong time.
Thaw, dry, s&p, seal, set the Anova and QC the wine. Bust out the Searzall for a few minutes with some butter and Ta Da! Bistro steak every time. You can S&P and seal and ‘age’ it in the fridge for a few days to make it even more tender. Or use AB’s dry aging in the fridge process. Delish.
@SSteve the only way you’re going to be able to seal liquids in a vacuum bag is if you get one of the high-end tank models. ALL of those with this type of design that allows “normal atmospheric pressure” on the outside of the bag when sealing will eject all the liquid.
That said - it’s really not hard to hit the “seal” button once all the air is out with these types of sealers…
@Pufferfishy, @SSteve, when I’m sealing something particularly liquidy I’ll put it in the bag, stick the bag in the freezer and “pre-freeze” for a bit before applying the final seal. This works especially well with ground beef which tends to get juicy as you apply the vacuum. Portion it, stick it in the bag (with one end sealed of course, then into the freezer for 30 minutes. When you remove it to vacuum and seal, all that juice stays put.
@sarahsandroid yes, but molding is due to fat content left in the jerky. If you trim out the fat before dehydrating it won’t go rancid easily. I’ve had jerky stored for up to 6 months on a shelf. probably lasts longer but I tend to eat it by then.
@azdarkknight A generic roll on Amazon is $17 for 100’ x 8". A one quart freezer bag is approximately 7" x 8", so you can make approximately 170 quart size bags from one $17 roll. That comes out to 10 cents per vacuum bag. The cheapest Ziploc Freezer quart size bags come out to 7 cents per ziploc bag. You are saving 3 cents per bag.
Sous vide literally means “under vacuum”. You are cooking sous ziploc
I’ve got one of these that I use constantly, not just for freezing but for sous vide, spice storage (my husband just mixed up a year’s worth of rub for the smoker since he’s doing three pork shoulders for Christmas this year), etc.
Save yourself the heartache though - remember the time I posted the pic of the Belgian waffle I tried to vacuum seal?
In any case, I bought the cheap one as a gift for my in-laws. If you don’t have a sealer, buy this one. Don’t buy the bags, do the “make-your-own” film from Amazon.
Merry holiday stuff (I’m going through the motions at this point, hoping I’ll get last-minute cheer).
@LinnE I use this for WAY more stuff than I thought I would - things as esoteric as sunflower seed kernels I put on my salad - I get a 2# bag and then parcel them out and seal them so I always have “fresh” stuff (they tend to go rancid from the oils)
As far as sealing soft stuff - you can do it, if you put them in a container first to provide a “crush frame” - so we use those cheap disposable food storage containers that come in a 4 or 5 pack. The sammich sized ones are perfect for waffles and Freedom Toast!
I got the last cheap one on meh, and it’s awesome. This looks even more awesome, so I’m upgrading. The bag storage/cutter, speed, and moist/dry settings are all very welcome. The speed and moist settings particularly for sous vide (a lot of recipes I have found tell you to use the moist setting, otherwise you are prone to sucking liquid into the machine or having a failed seal). Even juicy cuts of meat I have been having to pre-freeze before sealing for this reason.
I went to Sam’s Club yesterday, bought 5 pounds of ground beef and 5 massive chicken breasts, and sealed them all separately - 10 meals (for two with leftovers) worth of protein for $25. I got mine off of meh last month sometime and it is great!
Yeah, not buying another one of these. Bought two last time you guys sold the cheaper version and one died as soon as I pushed the button to start. The other has sat neglected, still sealed in the box.
@owenversteeg and you chose not to contact support and get a replacement… why? They’re refurbished units, often perfectly good returned product but occasionally units that had something fundamentally wrong with them. Get in touch with support!
Been doing sous vide for a couple of years just using freezer quart ziploc bags. I’ve eyed getting a FoodSaver for a while, especially to handle bone-in or long cook foods (like 72 hour short ribs). Yum. In for one.
I bought the cheaper ($22) one Meh had 27 days ago, after toying with the idea of spending $100 on one of these gizmos new. It did not work at all, until I figured out that the upper gasket did not just sit on top of the lower gasket (as it came with the unit), but needed to be inserted into the upper gasket channel. Duh! But there was nothing in the sparse instructions about this. Once correctly assembled, it seems to work perfectly, and is a nice introduction into the sucky world of FoodSavoring. Being a Costco shopper, I will now buy their excellent meats etc at great prices, divide up the big packages, and seal & freeze portions for two. BTW, the sealed frozen bags can be quickly thawed in a pot of cool water for more spontaneous meal choices or unexpected company. Glad I started with a simple, and cheap, model to see if this works for me. At $35 it’s a bit more of a Meh-be; at $22 it’s a why the hell not.
@MrNews I got the $22. version also, and am about to order another couple of rolls of sealer material. Once I got over being afraid, it was a big cost saver. I don’t see any reason to get this upgraded version, because what I have is working fine. If I’d seen this first- well, maybe. Or meh-be.
@OldCatLady Same here re upgrade. Maybe in a year or so, or if this one fails. I bought a boxfull of bags & rolls at Costco, cheaper overall than Amazon. Now sealing homegrown berries and herbs (that’s “herbS”) for winter consumption.
@OldCatLady I’ve been happy that I bit a few months ago on the cheaper one, and given my limited storage space, it’s probably a better choice for me, but I do covet that integrated bag cutter. I am a real klutz when it comes to cutting a nice straight line through that bag material with scissors.
Mine arrived today. The bottom right part will not latch without concurrently pressing down on that superfluous door shield. This is probably why the right corner of the liquid drip tray was still covered in someone else’s food.
Factory recertified my ass. These are returns, and I know why. Waste of $35.
Got mine today. Pretty beat up. Model is from 2011. Mine will also not latch without pressing down on the door shield. Doesn’t matter though because it’s not vacuuming out the bags regardless. Tried every bag they sent and it wouldn’t vac out any of them. Will try to return, absolute waste of $40.
Got mine yesterday. None of the problems the others reported. Looks refurbed, clean enough (some micro scratches from being cleaned, presumably), latches fine, vacuums fine. The roll storage and cutter are a huge upgrade over the last one I bought from meh. It even has a spot to store the accessory hose under the lid. It’s obviously taller but doesn’t take up anymore counter space. Great deal for $35.
Mine arrived, looks fine, and all pieces seem to be accounted for…And as an extra bonus it seems to work. I vacuum sealed something in one of the premade bags, and sealed a bunch of chip and popcorn bags that were opened in our pantry. Well worth the price.
Mine arrived the other day. (Like Saturday). I got to use it today… one of the Christmas presents was a Joule. I used the sealer and tested the moist feature, worked like a charm! Then pop into the water with Joule for an hour and a half. A quick sear. The best steak I’ve ever had in my life. I was surprised I made it! Only thing I wish it was a little bloody. But the taste made up for it!
(It was rare/medium rare… but no blood dripping out. Weird)
@sohmageek The Joule is a delight, although I’m not ecstatic about having to pull out my phone and unlock it to do something simple like turn it off after a cook. I had to do that today while prepping sides and I looked over at it running four times before getting my phone out of my pocket to shut it off. If you just unplug it the app complains that Joule lost power during your cook.
Fortunately if you have Alexa you can implement basic controls by voice. “Alexa, ask Joule to turn off” is so much easier when you’re busy doing other things. I’ll be installing the skill as soon as I finish cleaning up tonight.
@djslack I actually had an easier time with Alexa while it was cooking it was easier to change the temp than with their app. Also if you press and hold the button at the top for a few seconds it turns Joule off. I didn’t see the app complain too much.
Mine just died (about a year after purchase), sealing strip stopped heating up. I called FoodSaver and they said there is a 5 year warranty on these (Meh says 1yr) even after I reminded her they are refurbished. FYI.
Steps to replace were I had to open a case with customer service, then ship the dead unit to MO (at my expense) and then call CS, provide them the tracking #, and they would then ship a new one out to me (at their expense). CS said it would likely be a a newer model unit as they don’t have any more of these?
I had to go through the process of getting mine replaced as well, when the vacuum/seal failed to ever switch to the seal function. When I called the service number, they first had me do a ‘test’ of the unit while on the phone with a CS rep. When they were unable to make it work properly, they sent new gaskets. When that didn’t fix the problem I filed a CS report and they sent me a ‘new’ one that is a bit of an upgrade. I don’t remember if I had to send the old one in. The entire process took only a couple of weeks from initial contact to new unit.
Overall a 5 star customer service response. edit This was actually for a different model sold in Oct of 2016 that died a few days before the year was up on the warrantee.