Foodsaver vacuum sealer

Burt Blank

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Mine gave up the this year. Because we hardly used it here due to the different style of shopping here, I doubt we will replace it.
One of the really useful tricks for me was the storage of silver and other metals that tarnish.
 
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medtran49

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I saw a tip the other day when sealing softer food, coat the bag lightly with oil or spray oil and supposedly it won't crush so bad.
 
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I have a Foodsaver, FM3945, bought at Sam's Club, so it came with extra bags and things.

I hated it at first and struggled to get it to work, which I talked about here earlier. I even spent quite a while on the phone with support, and they told me to return it if I wanted. I wasn't really happy with them.

After watching several videos online, I finally figured out how to use mine, and now it love it. The unit is extremely picky with getting the top of the bag lined up so that it'll vacuum properly, but once you know how to do it, I rarely have a failure.

A couple of things I don't like:

1. A lot of foods, either due to moisture or softness, are recommended to be frozen first before sealing. Probably just me, it's annoying to have to freeze something before I seal it...to freeze.

It does come with a "moist" button, that's supposed to work with soft items - still crushes the living crap out of them, so that's useless.

2. They make reusable bags for thing things you want to seal and reopen and reseal, so maybe something like nuts - you can seal them up (like a ziploc bag), open them, have a few nuts, then seal them again, over and over.

Those don't really hold a seal for very long. By the next day, air seeps in, so it's kind of pointless.

I usually just buy the rolls and cut my own bags to fit. It's not cheap, but probably cheaper than throwing out a bunch of food. I do like the fat-bottomed precut bags for soups, though. Easy to fill and store.

Another thing is like is the ability to reseal plastic bags, like maybe you opened a bag of pretzels...you can squeeze the air out and just pop the top of the original bag on the sealer strip, close the lid, press seal, and it reseals the original bag.

My brother talked me into it, and when I talked to him after buying it, that's when he filled me in on all the problems I was having, saying they were common ones, and that led him to buy a commercial-grade one. This tabletop one I have, you do have to let it cool down a bit, if you're trying to do a whole bunch at once.

My sister has a very old Foodsaver. She sent me a pic, it's about the size of an old laser printer :)laugh:), but she's still using it. She loves it.

So, overall, I'd recommend it, though I'd warn you about the frustration level, until you figure it out. If you buy the same model I have, I'll offer my services as Foodsaver consultant, free of charge, to show you how to get it to work. Seriously, I was about to throw that thing through the window, I was so mad at it! :laugh:

We have a Foodsaver FFS017 - it looks a lot like your FM3945 (possibly different model numbers in different regions?) and I agree its a great machine and small enough to easily store.

I really like the reusable bags...I find some of them hold the seal really well but others don't. I have some which look really battered now because they've been reused so often. Sometimes don't work because there is a bit of food stuck in the ziplock seal, other times they just leak - it seems totally random whether you get a good one or a bad one.

I obviously use it when I'm going to sous vide something, but we also use it to store things longer in the fridge eg. we buy cheese in large blocks, cut it up ourselves and vac pack it in smaller blocks to use. The vac packed blocks last for months in the fridge without going mouldy :okay:
 

caseydog

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I saw a tip the other day when sealing softer food, coat the bag lightly with oil or spray oil and supposedly it won't crush so bad.

My foodsaver has a "gentle" mode. It sucks air out slowly, so you can hit the "stop/seal" button more accurately. If you don't stop it, it will still stop itself before crushing the food.

Mine also has the attachments for wide mouth and regular mouth mason jars. That is nice to have.

On the topic of bags and rolls. Rolls are cheaper, and you can choose your size. Min unit has the storage and cutter. However, I use the pre-made bags, mostly. The pint bags are what I use the most, because they are perfect for one serving, such as one steak or pork chop. They are more convenient, although not as cost effective.

CD
 

Yorky

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As I cook "in bulk" for freezing a lot of the time I decided to give a vacuum sealer a go. I was unsure how much use I would get from it so prior to spending shed loads of cash I went for a cheap unbranded model. Should the process prove useful I may invest in a better quality model in the future.


Cost - ฿631.00 (including 15 bags) [US$21.00]
Bags – ฿265.00/100 [US$8.80]

There is no warranty on this model although there is a 7 day return without question.

My first impression was that it’s very light which leads to it being somewhat difficult to hold steady. It is said to have magnetic feet but they are not very efficient.

The user manual is written in an strange version of English which is probably a bad translation from the original Chinese, e.g. “please press down on both sides of the vacuum cover for a few seconds until the LED indicator changes from green to green. One-button design and LED indicator provide you with a smart device experience.”

It’s not user friendly. Three hands would be beneficial to operate the sealer efficiently. It took me four trial runs to get used to the operation.

After the seal has been effected the unit is not easy to open. This could possibly be because it is new.

It is necessary to partially or fully freeze any dishes which have liquid before sealing as the liquid will be sucked it into the machine. The manual is clear that no liquid should be allowed to enter the machine.

I’ve found it to be around 90% efficient; i.e. only removes 90% on the air in most cases.




I have yet to defrost food which has been vacuum packed prior to freezing.
 

epicuric

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As I cook "in bulk" for freezing a lot of the time I decided to give a vacuum sealer a go. I was unsure how much use I would get from it so prior to spending shed loads of cash I went for a cheap unbranded model. Should the process prove useful I may invest in a better quality model in the future.


Cost - ฿631.00 (including 15 bags) [US$21.00]
Bags – ฿265.00/100 [US$8.80]

There is no warranty on this model although there is a 7 day return without question.

My first impression was that it’s very light which leads to it being somewhat difficult to hold steady. It is said to have magnetic feet but they are not very efficient.

The user manual is written in an strange version of English which is probably a bad translation from the original Chinese, e.g. “please press down on both sides of the vacuum cover for a few seconds until the LED indicator changes from green to green. One-button design and LED indicator provide you with a smart device experience.”

It’s not user friendly. Three hands would be beneficial to operate the sealer efficiently. It took me four trial runs to get used to the operation.

After the seal has been effected the unit is not easy to open. This could possibly be because it is new.

It is necessary to partially or fully freeze any dishes which have liquid before sealing as the liquid will be sucked it into the machine. The manual is clear that no liquid should be allowed to enter the machine.

I’ve found it to be around 90% efficient; i.e. only removes 90% on the air in most cases.




I have yet to defrost food which has been vacuum packed prior to freezing.
It doesn't appear to have made a very good vacuum. Does it have an auto cut off, or do you have to manually control it?
 

epicuric

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It has an auto cut off which doesn't work that well every time.

It's all a bit trial and error.
I've stopped using the auto feature on mine for that very reason. However, if you are mainly using it for freezer storage then it's probably not critical.
 

Yorky

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I've stopped using the auto feature on mine for that very reason. However, if you are mainly using it for freezer storage then it's probably not critical.

I've been thinking that it may have something to do with the food itself. The chilli con carne that I vacuum packed was virtually 100% but the cayenne chillis and spring rolls were not. The latter two had air within the food whereas the CcC did not. Those are my only attempts up to now.
 

epicuric

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I've been thinking that it may have something to do with the food itself. The chilli con carne that I vacuum packed was virtually 100% but the cayenne chillis and spring rolls were not. The latter two had air within the food whereas the CcC did not. Those are my only attempts up to now.
If you split up the chillies a bit they should seal all around. It takes a bit of getting used to. I replaced my machine last year with a different model, and it has taken me six months to get used to it. For the first three months I was on the verge of chucking it out.
 

caseydog

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If you split up the chillies a bit they should seal all around. It takes a bit of getting used to. I replaced my machine last year with a different model, and it has taken me six months to get used to it. For the first three months I was on the verge of chucking it out.

I vacuum seal the peppers from my garden -- mostly cayenne. I pre-freeze them to keep them from being crushed. I always put my food saver on the "Moist" setting, because it seals for longer.

CD
 

Yorky

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I've been thinking that it may have something to do with the food itself. The chilli con carne that I vacuum packed was virtually 100% but the cayenne chillis and spring rolls were not. The latter two had air within the food whereas the CcC did not. Those are my only attempts up to now.

One of the chilli con carne packs (darkened from the original image).

54634
 

TastyReuben

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Found a new use for my vacuum sealer:

90219

Those are my cloth slip-ons, for knocking around the hotel in, when I don’t feel like putting on my real shoes! :laugh:
 

Morning Glory

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Found a new use for my vacuum sealer:

View attachment 90219
Those are my cloth slip-ons, for knocking around the hotel in, when I don’t feel like putting on my real shoes! :laugh:

Good use - but unless you take the vacuum sealer with you, they will take up more space on the way back. So I'm not sure what the advantage is...
 

TastyReuben

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Good use - but unless you take the vacuum sealer with you, they will take up more space on the way back. So I'm not sure what the advantage is...
It’s mainly keeping the dirty shoes away from my clean clothes. On the way back, they’ll just get tossed in with the dirty laundry.
 
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