FoodSaver Vacuum Food Sealer & Starter Kit
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Solid reviews (4 out of 5 stars) over at walmart.com
So the bags are microwave safe as per this FAQ on their website.
They warn not to use them to cook raw foods, so I was wondering how they’d work with cooking sous vide. My layman’s science knowledge couldn’t think of anything that would make them microwave safe and not sous vide safe, so I did some more searching.
I found this blog post that was really helpful in determining that yes, these are sous vide cooking safe.
Perfect timing woot! I was just commenting to the hubby that our 10+ year old FoodSaver was on its last leg.
In for one. Yay!
Borrowed a friend’s FoodSaver last year while prepping for That Thing In The Desert™, and it was a game changer. Make a big batch of something, seal up individual portion bags, and chuck 'em in the freezer. Buy an extra pint of chow mein the next time you order Chinese food - bag it up and freeze it. Etc. 10-15 minutes in boiling water, and it’s chow time. Much broader variety than any of the dehydrated camp food out there without needing to bring a full camp kitchen, AND the icemelt in your cooler stays clean(er). If I hadn’t just bought one at Costco earlier this year, I would be all over this sale; as it is I’ll definitely be telling my friends about it.
The most important thing to remember about vacuum sealing is that it does not change the characteristics of the food itself; it just removes and protects from oxygen. It does not stop anerobic bacteria. Therefore, you must treat food pretty much as you would in any other container. If it normally requires refrigeration, it still does…The same with freezing. The plastic is inert and should not cause trouble under normal temperatures. It is just as safe for Sous Vide as any other container. Be aware; some food does not work well for Sous Vide. These bags will not change that…Cheers and good luck!!!
I think they warn against cooking raw foods in the microwave in general; it may not cook through. Sous vide wouldn’t have the same issue.
The issue for vacuum sealers and sous vide, from my research, is how they handle liquids coming out the top while the air is being evacuated and how easy they are to clean when it happens.
I’ve been thinking about getting one of these for a while now. Thanks!
Bought one last time around. You get what you pay for. Just tell yourself that as you use it and you’ll love it.
Is it better than laying a bag on a counter and pressing the air out? Sure. But be prepared for things that just don’t vacuum well.
Be sure to keep the vacuum/sealing surface clean.
Be advised - FoodSaver does not intend you to re-use bags. I do - and have about a 75% success rate on doing so. Some just won’t vacuum after the first use. I have determined that the roll of bags that came with the unit are problematic - seems that the “vacuum texture” isn’t course enough (and is only on one side of the face of the bag that is textured, unlike the refills where you can feel the texture inside and and out). Any of the replacement product I’ve bought (8", 11" rolls, and gallon bags) are fine.
I’ve also had great success with the ZipLock vacuum bags (the ones with a “port” on the face of them) - they have proved decent over repeated use.
I use this for sous vide and it’s passable. Any sealer of this class is going to be something of an issue when the product you’re sealing has liquids in it, so marinades and such for sous vide are a bit of a speed test (I vacuum then then jab the seal button as soon as the liquid “peaks”). I don’t expect it to last forever (actually I don’t think it’s going to last much longer - it’s getting more asthmatic every time I use it) - and when it goes I will get a much better chamber unit - but for now, and for $60, this is decent.
Something happens with fresh vegetables in this thing - I bought a bunch of green beans and sealed then in “2 serving” batches - and they were horribly limp when defrosted - it was weird - like they “freezer cooked”. So my main use is meat and fish.
If you can buy good food in bulk it’s great. I buy “premium grade” chicken wings when I can find them (as opposed to the pigeon wings most grocers carry) and will pre-mix bathes of garlic, buffalo, and jerk wings - then seal 'em up and freeze 'em. I’ve gotten 2 whole beef tenderloins when they were on sale for the price of decent hamburger. It’s perfect for that sort of thing.
At lower temps (meats) the bags come out unscathed and reusable. At higher temps (like for potatoes) they can’t be re-used. They get quite crinkly. (I make a wicked sous vide potato salad)
I have one of these and it’s a buy. Great for sous vide or just freezing foods. Recommended. However, when it’s time to buy more bags, search amazon for generic bags and you’ll find them at half price. I just bought a 50’ roll (11" wide) for $20 a couple days ago with free shipping.
Boy, am I behind the times. I had to look up sous vide.
Is buying plastic bags that end up in a landfill the food version of K-Cups, or can the plastic be recycled?
I bought one last time, and I wasn’t sure how much I’d use it…well I’ve found PLENTY of uses for it. I LOVE this thing and highly recommend it. I have since bought the mason jar attachments, and while I’m not canning, I am using it to better preserve my loose teas, give a longer shelf life (in my refrigerator) to opened sauces, etc. Meats freeze better and last longer. Things are not getting freezer burned. I bulk dehydrate food and then vacuum seal it for later. Honestly, it’s become my favorite kitchen gadget. You can use it for nearly anything.
I’ve had no problems with the bags it came with. I have just found that I have to lay the bags on a completely flat surface to vacuum seal, and not shift them at all, or it will fail. The bags are reusable with a straight cut, you just lose a few inches, (i.e. they become smaller each time).
Cannot recommenced this gadget enough.
I’m a long time food saver user, just a heads up for those whose unit takes longer and longer to complete the vacuum, or not at all… an inexpensive change of the foam gaskets inside the unit will usually restore to new vacuum ability, they become flattend out or get small nicks and depressions in them that causes this. I just paid Jarden (the parent company) 12 dollars + shipping for 2 extra sets for my older 2460 unit and it is back to work storing my extra crop herb(s) from my garden as well as putting up steaks from prime rib sales and pulled pork in the freezer.
Keep in mind that there is a newer model of this tool- the V2244, I think. That newer model seems to go for $69.99 w/ free shipping everywhere, so depending on what changes they made the upgrade may be worth the difference.
Do you have better results when you just chuck raw veg in the freezer in a non-vacuum container? My experience has been that it doesn’t work so well. You might want to try blanching the beans briefly before sealing/freezing them, see if that helps.
My wife and I have owned an older Food Saver for about 10 years now and love it. Since it’s just the two of us, it is great for buying meat in bulk and dividing it into portions - we haven’t found it to be any better for foods other than meat so we don’t bother with anything else. We’ve been using generic bags for years without an issue and have actually only purchased the brand-name bags/rolls when we can find them on clearance at a kitchen store.
Don’t underestimate the value of the accessory port and hose. We have a vacuum container we use to marinate meat in before cooking - the vacuum process really saturates the meat all the way through with flavor.
The only issues with our current unit are a crack in the nipple for the vacuum accessory port (have to hold the hose end in by hand or it will leak) and our unit doesn’t have the removable drip tray for easier cleaning. I’m still on the fence on spending the money on the Woot unit just for those two small issues. If only our old unit would only give up the ghost and make the decision for me!
Yea the ones made in the last ~3 are NOT THE SAME QUALITY. My old foodsave lasted ~8 years, been through 2 of the new ones in 6 months each, and said goodbye to foodsaver.