Do you use a Food Saver ?

JimK

TVWBB Olympian
I'm happy with mine (V3485) and have had it several years now. I don't use it a ton, but between general freezing and sous vide, it probably gets used lightly a couple times a month. Then a few times a year when I do pulled pork and bacon it sees a bit more volume. I buy the rolls and like them much better than the pre-sized bags. Granted, you have to seal both ends, but they are much cheaper. Just yesterday, I threw a half rack of uncooked beef back ribs into one and sealed it up. No issues at all.
 

Rich G

TVWBB Guru
Yes, I do use my FS regularly. It's been very reliable. My only complaint with this model (one of the upright, automatic sealing ones) is that it wastes too much of the bag....







 

Phil Perrin

TVWBB Honor Circle
I bought a refurbished one at Ollie’s several years ago. It worked ok for about 6 months, then it wouldn’t seal any more.
We bought a Ziplock brand one from Wally World 2-3 years ago. Haven’t had a bit of problems with it.
We use the Great Value brand roll bags with great success.
They might make larger bags that’d fit some spare ribs.
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
I've decided to give Food Saver another chance, just gotta decide which model to buy. I'll probably get the $80 model.
 
I've decided to give Food Saver another chance, just gotta decide which model to buy. I'll probably get the $80 model.
We got one about three years ago, Lynn, when they came out with a "vertical" model that I could keep on the counter. I knew we'd never use it if we had to haul it out every time we wanted to use it. Wish I'd have gotten it years before (Model No. V3425), as we use it all the time. We got several add-on attachments for this machine so I can seal canning jars (regular and wide mouth) and I also got the attachment so I can use the vacuum zipper quart bags to house deli-sliced meat. I seal it when it comes from the store and then check every day or so to re-seal it using the machine after my husband has simply sealed it like a zippered bag. Keeps the sliced meat and cheese we buy fresh for a lot longer.

There's a type of roll you can buy called FoodSaver 11" x 16' Expandable Vacuum Seal Rolls, 2 Pack, which will accommodate really big things, and would easily handle a rack of ribs. You have to cut it a bit larger than your rack is but the roll has "flaps" which expand -- in other words you have to put about a 5-inch lead on the bag so you can fold the edge of your "bag" from the roll properly (back to it's original position before filling) to slide into the Food Saver. You can fit a decent size turkey in here, and we also covered and sealed an entire FILLED casserole dish and stuck it in the freezer. These bags aren't cheap but then we don't need to use them very often.

Also like the DAM Vacuum-Seal Bags with liquid blocking strip -- I use these bags when sealing things that are kind of wet; the little dam paper strip that is built into the bag keeps liquid from going into your machine.

Lots of tips on how to repair or "tune up" these machines are now on YouTube. (I like the ones from users instead of the ones from FoodSaver.)

You can also buy a little rack to slip on the back of this model to hold several different sizes of bags -- very convenient so I don't have to head to the pantry to get the right size bag every time I want to use it.

Hope this helps!
 
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BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
Wow, those are cool. I get it, the sides are pleated to allow for greater thickness.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00851QSDO/tvwb-20
I was always picked last when attempting to play backyard sports, and I had no better coordination when trying to use these pleated bags. Even allowing lots of extra space I had a heck of a time getting a seal at the pleats. The concept is great, and if they work well for you folks then I am happy for you :)
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
Even allowing lots of extra space I had a heck of a time getting a seal at the pleats. The concept is great, and if they work well for you folks then I am happy for you :)
That is what would concern me with pleated bags, getting a seal at the pleats. I'd bet that the heat would have to be cranked up, and I'd be worried about holes in the seams where there's only a single layer.
 

Brian Thomas

TVWBB Super Fan
We got the V4880 from Costco about 4 years ago (I think) and it died about 4 months ago. We decided to try another brand so we got the Nesco VS-12 model. It's been working great. The nice thing about it is that when you want to seal one end of the bag, instead of having to slide it into the narrow slot like you have to do with FoodSaver, you just open the top, place the end of the bag on top of the sealer, close and lock the top and press manual seal. That's it. It also has a countdown timer deal too. Pretty slick.

We just buy the generic bag rolls from Amazon and they work fine.
 

BillSmith

TVWBB Pro
Considered it but up here larger bags are almost $30 for 32 bags. Too much for something to throw away after one use.
Couldn't you re-use the bags if desired? I never had a food saver but knew a friend with one. They would cut their bags on the long side so it could be reused multiple times. Maybe this is not possible to do for stew/sauce but for steaks, you could hand wash the bags, dry, and then reuse?
 

Dwain Pannell

TVWBB Hall of Fame
We’ve had a Food Saver for years. The rolls we buy are plenty wide enough for spare ribs, roasts, Butts, etc.
 

DavidMichael

TVWBB Fan
Ive been wanting a foodsaver for many years but never got one, Im getting ready to buy one because most of the time I end up throwing away left over bbq like pulled pork or brisket...there is no way my girlfriend and I can eat everything I smoke so will be giving packages away to friends or storing it in freezer from now on.
 

MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Ive been wanting a foodsaver for many years but never got one, Im getting ready to buy one because most of the time I end up throwing away left over bbq like pulled pork or brisket...there is no way my girlfriend and I can eat everything I smoke so will be giving packages away to friends or storing it in freezer from now on.

Doesnt matter what I cook , I cook extra and I freeze it.

On the smoker couple extra racks of ribs at a time. Never less than three racks for just me and my wife. In fact my wife is working late tonight, so that's what I ate for dinner was about a third of a rack of ribs from the freezer. Just cut the bag open and microwave for a few minutes and voila.

Of course brisket and pork butt make plenty to freeze

Bacon... About 10-11 lbs at a time (Whole pork belly)

Things like gumbo, shrimp creole, red beans, etouffee, etc.....i use a 16-25 quart pot, and freeze a bunch of those little disposable plastic containers from the grocery store.
Always at hand heat up just cook some rice, my daughter tends to take a bunch of containers back to grad school with her and stocker her freezer as well.

My wife makes huge batches of spaghetti sauce and meatballs, freezes it in the little plastic containers as well.

If you got to go through the trouble of cooking something, especially something that takes a lot of time, make a bunch and freeze it. Of course I got a pretty big freezer. Used to need that for deer meat, but I havent been doing much of that in the last 15 years

And of course, vacuum sealing and freezing bulk meat buys works great too. The meat doesn't get freezer burned and will keep a long time
 
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MartinB

TVWBB Pro
Ive been wanting a foodsaver for many years but never got one, Im getting ready to buy one because most of the time I end up throwing away left over bbq like pulled pork or brisket...there is no way my girlfriend and I can eat everything I smoke so will be giving packages away to friends or storing it in freezer from now on.

Does it matter what I cook , I cook extra and I freeze it.

On the smoker couple extra racks of ribs at a time. Never less than three racks for just me and my wife.

Of course brisket and pork butt make plenty to freeze

Bacon... About 10-11 lbs at a time 10 or 11 pounds at a time (Whole pork belly)

Things like gumbo, shrimp creole, red beans, etouffee, etc.....i use a 16-25 quart pot, and freeze a bunch of those little disposable plastic containers from the grocery store.
Always at hand heat up just cook some rice, my daughter tends to take a bunch of containers back to grad school with her and stocker her freezer as well.

My wife makes huge batches of spaghetti sauce and meatballs, freezes it in the little plastic containers as well.

If you got to go through the trouble of cooking something, especially something that takes a lot of time, make a bunch and freeze it. So yeah, I use the heck out of my vacuum sealer. Plastic bags turn out to be more expensive than you would think.....
 

DavidMichael

TVWBB Fan
Doesnt matter what I cook , I cook extra and I freeze it.

On the smoker couple extra racks of ribs at a time. Never less than three racks for just me and my wife. In fact my wife is working late tonight, so that's what I ate for dinner was about a third of a rack of ribs from the freezer. Just cut the bag open and microwave for a few minutes and voila.

Of course brisket and pork butt make plenty to freeze

Bacon... About 10-11 lbs at a time (Whole pork belly)

Things like gumbo, shrimp creole, red beans, etouffee, etc.....i use a 16-25 quart pot, and freeze a bunch of those little disposable plastic containers from the grocery store.
Always at hand heat up just cook some rice, my daughter tends to take a bunch of containers back to grad school with her and stocker her freezer as well.

My wife makes huge batches of spaghetti sauce and meatballs, freezes it in the little plastic containers as well.

If you got to go through the trouble of cooking something, especially something that takes a lot of time, make a bunch and freeze it. Of course I got a pretty big freezer. Used to need that for deer meat, but I havent been doing much of that in the last 15 years

And of course, vacuum sealing and freezing bulk meat buys works great too. The meat doesn't get freezer burned and will keep a long time
sounds like a good strategy, what triggered me to getting one is the local place that I like to purchase beef closed up shop however they have another shop 20+ miles away so now Im traveling 40 miles round trip to purchase hambuger-steaks etc. Im going to start buying in bulk I guess so I need to make sure it stays as fresh as possible
 

KToliver

TVWBB Fan
For those of you that own them, without considering the value of saving food that might get disposed of; are they cheaper than buying ziplock freezer bags?
 

Steve Haack

TVWBB Member
They can be, once you're past the cost of the vacuum sealer itself. We're talking cents per bag over a long period of time, though.

If you are a person that is very diligent about freezing the food, but not about using the food and end up cleaning out a lot of freezer burned food, yes. (this is me)

If you are a person that is good at using frozen stuff before it goes bad in the freezer, no. I'd probably just keep doing what you're doing.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB Pro
<scratches head>

I don't consider ziplock freezer bags to be a sufficient replacement for vacuum sealer bags. The material is softer, more prone to punctures and there's no practical way to get as much air out of the bag as I do with a vacuum sealer. I've grilled steaks that were in a vacuum sealed bag for 2 years that didn't even have any frost on the meat. Having said all of that, shop around..... I buy ziploc bags by the case at Costco for occasional use, and vacuum bags from Webstaurantstore.com. The vacuum bags at Webstaurantstore.com are cheap enough that I've nearly stopped using the roll media, between a nickel and a dime per bag, depending on capacity.
 

Steve Haack

TVWBB Member
If you're a person that has NEVER thrown away freezer burned food, the cost savings is not dramatic enough to change just for the sake of changing.

That's not me though.
 

DavidMichael

TVWBB Fan
on a side note I am also using the saran wrap - freezer paper method...mainly because one thing I found is I end up partially freezing the meat so the vacuum sealer doesnt suck out juices while trying to seal... this is kind of a pain, Im also faster at wrapping the meat with paper-saran wrap
 

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