I have heard about FoodSaver® Systems for years – as seen on TV and from friends who use them. I have always wanted to try one, but I was a little intimidated. I’m not a big freeze-the-casserole kind of girl, but it turns out there are 1,001 other ways to use these vacuum-sealing machines.
In conjunction with POPSUGAR Select, The FoodSaver® Brand offered to send me the FoodSaver® V4865 2-In-1 Vacuum Sealing System in exchange for a review and a post showcasing examples of how we used it in our house. Matt and I gave it a fair test drive, vacuum sealing everything from salmon to hops.
The system uses a roll that you cut to the size you need and seal one end of to create a bag. (It also came with a selection of pre-assembled bags and some special zip locking bags that I’ll show you in a second.)
The instructions were printed right inside – very easy to follow for a newbie like me!
Just cut your roll to size using the cutter –
Seal one edge, which takes about 20 seconds
Then find a food in your house that is poorly wrapped in the fridge. This was easy to do in ours – I found some smoked salmon that I had “sealed” with a clip. Yeah, air was not being kept out by that clip! Air is the number one enemy of freshness!
Place the food in your bag, and insert the open edge into the machine to vacuum and seal. Nice and neat!!
The second food I sealed – leftover buttercream frosting! This was a great food to seal and stash in our freezer for another party. Please disregard the *clean* spoon digs to the bowl ; )
One of my initial critiques was actually nullified upon exploring the system further: you can’t open and re-seal the above packages without cutting them. Thus, the roll is best for things you’re going to freeze for a while. But for foods in your fridge that you need to access, there are special bags that zip closed and have a valve to vacuum out the air. (There is also a whole line of special containers that can be vacuumed out too!)
Open cheese needs a new package –
Insert it into the special bags, and use the attachment to vacuum –
And ta-da – your cheese is zipped and sealed air-free. I imagine that these are a bit more expensive than a regular zipper bag, but upon visiting the website they appear to have lots of sales that might make them competitive with store brands. There are too many variables to do a true cost comparison on that. Washable containers might be best for things that you don’t need to keep longer because you can reuse them over and over and not have to throw them away, but you could save the FoodSaver® Bags for special things you know would really benefit from longer preserving (like cheese!)
The machine has both a dry and moist setting – I made the mistake of trying to vacuum some leftover mini cupcakes from Mazen’s birthday on the moist setting. It was like a science experiment on the volume of air!! Luckily they still tasted good : )
My biggest hesitation with the FoodSaver® is storage. It’s too big to sit on my countertop (I am extremely protective of countertop real estate!) but it’s one of those things that if it’s out of sight it might be out of mind. I think we will use this most of all for special projects – freezing things in bulk (like the pesto we make every year from fresh summer basil) or if we buy a bunch of meats and fish at the market and want to keep them fresh throughout the winter.
But perhaps the coolest special project we did was using the FoodSaver® to vacuum-pack Matt’s hops! This is the harvest from our first year planting hops at home, laid out to dry for a week on a clean screen:
When used in beer brewing, their shape doesn’t matter, so we were able to compress them a TON by vacuuming out the air. The hops went into three different bags of three different weights (for different styles of beer!)
Look how much air was pulled out!
And all this –
Turned into this –
Such a perfect solution for Matt, who had planned to stuff them into bags and call it a day.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the FoodSaver® Brand through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about the FoodSaver®