After pulling one too many packages of barbecue out of the freezer only to find it ruined by freezer burn, my dear wife and I decided to invest in a vacuum sealer.
Vacuum sealers extend the storage life of food by removing the air and sealing the food for storage. Food can stay fresher up to five times longer with this method, and since there’s almost no oxygen in the packaging, there’s much less risk of mold or spoilage.
We did a bit of research and settled on a FoodSaver V3825 that Costco was selling for $159.99 (this looks like the same unit as the V3840 that FoodSaver sells directly for $173.97, just with a different accessory set).
One of the big reasons we picked this model is that it sits upright and has a spiffy silver and black finish so we can leave it out on the counter top all the time.
The unit comes with a marinating container, 12 quart bags, and an 11″ x 18′ roll so you can make your own bags. While it has a lot of bells and whistles (Adjustable Food Settings, CrushFreeTM Instant Seal, and whatever the heck a PulseVacTM is), the nicest feature is the simplicity of operations – turn it on, stick the food in a bag, stick the bag in the sealer, and it automatically sucks out all the air and seals it up – slick.
If you need to make a custom-sized bag, you also need to cut the bag to length with the attached cutter and seal the open end of the bag before filling it with food. But even with these extra steps we sealed a 6 pound ham into individual servings in under ten minutes.
The feature I’m really looking forward to using is the marinating container. You put your food and marinade in this 2.25 quart container, attach it to the FoodSaver, and it runs a 10 minute vacuum cycle that drives the marinade into the food.
So far we’ve vacuum sealed a quart of adobo sauce, a ham, lunch meat, bulk sausage, several batches of roast pork, some very nice pork steaks, and a whole roast chicken. We’ve had no problems with it. The sealer is easy to use and easy to clean. Between being able to save money by buying in bulk and putting away leftovers so I can brown bag my lunch, we’ll have paid for the unit in a month or so.