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Oct 29, 2007 06:39 AM

Reynolds Handi-Vac

Just saw this advertised this weekend. It's a small, hand-held gadget that sucks air out of specialty ziplock bags. Has anyone tried this? Anyone have a comparison to the Tilia FoodSaver? I've been toying with the idea of getting a FoodSaver, but have been balking at the high cost of it. If I can get similar results from a $10 appliance (vs. the FoodSaver $100+ price), I'd definitely be interested.

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. I must have missed your post earlier... I posted about this same device. We actually bought one this weekend with the $2.50 coupon. Sharper Image sells a Frisper that operates on the same idea (ziploc bag, "resealable") but is still $80.

      For about $15, we bought the Handi-Vac and a box of quart and gallon bags. Tonight we sealed up some pita bread and it certainly sucked out enough air, much like a FoodSaver. I don't know how well the seal will hold up over a month, but right now it looks good.

      As for who would buy this, a lot of people buy food in bulk and store it in the freezer for months at a time. We buy steaks from Costco, but we certainly don't eat all of them within a week. It's just more cost effective than buying a steak from the store every time we want one. Vacuum sealers are also good for freezing berries or resealing frozen veggies, to help keep the ice crystals from forming. The less air comes into contact, the slower it decays, so even vacuum sealing fish to store in the fridge for a few days helps.

      If you have the luxury of grocery shopping every few days, then a vacuum sealer is obviously not for you. But some of us like to keep the freezer stocked with leftover meals or just basic proteins to throw together a last minute meal. If this $10 device can preserve the food even a little better than plastic wrap, meaning we don't have to spend hundreds of dollars, then that's a good thing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: leanneabe

        Have you used this on lettuce? I'm curious as to whether delicate leaves would be crushed when the air is sucked out.

      2. Hey guys, I bought this last night and gave it a whirl. It works really well! I vacuumed some soft rolls (these go bad so quickly) and some lettuce. I sucked the air out just enough to gently caress the plastic around the goods. I didn't want to crush anything. The hand-held device allows total control of the amount of air you remove. I also vac'ed some pork chops which I threw in the freezer. I checked this morning on the seals and they seem to be holding up. I'm still holding my breath on the freezer stuff though. You all know how ziploc bag seals can open up in the freezer. I think its a worthy $10 investment. Much better than spending 100+ for the Tilia Food Saver. The bags aren't that expensive either. I got 12 gallon size and 20 (I think) quart size for $2.57 each at Walmart. I plan to reuse as many as possible.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sheilal

          Oh, an by the way guys, I'm going to seal up half an avocado tonight (after I eat the other half on a buffalo mozzerella, proscuitto & avocado ciabatta sandwich). I'll let you know if it makes it 'til tomorrow evening before it turns brown.

          1. re: sheilal

            For produce, I've had really good luck with Evertfresh or other similar storage bags. They basically absorb ethylene gas and keep your fruits and veggies fresh several times longer than regular baggies or plastic wrap. You just stick the produce into the bag and tie it off with a twist tie.

            Someone also makes ethylene absorbing discs that you toss in your veggie crisper, but I haven't actually used those.

            1. re: sheilal

              Good news to report - the avocado half has not turned brown yet. It's been 2 days and I must say I'm really impressed with the Handi-Vac. Who would have thought a hand-held device costing $10 would work so well?? I know I sound like a commercial for the thing. Hmmmmm, maybe I should contact Reynolds for a testimonial. I could use some new bags already . . .

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I have to say, the green onions I sealed up a week ago are still looking green and firm (not brown at the edges). I can see this being very useful for cheese storage, too.

              So far, I'm happy enough with this $10 little product that I don't think we need to spend $100 for a larger appliance. I guess if you wait long enough, just about any "luxury appliance" will get mass marketed for a lower cost.