I am thinking about buying one. Any advice on choosing a model or even thoughts about the overall usefulness of the appliance.
I have a Foodsaver Professional III. I use mine a lot. I, primarily, use it to freeze food with.
I discovered sort of a neat trick last Thanksgiving. I wanted everything I could to be made up or partially made up before the big day. I peeled the potatoes and sucked them down in a Foodsaver bag. They stayed in the refrigerator without browning for 2 days before I took them out and cooked them. I preblanched the green beans and did the same thing. I now buy fairly large quantities of green beans when they are on sale, preblanch and freeze in Foodsaver bags. All I have to do now is saute them when I want.
Freezing meat in a Foodsaver bag eliminates the air so no freezer burn and it allows me to defrost in a sink of water without the meat floating as much. With no air in the package, the meat thaws faster too because the air would insulates the meat from the water thawing it.
About the only thing I do with one outside the cooking arena is store silver in them...no air no oxidation.
You can buy 50 foot rolls of plastic on ebay. Watch the Foodsaver site. Every couple of months they have a 50% off sale. Add that with the free shipping on orders over $100.
Don't bother buying the bags, they are expensive and wasteful. Just buy the 8 and 11 inch rolls.
I have not used the canning jar lids. I think they would work great but I usually forget to use them.
Keep the seals on the Foodsaver clean or it won't seal well.
I often double seal my bags... for sure for sure.
1 last thought. I have enough counter space to keep mine out all the time. If I didn't have it out, I wouldn't use it near as often. If you don't have a place to keep one out and available, you probably won't use it so you might want to pass on it.
"Don't bother buying the bags, they are expensive and wasteful. Just buy the 8 and 11 inch rolls".
I second that motion!!!
I 2nd the opinion of the FoodSaver. I've had mine for 4 years now and have had no issues with it. Mine is probably less expensive than the "pro" model and was recently on sale from the FoodSaver folks for $89 including a few bags and accessories. Check their website because they run specials frequently.
Echo the other comments. I like to fish and there is little to no loss of quality when it's freezer packed.
Agree, don't buy the bags. I just bought 5 rolls at a ridiculously low price fron an internet special.
I have the basic model; but if you're a hunter or plan on using it a lot, I'd consider the Professional..I know it works faster and may be a better choice if you're using it a lot. The basic model takes a little practice/dexterity to fit the bag into the vacuum slot. I'm guessing the Pro Model doesn't have that problem; but that's really a minor quibble.
I had a foodsaver that I got at Costco about 8 or 9 years ago. I packed many hundreds of pounds of fresh fish with that thing as well as a lot of meat and other assorted food stuffs. It was getting kind of finicky drawing vacuum on some bags so I finally upgraded and got one of these:
It's definitely more expensive than the FS was but it is built like a tank and works better than the FS.
Honestly, I'd recommend either one depending on your budget.
You can get the boxes of rolls at Costco for a pretty good price. They will work with either sealer.