Got My Foodsaver!

zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)October 27, 2010

Didn't even have to wait for Santa, or a trip to the U.S.

The 2240 was on sale here this week for $99, about the same price as on the FS website, give or take (a little less if you take into account the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar; a little more if you take into account our sales taxes; a little less if you consider the retailer's rewards program ["Canadian Tire money"]; etc. etc.).

Gonna get me one of them photo-cutting tools that kayskats recommended for cutting the bags nice and straight, and freeze me some sweet peppers! Woo hoo!

Z, doing the happy harvester dance

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2ajsmama

Yeah! Doing the "happy for Zabby" dance!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 4:07PM
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kayskats

... you paid less (much less) for your foodsaver than I did for mine at least 10 years ago. good job!!

kay

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 5:17PM
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freegard(Autralia)

you are very lucky to get such a bargain here I just bought a foodsaver v660 and it cost me $249

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 5:49PM
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kayskats

yeah, fregard,

that shipping'll eat you up.

kay

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 7:01PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

fregard,

Yeesh! It looks like the Australian 660 is pretty much the same unit as the North American 2240, and your dollar's about the same as Canada's right now, so I sure did get a bargain comparatively.

Had to work a long day and take Mom to the train tonight so haven't had a chance to even open the package yet. But the sale ends tomorrow so I wanted to be sure to get my hands on it! Very excited!

Z

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 9:11PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

I Saved Food! ;-p

Put up some chopped peppers using the 8-inch bags that came with my starter pack. One of them I cut in half and sealed small quantities of chopped hot peppers.

With a little experimentation I found I can, as others have reported, get the wasted edge down to about 2 inches (rather than the 3 inches the instructions say to leave), but I see now how it can't really get any smaller than that.

I also ran around cutting down and sealing (without trying to vacuum) all the open bags of snack food in the house: pretzels, rice snacks, tortilla chips. Wheee! It was SO much fun.

This late in the harvest season there isn't a whole lot of fresh stuff left for me to freeze but I'm looking forward to doing baked goods, some herbs, and maybe cranberries when they go on sale for the holiday season. And of course meats, probably the biggest money-saving aspect. I've lost meats to freezer burn and it's SO sad.

By the time berry season rolls around I'll be ready for a vacuum-o-rama!

Thanks to everyone here who has shared FoodSaver wisdom over the years. I've been looking forward to this moment for a long time!

Z
P.S. Oh, and Kay, I DEFINITELY need one of those Fiskars cutters. I have a paper cutter---the office kind with the blade on an arm that you lift up and then bring down---and thought I could use that in the meantime. Not so much!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 1:18PM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

Zabby,

Yea! I'm so happy for you!!

Am guessing that you will start a FoodSaver tips & tricks thread once you get some more vac-sealing under your belt. LOL

"Put up some chopped peppers using the 8-inch bags that came with my starter pack. One of them I cut in half and sealed small quantities of chopped hot peppers."

That is what I will be doing this afternoon. Expecting a light freeze tonight here in Misery and have peppers (mostly hot) that need to pick.

Still thinking abt ways to reuse bags. Soups, stews, chili etc, I vac seal in single portions and freeze. Line a pint container with Saran Wrap, pour in the soup & freeze. When frozen I remove the SW and vac seal. From now on am going to leave the SW on so doesn't contaminate the bag.

j

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 2:22PM
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kayskats

since I thought to pull out the Fiscars cropping gadget, I've wasted hardly any of the bagging material. Too lazy to go downstairs and get it the other day and after cutting two crooked bag, scooted down the stairs. That idea with the saran wrap is great ... I've been freezing liquid and then running water till the chunk comes out.

kay

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 2:35PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Kay,

My cropping gadget is definitely gonna live in the kitchen! Even if the office paper cutter had worked well for chopping bags (it really didn't), I'd have gotten something that could live there. One reason for my wanting a no-frills FoodSaver is its compact size, so it can stay mostly on the counter. I've learned that for me, accessibility is THE key to effectively using my tools (and my food). Which may be another way of saying I'm lazy as all heck, but there you go. ;-p

Great idea about the SW for easy bag reuse, John! I'm gonna be stealing all YOUR Foodsaver tips & tricks.

I'm excited to eventually get some cannisters for keeping nuts in. That's the dry good I find that most often loses freshness, or even gets rancid, before I use up a package.

Z, the sealing maniac

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 3:10PM
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kayskats

zabby, I freeze my pecans in 1/2 cup portions, using the FoodSaver bags, and they keep forever. (or at least two years). Mine are shelled before freezing.
this is where the cutting gadget comes in handy. I split a section cut from the wide roll down the middle and seal 3 sides. Has worked great for me.
k

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 4:46PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

>> I split a section cut from the wide roll down the middle

Why, Kay, you COWBOY, you! It *specifically* says in the instruction book NOT to cut the rolls lengthwise!

Z, shocked

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 6:06PM
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kayskats

actually, I'm a rebel!!!

haven't had a bag failure yet!!!!!! (at least from splitting

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 6:51PM
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michelelc

I'm not sure if anyone has suggested this yet, so I apologize in advance if I'm repeating something already said, but my favorite thing is the lid thing you put over canning jars to vacuum seal them. I seal spices for better shelf life and use the big 2 quart jars for larger items :) In addition to my regular food saver, I have a wand one just for the jars that I keep on my counter and use every day. I scored it at Target on clearance years ago for a few dollars! Quick tip, sometimes the 4 oz jars don't seal, but if you put 2 lids on before vacuuming, it seals and you can then take the 2nd lid off. No idea why this worked, but the foodsaver customer service suggested it to me.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 9:30AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

michele,

Au contraire, I'm really interested in your comments! (And I sure never mind if people say something on this forum that's been said before. We're having conversations, not writing reports here. ;-) )

I've been intrigued by the canning-jar-thingy but a bit confused about how it works, so maybe you can answer what might be a really stupid question. Is the canning-jar accessory ed a separate FoodSaver canning-jar lid for every jar, or does the gadget create a lower-level vacuum seal *with* a regular canning-jar lid, if you see what I mean?

I love the idea of being able to keep dry goods fresher in canning jars, but it seemed to me it would be expensive to have a FS attachment for each jar I used that way. That's why I was thinking of the nuts as the MOST susceptible to going bad at room temp and therefore useful to keep in cannisters.

Thanks,

Z

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 11:05AM
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John__ShowMe__USA(5/6)

>> I split a section cut from the wide roll down the middle...

I am going to love this!

Just cut several inches of a small roll in half to give it a try on some dried juniper berries. That small amt of berries will make 2-3 gal of kraut & would be more than I would use in a year. Still have a quart jar berries left. (anyone need a few berries?) I'm going to vac seal and freeze maybe a doz same size pkgs and give the rest of the berries away.

Think I can see why FS says not to cut the bags though. My first attempt I got a little crooked lining the cut edges up when sealing. It caused a small hump when I tried to vac seal the final side. Not enough to be a problem this time, but can see the possibilities. I double seal everything anyways because is just my nature.

Thanks!

j

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 12:03PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Is the canning-jar accessory ed a separate FoodSaver canning-jar lid for every jar, or does the gadget create a lower-level vacuum seal *with* a regular canning-jar lid,

It works with regular canning jar lids. Comes in 2 sizes of attachment - reg and wide mouth. Set a lid (on 2 in some cases) on the jar, set the vacuum attachment on top, pull the vacuum and remove the attachment. The lid is sealed in place.

Dave

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 1:17PM
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michelelc

Yes, as Dave said, you put the jar lid sealer over the jar that has the canning lid on it (without ring) and seal, then remove the jar lid sealer and put the ring on. You don't need to leave the jar lid sealer on, it just does something to suck the air out and create a vacuum, which stays when you remove the lid sealer. It would be very expensive to have a jar lid sealer for every jar! I use the 4 oz canning jars for my smaller amounts of spices. That's when I have to put 2 canning lids on when sealing to create the vacuum. It's great for keeping the humidity out of thing in the summer. I store almost everything in my pantry in vacuum sealed canning jars!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 9:12PM
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kayskats

was that in the instruction book? I gave my jar sealer away 'cause it took up too much space

k

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 9:24PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Thanks, Dave and Michele.

That makes sense, but the Foodsaver site's description of the jar attachment says "Foodsaver Wide-Mouth Jar Sealers *replace* standard Mason-type jar lids," which I found confusing!

Sounds very handy. I will look to acquire some accessories eventually, when the budget recovers from the early purchase of the machine itself. Which I'm having WAY too much fun with.

Kay, you created a monster with the news that it IS possible (however heretically) to cut the rolls lengthwise. My DH, who is somewhat fanatical about efficient use of materials, was suggesting all kinds of ways of chopping it up. When I said I was going to make some hot sauce with the last of my hot pepper harvest, he suggested I Foodsave it in little single-serving "ketchup packets." ;-0

Z, who did discover why the instructions suggest letting soft baked goods freeze on a cookie sheet for a few hours first; those are gonna be some funny-looking bagels when they come out of the freezer.... ;-)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 10:31PM
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kayskats

oh, my Zabby...

using soft-baked and bagels together is heresy. I bet a good NY bagel would stand up to any Foodsaver.
k

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 7:09AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

>> using soft-baked and bagels together is heresy. I bet a good NY bagel would stand up to any Foodsaver.

Heehee. I hope you'll try it and report! I was actually surprised at how much they warped. I saw them start to go and thought, "ooh, it'll stop vacuuming in a second," and it didn't---in the end I pressed "SEAL" to stop the vacuuming before the machine stopped itself. Who knows what misshapen lumps I'd have ended up with otherwise?

And these were reasonably sturdy Tim Horton's bagels (Canadian staple and the best we can do in our tiny town). Not sure how they'd stack up against a New York behemoth, but they are much more structurally sound than Montreal bagels, which are thin, soft things with an incredibly short half-life; they need to be eaten same-day or frozen right away---my FoodSaver will be freezing a LOT of them next time we come home from visiting my brother's family in Montreal.

Z

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 9:54AM
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kayskats

I'll have to run up to Baltimore to get a reasonable facsimile of a NY bagel...but if I do get the real thing, it's going down the hatch ... not in the food saver. When On Sunday mornings when I lived in Balto, we used to run down to NY Bagels (talk about cashing in on a name) which produced a reasonable bagel, rush home, smear it with cream cheese while still warm and rip into it.

The bagels around here are much too soft, not enuf chewiness in the crust. As they say, a good deli is hard to find.

When I first got my food saver, I tried to precook and freeze whole meals. The FS did a great job of warping the plastic plate ...

k

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 10:08AM
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2ajsmama

I thought boiling the bagels before you baked them made them chewy? I haven't made bagels in years, and I don't remember if I ever froze them, but they weren't soft. Of course, I made them with whole wheat flour and kid-sized (just rolled around 2 fingers) so maybe that made them chewy.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 10:26AM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Chewy, yes, but still crushable by the power of FoodSaver, apparently. When the instructions talked about "soft foods like baked goods" I thought they meant cupcakes and things. But I guess even a bagel has air pockets, and FS sucks the air out 'em....

It's not really possible to explain what a Montreal bagel is like until you try one. They're sort of "soft" inside, but also VERY chewy, and they are a much thinner "ring" than a standard New York bagel, so they have lots of exterior surface to add heartiness to the texture (and to add sesame seeds!). And they are FANTASTIC for about the first 24 hours, good for 24 after that, and bricks after that. So we buy a bunch on our way out of town and put 'em in the freezer as soon as we get home. Frozen ones aren't quite as good as fresh but still VERY good.

Don't get me wrong, I love NY bagels too. I'm a dual citizen. ;-p

Z

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 12:39PM
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