Reviewer Photos & Videos
Great Way To Store Food Longer
I hadn't seen a food vacuum system for at least ten years. I was really excited to receive the FoodSaver Controlled Multi Seal Vacuum Sealer (VS3198). I wanted to see what had changed over the years.
The FoodSaver arrived quickly. The box and the packaging were eco-friendly, utilizing molded cardboard to keep everything safely in place. Inside was a starter kit that included the FoodSaver machine, two rolls of bags (each 5.4m long), some zipper bags and FoodSaver bags, an instruction booklet, and two airtight containers. The airtight container...s were definitely new to me. For years now I've been using freezer bags with wire ties. Because the bags were thin the food was often at risk of being damaged by ice crystals affecting the texture and flavour when it thawed. I moved on to takeaway containers but once frozen the plastic would become brittle and sometimes the corners would shatter and the food would then become ice affected. The FoodSaver bags are quite thick and sturdy though and the containers are purpose made for freezing. It didn't take much to set up the vacuum sealer and begin using it. The instructions were easy to follow. I wanted to test the effectiveness on various things. Firstly I chose to bag up my dog's meals for the week, something I do every week. I tried using the bag roll. I wasn't really understanding it so I got onto YT and watched a video of someone using it. I moved to using the FoodSaver bags with the handheld vacuum sealer. The sealer pulls out on a cord and you hold it to a prescribed circle on the bag and it extracts the air. The best part is that they can be washed out and reused. It was easy and quick to use and pretty soon I had all of them bagged and ready for the freezer (picture). I still had quite a bit of pet mince left in the manufacturer's bag so I tested the FoodSaver to see if it would seal. I chose the moist setting and it sealed perfectly. We regularly buy bags of avocados. The trouble is they all usually ripen on the same day. For the second test I sealed half an avocado and it has been sitting in the fridge for five days now and is still looking fresh (picture). I am going to try freezing the avocado and then thaw it to see if it holds its texture and colour. I will post the results as a follow-up post.
A Perfect Addition To The Kitchen
This Food Saver works well, comes with an easy-to-read manual, and has a contemporary look with a stainless-steel finish. I was impressed with the ability to vacuum seal containers, not only bags.
The cutter is a plus and sealing is easy. Vacuum and sealing together is automatic after pressing “vacuum” but it is important to leave enough excess bag space and place it correctly in the machine. I took a couple of tries but once you get the gist it is fine. I found that folding the opening before filling gives you a better idea of the overha...
Large and noisy bag-maker with a built-in vacuum facility.
First thing that you notice is that it has a very short lead, so it can only be positioned right next to a socket. Second thing you notice is the almost total lack of instructions. The instructions for making vacuum bags from the roll are vague and in tiny writing, black on silver INSIDE the lid. So once it's closed, can't be read. It wastes a lot of plastic making single use bags. There is nothing to tell you what the various buttons do, although, after much trial and error, they do have a purpose.
Once you make a bag, put your food in it, y...ou have to wind the roll of bag material up so it is not in the way; then you can put the open edges of the bag inside and close the lid, press "vacuum" and it automatically goes through the cycle and thermoseals the bag. Works well enough. The build quality is good. But the noise level is very high. And it takes up a lot of bench-space for what it achieves. It comes with a range of single use pre-made bags and some re-sealable "food-saver" bags, which can be used with the pull-out hand-held vacuum attachment. Which virtually reinforces the fact that the difference between this machine and buying a quantity of resealable "foodsaver" bags and a small hand-held vacuum unit (fits in the palm of your hand) is the fact that this can make its own bags. Also supplied are two vacuum bowls. Again, to be used with the pull-out hand held adaptor. There is a "Marinade" setting on the machine, and the bowls, but nothing to say what this does. On the " Marinade" setting the machine fires up again after 5 minutes, by which time the adaptor has lost its grip on the bowl and just runs for ages doing nothing. If you are in semi-production... maybe a school canteen or you make things to sell at the market, maybe it is useful, making your own bags. And they can be as long as you want. But I am sure there are machines that have a more ergonomic and quicker procedure. Vacuum sealing food is a great idea, but for home use, buy some "foodsaver" vacuum bags and bowls and a small battery hand-held vacuum pump. Or the much smaller upright Sunbeam unit that incorporates all the functions in a format half the size of a typical kettle, for a quarter of the price.
Best I've used
Whilst this particular vacuum sealer and some of its features are new to me, Vacuum Sealers 'per se', are not. I have owned one for many years now and found it particularly useful. Not an everyday use item, but particularly useful at times of the year when certain fruits and vegetables are in abundance from our garden and require packaging prior to freezing, also for packaging foods to load up the caravan for a trip (pre Covid) our old one copped a serious flogging. So, is this one better than our current one? In short, yes it is. Why? Well ...for a start it's a good looker - as flash as a rat with a gold tooth - with its brushed aluminium top it could live out its life on the bench top posing for compliments. It is simple to use - well I guess they all are - however this one requires one hand only with the locking lever on the right hand side the movement of which also turns the machine on and off. It has a small handheld suction cup that separates from the main unit via a retractable umbilical tube, which is used on the Food Saver branded vacuumable and re-useable plastic containers and (with the additional use of an included coupling) their plastic bags. Internally, the unit has a removable drip tray that will collect any liquids drawn from bags being vacuum sealed and this is a really big "good thing" as anyone whom has used one of these units knows that when you draw fluid into the unit it can be a real pain the the proverbial, you need to turn the unit off allow it to cool then as best you can scrape, wipe, dig out the contents that spilled. Now you just lift out the removable gutter tray then wash and dry it and re-insert, wallah! Simples! Which leads me to the exceptional part of this particular Sunbeam Foodsaver VS3198 that I truly found useful and that is the 'Pulse' vacuum setting. This setting allows you, as the operator, to control the amount of vacuum applied to each bag, so if sealing a bag with moist or wet contents or even a bag containing fragile contents you can create as much or as little vacuum as you desire taking it to just the right level prior to sealing. This is highlighted in my attached video and in a photo showing vacuumed and sealed pies with no destruction of the pastry. Now, I cannot vouch that other brands do not have this particular feature/function but my last two units most certainly did not. The on board storage for the bag roll is also useful and makes the creation of bags a simple process. No longer are you required to pre cut the bags on the bench then returning to the unit seal one end, you simply pull out the bag past the heat bar close the lid and press seal, when this process has finished lift the lid draw out the roll to desired bag size close the lid and slide the cutter across. The bag can then be removed and by pressing the seal button you commence another bag if desired. As previously mentioned this Foodsaver is also fitted with a removable hand held suction unit that is attached to the main unit by a retractable tube. This unit can be used in conjunction with the Foodsaver Branded plastic storage containers and vacuum plastic bags of any brand available at supermarkets. This remote unit is also used in conjunction with the Marinate button. Simply place the food and marinate into one of the plastic Foodsaver containers connect the remote head to the top via the port and then by pressing Marinate, the unit will then vacuum and release the internal pressure of the container three times over a period of twelve minutes., thus hastening the process. It also has a Sous Vide mode which can be used to vacuum down on a plastic bag (provided) using the remote head drawing down on the food to be cooked to the correct pressure required. I cannot comment on this feature and its functionality, as I do not have a Sous Vide cooking device - yet. The remote vacuum head has a removable and see thru lower section allowing for easy cleaning should any liquids be drawn up. It can be used as is on the Foodsaver containers, or you can remove this lower section leaving a small tube protruding which can be pushed into a port on the top of the food saver containers. This is not mandatory however as the oval shaped rubberised base of the remote unit fits neatly onto a similar shaped port atop of the containers. The plastic storage containers supplied were the 3 and 5 cup sizes. A quick on line search revealed they can be purchased in 8 and 10 cup sizes as well. The lids of the 3,5 &8 cup sizes are interchangeable, they are also stackable. They appear to be very robust and as mentioned are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe, also BPA free and recyclable when they reach the end of their lives. I have read that people had trouble opening them after they had been vacuumed down. The top turnable knob clearly states "open" on one side and "store" on the other, there is also a small rubberised button which draws down or pops up indicating the internal state of the container. Turning the top knob to "open" releases an audible rush of air and the lid is then easily removed. If the air is not released believe me no amount of pulling will remove the lid. I tried! I found the enclosed instructions easy to follow. There are instructions on the underside of the top opening lid, you will require glasses. I liked the fact that the operating lever has a "storage" position. In this position the unit lid is locked down for portability, however it is not closed tight as it is in the vacuuming process. Thereby prolonging the life of the internal seals by not compressing them. Someone was thinking here. In summary, I really like the unit. It is easy to use and user friendly having lights illuminated to show you settings and process' with the onboard bag storage and cutting bar great inclusions, as is the removable internal spillage tray. And it looks good. Now, this has nothing to do with functionality I agree, however, my previous vacuum sealers were/are ugly plastic box things that I kept put away in the back of the pantry dragging them out when I had multiple tasks to complete. I could never be bothered grabbing it out for a quick one bag food storing project. This unit is currently sitting on a cupboard shelf in my kitchen area within arms reach. Having the bags on board and being so close I find that I use it on a regular basis, whether it be re-sealing of coffee beans (they've never been so fresh!) Or quickly sealing left overs to put back in the fridge or freezer. I never realised just how handy these thing are. The only fault I can find, and it is no biggy, is the power lead is short, far too short. This may be due to the fact that it is stored internally at the back of the unit and it was all the internal space allowed for? Surely Sunbeam could have fitted another 15cm? Oh, and probably being very picky here but the mode reverts back to the "Dry" vacuum setting after each use. i.e. when doing fragile or wet contents you have to remember to enter your desired setting each time or it will vacuum until it crushes the pie to death or sucks out liquids into the unit.
Purchased in June 2021.
Food Saver VS3198 -
I wanted to love this product BUT the 1st thing I noticed was my finger prints stayed on the machine ( photo included)
Then the instructions - I personally found lacking.
Example: the page explaining the PRODUCT FEATURES has 2 photos on one side and on the other,-what these features mean
PROBLEM : the list of features represent only one of the photos on opposite page and nothing agrees with each other.
The photo shows a CONTROL PANEL
Purchased in August 2021.
I'm surprised at how useful this Vacuum Sealer is! It's so handy!
I hadn't ever thought much about vacuum sealing food in the past, it just never crossed my mind and I had never seen a home use one before.
When I received this I had no idea what food to start using it for. But it didn't take long before I started sealing up so much food and loving it.
When you unpack it, you will find a roll of double sided plastic sealed at the edges, that's for making FoodSaver bags. You will also get pre made bags and Zipper bags (these are really handy). I also got 2 FoodSaver Containers and I really love them, I need mo...
Who would have thought Vacuum sealing was so much fun!
I received my FoodSaver VS3198 and the first thing I noticed after unpacking it was the finger prints. I am not a fan of shiny fingerprint magnet surfaces, but I'll get over it.
Other then that the quality of the item felt good, sturdy and well built, I am bit concerned over the vacuum device used to seal the containers and zip lock bags. It has a retractable hose, and we all know that over time they don't really retract. But for now I appreciate that fact its retractable and works a treat. Can't say the same for the really short power cable, ...why so short? Interestingly the supplied roll is not as wide or as long as the post purchase packaged rolls. Reminds me of the starter toners you get with printers. (Look at images) You know where I am going with this, I'd prefer the consumables supplied to be the real deal. I love the Vacuum Seal containers, I will be buying more of these as I feel they are far more practical for sealing liquids, and the clip lock bags are great for sealing dry foods (Not sure how comfortable I'd be washing the bag and reusing if I had meat /proteins in there). So lets get to the good stuff. This thing sucks, in a good way. Once you decipher the instructions, its easy to create neat little vacuum seeled packages of anything! You need to understand that you MUST seal the bottom of the bag, then wind out enough bag (for your food) + 8cm (seems like a lot of wastage) then seal and cut. (Don't panic, yes you sealed both ends, but the second seal is the bottom of the next bag and the cut is physically after the seal, got it... you will, its easy). My first attempt was cooked lamb cutlets. Now I followed the instructions and I tucked the open end of the bag into the green plastic drip tray. Glad I did, as it when it sucks the air out, the liquid extracted ends up in this tray as intended. If you don't tuck it into the tray it will dribble wherever, meat blood has no place inside the vacuum system! The good news it catches the liquid, the bad news it doesn't hold a lot so don't use bags for liquid unless frozen!
Purchased in August 2021.
Well thought out and useful product
A FoodSaver is one of those things I didn't really know if I would use often enough to warrant purchasing one, then I was asked to test and review one. There was the main unit with spare rolls, some ziplock bags and a set of containers.
I set it up and decided to do what I assumed was the main use for it and that is to vacuum pack my meat for freezing. It does so much more than just package meat! Although it does package the meat for the freezer brilliantly.
I have used one of the containers to store my coffee beans and it was very easy to us...
Food Sealed with Confidence and Security for your health with FoodSaver VS3198.
I received my FoodSaver VS3198 and the first thing I noticed after unpacking it was the quality of the item. It has clearly marked control buttons, it is well made and well finished with stainless steel and gloss plastic.
It came with many types of vacuum bags and 2 vacuum seal reusable hard plastic containers, all of which can be used for virtually all sorts of food products.
The larger bags can be used for Beef, Lamb, Chicken and so on……
There are also smaller resalable zip lock type Vacuum bags that would be very handy for small food items...
Can't believe I've never tried it before
Note: I did not purchase this; it was sent to me to try out and review via the Ambassador Program.
The only 'vacuum' I've ever used, is the kind that cleans floors. This is entirely new to me and I've fallen in love with it.
It's incredibly smooth and easy to use - perhaps a teensy bit loud, but certainly not deafening - and for what it achieves, how much longer it makes food last and what little food waste (if any) your compost pile is going to get from now on - any 'noise' is trifling by comparison.
The instructions are very clear and easy...to follow - just make sure to read them thoroughly before use. Love all the pre-cut bags provided and the spare roll of bags that you can cut yourself in the machine - which is very generous - together with the two included containers (one for marinating).
|Features||Removable Drip Tray and Roll Storage|
|Dimensions||160 x 400 x 205 mm|
|Cord Length||1.2 m|
|Manufacturer Warranty||1 year(s)|
|Colour / Finish||Silver|
|Construction Material||Stainless Steel|
- GTIN13: 9311445034361
- MPN: VS3198
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