A must for all kitchens
So, I read reviews on this product before replacing my old food saver. I’ve always said that a brand name does make a difference and here I agree. The Sunbeam VS7850 may be a little bulky but I feel there’s a reason for this. You can store your roll in the unit. When needed, lift the cover to bring roll to sealing line, seal then pull to desired length. Using the cutting slide, cut then removed bag and put to use. Simply followed by vacuum sealing. The use of pump takes a little getting used to. Unfortunately, the price of the bags you don’t want to make too many errors.
Overall, I found the Sunbeam food saver a better improvement to what I previously owned.
Every Kitchen Should Have One!
As a long time purchaser of Sunbeam appliances for many years, I am very thankful to be given the opportunity to test and review the FoodSaver VS7850, for Sunbeam and ProductReview.
The Sunbeam FoodSaver VS7850 is sleek and compact in design and packs a punch with versatility, easy to use features and is a must have for every kitchen.
Delivery was prompt.
The appliance & additional accessories were delivered separately.
Everything was package well from the FoodSaver appliance to the additional FoodSaver Fresh Containers and bags.
Packaging did not contain styrofoam and instead had strong protective packing around the appliance, similar to what egg cartons are made from which is very good as far as recycling packaging and the box is concerned.
The FoodSaver VS7850 appliance comes complete with an Instructions manual and also a Quick start guide booklet.
Both are very straight forward and easy to understand.
Instruction manual is thorough & includes photos, with each step of using the appliance under the How To Pages, and includes Care and Cleaning guide, Storage guide, Guidelines pages for vacuum sealing, food preparation and heating tips, Sealing non food items.
(See my included photos)
The Quick Start guide booklet also has step by step instructions on how to make a bag, how to vacuum seal and using the retractable accessory adapter. Diagrams with illustrations are also included.
The Sunbeam FoodSaver appliance, labeled functions are easy to see on the buttons and also alongside where the latch/leaver function is located.
Power light indicator visible when the appliance is switched on.
Underneath the FoodSaver appliance is a deep recessed area where the power cord can be wound up for storing away.
So you don’t have the power cord in the way.
(See my included photos)
There is nothing complicated about using the FoodSaver because Sunbeam have designed the appliance for quick and easy use to save time.
Great features that I love are:
Compact design. Makes storing in the cupboard or on the kitchen bench hassle free.
Retractable accessory hose that is built in to the appliance.
Powerful commercial quality vacuum/suction.
The attractive stainless steel exterior which is very easy to keep clean.
Moist feature button.
The removable drip tray (See my included photo) to catch any excess moisture and/or liquid that may come out when sealing moist/wet foods.
The added drip tray makes cleaning so much easier. And this is a well thought of addition by Sunbeam!
The store/lock function on the side leaver is another great feature to prevent the lid from opening when putting away in the cupboard.
Marinate feature. Such a great addition as well.
Slide across Cut feature. No need to cut the sealed bag with scissors.
Sunbeam thought of everything when designing this product!
I had never used a vacuum sealing appliance before the Sunbeam FoodSaver VS7850.
After using the FoodSaver for quite some time, I am particularly impressed with how the vacuum function keeps individual portions of foods separated in the bag.
Previously I would get frustrated with food portions sticking together once frozen, no matter how careful I was to try and keep them separated when using freezer bags!
I could write a page on just how much of a hassle this used to be, but I am certain that many people reading my review, know exactly what I am talking about here, right?
The Sunbeam FoodSaver puts an end to this problem. Thank goodness!
Vacuum sealing meat portions, sausages, hotdog sausages, chicken pieces etc has been excellent.
Finally food portions remaining separated:
As an example, when I want to make meat or vegetarian style burger patties, fish patties etc,
I make the patties and then place them inside the FoodSaver bag with a space between each of the portions and the FoodSaver vacuums the air out and there is no worry of the food moving inside and joining/sticking together.
This makes removing the frozen patties so much easier & no need to actually defrost before cooking them. No trying to pry apart the frozen patties and having them break apart.
I love that!
This is also particularly great for fish portions & crumbed foods that I want to freeze. Previously frozen crumbed food would become stuck together and would always ruin the coating, even if it was defrosted!
Don’t have that problem anymore with the FoodSaver vacuum sealing.
I have vacuum sealed some fresh vegetables such as zucchini, cucumber, unused portions of onion, capsicum, butternut pumpkin.
As well as an unused avocado half and I like that the avocado does not go brown and awful as previously experienced storing in a container with a lid.
One particular problem
that I’ve been happy to avoid is that I always prefer to purchase a small butternut pumpkin whole and have always disliked that once cut, the remaining half that I put into the fridge would dry out around the outside and I would have to cut away and waste that part of the pumpkin.
The FoodSaver has put an end to this problem too.
Now I can cut the pumpkin and vacuum seal the unused half and put into the fridge until the next time of cooking, without the pumpkin going dry and horrible.
Have also vacuum sealed chopped bananas and frozen them ready for my smoothies.
Much better than when simply placed into freezer bags.
I will be using the FoodSaver for
storing and freezing more varieties of fruits when the summer season comes.
Using the FoodSaver Fresh containers to vacuum seal salad greens has been a positive eye opening experience.
And I highly recommend purchasing the containers if you purchase the FoodSaver VS7850! I feel that these are a must have addition from the Sunbeam FoodSaver range available.
I’ve used the Marinate function for meat and fish and love that this feature has been included with the appliance. Another win for the FoodSaver VS7850!
Home prepared raw food for my pets:
With the guidance of my Veterinarian, I have been preparing the recommended mix of properly balanced nutritional raw foods (raw meat & vegetables the main mix) for my dogs and cats for many years and tried preparing in bulk and freezing individual serving portions then taking out daily and defrosting ready to feed the pets.
The problem was that I didn’t like the quality of the food once it had been in the freezer and opted to go back to freshly preparing their food daily and stop making in bulk and freezing.
A very time consuming process!
Thanks to the Sunbeam FoodSaver, I decided to give the making in bulk and freezing another try.
I did a small test run, and I am finally 100% happy with the results.
The food looked great once defrosted and wasn’t covered in ice crystals!! No freezer burn. I will continue doing this from now on. No longer will I have to prepare daily!
So, for anyone who does or has considered raw feeding their pets and wanting to prepare in bulk, I definitely recommend purchasing the Sunbeam FoodSaver! It saves so much time and hassle.
Leftover pizza slices:
The FoodSaver seals left over pizza slices perfectly for the freezer.
I used to just put left over pizza in freezer bags and it would always have a small amount of ice crystals on it after 2 days of being frozen. This hasn’t been an issue with vacuum sealing.
Vacuum sealing these items has proven to me to be 100% better than freezing in the original purchase packages/bags. No ice crystals.
In the bag cooking:
I’ve tried this method of cooking for fish, by placing the bag into simmering water.
Very handy. Great results.
Less mess than poaching or steaming in a steam basket.
I’ve used the FoodSaver Fresh containers for vacuum sealing Greek Goats Cheese and other soft cheese such as Cream Cheese after purchasing and have found this is the best way to store these types of cheese.
Much better than typical food storage containers.
I’ve been really happy and impressed with the versatility of the Sunbeam FoodSaver VS7850 appliance and the additional FoodSaver Fresh containers.
I didn’t realise the extent of how much of a necessity this wonderful appliance would be to me, until I experienced using it first hand for myself and can say without a doubt that the FoodSaver VS7850 is something that everyone can benefit from having in the kitchen!
Thank You so very much Sunbeam & ProductReview.
I have and will continue recommending this product and the accessories to my family and friends etc.
Purchased in July 2019.
Lowered my grocery bill!
I was excited to try the Foodsaver as part of the Product Review Ambassador program. Having a family to feed is no easy task - simply because I have to try to please many different tastes, find the balance between buying more fresh food than we can consume and not buying enough and having to do a grocery dash midweek, and trying to keep it healthy yet still enticing enough for little eaters.
I am often left feeling guilty and adding up the cost of waste when clearing out the fridge and realising just how much fresh food has spoiled before we were able to eat it, or by finding forgotten leftovers. This is where the Foodsaver has entered our lives and become a “Foodsaviour”!
To test it out, I decided to do some prep ahead of time and cut up all the fresh fruit and veges that I’d purchased for the week, with the goal of having it ready for lunchboxes and after school snacks. I also did one day of meal prep and cooking for the week, and then fired up the Foodsaver.
Using the Foodsaver with the Foodsaver vacuum seal containers, I was able to store beef stir fry and a chicken casserole in the fridge all week and then reheat it for dinner without it losing flavour or freshness. I used the plastic satchels and plastic wrap to store and seal up chopped fruit and veg, and I was pleasantly surprised at how beautifully it kept things like apple slices and mashed avocado. Several days on and both these items, which are notorious for going brown quickly, were still fresh and hadn’t started to spoil in the slightest. My kids are enjoying a greater variety of fresh snacks throughout the week, rather than just in the few days after a food shop, and we are utilising leftovers with confidence for meals, knowing that it truly is still fresh after a period of time being stored in the fridge.
For a busy, growing family, this product has been truly life changing!
Intelligently designed kitchen helper
This is an intelligently designed device that will save time, energy and food waste and it is wonderful for the environment. The reason I have given it four stars is because the instructions are pedantic, a little confusing and difficult to follow. It took a while to work out exactly where to place the plastic roll when sealing. Green markers on the spot would make a difference. Having said that, it is a small issue because this product will truly make a difference to families of all sizes who need to store food. It has been a welcomed addition to my kitchen.
Purchased in July 2019 at Gift.
Food gets put into a time warp
I have wanted a vacuum sealer for a really long time. There are plenty on the market, but I never wanted one that didn’t have it’s own container system. The container system alone makes using this product really worthwhile. As with all my appliances I keep this out on the counter. If it’s in a cupboard it won’t get used. The plastic rolls and bags and ziplocks all help make this super easy to use. I can now make meals for my significant other and package them for when he works in remote areas. Brilliant. Home cooked meals that are fresh and convenient make you happier when you have to work away.
If you like bbqs, fishing and camping, it’s just too easy to prepare meals and food that stay fresh and uncontaminated. You can throw the pouches into an iced esky or camping fridge. Literally the best and most helpful feature in my view for the outdoors.
At home I use the FoodSaver containers a lot. Fish, meat, veggies and healthy food all stay amazingly fresh in these containers. If I didn’t experience it, I wouldn’t believe it. I could not tell the difference between fresh food and the food in the containers after days. No other containers can do the same thing. Having air evacuated from food is highly superior to anything else. You can also reheat straight from the containers! Love! It’s something I want to experiment with further.
There is a marinate function that I’ve used with salmon. The function is great, but the instructions are a little strange. My only gripe with the appliance. There is an extra attachment and the instructions don’t cover this off. But once you get used to it, it’s really easy. The instructions could be improved a little, but try YouTube for tips and tricks. The accessory is the reason you would pick this over other vacuum sealers.
Overall I do love this appliance, but I would like to get more containers to save on single use plastic. I love the containers. Honestly, it makes life so much easier. I can actually have fresh tasting food days after being cooked. I love this vacuum sealer and will be using this religiously for camping and outdoor activities and fresh food in the home.
Purchased in July 2019.
Keep it on the counter to use every day!
There are dozens of vacuum sealers available on the market, ranging in price from as little as $30 up to over $300 (and then some). Once you've made the choice to get one, how much should you spend, and which one is the best for you? Read on and consider my views on the Sunbeam FoodSaver VS7850, the top-of-the-range from Sunbeam.
What is, and why should I be, vacuum sealing?
I've had a vacuum sealer for over seven years now, and I use it almost every day. Once you realise the many things that you do without even thinking that would be better done with a vacuum sealer, you will realise that you need one too.
There are two basic ways to use any vacuum sealer:
1. To remove the air (and hence the oxygen) from around food, and create an airtight seal, to be able to store it longer.
2. To re-seal commercial plastic food wrapping that was originally heat-sealed, to be able to continue to store it longer.
I'm being fairly pedantic here but Oxygen exposure is a key thing you should be aware of to understand vacuum sealing. Most domestic food spoils in storage due to exposure to oxygen, which makes up around 20% of air in our atmosphere (the other 80% is nitrogen and other gasses such as CO2). If you can minimise the exposure of your food to oxygen while it is in storage, it will last a lot longer than it would when it is in direct contact with air.
The easiest way to observe this is to compare meat "use by" dates in your supermarket between those that are vacuum (or "cryovac") packaged (such as a leg of lamb or pork shoulder roast) and meat that is packaged in rigid plastic trays with clear plastic over the top. The vacuum packaged meat will last for weeks - or even months, whereas meat packaged in the rigid trays will only last a few days. This is quite simply because the trays are filled with air, and therefore oxygen - which in turn causes the food to spoil much faster.
With your own vacuum sealer, you can recreate this "oxygen-free" packaging yourself at home. Here are some of the ways that I do this:
1. I buy meat such as whole eye fillet steak in bulk from a meat wholesaler, who sells it already vacuum sealed. In turn I will slice it into steaks that are the thickness I like, and vacuum seal those individual steaks in "family sized" packs, leaving some in the fridge and some that I will freeze. Those kept in the fridge will last as long as the original package from the butcher (so long as you don't introduce new contamination when you are repackaging it), and those that you freeze won't get freezer burn.
2. I vacuum seal hard cheese (such as cheddar) after each use. With no exposure to oxygen, there is little chance for mould to grow (and many cheeses such as cheddar literally last for years).
3. I do a lot of cold smoking, such as chicken (which is of course cooked afterwards), bacon and salmon. Vacuum sealing is essential when storing cold-smoked foods for consumption over the following weeks.
4. Sous Vide has become a new trendy way to slow-cook steaks, roasts and more - and a vacuum sealer is essential to do this properly. I've used mine to Sous Vide scotch fillet steak, done a 30-hour beef roast, and I've even Sous Vide crayfish (which was divine).
5. Re-vacuum sealing foods that came vacuum sealed (such as coffee) is an excellent way to keep them longer. I regularly re-vacuum seal hops that I use in home brewing.
There are of course many other ways that vacuum sealing can be used, but these are the most common things that I do.
But I also mentioned "resealing commercial plastic food wrapping", which is essentially my way of saying that I re-seal my chip, cracker and biscuitpackets, without using the vacuum. Think about all the times that you use rubber bands, bulldog clips or even other commercial "solutions" to re-sealing all of the plastic packages that are storing partially-consumed foods in your cupboard. Practically every one of those was originally heat-sealed - and can be re-sealed using a vacuum sealer. These include muesli bars, breakfast cereals, cheese, biscuits, sugar (the gourmet ones - brown, icing, etc.), rice, and so on. Also frozen foods such as pies, chips, dumplings … the list goes on. Re-sealing these creates a proper airtight seal, which will help keep these foods fresher for longer. This is most obvious when you re-seal crackers or biscuits - a half-used packet will last almost as long as an unopened one, provided it is properly sealed.
All of this is why a vacuum sealer is not something that should be hidden away in a cupboard and brought out only on special occasions - it needs to be there, plugged in, switched on and available ready for use at every meal time.
OK I'm convinced. So how much should I spend?
This is actually a question I was asked only a couple of months ago (by somebody to whom I had given some of my smoked chicken, which I had vacuum sealed). He had seen a $89 vacuum sealer at a discount department store, and wanted to know what I thought of it. A quick google search quickly showed many negative reviews, which quickly convinced him that he needed to spend a little more to get something that would last.
And here is where I can give some "long-term" advice regarding the Sunbeam FoodSaver series. I have had the Sunbeam FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer VS7000 (in fact two of them - as I bought one for my mother at the same time) since December 2012 (as of writing this review, that's almost 7 years), and my mother still has hers. They are both still going strong, and mine is definitely well used. The VS7000 is now discontinued, but it certainly has a special place in our household - we all call her "daisy" because of the sound she makes when she is operating.
It certainly pays to get a good quality rather than "off brand" or "generic" vacuum sealer. It's easy to cut corners in designing and manufacturing at the expense of longevity, and I can definitely attest to Sunbeam's long product life.
So should I get the VS7850?
This latest Sunbeam FoodSaver VS7850 is around $230, which is exactly the same as my VS7000 all those years ago. Coming from a long-term VS7000 user, I can attest with some authority to the improvements that Sunbeam have made.
The VS7850 includes an easily-accessible accessory attachment on the top of it (you can't help but have seen it). This provides four additional ways that you can use the vacuum pump:
1. With reusable (washable) "zip-lock" bags that have a valve on the front. You use the accessory attachment (which kind of looks like a big syringe) by placing it over the valve on the zip-lock bag, and then remove all of the air from the zip-locked bag. The bag can be washed and re-used, rather than being single-use like the standard bags and rolls - which while they can be re-sealed, need to be cut open each time so will gradually shrink with each use. These best used with already-packaged foods - such as cheese - so you don't actually get food on the inside of the bags, since cleaning them properly is very time consuming and difficult.
2. With the Sunbeam FoodSaver Containers, to reduce the amount of air that around leftover foods (more on these later).
3. With the Sunbeam FoodSaver Bottle Stoppers, to reduce the amount of air in wine bottles. The VS7850 doesn't come with one of these, but the VS7000 did - so I can still use the stopper I already had. But really, these days who ever has any leftover wine anyway?
4. With the Sunbeam FoodSaver Containers, or a larger "Marinator" container, to quickly marinate foods using a special "marinate" setting, which cycles through both "vacuum" and "release" repeatedly, which seems to me to be a very logical (and probably effective) way to use a vacuum sealer to speed up the marinating process (I have not had the opportunity to test this out properly).
Sunbeam also sell a "handheld" vacuum sealer that is essentially just the Accessory Attachment, and can therefore be used for all (but only) the above purposes, but can't be used for standard vacuum bags and rolls.
This accessory attachment is definitely the best new feature in the VS7850 from my VS7000, which included an "Accessory port" in the front, but it always pretty much seemed an afterthought - the tube that it needed was stored folded and wrapped up underneath the roll cover and has basically been a nuisance for the entire time. I have probably only used it half a dozen times - and each time has been particularly tedious and annoying, requiring the removal and unravelling of the tube, pushing the tube into the port - HARD - and then finding and attaching the FoodSaver Bottle Stopper.
With the VS7000 it was always an annoying experience to use the accessory port, and when not using it - the tube being stored in the way of using the device just made it worse.
The VS7850 makes the accessory attachment an integral part of the unit, and is a joy to use. The tube retracts back into the unit automatically, just like the power cable on a vacuum cleaner (or a retractable garden hose) - and the device weighs just enough that it doesn't fly off the bench as you draw the attachment out against the spring. There's also a separate "accessory" button that activates the vacuum on the accessory port - so you know it's working (there's no such option on the VS7000 - you just had to hope you had inserted the tube far enough that it was working).
It may seem like a small thing, but having the accessory attachment there, ready for immediate use at any time, will make the difference between whether you use it - or don't. It's definitely a welcome upgrade.
The VS7850 in Everyday Use
There are two ways to do standard vacuum sealing on a day to day basis:
1. Using pre-cut bags; or
2. Making your own bags to size each time, by cutting off the required length from a roll and sealing one end.
I definitely prefer to make my own bags each time, because it gives me much more flexibility to size the bag each time for what I'm sealing, and they are a bit cheaper. The VS7850 has an inbuilt roll dispenser at the back of the unit, and a cutter in the front. When you cut each bag to the required size, you drag the roll over the sealing unit, cut and seal the next bag all in one process - albeit with quite a few steps to get in the right order. These are all printed inside the unit (which you can't read while you're doing them, since the lid must be closed), but once you've done it a few times you get the hang of it.
And this is where the biggest difference with the VS7850 starts. My original VS7000 has a separate space on top of the unit that houses the roll, with a separate cutter. The steps to make the bags are more straightforward, but less like a production line that the VS7850 offers, in the way you can "cut one bag and seal the next at the same time". This in itself isn't a huge deal - it's just a bit different.
Despite the VS7850 having the roll behind the sealing unit rather than on top (making it much shorter than the VS7000) it actually takes up slightly less bench space, at just under 20cm deep. The reason for this is that the VS7000 has something that I only appreciated once I didn't have it in the VS7850: Powered bag clamping.
The VS7000 has a long handle on the front that you move to open the flap, then close the unit onto the bag (and in the process wake up the unit), and then when you press "Seal", there is an internal mechanism that clamps down the bag before it starts vacuuming or sealing - and once it finishes, it releases the clamp automatically and you simply pull the bag out. It's really quite neat and it prevents you from being able to interrupt the process prematurely.
The VS7850 on the other hand has a fully manual clamping lever, where you are providing the force required to clamp down on the bag before it can be vacuumed and/or sealed. This is a three-position lever on the right hand side of the unit that you rotate from "Open" (the lid can open) to "Store" (the lid can't open) to "On" (the only position you can vacuum or seal). There is also a caution with the unit not to store in the "On" position, because it can prematurely wear out the seals (which are squashed together in this position). The lever isn't all that hard to turn (it may be challenging for someone with arthritis or carpal tunnel), but it is quite manual compared with the fully automated process in the VS7000.
So all up it's not all that inconvenient a step back, and I can see why Sunbeam have done this - since it makes the unit considerably smaller and undoubtedly cheaper to make, but it's just not quite as slick an experience to use. I often find that I've left a bag in the unit hours afterwards (such as when I reseal bags of spices or salt and left it running to do other things), and while this is not an issue with the VS7000 (which has already released the clamp), with the VS7850 it has been left in the clamped position for a long time, which is "not recommended" - and in these cases you'll see the lamp on the device flashing to ask you to disengage it.
The FoodSaver Containers
Together with the VS7850, I also had the opportunity to test out the FoodSaver Containers, which are clear, airtight Titan food storage containers which you can remove some of the air from using the VS7850.
If you are considering these, you need to be aware that these behave very differently to vacuum bags. Whereas any vacuum bag will be able to remove almost all the air (and therefore oxygen) from around your food, allowing it to last a lot longer, it's simply not possible (or desirable) to remove all the air from within these rigid FoodSaver Containers. The containers are actually miniature vacuum chambers - as you remove the air from them they actually form a vacuum inside, where the air pressure inside the container is less than the surrounding air pressure. This is distinctly different from vacuum sealing bags, where the pressure inside the flexible bag is still the same as the surrounding air pressure - it's just that there really isn't much air inside the bag after vacuum sealing, and the bag has moulded itself around the food that's inside.
Since the FoodSaver Containers are actually vacuum chambers, all of the physics that applies to vacuums also apply to them. Importantly this means that as the pressure inside the chamber drops, the temperature at which water (or any other liquid) boils will drop as well. If you create enough of a vacuum, then any water in the container (i.e. in the food itself) will literally boil at room temperature - most likely ruining the food.
So if we know that we really can't remove all of the air from inside the FoodSaver Containers (since it will cause all the water in them to boil), then just how much are we removing?
Well, curious as I am, I devised an elaborate little experiment involving a partially inflated balloon, glass of water and a kitchen scale, and measured that the original 34cm2 balloon increased in size to 63cm2 inside the FoodSaver Container under vacuum - that's means it's removing about 45% of the air. Then I realised I could just put the indoor pressure sensing unit from my weather station inside the container, which showed a drop from 1024hPa to 626hPa - or about 39%.
Assuming my second method was more accurate, that means that boiling temperature of water inside the FoodSaver Containers is down to about 86C, and is equivalent to the air pressure at around 3,800m above sea level (for reference, Mount Buller in Victoria is 1,805m, and a Boeing 737 has a cruising altitude of about 9,000m, so it's somewhere in between the two).
So with my curiosity now satisfied, I can conclude that the FoodSaver Containers will not cause an unreasonable lowering of the boiling temperature of whatever you store in them, but likewise it's not going to be anywhere near as effective as sealing in a bag, where you're removing 99% or more of the air from around the food.
The FoodSaver Containers themselves are also somewhat inconvenient in practice - they are quite large and don't stack very easily with any other contains (although they do stack together themselves). The silicone seal has a tendency to pop out, and you need to squeeze them together quite hard in order to be able to get the seal in the first place - or open them after you've released the seal (much harder than the handle on the VS7850 - if you have weakened hands for any reason then this will be tricky; my mother certainly had issues with getting these closed or open). I can't help but think there could be some improvement in the making / breaking of the seal to make these easier to use.
All this said, they are microwave and dishwasher safe, the clear Titan really makes it easy to see what's in them, and since they are square they do hold quite a bit more than a standard round glass container.
So should you buy one?
Provided that you are going to leave it on your bench, ready and available to use at any time, a vacuum sealer is a great tool to have in the kitchen for resealing and preserving all sorts of things - and the VS7850 is an excellent choice, with a small footprint, easily accessible accessory connector, and what should be great Sunbeam reliability for years to come.
The key to getting value out of your FoodSaver is to use it every day - and be able to recognise each time you forget to use it, so you can use it next time and do away with those pesky bag clips. Although the FoodSaver Containers are interesting and useful as containers - they are just no substitute for a proper vacuum sealed bag to keep your food fresher for longer, and I'd recommend you put that money towards a Sous Vide (such as the Sunbeam MU4000 which I use and recommend) - there is no substitute for a sous vide steak!
Perfect Product Name!
The unit itself is light,fairly compact and feels reasonably sturdy. It’s well designed with the auto retracting accessory adapter which keeps makes storage neat. The power cord must be wound up manually in its recess underneath the body. The latch lever ensures the product can only be operated safely and integrated bag cutter works really well. Overall, a good job on design.
I live alone but buy in bulk so the Foodsaver works for me. I make bread and buy at least 5kg of flour at a time. Instead of keeping it in the fridge (live in humid Qld) I now break it down and bag it. This frees up fridge space. I do the same for 5 Kg bags of rice which stops the rice aging. Likewise with those cheap n’ nasty 1kg blocks of cheese. I break these down into 3 portions and they are always perfectly preserved with no white bloom developing as you work through it. I also break down whole chickens and don’t get over icing or freezer burn of the meat.With whole gypsy hams I slice half and bag seal this portion, then store the other half in the Foodsaver container. I have also done this with the resealable bags. These worked really well, the seal itself is very sturdy and you feel confident the seal will be maintained. You can also dispose of the bag saving wash up when you have stored stinky items. No white mould bloom which often develops with whole hams. The resealables are also good for maximising preservation quality of cut lemons used for drinks, chillies, kaffir lime leaves etc which can then be frozen.
The containers are a great idea and made of sturdy plastic. I use these for grated cheese, cut avocado, fruit salad and an ‘all in one’ container of sandwich making items. Everything is kept fresher, longer. They are a bit awkward to open though, needing a fair bit of force. Don’t see the elderly, people with arthritis and those with motor skill impairment being able to use them easily. For effective sealing you have to make sure the lid is pressed down firmly until you hear it click, otherwise the containers don’t seal. Once sealed, the seal is maintained for days. I did not experience any ‘de-sealing’. I’m not sure how durable the cable and retracting mechanism will be long term, it doesn’t feel very robust. Where the cable connects to the accessory has no reinforcing.
I did a test with a halved avocado, half in the bag and the other in the container. There was no oxidation of the cut surface of the vacuumed bagged portion after 4 or 5 days until opened. Perfectly preserved! There was mild oxidation of the half in the container. It was a very ripe avo, so yes the bag has greater preservation ability than the container which is to be expected.
While the unit is simple to use, the instruction manual could be better. Areas that need improvement are where to actually insert the open end of the bag for sealing. A close up of this area would help greatly or at least state in the manual to place the open end into the drip tray. Whether you are meant to stick the end here I don’t know, but didn’t seem to work if I didn’t. It’s just not clear enough for the first time user. I later noticed the tips said place just over the edge of the drip tray, this needs to be in the main body. Same goes for dismantling the accessory tool, the manual doesn’t tell you anything.
The other negative is the ongoing, and rather high cost of consumables. The bags being $25-45 per pack. The containers are also up to this price. I will attempt to reuse bags where possible (and if suitable, I wouldn’t reuse bags that stored meat) having read this tip posted by a Sunbeam rep on this forum.
Overall I think it’s a good device that can definitely extend the shelf life of food and maintain an ‘as fresh’ quality and is great for bulk buyers and bigger households. Certainly it would prevent a lot of waste for those that still prefer and prepare fresh food.
Purchased in July 2019.
Great time and money saver ........a master appliance
For a long time now we had considered purchasing a vacuum sealer but it was always one of those appliances we would look at, yet walk out empty handed. When the opportunity arose to test the Sunbeam FoodSaver I obviously jumped at the chance.
As we buy our meat in bulk it is a great appliance to separate all the meat into meal size portions and store them in the bags in which we can make to measure from the roll provided. So goodbye freezer burn on the meat and no more throwing out meat that we can't identify anymore too.
With simple to follow instructions there are numerous ways in which this machine can save you money, yes you heard that right, Save you money!!
Stale chips, fruit going bad before its time, salads getting soggy and deli meat slimey are things of the past and as you can see in the video, sealing the chips prevents them from going stale and missing courtesy of wandering hands. I have also uploaded a video of preserving an avocado because let's face it, you use half a one and the other half seems to perish quickly, well that too is now solved. Being part of a busy family where work, study and sporting commitments take up a great deal of time, food preparation is ideal with the Sunbeam FoodSaver as salads for us lasted the work week when made Sunday night and stored in the fabulous Fresh Containers which are also handy for that deli meat that never seems to last as long as you want it to, the pineapple you cut up is just as easy to store as well.
Did I also mention it saves you time, yes, so that is now time and money it can save you. For those who like to barbeque and marinate their meat, no more having to leave it for hours or overnight, with a simple to follow procedure the V7850 can do that in approximately 10 minutes with the marinate function.
Let's see what is included, the roll can be used to make custom size bags with the greatest of ease, hey, if I could do it then pretty much anyone can do it. Pre made bags for sealing that are not the flimsy freezer bags at your supermarket that tear and destroy your food by perishing and the fresh containers that in conjunction with the accessory adaptor work a treat to preserve all your food.
So let's see, an appliance that saves you money and time, that is easy to use and is of the highest quality, sounds like a great thing to have and to be brutally honest, this is an appliance that you shouldn't be walking past, it is one that is definitely worth stopping and seriously considering ........ then purchasing.
Purchased in June 2019.
Great food saver and time efficient wonder for pre-prepping meals
I never realized how useful this Sunbeam FoodSaver could be until I had one in my kitchen - I now consider it indispensable.
I really wish I had invested in one earlier, when getting home late from work meant that I didn't want to spend a long time preparing dinner - this is definitely the solution, in that I can pre-prep all the veges for a roast meal (at a more convenient time), enabling me to simply put the roast in the oven and add the pre-prepped veges later. Similarly, with parboiling and sealing, any meal can be cooked in far less time.
This gives me my relaxation time after work, while the dinner is underway with negligible input required by me.
Several great bonuses of the vacuum sealing process are the absence of ice crystal build up along with no loss of moisture from vegetables and no freezer burn - my pet hates in food storage.
Spaghetti Bolognese, another favorite for us can be so simple to prepare and store, either in larger portions, or as fully prepared meals for one or two using the FoodSaver Fresh Containers.
The instructions provided contain all the information required to start immediately and achieve a great result in no time.
My apologies that I couldn't upload the videos taken as I didn't realize they had to be uploaded via YouTube.
I highly recommend this product as an essential addition to any kitchen - a fantastic aid to assist with saving your food for longer periods, providing great food storage options and more efficient time management in organizing your meal preparation to suit your schedule.
A brilliant little machine
OK so a machine like this is something that I have never considered ever owning or needing. But since I was offered to take one for a test drive and report my findings, I am now a vacuum sealer convert.
I received the machine which comes in a box supplied with a full roll 5.4 metres by 28cm wide to customise your own desired length, also 5 zip lock vac bags, and 5 pre-cut bags. I also received a box of hard containers of two different sizes, and another separate box of two 5.4m rolls for spare.
As I am unfamiliar with vac sealers and had no idea what to expect or what I could find use of it, I decided to try it out for 4 weeks using the machine for almost all that it is intended for.
I have used the machine to vacuum seal all types of different foods in the zip lock bags and the roll of film. I have vac sealed foods in the hard containers. And I have marinated various meats in the hard containers with the vacuum function. Supposedly this machine can vacuum a bottle stop that I presume goes on a wine bottle but I have not tried it out.
Everything is well packed in their own boxes. Instructions are clear and simple to understand. The user manual is detailed and informative although I admit that I did not go through it front to back. Supplied is a separate simple one sheet starter guide to instruct you how to use the machine for various functions. That is all I went by to get myself up and running.
I became most excited knowing that I can now keep my fresh coffee beans in storage for much longer than I ever could before. I buy each batch of beans freshly roasted and open the pack about 2 weeks after roasting. That is when the countdown is on and I only have about 4 weeks at most to use them before they expire and go off. Now that I can store my beans freshly vac sealed for as long as I want and not worry about having to finish them off, it is a great relief.
Marinating meat is one of the best features of this machine. I love my barbequing and I marinate almost all my meat, except sausages. I usually leave my meat in a marinade in the fridge overnight but now I have been putting the meat into the hard container smothered in the marinade and use the marinate function which takes on average about 10 minutes. This has proven to be as effective as leaving the meat marinating overnight in the fridge.
I did make a couple videos to show it in action. The quality of the machine and accessories are first rate. The films and bags are thick and would be very hard to pierce a hole into. The price of the machine is fair if you use it constantly. The strength of the vacuum is very strong and consistently holds the container lids shut for as long as you want to leave them. They have not leaked so far. The vac sealed bags have stayed vacuum sealed for 4 weeks of testing and I can't see them losing the seal at all. The accessory adapter is easy to use and the retraction mechanism works a treat as you can see in the video.
The price of the hard containers are on the high side and the supplied 2 piece container set is too small for decent sized meats to marinate. There are more appropriately sized containers available for the purpose of marinating but I'm not in a position to buy them at this point. It's good to know that they are available as an option though.
In summary, it is a great machine and I can recommend it.
(I took a photo of the side of the box to show you the advantage of vacuum sealing different types of foods compared to regular storage methods. Ignore the spelling mistake of "Lettuce")
I never knew that I needed a vacuum sealer until I owned this and now I can't live without it!
Sunbeam FoodSaver Controlled Seal VS7850 & Fresh Containers
I never knew that I needed a vacuum sealer until I owned this and now I can't live without it! For me, these are the key benefits of owning this:
- Prevent freezer burn
- Keeps my food fresher for longer, so that I am not wasting food
- Saves freezer space as it is so compact
- Great for sous vide and much better than ziploc bags (which can leak)
The vacuum sealed containers are easy to use, and lock in the freshness. Now I can enjoy my strawberries and avocadoes without rushing to eat them before they go off!
I used to experience freezer burn a lot when using ziploc bags. For example, I bought mangos in bulk and froze them in ziploc bags. Unfortunately, they all have freezer burn, and my mangos went to waste. Using a vacuum sealer, it sucks all the air and seals the bag, which prevents freezer burn.
The Sunbeam vacuum sealer locks in the freshness and keeps my food fresher for longer. For example, I used the vacuum sealer on a 1kg block of tasty cheese and it stays nice and fresh for weeks. What I did was that I would seal the cheese, then open it to eat a portion, then reseal it. After a few iterations of this, the cheese remained nice and fresh for a very long time.
Previously, I would just use a plastic storage container for this type of cheese, and after opening and closing the container a few times, the edges of the cheese goes hard and loses its freshness.
Other foods that I have used with great success have been bread, chips, and snacks; all of which maintained their freshness, especially the bread.
The machine can be used in three general ways:
- vacuum sealing disposable plastic bags
- vacuuming the air for reusable zipper bags (that don't need sealing) using the retractable accessory adapter
- vacuuming the air for specially designed containers (FoodSaver Fresh Containers) using a retractable accessory adapter
In particular, the containers really work wonders, as it is super airtight after it's vacuum sealed. I really love the fact that the green dimple in the lid which makes it so much easier to know when the containers are airtight. The containers are stylish with high quality plastic, and the clear and bright green design reminds me of fresh vegetables everytime I use these containers.
These containers are great for storing food, meal prep or marinating food but for me I like to store fruits and vegetables that go off really fast such as strawberries, cucumbers, and avocados.
I like to purchase these fruits and vegetables in bulk but they always lose their freshness quickly, though this machine ensures that the freshness remains for longer.
I also use these containers for storing my snacks such as potato chips, I also rotate using these containers with vacuum zipper bags for food/snacks.
I specifically tested how well the container locks in the freshness by testing it with fresh strawberries, and cucumber. After a period of 4 days for the cucumbers and 5 days for the strawberries and cucumbers, they remained exactly the same as the day I bought them, and tasted really fresh.
Save freezer space
We are always lacking in freezer space despite having a large fridge. The vacuum sealer sucks the air out of the bags which means that you can store more food in your freezer/fridge.
Good for Sous vide
The bags that are sealed by the vacuum sealer are much more secure than ziploc bags, which have a habit of leaking water into the food. Furthermore, it is much cheaper to use these bags than to buy ziploc bags.
I love that I am able to make my own customisable bags of any length, which is great as my food varies in size.
The sealer is also quite versatile as it can be used to create mini 'pockets' in the bags (by using the sealer on the bag both vertically and horizontally), which allow you to create small portions and saves you from using multiple bags. For example, I used the sealer to make small rectangles in the bag so that my toddler and I can enjoy homemade icy poles.
The moist function is great. What it does is that by telling the machine that the bag has liquid in it, it will not suck as hard so that it doesn't suck any liquid into the machine. I used this function for icy poles and it works great.
This function would be really great for storing casseroles and stews.
Build quality and other topics
The machine looks stylish and well built. It is low maintenance, as it is easy to use, clean and doesn't take much space in the kitchen.
However, the retractable accessory adapter doesn't seem to fully retract properly, not sure why.
I would like for Sunbeam to create glass or stainless steel vacuum containers as I prefer using these materials for marinating meat or seafood.
Purchased in July 2019.
Really easy to use, wonderful for preserving food quality if you freeze a lot
I had often fancied owning one of these but I put off buying one as I thought it might be a bit of an extravagance. So I was rapt when I was sent one to try out and review. I can now see that although they aren’t cheap, they could save you a lot of money over time. Wish I had had one earlier.
The machine is nice and solid and I was sent a variety of freezer bags and containers to use with it.
The instructions are fairly easy to follow and the machine itself is extremely easy to use. I found that mine worked beautifully, with absolutely no effort.
The quality of the freezer bags is first class. There is just no comparison to those cheap little freezer bags you can buy in supermarkets. Chalk and cheese. These must be about 100 times thicker and sturdier.
I particularly liked the roll. With this, you seal the bottom and just roll out the length required, then seal that. At that point when I first read the instructions, I must admit I thought.. hey wait, what about the food, if the bag is sealed top and bottom? But what happens is there is a very smooth little cutter located just under the sealing section and after that second seal, you just cut across. Bingo, you now have an open bag, plus the bottom seal done for your next bag. I particularly like the rolls as it means you are measuring out the exact size of bag you will need so there is no waste. Just make sure you allow a slight bit extra length so you can seal easily.
Pop your food in the bag then manually insert it to vacuum and seal. Works like a charm. You just watch as the air is extracted and package sealed.
This is where the money saving comes in, I believe. Over the years, I have just used those cheap little freezer bags, the ones with no vacuum seal. I have had to throw out a fair amount of food in that time because even with my best efforts, if it is stored for a few months, it can tend to get freezer burn. That applies particularly to chicken, I find.
I think with this vacuum sealer, it is much less likely to happen. Food will last longer in the freezer.
The re-usable containers are great and again, extend the life of your food and so save you money.
The vacuum sealer is not an overly large unit but all the same, the one negative is you'll need the space for it to be stored and you’ll need it on hand to use regularly. It would be ideal left on the bench in a butler’s pantry (which I don’t have). Failing that, you’ll need it at the front of a cupboard.
The main misgiving I do have is, believe it or not, with something which is also a positive-the quality of the freezer bags. They are absolutely top notch material and it did make me feel a little uneasy knowing they were one use. My advice would be to consider what you are freezing and how long you plan to have it frozen for.
If you have meat or other products that you think may be in the freezer for a few months, then most definitely use the freezer bags or containers. They will seal the food properly and preserve the quality much better. For something that might be in the freezer for just a few days, it is probably not as critical but what I plan to do is get more of the reusable containers. It will stop that ice build up you sometimes get on food and I think it’s an investment that will pay for itself over time.
I have only had my vacuum food saver for a month so I can’t comment on their longevity, I can only judge it on how I have found it so far. It hasn’t missed a beat, it is easy to use, the controls are well set out and logical.
If you regularly freeze food and want it to last a while in your freezer without freezer burn or deterioration, or if you just need to store things longer in the fridge, then this is a quality unit worth having. I’ve given it 5 stars. I know with something like an ambassador review, you might be suspicious that we have to give it that. Not so. We are totally free to review honestly and 5 stars reflects my genuine experience with it.
Purchased in July 2019.
Fantastic - must have item for the kitchen!
I’m a new mum and before getting this found it so difficult to eat healthy meals. Now I food prep and portion my food for the week using the Foodsaver. It’s so easy to use and is a really high quality product. In the long run I’ll save money because now I have zero wastage and my food is fresh and delicious, I don’t have a large freezer to stash meals so this is a great alternative. I would 100% recommend this item.
The only very minor negative which may need to be considered is storage because it’s quite a bulky item, which logically it has to be to be able to wrap larger foods/quantities but if you have very limited kitchen space and storage this is something to keep in mind. Other than this tiny point it’s absolutely brilliant. 10/10!
Very useful for freezing products, bulky but worthwhile
Very slick and modern packaging all over. Very simple to use out of the box, as my husband of course refused to read the instructions! A few trial and errors and away we went.
This is a fantastic item to help reduce food spoilage. We often buy meat in bulk and use freezer or ziplock bags to freeze individual portions, however this often leaves ice build up on the meat. Using this we tested steak, sausages and chicken breasts and none of them had any ice build up after a few weeks in the freezer! It's also so much easier to see what it's in the packet and I love the strip along the bag that has the space to write what's inside and the date.
We used the container's to store my husband;s work lunches in the fridge and they definitely seemed to stay fresher for longer. It would be great if they were a little more affordable, as a mum to 3 it would be so good to use them for kid's lunches and be able to make them a week in advance!
It definitely takes some getting used to to remember to get it out of the cupboard and use rather than just grabbing a plastic bag, but I can see us using this a lot especially for storing bulk meat in the freezer.
-That you can cut the bag to any length you like
-The unit stops once it's vacuumed enough so there's no guesswork
-The compatible containers are awesome for leftover dinners
-Stops ice build up on frozen items
-Handheld device for containers and zip bags is very easy to use
-The container's are quite expensive
-It's very bulky and large so not easy to just grab out of your cupboard, this means I sometimes just grab a plastic zip bag from my cupboard rather than getting the whole unit out (Which I regret later when my frozen item is full of ice!)
Use it all the time and you'll save money in the long run despite a few minor gripes.
This one arrived in our kitchen at a time where we have been actively trying to cut down our food waste. It pulled up alongside another Sunbeam unit which we had received as a gift a year or so ago. Whilst we used the old unit occasionally its biggest shortcoming was the fact that it was a container and zip lock bag only unit (VS1300 model) and that it only came with one container. Additional containers aren’t cheap so, although we initially took to it with gusto, were put off when we realised the cost associated with buying enough containers and zip bags.
This unit resolves the issues with the bags and the containers as it comes with a roll that simply cuts and seals to the required dimensions. The rolls are long (over five metres) and the seal seems to be far superior (heat seal) than the seal offered by the bags or the containers so that was a definite step in the right direction for us.
As people who generally bulk shop, our biggest areas of waste are fruit and vegetables and, more annoyingly and expensively, meat. We inevitably end up throwing out freezer burnt meat after several months; there’s always something that makes its way to the bottom of the freezer and, in time, the bin when discovered. Theoretically, the Food Saver should negate this. We packed a side of beef in the freezer with the Food Saver and it is terrific to watch. The seal is strong! You basically need to cut the plastic open with scissors or a knife. We have family members who have a similar unit and they report that the meat lasts for ages and never gets burnt so hopefully we can expect the same. If that’s the case then it will end up saving money. The replacement rolls also seem to be reasonably priced; about $40.00 for two.
We continued with the roll and also tried out some vegies that are almost notorious for being almost dead on arrival; asparagus and avocado are the biggest culprits in our house. It seems that you are always throwing out asparagus with mushy spears and the other half of an avocado that goes brown the second it gets put in the fridge (cling film is useless!). Using the roll and its firm seal (be careful not to go too firm with the settings!) we managed to keep both asparagus and avocado alive and edible for days!
The unit can also be used with the aforementioned zip lock bags and the Foodsaver containers. Given that we got a few extra containers with the unit to add to our existing collection of one, we decided to give the containers another go. Unlike our other unit this one seals containers with a hand held device that detaches from the side of the unit. This appeared to give a far better seal than our old stand mounted container sealer which frequently struggled to get a precise fit. We did experience some issues with the duration of the seal (i.e. the lid detaching) but think that this can be attributed to a temperature change (i.e. moving from a warm room to a cold fridge). If you already have a container in the fridge and then reseal it the seal appears to stay intact. For us I think the biggest savings will come with things like berries and supermarket lettuce mix. Both of these items are notorious for rotting rapidly. Both lasted considerably longer in the sealed containers.
Our old unit was able to seal the zip lock bags and we tried this option with this unit and, to be honest, still not really a fan. The seal on these just doesn’t seem to be strong enough and either breaks or is too easily broken. The replacement bags are also pretty costly. You could reuse them but the ethical desire to reuse will probably be overcome by the practical nuances of the hassle (and some hygiene/bacteria concerns). For cheese and other such fridge items we really think the roll or the containers are the way to go.
There’s also a marinate function which could have been good to try but that requires an extra container so something to consider for the future; probably handy come BBQ season.
All in all it’s a vastly superior unit to the stand model that we already had. The seal on the rolls is tremendous. The zip-lock bags are still fiddly and the containers still have their flaws albeit quite good overall. If you buy one and REALLY use it then it should pay for itself in no time by reducing the amount of food that goes in the bin.
Helps reduce food spoilage & wastage.
As a single person, living alone, I often find that food loses freshness before I can consume it all. This is especially the case with nuts, chips, biscuits etc. The resealable vacuum containers make keeping 'snack foods' fresh & crisp easy. Just remember to vacuum seal the container after each opening (takes only a few seconds using the 'Accessory attachment'). I have also found the resealable ziplock bags great for stopping avocados from going brown in the fridge. It is so easy to use as much as you want, put the remaining avocado back in the bag, zip it closed & use the 'Accessory attachment' to vacuum reseal the ziplock bag. Avocados will last a few days stored this way, without going brown. Hard cheeses, preserved meats (ie. Devon, Salami, Ham etc.) can be stored the same way & vacuum sealing them stops them from going mouldy. I have always had problems with freezer burn, in the past, especially with chicken & meat. Since vacuum packing the meats, I no longer suffer freezer burn, great! This will really help my food costs, by reducing food wastage.
One thing that I would like to mention, that concerns me, is the use of plastic bags. Environmental concerns are coming to our notice, more & more often, with regards to plastic waste getting into the environment & into the food chain. I suppose we need to weigh up the savings in food wastage against using plastics to store foods & what affect those plastics will have on the environment after disposal .... At the moment, I would still use ordinary freezer bags to store meats etc. so using the vacuum sealed bags instead, doesn't add too much extra plastic into the environment. Perhaps in the future, someone will invent truly biodegradeable plastics for use in storage bags etc.
In the mean time, I think that the Foodsaver vacuum system is worth having for the benefits of keeping food fresher for longer & savings on food wastage.
Purchased in June 2019.
Nice to see good Design in a product
Impressed before I even saw it by the thoughtful packaging - minimalist and recyclable.
After the first use I was very happy to see clever design at work in this product, examples;
- power cord is not separate but is coiled up in its own space underneath
- the vacuum attachment used with storage containers is not an ugly afterthought but has it's own neat housing and a retractable hose
- control switch is a mechanical lever, thoughtfully located and provides for safe use (cannot be on while unlocked)
Plus the elegant looks, and the durable build of the food containers - it's obvious some thinking has gone into this. Good example of Industrial Design where people have considered how it will be used.
Oh, and it seems to work pretty well too - you just fill your bags and lock the end in and press a button; all the timing is done for you. So it's one of those things you look forward to playing with.
Purchased in June 2019.
Taking care of business!
To commence, I have utilised the Foodsaver VS7850 on two rounds of shopping. I purchase a lot of green vegetables and when I come home I have a coffee or cup of tea and then take the Foodsaver unit out and take care of parcels of vegetables for the next 5 -7 days. This has led to limited to no wastage. Far more room – FAR more room – in the fridge, and just the feeling that I have taken care of business properly.
This is a largely vegetarian household so consider the review against that. If I was a big meat eater or fisherperson etc, the Foodsaver would be indispensable.
The item is light and easily transportable. For apartment living it’s good to be able to store it away between uses and not need too much space for that.
Easy to wipe down and keep clean.
The Foodsaver containers were initially difficult to use in terms of understanding how to ensure you can tell when the item is vacuum airtight. A good video guide would assist here and I will come to that again in further comments. Suffice to say that you need to ensure you push the lid down quite hard and when you put the accessory tool on the top keep one hand on that lid. The green ‘bubble’ on the side vent will drop and become a dimple when airtight. Once I figured this out I really appreciated these containers.
Note that once sealed - you release the seal by pushing on centre green button - the lid can be quite difficult to remove. I had a bit of a pull-fest to take the lid off. This said, contents were crisp and fresh.
Quite expensive but very sturdy and I would look to sales to add to the collection. Just type “where can I buy Sunbeam airtight containers” into a search engine and you see some competitive prices [at the time of writing not in sales mode].
Initially I was unsure just how far in I needed to place a bag in order to seal it. Instructions may read simply but it’s good to have a visual guide. Once again, when I understood the mechanism, this was easy and straightforward. You push the bag so that the top edge runs into and along the green trough. As a side-note, that green trough should be kept in the unit to catch moisture. It is easy to remove and clean.
The zip bags were a boon. I would like more of those simply because they are reusable. Very easy and quick to extract air.
The accessory ‘lead’ does not retract as such on my Foodsaver.
Very easy to make bags from the rolls. In this case literally follow the manual although I did watch a useful video that moved my learning curve along.
I wanted to test whether I could, in fact, re-use bags by neatly snipping along the seal line – extracting contents – and then partially refilling and attempting to reseal. I had to experiment a little with this but it is possible. Because the plastic is quite sturdy I used a couple of smaller ones I created (after initial food usage) to put rubber bands etc in [roll and then put a band around before storing).
The moist function on the Foodsaver works well.
I did not have a marinater so did not experiment with this function as such. I am unsure of the science behind this working with meat given that meat is muscle, myoglobin and water. There is little air within the meat to remove.
This said, you can marinate vegetables very quickly. I did read a number of reviews on the efficacy of marination and there were divided opinions. The insights that did arise from those reviews were not to over-pump the container; not to use any other vacuum system on the Sunbeam Foodsaver containers, and to use Foodsaver units with a marinate function.
Once again, many reviewers spoke in glowing terms of the outcome. In re-reading some reviews I suspect a few consumers tried to use other systems with the Foodsaver marinade container.
The use of plastic is one that needs to be addressed given current thinking.
In the future I believe that a true breakthrough will come when plant-based plastics (and yes, they do exist) replace plastics currently in mass use. In addition, if Sunbeam could develop a system where we could create our own zip bags in a Foodsaver unit, that would be a massive boon in this product line area and a true revolutionary step.
Can I also recommend to Sunbeam that they include more user friendly videos along with their marketing videos on their site. I did a Google search and found a video created by an online appliance company and utilising a senior Sunbeam economist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqBrsgKkKSI This video took the consumer through the steps of using a Foodsaver (a slightly earlier model than the VS7850 but the guidelines were still applicable). The guidance here assisted a great deal as I sometimes find diagrams in manuals a little puzzling. Videos are also of great assistance to the multi-cultural market.
One mini example of problematic text in manual is on page 9 second section point 2 (and further on). “Disassemble Accessory Adaptor….”. I remain confused by this instruction even though I have sorted out how to utilise the containers correctly.
In sum, my rabbit and I had crunchy fresh herbs and vegetables throughout the test process. I enjoyed the unit. It doesn’t take too much room and is portable and takes an instant to set-up.
I’d welcome seeing zipper bags being at a lower price point until such time as Sunbeam can develop the system further and enable consumers to create their own.
Zipper bags are a far more friendly response to sustainability concerns.
I appreciate Sunbeam opening their product lines to review and feedback. Sunbeam has always been a favourite family product source across 4 generations and no-doubt will be a helpmate within gen 5!
Purchased in July 2019.
The gold standard in food storage.
What can I say? Having had a Sunbeam food saver in the past (Vac 430), I was expecting the same sort of thing but just a bit updated.. how WRONG I was. The VS7850 is like the Wright Brothers jumping off their first flight on the Kittyhawk and getting behind the controls of a Dreamliner.
So lets look at the detail. First it looks ultra sleek and modern and whilst the instructions can look a little daunting, once you start to use the Food Saver it all makes sense.
The range of options is only limited by your imagination and the amount of food you have. I would never have thought about vacuum packing toiletries for a flight had I not seen the suggestion on the box. Who would have thought?
We used the food saver a number of times and the marinade option is something else, making the food even more tasty after storage. And there is definitely an entertainment value in watching the machine seal the food into varying shrunken, shaped packages. Our grandson was so fascinated, he has made an effort to learn how to use it - making it even easier for us to store our food - as HE does it for us!
Cleaning the unit is a breeze and it is obvious that whoever designed the food saver has a genuine understanding of the end user and their requirements.
All in all, the unit is just about perfect and I have no idea how it could ever be improved on. It will certainly be getting a work out at our place for years to come.
Purchased in July 2019.
Almost perfect but Not Quite
I have the FoodSaver from Sunbeam a week now and put it through its paces.
The machine itself is quite light and compact.
There are a few things I really like about this machine as I had another brand of food sealer, I could compare it to.
The roll being in the machine is a big plus.
The retractable hose is also a nice touch.
The cutter incorporated into the lid is also nice as the previous machine had the cutter on its own frame inside the machine which was rather flimsy.
Having the knob for sealing the lid on the side of the machine is a great idea.
My previous machine required a lot of pressure to push down on the lid and seal the machine for vacuum operation.
This one however only requires a light turn of the knob on the side to lock the vacuum chamber in place.
I was also lucky enough to have wine stoppers and the marinade container which I will address later.
Also, I noticed I could seal within 10mm of the edge of the bag, my other sealer always left a very wide border of about 50mm.
Now I have also taken a few photos of what I have done with this machine so check them out.
The first thing was to use one of the vacuum sealer containers, I cut up some apple and although they went brown initially on the outside, they did not deteriorate any further after a 6 days.
I did the same thing with some bread and left it on the kitchen top for over a week and as a control I left bread wrapped in its own wrapping which is what I usually do till it goes moldy and I throw it out.
I used the vacuum sealer with the wine stoppers.
I used the marinade container with a piece of steak
I bagged, using the moisture setting a piece of steak in the same marinade and set it aside for two days to compare with the steak in the quick marinade container.
I bagged and sealed a block of cheese using the Ziplock bags
I bagged and sealed some chocolate biscuits
I tried using a normal plastic bag from the supermarket to seal and vacuum some dried fruit.
When I opened the container, I tried the apple.
They were still crisp and white on the inside and still maintain their taste and juice.
After six days the bread was still soft and fluffy with no sign of mold.
The bread wrapped in its own wrapping had started to harden a little and was showing first signs of white mold.
Flavour was just on the surface, I had serious doubts that it would work anyway but I reckon it would be better with lighter textured products such as fish.
The other steak that I put in a bag was slightly tastier the flavour was a bit deeper into the steak which I guess was to be expected.
I used the moist setting on this one, you press moist and then press vacuum/seal, it seems to leave some air in the bag but I can't see that causing problems if you are just using it for a marinade.
Now this is great, no more dry edges on the cheese and so far after 6 days of opening the bag daily and resealing I have no mold and no edge yellowing.
One week later and the biscuits are still crispy so I reckon you could keep biscuits fresh a lot longer than one week.
Containers in use.
Now this is where you have to be careful.
The machine did not always perform perfectly and on occasions did not seal , and required a second or third try to get a seal using the accessory setting.
The Marinade container.
This requires careful use and you should follow the arrows in the direction shown on the lid which is clockwise.
The reason is, if you go anticlockwise it will not always seal and the top will screw off.
if you go clockwise the first thing you do is make sure it goes all the way round to the store mark and that makes sure the top is screwed firmly onto the container.
The marinade process goes for about 12 minutes and cycles 3 times so don't go turning off the machine until only the red is blinking.
It seems to me it pulsates or massages the meat or fish and when it finishes it does not create a full seal to the container, probably designed this way but you can use the accessory seal to get rid of excess air from the container if you wish.
Note : I did try a pork belly, moved to the vacuum setting on the lid,used the marinate setting twice, then to the closed setting ,left it in the fridge for a day then found that it had indeed been vacuum sealed ,so it appears it can be hit and miss and requires a bit of care .
Two other things I noticed.
After sealing a bottle of white wine and returning it to the fridge I noticed that within an hour the seal was gone.
The same thing happened when placing the sealed containers in the fridge.
The seal disappeared.
The reason I believe is that the containers and the bottle contracted as they cooled thus releasing the seal, so just make sure and check that the seal is tight after you put it in the fridge.
You might also find the lids hard to remove after releasing the air, but give it a few seconds at room temperature and they will come off.
Using supermarket plastic bags.
The plastic is too thin on these bags and though you can heat seal the edge the unit will not suck the air out because it draws the lips of the bag together preventing air from being withdrawn.
The machine is very good but not perfect. I have reservation about why the accessory failed to seal on occasions, was this the machine or was it the container? I did check and it was definitely drawing air but it just was not drawing air from the container.
I really did like those Ziplock bags but they are a little on the expensive side at around $25.00 for 35 bags.
The accessory nozzle or unit is on a retractable spring a bit like the chord on a vacuum cleaner.
I just don't think this spring is strong enough and it needs beefing up, it was just like fighting with that vacuum cleaner power chord to get it to fully retract.
I would have given this machine 4.5 stars because of my reservations but you can't , so I gave it 5 .
A very nice product from Sunbeam although the FoodSaver sells under its own label in other countries , is an upright design , and comes with up to a 5 years warranty.
Alas....we only get one.
Purchased in June 2019.
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