Shannon_124October 8, 2001

I want to purchase a sealer, but don't know which one is best. Could you all let me know which one you use and if you like it or if there is anything you don't like about it? Thanks for your help.

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Hi Shannon, I really can't tell you which one is best, I can only tell you which I have and what I think of it...(not trying to be sarcastic, but...hopefully, I chose correctly the first time so I wouldn't HAVE to go through to many! LOL)

Last Xmas, I asked for ( and rec'd) the FoodSaver Professional II. My husband purchased it out of the Cabella's catalog ( Pretty reasonablly as well.

Opionion: I love it - and for my friends and family that have seen this thing in action, they are impressed. For example. Bought graham crackers last Jan. to make cheesecake for the holiday. Don't usually use them otherwise. Sealed 'em up...just opened them last week to make mini cheesecakes for a fund raiser - absolutely fresh! Made it easier to run them over with the rolling pin to make crumbs too (no, they didn't get squished in the sealing process).

There is one thing that drives me nuts though...the bags. I DON"T reuse them. That grosses me out. Especially with meat products. I buy meats in bulk when they go on sale and seal them. Also, about the bags, there are only two of us, so making sure I don't put more than I need in the bag (i.e., too many left overs) which seems to waste bags. I have taken up cutting the bags in half, etc. but still.

Overall, I highly recommend one (get one early before the holiday season though, as the price goes up as the season of giving gets closer LOL)!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2001 at 8:36AM
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I have the same machine and I love it. Having to freeze everything (ie meat, fresh veggies) first can be a challenge, especially since nothing looked like it was frozen when they were demonstrating on the infomercial....Lol! The only thing I have a problem with are the bags as well, but for different reasons.

I cant imagine how you would NOT reuse the bags. That could get seriously pricey, as their bags are not cheap. The do come in rolls or precut, and lately I have seen them all over so you do not have to order them anymore. For the least amount of mess, freeze most everything before vacuuming, and remove from the bag before thawing to use. If it does thaw, then I usually throw the bag away. However, using the bags this way leaves virtually no residue and is easy to clean, dry, and reuse. I guess I feel that we got the machine in the hopes of saving some money over time, not by throwing it away.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2001 at 11:32AM
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Shannon, I have the Foodsaver 550, that I bought at Sams. I really love it most of the time. I do sometimes have trouble getting the bags to seal or it seals but doesn't vaccuum. Don't know what I am doing wrong! I just returned from a 3 week trip to Peru and had left lots of meals in the freezer for my hubby. It was great for him, otherwise he would have eaten only Patio Mexican TV dinners! I also sealed things like a big package of tootsie roll pops, velveeta cheese, tea bags, and stuffed bears to take to Peru for my son, daughter-in-law and grands. Worked great and saved room in my bags (just not enough! LOL!). I think it is a great investment!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2001 at 10:31PM
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I bought one last spring, a "Compact II", from "UBid.

I love it! Garden produce, meat, fish, soup stock, all in freezer. I guess I don't mind pre-freezing some things. We are only 2, so when I make the bags, I just make them longer, and then you can dishwasher them or hand wash them.

A 4 pack of bags, 2-8", and 2-11" is about $26 at Sam's Club.
I just bought the 3 piece canister set for $19.99 at a Shopco store, and the square marinater is also $19.95. (That's next!)
I shredded cheese in the smallest, .75, and got a head of lettuce in the largest, 2.5 quart!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2001 at 9:50PM
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I am not sure which one I have, but have mixed feelings about it.

When sealing cookies or muffins or half baked pizza, it sucked every bit of air
and everything was flatter than a pancake.
I tried to cut up fresh tomatoes to freeze and it kept sucking all the juice from the tomatoes
into the top seal and never did work.

It did work on meat and green peppers.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2001 at 2:09PM
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Hi Shannon. I just got the Foodsaver 300. QVC had the cheapest price - even from searching the net, so I got one from them. Yes, it does suck all the air out, but that is the purpose of it! If you make cookies or muffins, FREEZE them first before sealing, they won't flatten or crush so much. Any juice running out towards the vacuum won't seal so you have to have some things frozen or semi-frozen.

But I think it's great! I've already sealed cheddar cheese that I may not use for a few weeks and it will be good. I've made veggie soup, frozen it overnight in small containers, removed it from the containers and then sealed it with FOODSAVER. Same with other dishes I've made, spagetti sauce, squash casserole (all frozen first in med. size containers). From a round roast that didn't get all eaten, I froze slices of it and then made that veggie soup with it! NO FREEZER BURN! YAY! I can't wait to get fresh corn (next summer), peaches etc. to seal and save for wintertime. DO READ The instructions if you get one. It won't vacuum if there is any "juice" (like from soup) or if it's not lined up in the "vacuum sealer" part correctly. I have had no problems getting adjusted to it. I LOVE IT!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2001 at 3:34PM
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Hey June does your have the canister sealer on it?
I looked at one at Wal-mart and it was the foodsaver
350 and I didn't see the jar thing on this one.It cost
$99 for the foodsaver.
Any help?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2001 at 5:49PM
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Trish, I looked at the one at Wal Mart before I bought mine and it doesn't have the thing to seal jars. It doesn't even have the place to plug one in. I got mine at Sam's and paid a little more for it, but it came with the jar sealer, a small canister and some bags and a roll of the small bags and a roll of the large bags. I ordered the sealer for the small mouth jars also. I think it is worth the extra money . I really love mine.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2001 at 10:22PM
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I'm looking for some tips on how to use my new Tilia foodsaver. I'm assuming things (like chips,ie.) where the bags can be resealed are done by pressing the manual seal button- you can't really vacuum pak them (unless using a canister) because they would get crushed, right?
And a couple of questions that are somewhat related,
Can you freeze margarine in a foodsaver bag?
I want to freeze brocolli from my garden with the foodsaver, what is the best way, and can you use the microwave for blanching?


    Bookmark   May 3, 2002 at 8:25AM
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I am looking at these on EBAY. A question though. IF I want to use the foodsaver on soft fruits, will they crush? Will I need to put them up in containers?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2002 at 1:16PM
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It will crush fruit in the bags. If you freeze soft items on a cookie sheet before putting them in bags to seal, that may work out. If you want to vacuum seal fresh fruit without freezing it, you can get the jar sealer attachment and use canning jars/lids as the containers. That's what I do and it works great for keeping strawberries and such.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2002 at 7:51PM
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I to want to buy a food sealer. I am wondering are there other bags you can use with this sealer? I see the ones at Wal-mart that go with the sealer but wonder if anyone has used other brands? Any input.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2002 at 12:16AM
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    Bookmark   July 29, 2002 at 3:00PM
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SUNFLOWER.....I've used a different brand of sealer bags with my foodsaver and it definitely doesn't work as well as using the foodsaver bags. It sealed the bag but didn't take much of the air out. It also melted the top portion of the bag where it seals but the bag did stay sealed. I would suggest sticking with the Foodsaver brand of bags & the rolls which you make your own size bags...I also love the cannisters and frequently use the marinater container (well worth the $20).......Linda/NJ

    Bookmark   August 25, 2002 at 10:33AM
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I use the Tilia Compact II. Recently it's started getting balky about sealing; it would suck the air out of the package but wouldn't heat up and make the seal. So I took it apart. You remove the 6 phillips screws from the bottom, and it comes right apart. Turns out that there's a bit of tubing inside, with the pump and pressure sensor, and there's a bit of sponge by the pressure sensor. We'd tried to seal something that had a bit too much liquid, and it got sucked in, and was stopped by the sponge, where it developed enough mold to plug the tube. A little bleach and a Q-tip and we were back in business. The vacuum lines are just vinyl tubes with press-on connectors, easy to work with.

So far as sealing food goes, I did up all my veggies for my chilli recipe in one bag; soak the beans in the crock pot when you go to bed, throw in spices and turn it on to low while you're at work, come home, fry a couple burger patties and slit open a bag of chopped veggies, throw 'em in the pot and call it dinner. I no longer do this. Onions and carrots are fine, but vacuum sealed and frozen bell peppers are limp. So now I keep the bell peppers in a ziplock, not a vacuum seal.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 6:24PM
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Thanks for your input.Wal-mart has the 550 sealer here
so that is what I plan on getting.

Thanks for your help

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 8:31AM
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I have the Tilia Vac 1050. I love it. I did have problems with sealing juicy things. The bag won't seal if you have liquid where it heats to seal. A good solution for soups and other especially juicy things is to use the jar sealer. It's an attachment that works with canning jars. You need the jar (I prefer the large mouth cuz they are easier to pour into) and the cap with the rubber seal..don't need the rings. You fill the jar to an inch from the top, put on the lid, put the attachment over and seal. You can freeze these. Works great. It's helpful to put the lid in warm water for a few minutes to soften the rubber...just dry it well before placing on the jar.

Also..for things that are sort of juicy but not liquid, you can fold a paper towel and insert into the bag just behind where the seal will be. It will absorb the little bit of liquid that might otherwise prevent the seal.

Hope this helps


    Bookmark   September 14, 2002 at 12:01PM
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Before I purchased a vacuum sealer, I looked around a bit and decided to get the Tilia Professional II. It was more expensive, but worth it. This model has 5 vacuum settings. If I still think that more air needs to be removed from the bag, I have a vacuum overide button that will keep the machine vacuuming until I release the button and it seals. It also has a manual seal button that allows me remove some air and seal the bag before the end of the normal cycle so delicate foods like bread are not crushed.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2002 at 11:36AM
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I got mine from the chef's catalog and i love it. And i to get my bags at sam's. And i put them in the dish washer and clean them. But they said on the tape that i got with mine when you store the meat in them not to ruse them. But you can store anyting any them and they are fresh when you open it up.And you can heat it up on the stove to with boiling water.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2003 at 11:00AM
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I had some left over green, red and yellow peppers so i put it in one of the bags so when i need it next time i will have them in the frezzer the red and yellow coast a little more. I don't think that i could do with out mine.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2003 at 9:15PM
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I have the Food Saver compact II by Tilia, it only has One vaccum setting and sometimes I have problems with it sealing and the bags staying sealed with berries. My sister in-law has the Tilia with several Vaccum settings and it works sooo much better than mine. I wished I would have bought one like hers You get what you pay for. If you can afford a few dollars more buy a more expensive one. especially the one where you plug in the vaccum hose. I use it on jars all the time. I will try the tip as suggested about freezing berries first and see if that doesn't work better for me. I do not reuse bags that I had meat in I am afraid of food poisioning with the meat juices. I do wash and reuse the other bags. What do you think of the marinade jar? I may have to check into buying one of those. Loralee

    Bookmark   April 23, 2003 at 1:20AM
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I have the foodsaver by tila. AWESOME. I love that thing. I have not tried the canning jar thing yet. This may sound stupid but, can you freeze canning jars? thanks

    Bookmark   April 24, 2003 at 8:32AM
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absoultly, you can freeze things in jars. Don'f fill the jar clear up to the top. Just be sure you leave at least 2 inches of space as the juice will expand as it freezes and the jar will break.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 12:59AM
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Mine came with the food saver canisters. The first few times that I used the canisters they sealed perfectly. However, lately the seal fails in a day or two. I've noticed the same with food that I put in the fridge. I had bacon in the fridge for a month, used it and re-sealed it. The bag shrank around the bacon, but 2 weeks later the bag was loose but still sealed.
Any know what is going on?

    Bookmark   July 21, 2003 at 9:27AM
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I think the jar sealers are made to fit Ball type jars. If you heat the lids in water before using, it softens the rubber seal and you'll get a better seal.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2003 at 5:33PM
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I have a Foodsaver and absolutely adore it! Saves us a bundle, since we can buy at Costco and put up whatever we don't use immediately.

Two tips learned by trial-and-error:

If you're sealing something that has a little juice but isn't dripping -- say, a hamburger patty -- you don't need to freeze it first. Just put a folded-up paper towel just behind where the bag will seal. Make sure it's folded over several times, and that it goes all the way from the left to the right of the bag. The air will be sucked right through the paper towel, but the juice will be stopped. (Of course, if you're sealing non-frozen foods, you need to account for the flattening effect of the suction.)

Also, if you're sealing meat or chicken or cheese or anything you don't want to get on the bag, try putting it into a plain baggy first, twist-tying, and freezing if necessary. 9 times out of 10 when you take the sealed food out the bag will still be spotless and ready to reuse.

I've been very happy with my machine, and Tilia has excellent customer service. They've really taken care of us.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2003 at 8:13AM
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well, I know by now you already have your foodsaver, I purchased the foodsaver 550 from ebay, it was new and saved at least half price from buying it in the store.

I love it


    Bookmark   January 2, 2004 at 1:00AM
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I find I can seal and freeze things, but then when I take them out of the freezer later, it often appears as if the vacuum seal is gone, and there is air in the bag. Anyone else have this problem or know how to solve it? I have a Foodsaver, and use their bags/strips.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2004 at 3:35AM
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can you tell me which models you have that you are having problems with? I have compact II which I have lots of trouble with.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2004 at 6:43PM
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I have a couple of questions about the Foodsaver:

FIRST, I bought what I think was an original model (#FS-092372) about 20 years or so ago on a television shopping channel. I think it was HSN or QVC, but can't be certain.

Does anyone remember what the Foodsaver sold for back in those days when purchased from the "infomercial"? I was thinking it was about $500.00, but my wife says it was much less (I'm just curious).

SECOND, Although our original Foodsaver works like a charm (MUCH better than the units they sell now), the black foam rubber "gaskets" on the lid and base are drying out and starting to crumble.
Foodsaver says they do not have any parts for units that old. Anyone got an idea where I might find these gaskets?

Thanks for any response.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 4:49PM
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Okay, I've recently seen the inexpensive ones for sale at Target - anyone tried them?

    Bookmark   March 14, 2008 at 9:44PM
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We recently tried the Reynolds Handi-Vac ziploc bags that have the "port" for vacuuming out the air using the handheld battery operated appliance that sells for about $10. I like the smallness of the vacuum tool and the fact that I can take items out of the bag, rezip & reseal. What I don't like is that each bag takes a fairly long time to vacuum, holding down the button on the appliance the entire time it takes to vacuum, and sometimes a bag port takes some fiddling before the vacuuming happens. I will keep using it for things like frozen fruits & veggies.

Based on this experience, last week I bought a FoodSaver system at Costco. DS recently hunted his first buck, & we had the venison processed into smoked "hunter" sticks, Italian style sausage, chorizo, & other meat items. I needed to repackage it all (for a new chest freezer) to prevent freezer burn & in more manageable quantities per bag. Clearly it would take forever using the Handi-vac system, and unfortunately a Handi-vac bag occasionally loses its vacuum. I'm very pleased with the FoodSaver, which has the space to store a roll, built-in cutter, and the vac-seal process is so easy, just one push of a button. The unit itself is fairly large, so I won't be keeping it out on the counter every day.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 7:31PM
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VgQn recently picked up a practically unused Foodsaver II at a consignment store for $8. It works very well with practice things (dry utinsils) but we haven't yet tried it out on real food. We like to freeze some "juicy" items like strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, etc and were wondering how people got past the "sucking up liquids" stage. The paper towel trick sounds interesting but doesn't that mean the papertowel ends up inside the bag once it's sealed? or am I reading the above posts wrong? No instructions came with the gizmo so I was wondering if there is a way to shut off the vaccuum manually and activate the heat sealer while avoiding liquid getting into the seal zone?
Thanks for any tips, vgkg

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:34PM
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I use one of the hand held types quite a lot, also have the food saver which is great. I'm trying to find something to stick in the hand held [like a drinking straw but smaller]so I can use zip loc bags.

You can use the hand held on the food saver canisters.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 11:54AM
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earl, I came here on a research mission as I want one of these gadgets.
Regarding your question: Have you tried using the tiny holed coffee stirring sticks available at 7-11 or anyplace that sells coffee by the cup?
I use these tiny straws to drink my coffee with. Less chance of getting burned and I can sip while I drive too.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 12:29PM
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How do I "foodsaver" freeze fresh picked raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries? Do I need to first freeze the berries on a tray or can I just put them in the bag and vacuum/seal?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:57PM
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