01.Sunbeam FoodSaver VS1200Price:
Sunbeam has developed a range of food sealing devices that vacuum-pack refrigerated items, like deli meats and cheeses, by using specially designed zip bags and deli containers.
Vacuum-packing stores food in an air-tight environment, and by combining vacuum packaging with refrigeration you can reduce the growth of some bacteria.
You can pay as much as $300 for one of Sunbeam’s sealing products. However we tested their cheapest one, the FoodSaver VS1200, to see if it lives up to its claims. It comes with one medium and one large FoodSaver zipper bag as well as a FoodSaver deli container.
Performance and ease of use
To test it we packed two slices of ham four different ways:
- We vacuum-packed in the FoodSaver bag.
- We vacuum-packed in the deli container.
- We sealed in a Glad plastic bag.
- We sealed in a plastic container.
We left them in the refrigerator for six days, after which we assessed the quality of the ham in each package. The FoodSaver zipper bag was the best, showing no signs of spoiling.
The ham in the FoodSaver Deli container looked fresh but was slightly slimy and the smell was starting to turn – this goes for the Glad zip bag too. As for the plastic container, the ham wasn’t fresh and had a sour smell.
The FoodSaver is compact and very easy to use. However it won’t work unless it’s fully recharged, and the instructions don’t provide any guidelines as to how long foods can be stored this way.
The deli containers (except lid) and zipper bags (turned inside out) can be washed on the top shelf in the dishwasher. However, if you’re using the bags for packing cooked or raw meats, fish, or greasy foods you won’t be able to reuse them.
High price to pay
While this product does keep food fresh for longer it comes at a price. It can only be used with the FoodSaver products and costs $19.95 for a pack of 12 FoodSaver VSO850 3.78L bags, or 18 FoodSaver VSO800 950ml bags, or for two of the FoodSaver deli containers (VSO650).
You can pay only $3.09 for a pack of 50 small Glad sandwich bags.
To source extra bags or containers you’ll need to contact Sunbeam – they told us we could only purchase them through spare parts shops and online.
While this product is a great way to keep refrigerated foods fresh, the ongoing cost of zipper bags and containers is enough to discourage those on a tight budget, not to mention the fact that they’re not easy to source in the first place.
If you buy in bulk and need to keep foods stored for longer periods then this product would be suitable for you. However for shorter periods of time, wrapping foods in plastic or sealing them in snap lock bags and airtight containers will keep them fresh.
No matter which way you decide to store and preserve foods, you’ll need your fridge to be at the right temperature – a good temperature for a fridge is 3°C.
For more information on Kitchen appliances see, Kitchen.