I was a little nervous to try the FoodSaver Vacuum Storage System, hense the review…
I’d read that the Foodsaver Vacuum Storage System can be messy, expensive, heavy… but I’d also read a review saying that it was a fantastic way for Personal Chef’s to store food, helping to avoid freezer burn, allowing clients to heat their meals rather than cook them, and eliminating the need to thaw food overnight before heating. I’m not a gizmo person, so figuring out how to use the FoodSaver was another drawback, but the potential upside made it worth a try. Here’s how it went…
While roaming the isles of Tuesday Morning, I found a FoodSaver V2222 marked down to $49.99 from $99.99 and got the OK from the store manager to bring it back for a full refund if I couldn’t figure it out. Sure, it was a late model machine, but the price was right and being able to return it made it worth the risk.
Got home. Opened the box. Panicked. Couldn’t find the “On” button. Couldn’t find a power cord. Then, I got smart and read the user manual and it showed me where everything was and how it worked. Cord on the bottom. No “On” button. Just two buttons to explore: One to make bags before filling and manually stop the machine if it looks like it’s having a problem and one that vacuums out the air and seals it once filled. Pretty simple and they’re right on top.
Next, I made a bag by cutting off a piece of bagging material that comes in a roll, placing it in the machine, closing the top, locking it and pushing a button. Then, I filled the bag with the Sweet and Smoky Chicken I’d just made, put the open edge back into the machine the same way I had to create the bag, closed, the top, locked it, and pushed the second button and voila, within about 15 seconds the air was sucked out and the bag sealed. Fast, simple, effective! My new best friend!
• The machine I purchased, the V2222, is entry level and quite light. It will take a while for me to know for certain whether or not this version is robust enough for my business, but for now it’s great!
• It wasn’t messy. That said, I had read enough about it to know that I needed to keep an eye on the liquid and to manually stop the machine if it started coming out which it didn’t.
• Foodsaver’s can be expensive and I saved for sure by buying an older model. I was able to find bags on sale at Kroger and at Costco, so I’m comfortable that I’ll be able to easily get bag rolls at a reasonable price.
And, in case you’re curious about the Sweet and Smoky Chicken, here’s the recipe, courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens:
Crock Pot Sweet and Smokey Chicken
• 2 ½-3 ½ lbs meaty chicken pieces – breast halves, thighs, drumsticks, skinned
• 1/4t salt
• 1/8t ground black pepper
• 1c chicken broth
• 1/2c seedless raspberry jam
• 1/2c snipped dried apricots
• 1 to 2 canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, chopped, plus 1T adobo sauce
• 1T quick-cooking tapioca, finely ground – I used Mochico to thicken because I planned to freeze the dish
Place chicken in 3 ½ or 4 quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. For sauce, in a small bowl, stir together broth, raspberry jam, dried apricots, chile peppers and adobo sauce, and tapioca/Mochico. Pour over chicken in cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-3 ½ hours.
Transfer chicken to a service platter. Serve sauce over chicken.