Vacuum sealing is an amazing way to preserve food by pulling out the air within the bag and sealing it shut. It is perfect for packaging meat to store in the freezer. I am sure we have all experienced spoiled meat due to freezer burn. There have been times I have gone to the freezer to pull out a salmon filet or some steaks only to discover they are covered with ice crystals or freezer burn marks. It is frustrating and expensive to lose food this way. Vacuum sealing is an excellent way to ensure that food stays fresh WAY longer than using other methods that allow air to get around the food.
Vacuum sealers have become one of the most commonly used tools in my kitchen. With cooking sous vide, smoking sausages, fish, cheese or just plain storing meat, I call on my vacuum sealer all the time. Having three different sealers in my possession currently (of different brands), there are a few choices that I can go to when I need to seal up some food.
FoodSaver is known for making quality vacuum sealers. They have been in the business for many years and have a number of models, from small and compact, to larger deluxe models. The Foodsaver vacuum sealer uses special bags that are smooth on one side and have small ridges on the other to help remove the air during the vacuum process. There are a variety of sizes of bags, some with plastic zippers. Along with the different options of bags, there are also rolls of one massive long bag that can be cut to size and sealed on one end. This allows you to have a bag the exact size and length you would like. The sealing is done through a heat seal method where the plastic is melted to create a strong seal and bond. The seal is 1/4 inch in width going across the length of the bag.
One of FoodSaver’s special vacuum sealers is the Gamesaver. This vacuum sealer has the outdoorsman in mind and is built to handle the elements as well as a lot of heavy use. The Gamesaver is made with a thick hard plastic. It actually reminds me of the old style computer monitors. It is obvious the plastic case is thicker than previous models. There is a handle on the side for easy carrying and transportation.
The lid/door lifts up to reveal a spot to hold a roll inside. Like previous FoodSaver models, the Gamesaver can use rolls to allow you to cut the exact size of bag you need. Pull the roll out to the desired length, close the lid and slide the cutting tool across and the bag is cut. It is that simple.
With the lid up, it is possible to see the long removable reservoir. This catches any of the moisture/liquid pulled out of the bag. The reservoir can be removed and drained anytime and is quite handy, especially if sealing meat with marinades or other liquids. Around it is a foam gasket that helps to create the vacuum airtight seal. This can be removed and washed if it gets dirty or sticky.
On the side of the unit is a storage compartment holding the accessory hose. This hose can be used with some of FoodSaver’s optional accessories, like their containers, marinators and bottle stoppers.
There is a latch that locks the the lid down, ensuring that a strong suction can be made and that the bag will not move. I loved this feature as I found it created a stronger seal than some of the other models I have used. Some other models have you stick the open end of the bag into a slot which closes when it senses the inserted bag. I far prefer the method on the Gamesaver as it allows you to make sure the bag goes in straight and exactly as far as you want it to. Once you pull the latch down and it locks, the bag is not going anywhere. Now, the bag can be vacuumed and sealed.
The Gamesaver has two buttons: Seal or Vacuum/Seal. Seal just performs the heat seal function without removing any air. The Vacuum Seal button pulls all the air out of the bag and then it performs the heat seal on the end of the bag. The performance of the vacuum and seal functions with the Gamesaver were excellent. I have used it many times and have consistently solid results. Here are some of the food I have vacuum sealed:
- chicken breasts
- cut up pork roast
- a whole ham!
- raw veggies
One thing I noticed about this model of FoodSaver is that it has fewer options compared to some of their other models. I also own the V3460 which has two additional buttons missing in the Gamesaver model.
- a ‘gentle’ button which creates a more gentle suction that is perfect for softer foods, like salmon.
- a ‘moist’ button which is perfect to use when vacuuming a bag of meat in a marinade.
I was disappointed that these options are missing in the Gamesaver model, but considering that this is built for a hunter sealing up a bunch of game meat, it is quite possible these options would be rarely used by the target consumer.
The FoodSaver Gamesaver Vacuum Sealer is a solid product in a strong line of vacuum sealers by FoodSaver. It is compatible with their entire line of bags, rolls and accessories. It is durable and weather/water resistant so it is perfect for outdoor use. I really like this model and it has become my ‘go to’ vacuum sealer.
You can purchase this vacuum sealer at Amazon:FoodSaver Gamesaver Vacuum Sealer
Disclaimer: FoodSaver provided me with the Foodsaver sealing unit. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the FoodSaver product.