Pros: Everything about this is a Pro - Attractive Appliance that Vacuums and Seals with Precision!
Cons: CONSentrates on Pleasing Me!
I get so tired of moldy cheese! No matter what method I've tried, the cheese in our house does not last. I know you can shave the mold off, but I hate to have to do that. After reading reviews on different sealing appliances and figuring this was the way to go, I decided to buy a Tilia FoodSaver Home Vacuum Packaging System.
Wal-Mart had several versions in stock, ranging up to $124, the latest model , which the package stated is "simpler, smarter, sleeker," and comes with a Starter Kit. I was sold and bought it and brought it home.
A Word about Series Numbers: The model I bought is Model V2420. It is also marked that it belongs to the RL2400 Series. I checked the Tilia Website and found that all of the FoodSaver Advanced Systems in the V2400 series have the exact same basic machine. The only differences are in the additional kits offered in the various V2400 Series. I believe that Wal-Mart's number, V2420, is unique to their store.
The Whats & Whys of a Home Vacuum System?
Basically, it's an appliance that will pull the air out of specially made bags or canisters or Jars. After this operation, the machine will seal said containers. In chosen situations, this machine will also seal special bags, jars or canisters without drawing out the air.
Why would I want one?
To lock out air and moisture so your food will stay fresher for longer periods of time. It has been shown that vacuum-packed frozen goods will outlast regularly packaged frozen foods by, literally, years and the shelf life of vacuum-packed products is much safer and longer. Vacuum packaging keeps your frozen foods from getting the dreaded freezer burn and the freshness and flavor are sealed in.
Sealing potato chip bags and cereal packages (not using the vacuum feature) keeps your shelved goods fresh and safe from those tiny intruders that haunt our kitchens (speaking of bugs, not children.)
This is great for marinating meats, storing bags of soup, stew, vegetables, fruits, etc., over and above shrink wrapping meats for the freezer.
You can seal many things besides food, as the DVD will show you, things like crafts, camping accessories, makeup, etc.
The FoodSaver Advanced Home Vacuum System Package
The Advanced Design Appliance itself is just beautiful. It's gleaming white, streamlined, and weighs only 7.77 pounds. It measures 16.75 x 9.75 x 4.5 in inches.
The Starter Kit in the V2420 Model has an 11" x 10 foot FoodSaver Roll, (3)- 1-Quart FoodSaver Bags and (2) -1 Gallon Bags.
Included in the package is an Accessory Hose and Hose holder. These are for use with Jars and/or Canisters. The FoodSaver comes equipped with a space to store a pen for marking the packages.
Instructional DVD this is EXCELLENT, by the way
A QuickStart Guide for the V2420/V2440/V2460/V2480 Appliances
A Reference Guide to Vacuum Packaging which is a Storage Guide for Meat, cheese, vegetables and fruit where to store/container/storage life.
Inside the FoodSaver Appliance itself
I explain the BUTTONS in the following paragraph. I just wanted to explain that the buttons you'll use are on the Outside. But when you lift the lid, you'll find inside:
1. Pen Storage Compartment
2. Roll Storage Compartment
3. Bag Cutter and Cutter Bar
4. Easy-Clean Drip Tray, removable/dishwasher safe
5. Vacuum Channel
6. Foam Gasket (under drip tray)
7. Extra-Wide Sealing Strip
Using the Tilia FoodSaver V2400 Series Advanced Vacuum System
You merely plug it in, two small lights come on to show that it's connected. Then lift the cover and put the special FoodSaver Roll of plastic in the Roll Holder space. With this roll you can create your own storage bags. It has its own sliding bag cutter right inside. Next, connect the Accessory hose on the back, where it is stored until you need it. And now you're ready to go.
The controls you'll use are on the outside of the cover. I'm not familiar with the previous models, but this one gives you the ability to use a One-Touch operation.
There are push-button controls to make choices to personalize your packaging.
1. SPEED - Choose between FAST and NORMAL sealing/vacuuming
2. FOOD SETTING - Choose between DRY and MOIST Products to seal.
3. VACUUM/SEAL BUTTON you press this and the air will be taken out and then it automatically SEALS your package. When the light goes out, remove package. You can press this button, again, to stop the process if you've done something wrong. This is great so you don't ever need to panic.
4. A Button for Canisters and Accessories
5. CRUSHFREE INSTANT SEAL BUTTON this, also, is an instant stop for the vacuum process to protect delicate items, or press this to make your own bags, or press it when you merely want to seal a bag, like potato chips or cereal bags
6. PORT where you attach accessory hoses.
A Red Indicator Light will come on when the Sealing is taking place (a mere few seconds) or it will flash if there is an Error.
There's an easy push-lock on the right side, which you must use to start any of the processes and you Release this to remove the package you've created.
My Experience with the FoodSaver
I guess with anything, one has to make a beginner's mistake, right?
Well, I won't disappoint you.
We were so eager to use this appliance and looked around for something to seal. My husband felt we had too many cupcakes on hand, so he packaged them up. He took two metal pie tins, setting the cupcakes in one and covering them with the other. Then he placed the entire unit in a FoodSaver Gallon bag and started the vacuum/seal button.
Oh, ha ha. This thing is strong! Have you ever seen crushed pie tins, I mean, crushed unrecognizably? Or have you ever seen cupcakes transformed into flat cookies with wrinkles? Well, come to my house. We'll save this monstrosity to remind us to read instructions and follow them!
I love this Appliance. My expensive blocks of Cheddar and Swiss Cheese are safely vacuum wrapped in the refrigerator's cheese drawer. When we want any, we merely cut the seal on the bag, get the amount we want, then vacuum and reseal, knowing that they will not ever get moldy! They wouldn't dare.
I went meat shopping with the FoodSaver in mind. To do meat, it's a good idea to freeze it for a few hours so the juices will not get vacuumed into the machine. You, also, can put a piece of a paper towel between the meat and the opening to prevent this.
I broke all the meat into packages with the quantities we would use for a meal and I really enjoyed vacuuming/sealing each package. They take up less room in the freezer and/or refrigerator for the sealing process compresses the package.
I've easily made my own bags and have sealed many dry products, pasta, flour, cereals, etc. The FoodSaver machine is so easy to use it seems to have buttons for ever imaginable need.
One other experience we had. I wanted to make an icing using light brown sugar. Of course, the sugar was hard as a brick. Hubby microwaved it to soften it, then he vacuum/sealed it with the FoodSaver and it, once again, felt hard as a brick!
When I finally got to the icing, I opened this package, reserving my doubts, but I shouldn't have worried. Poof! When the air returned after cutting the bag, the sugar was as soft as velvet. Wonderful to know.
Cleaning this is a snap - merely wipe inside/out with a damp rag and lift out the drip tray and wash in soapy water or on the top rack of the dishwasher.
Questions you may ask
Is it noisy? Of course. Have you ever heard a quiet vacuum? But the noise doesn't keep you from vacuuming, I hope. The vacuum process is so short with the FoodSaver that I don't mind it at all. Besides, the sound lets me know that it's working! I love it.
Are the Accessories Expensive? Initially, yes, I'd say. The boxes of bags are considerably more costly than regular storage bags. But considering that they are reusable, (Yes, they are washable, even in the dishwasher) - the price will even out in time. Of course, you won't reuse any bags that had meat in them. That's a given.
NOTE: You must use the Special Bags or Rolls. Regular plastic would probably burn and/or stick. You can, however, seal products in heavy, Mylar bags, like cereals and chips.Update 2007 - I have found you can seal frozen vegetable bags and cereal bags and I don't hesitate to seal any package with this. This surprised me.
I haven't gotten into the Mason jars yet, but have bought and used the canisters (link below). The initial cost of these accessories will certainly even out, figuring how much use a person will get from them.
Summation with Recommendations
I can't say enough good about this Tilia FoodSaver V2400 Series Advanced Vacuum Packaging System.
The appliance is not only a great addition to any decor, it does something that no other appliance can do! It is easy to use and gives me such an ease in my mind as to protecting our groceries from freezer burn, mold, and deterioration.
I love using this and even love looking at it. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has the same concerns I have for protecting food from spoilage or for sealing anything for the sake of convenience.
This is not one bit CHEESY, it is Sleek and Smart enough to have CURED my Moldy Cheese problem. I am so pleased that I bought this wonderful Appliance.
Update:January 2007 - Just want to mention that this is still one of my favorite appliances. It has changed our way of handling freezing meat and leftovers. It works great.
Thanks so much for Reading my Review. I do hope it has been helpful to you.
Tilia Foodsaver Canisters