The Sunbeam FoodSaver vacuum packaging system, model VAC660, is a benchtop kitchen appliance that helps you keep food for up to five times longer than conventional storage methods. It achieves this by extracting air and moisture to create what Sunbeam claims is a commercial quality vacuum.
Setting up simply requires you to select either a pre-cut bag or to make your own bag from the roll thatís supplied (we preferred using the supplied bags). The FoodSaver comes with a multi-purpose canister, five pre-cut bags (measuring 28 cm x 5.4 m), one roll (measuring 20cm x 30cm) and bottle stopper.
IIf you are using pre-cut bags, to operate the device you simply need to switch on the machine, place the food you want to vacuum pack in the bag and place the open end of the bag down into the vacuum channel, close the lid, lock the device (on both sides of the unit), press and hold the ON button until the machine turns itself off. A light on the right hand side of the unit will switch on to indicate vacuuming and sealing process is taking place and the machine makes a loud noise (like a jet taking off) during the process.
If you are using the supplied FoodSaver roll to make custom bags which need sealing (great for storing smaller amounts of food), you simply cut it to the desired length plus 7.5 cm, place one end of the bag on the sealing strip (which is about 1 cm wide so it can be fiddly) but not inside the vacuum channel. Close and lock the lid and repeat the process described above.
The FoodSaver is great for vacuum packaing large or small quantities of food. We found it particularly useful because we have an old fridge that often means our food gets Ďfreezer burní which renders food unusable after itís been stored for a couple of months. Sunbeam claims it means you can store food up to five times longer than traditional storage methods. Sunbeam also recommends that you only use FoodSaver branded bags and rolls otherwise it could render the device unworkable.
The FoodSaver bags are designed to withstand refrigeration, freezing and re-heating, which is great for people who buy in bulk and donít want to waste any food. And the FoodSaverís accessory port, just below the ON light allows you to vacuum package in canisters.
We found the FoodSaver very straightforward to operate. We did find however that having the ON button on the left side of the machine meant that on occasion the vacuum packaging process and sealing process sometimes required a few tries. We also found the locking mechanisms to be a bit temperamental and the rubber strip at the top right of the lid came unstuck from time to time.
Overall though it was an addictive gadget: we vacuum packed every item in the freezer and also saved some stored frozen items from going into the rubbish bin. The FoodSaver is a fabulous device for storing leftovers ranging from curries to chillies and sauces through to frozen steaks, vegies and stews.
The Sunbeam FoodSaver is a fantastic device that provides a very simple way to save food that may otherwise have been destined for the rubbish bin.
Key features of the VAC 660
- Keep food fresher for up to 5 times longer than conventional storage methods
- New design with neon light control panel
- One touch, automatic operation
- Crush-free instant seal function
- Extra wide sealing strip
- Pulse vacuum function - remove as little or as much air as required
- Adjustable food settings to optimise the vacuum and seal
- Removable drip tray
- Canister port
- Accessories include: 1 x canister, 5 x pre cut bags, 1 x 28cm roll, accessory hose, bottle stopper