Sunday, March 29, 2009

Product Review: Reynolds Handi-Vac

I was planning to make my first product review about some of the food samples I’ve received from Foodbuzz.com, but I thought it’d be nice to switch gears for a bit and talk about one of the tools that helps me out quite a bit in the kitchen: the Reynolds Handi-Vac.

Those of you who frequently buy in bulk are probably very familiar with the wonders of vacuum sealers. They allow you to store and freeze things like produce, meat, leftovers, etc., for longer than you’d be able to keep them in the fridge or at the mercy of freezer burn. You can also store dry goods and not have them go stale as quickly. The space you save in your cupboards and freezer is an added bonus as well. But what happens when you don’t have a large family and don’t need to buy food in huge quantities, yet still want to save something for later? I used to go through this a lot with certain meats I’d buy, since I only cook for one or two and don’t need to cook an entire London Broil all at once. And what if you’re like me and have a kitchen the size of a thumbtack? One of the conventional vacuum sealers could solve the freeze-and-save-for-later dilemma, but where could it possibly be stored? You can’t really vacuum seal a vacuum sealer to shrink it for easy storage (though that’d be kind of interesting to see). And then there’s the price. Though I could see the need for this type of gadget, I’m not always in the position to spend $40-50 on what I’d consider a luxury. Heck, after I pay my rent I’m usually left with that amount of money and have to make it stretch for 2 weeks, so fun kitchen toys are not always on my shopping list.

Fortunately, the folks at Reynolds came up with what I think is a wonderful solution. They created a compact, hand-held mini-vacuum sealing system that works beautifully. It comes with both gallon and quart-sized bags that are specifically designed for the Handi-Vac and starts at a mere $9.99 at most grocery stores and places like Target. Ridiculously simple to use, all you do is put the food in the bag, seal the zippered part, place the vacuum sealer on the suction point of the bag and wait a few seconds for your items to be vacuumed sealed. It’s a little noisy, but other than that it’s a perfect little gadget. Measuring only about 7”, you’ll find it’s also pretty easy to store. Extra bags are available for around $3 in both sizes as well.

The only drawback I find is that the bags are not reusable. I’m okay with the reason: sanitary issues require that one dispose of the bags after they’ve been used, especially when they’ve been used for meat products. It would just be nice if you could reuse the bags at least once to save on cost & waste. But all in all, it’s a very useful gadget and the price is right. Someday I’ll graduate to a bigger kitchen and appliances; for now, this little Handi-Vac makes a world of difference for a Poor Girl like me. :)

24 comments:

  1. My parents use one of these and just love it.
    It does not take up as much room as the Tilia Food Saver System, they find it much easier to use and getting replacement bags is a snap! If you look around the local grocery stores frequently put them on sale. In fact, when mom got hers (about 5 months ago)they were on sale for just $4.99. This past week they were that same price at our local grocery store and the bags were 2/$5 too. Yes, the bags aren't reuseable but you can't always reuse the bags with the other food saver system anyway. However, perhaps if it were a dry goods type of food you may be able to reuse the bags. And this does not take up any space at all compared to the Tilia Food Saver System so if you have a small kitchen and / or are limited on storage space this is a GREAT PRODUCT!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Reynolds Handi-Vac bags ARE completely reuseable. Reynolds has an interest in selling more bags (naturally!). I've had my Handi-Vac since April 2009 and have yet to buy a new box of bags.

    Just throw literally 1-2 drops of dishwashing liquid into a used bag, add enough water to fill it half up, seal, shake for about 1 minute and rinse. turn the bad upside down in the dish drainer (or inside the empty dishwasher and presto!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reynolds does not manufacture these any more. They weren't making enough money.

    There's a link on the Reynolds site to a place that has gallon size bags to sell, but once the stock is depleted, there won't be any more.

    ReplyDelete
  4. someone said that you can use the ziplock ones with reynolds pump going go look for them to try!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You CAN use the Ziploc bags! We had to last night after getting a SUPER deal on boneless pork chops! One bag was faulty so we put duct tape on it after sucking the air out. The problem we are finding, is now we are having a hard time finding the dang Ziploc bags! Frustrating! They have the pump for Ziploc, too, but I don't like it at well! Man, they need to stop teasing us with GREAT products and then taking them away!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I tried to use the Ziplock bags with the Handi-vac pump but it did not work. The Ziplock hand pump did not vaccum down very well. I am just out the $10.00 for the Handi-vac pump. I will stay away for Reynolds products.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We tried to use the Ziplock bags also. The Handi-vac would pull the air out, but it would go right back in again. I sure wish Reynolds wasn't giving up on this product. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have been using the Handi-Vac since it came out on the market. When Wal-Mart stopped selling the bags, I tried Ziploc's product but they don't stay vacuumed for long. I buy raw vegetables in bulk and cut them up and bag a bunch of them for lunch everyday. I can do a lot at once and they stay fresh for quite a while. I am so disappointed that Reynolds gave up on this product. I hope Ziploc improves their bags.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just fired off a negative comment to Reynolds for discontinuing this great product. I just wish they would buy back the pump from me as it's useless now. So much for loyalty to the customer who spends their hard earned money on their products.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh But you can find these bags for a very heffty price on Amazon. These people must of gotten an insite that Reynolds was going to discontinue these bags. Who in the right mind is going to pay $29.00 plus $5.95 shipping for 27 bags. And that's the lowest price. Some are going for $54.00 You got to be kidding.
    I'm so mad a Reynolds...
    dc
    conroe,texas

    ReplyDelete
  11. $54, are you SERIOUS??? That's insane!

    Wow, you guys... I've been following these comments and have decided I'll probably send the Reynolds folks a little (huge) plea to bring this thing back. I'm down to my last bags and refuse to pay so much for new ones! I'll mention these comments (sans names, of course) to show them that it's not just me - a lot of us want this gadget back!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've been looking for the bags also. I have been using the Ziplock bags, the Handi-vac does sucks the air out. The problem is finding the right spot within the circle. The food doesn't seem to stay as fresh in the freezer with the Ziplock bags.

    I bought several of the Handi-vacs last year as gifts, my friends and family loved them, now I feel bad.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I also bought these Handi-vacs as gifts and now the people I gave them to can not find the bags. Very dissappointed in Reynold . Feel very bad for the friends I gave the gift to. Will not buy any new items from Reynolds because of this.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love my Handi-Vac. It is one of the greatest kitchen gadgets I ever had. I have looked all over for more bags and have finally gone to the internet with the hopes of ordering bags directly from Reynolds only to find out they have discontinued the Handi-Vac. So what now? Do I just throw it in the trash. What a waste of my money. I sure hope the Reynolds people read this and take note that they really have upset alot of people who will hesitate to purchase any of their products in the future

    ReplyDelete
  15. Food Saver makes one of these now, with bags too. WalMart carries them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. May I make a suggestion, Reynolds has a Facebook page, I think everyone needs to go there and tell them how much they love the product and how DISAPPOINTED you are with them for discounting the bags.. Let's begged them to put them back on the market, I'm really upset because I bought mine about a month ago and now I can't find the bag... GO TO FACEBOOK!!!!! Here's the link.. Maybe if we let them know if they don't bring the bags back we will not buy anything of there's any longer..

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reynolds-Wrap/71369066093

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a sad thing i will no longer buy any reynolds products.

    ReplyDelete
  18. HSN.com sells Debbie Meyer's GeniusVac bags. They are designed to work with Reynolds Handi-Vac.

    ReplyDelete
  19. HSN actually sells the bags for the Reynolds Handi-Vac 30 Gallon and 40 Quart for $14.90 each

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh man....I'm bummed too. I loved that darn Handi-Vac. I still have 1 box of each size left. I'm going to start washing them now to re-use. Last night, I tried a regular Zip-Lock bag with a little hole in it. I used the Handi-Vac and quickly tried to cover the hole with tape. Zero.
    I'm going to the FaceBook link now and bitch to Reynolds.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Whoa guys- a clever person has come up with an adaptor that is not a gimmick-it actually works.
    It lets you keep your Reynolds pump and use it with Zip Lock bags...You can find it on e-bay at
    Reynolds Handi-vac bags/Zip Lock adaptor.
    It's 20 bucks, but it works and the Zip Lock bags are cheaper than the originals

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for the heads up. I just ordered a bunch for my boyfriend from HSN. Great price AND they are not back ordered!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Reynolds really torked me off when they took these off the market. Glad to see HSN is selling them. My shipment just arrived. The bags ARE slightly different than the original Reynolds, but I don't think that will make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love my Reynolds handi-vac, but cannot find the bags anywhere, I e-mailed Reynolds about it, but then found out that Debbie Meyers sells them on HSN. I have not heard from Reynolds yet.I will go on Facebook to complain

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...