Deal or Dud: Handi-Vac Vacuum Sealer

Food prices are on the rise. But one company says you can save money by freezing leftovers and other food for use later on with the Handi-Vac Vacuum Sealer.

We put this product to the test to see: Is it a Deal or Dud?

Last December, Shannon Gill agreed to test a Handi-Vac at her St. Charles home. "It worked great."

Like other households, Shannon's fridge is stocked with food covered in freezer burn. "It's very frustrating."

Freezer burn is caused by ice crystals, a result of air reaching the food.

Freezer burn does not affect the safety of food, but it can change the way it tastes. So, Shannon was eager to try Handi-Vac which promises to eliminate freezer burn.

Shannon used the hand held sealer on ground beef, spaghetti and hotdog buns storing the food in her freezer. We also stored identical food in its original packaging.

Three months later, we returned and inspected our samples. "It looks very gross."

The spaghetti in the original container is covered with icy crystals. The ground beef is also ruined. "Nothing but ice [beef]."

And the hotdog buns - not so fresh. "Doesn't look like it would be too tasty to eat."

Taking the food from the vacuum sealed bags, Shannon likes what she sees after opening the hotdog buns. "They don't look as dried out as the other ones did."

The spaghetti looks good, as well. But how does it taste? "It's good. It's very fresh; everything came out good, no freezer burn. "

What about the beef? "It still looks like it's good enough to thaw out and eat."

We did notice a small amount of freezer burn on the vacuum sealed beef and called Reynolds, the maker of Handi-Vac. The company told us the uneven texture of ground beef could have contributed to small air pockets causing freezer burn.

Despite the less than perfect results, Shannon is still sold! "I'm very impressed. You don't have to waste your money on throwing all that frozen food away. I think it's definitely a deal."

The Handi-Vac starter kit, which includes freezer bags, costs about $10 at Target.