This FoodSaver model really is a 2-in-1 appliance, and it gives you tremendous convenience since it functions in two separate ways. It seals foods well in a plastic bag, which is the traditional approach, and it also gives you a hand-held vacuum hose to draw the air out of FoodSaver or FreshSaver bags.

The FoodSaver V4400 gives you a bonus other machines don’t have: The vacuum hose is mounted on the machine itself, unlike other models where you have to attach and detach it. The vacuum hose on this vacuum food saver is retractable, so it will always be ready when you need it and you won’t have to dig around in kitchen drawers to find it.

This device is handy from the get-go. Instead of fiddling around with different-sized vacuum sealer bags (although you can buy these for short-term storage), you can keep a roll of bag material stored inside this vacuum food sealer. You simply pull out the amount you want and use the handy built-in cutter to slide across the plastic to get the exact bag size you want. Once you've filled the bag with food or whatever you're preserving, you place the open end of the bag against the sealing area and the machine automatically notes that there's a bag there and starts to suck air out of it. No pushing buttons, no closing lids – this simply starts working on its own.

Although it's got a name that's an elaborate mouthful, the FoodSaver V4440 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System, this food saver is uncomplicated and quite useful. Once your food has been vacuum sealed inside a bag, the V4440 heat-seals the top to securely close it.

This food vacuum sealer provides two closure seals, so the item you're preserving is sure to stay fresh. This works well for long-term preservation of expensive cuts of meat, fish, pantry staples such as flour, sugar and spices and more. For example, meats that have been vacuum sealed can last in the freezer for as long as three years and vegetables can stay fresh for a year.

The hand-held vacuum hose works nicely with the FoodSaver or FreshSaver bags, which are best suited for short-term storage of such things as cheese, deli meats and items you plan to eat relatively soon. This FoodSaver model also is good at sucking the air out of bags filled with delicate items, such as baked goods or berries, without crushing them.

Although much of the work done by this vacuum device is automatic, or nearly automatic, you do get controls so you can adjust things as you please. For example, there are moist/dry controls on the front so you can adjust the sealing process by choosing one of those. Some lesser vacuum sealers lack this capability and end up sucking a lot of moisture into the machine, which can prevent secure sealing.

You get a removable drip tray with his vacuum food saver that is dishwasher safe so you can safely clean away any drippings from raw meats or other foods that might otherwise contribute to a potentially bacteria-filled area.

This is a fairly big machine 11 inches long, 20 inches wide and 12 inches high, so unless you have plenty of kitchen counter space, you might want to store it in a cupboard. It weighs 10 pounds, which is considerably heavier than some of the high-quality vacuum food sealers we examined. This vacuum food sealer is backed by a five-year limited warranty, which is excellent for this industry.

You can purchase optional extras for this device, including a marinade device that infuses meats with a liquid marinade in minutes rather than hours, a wide-jar sealer that fits over glass jars to extract air, and a bottle stopper that works to preserve such things as leftover wine or unused cooking oil in bottles.

In all, the FoodSaver V4440 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System is a versatile and well-designed kitchen appliance that can help you save money by preserving foods for both short- and long-term storage.

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