Oliso booth at ICAST

Oliso booth at ICAST

 

Before the ICAST show I attended in Las Vegas in July, I was contacted by a company called Oliso.  Among the products made by this company is a vacuum sealer.  Apparently, Oliso management had come across my vacuum sealer shootout post and wanted me to review their sealer too.  I asked if they were going to be at ICAST.  They were, so we made arrangements to meet in Las Vegas. At the show, I was given a demonstration of the product.  The first thing you notice about this vacuum sealer is its small size.  As opposed to the Foodsaver unit that I already owned, it has a counter footprint of only 8″ x 8″.  I live in a modest, 2 bedroom apartment.  It’s plenty of room for me, even when the kids come over…except for the kitchen.  There isn’t a lot of counter space.  So the size of the unit itself was immediately appealing to me. The Oliso vacuum sealer is able to achieve its smaller size because the sealing itself is done by puncturing the bag, and sucking the air out of the hole created vs. sealing the width of the whole bag opening.  Smart.

They proceeded to run me through a demo…dry goods (coffee), wet (a live goldfish in water!), with the wine bottle attachment…very cool.  I’m intrigued.  “Want to take one home and try it out?”  Done deal.

Oliso VS97A Vacuum Sealer Demo Video

So What Do You Think Salty?

I’ve lived with the unit now for a couple months.  I’ve used it for freezing my catch, marinating food (and even swimbaits in scent!), and storing dry goods.  I like using it better than the Foodsaver.  The small size is a definite plus.  It’s fast and easy to use…Juj can even do it!  For example, I processed my whole catch from a recent offshore trip (limit of yellowtail and a 25 lb bluefin tuna) in less than an hour (including my extra trimming they don’t do on the boat).  The pre-made bags really saved a lot of time.

Speaking of those bags, they’re a thicker, higher quality material than the Foodsaver bags.  Overkill?  Tough to say at this point.  I’ve eaten fish over a year old from the Foodsaver bags and it tasted fresh and delicious, so not sure that I need more.  The higher quality of the bags though, makes them suitable for sous vide cookinga method of cooking that involves using a constant, but lower temperature of water while the food cooks in the bag.  You might’ve seen this method employed on Iron Chef or other cooking shows.  It’s something I want to try, so the quality of the bags may be a big bonus if I get into that type of cooking.  Also, when it comes to cooking, marinating something in these bags works well.  Marinating is something that the Foodsaver system doesn’t do.  It sucks out all the liquid (and makes a huge mess).  I love to grill, so I really like being able to use the Oliso unit in this way.

The bags are also re-usable.  I found this feature really helpful when I didn’t freeze my fish.  I can take out what I need for a meal, and then re-seal the bag.  Using the bags in this way, it kept my catch fresher (and thus tastier) over the course of the week which is a big plus.  It also probably saves on the number of bags I ultimately use.

The downside for me though is the fish that I giveaway.  I feel guilty knowing that people are going to open the bag and throw it away.  This scenario is the only one I that I find myself reverting to using my Foodsaver.  I’m going to suggest to Oliso that they sell a more disposable bag for this type of single use scenario.  I haven’t used this system long enough to feel comfortable doing the math for you (see my original comparison post).  Oliso provided some math for me and based on their math it came out favorable.  Still, for my usage, I’d have to factor in those giveaway bags.  But maybe I’d use less bags and it evens out?  Hard to say.

Finally, I thought that Oliso was sold primarily over the web, but I was pleased to find the bags nearby at Fisherman’s Access in Brea using the store locator on their website.

Summary

I like the unit a lot, just not sure if the math adds up.  Even if it does end up being a little more expensive though, some of the features might justify that additional cost.  You should take a look and definitely weigh these factors for yourself.

 

 

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