Judith is a fairy in the world of writing: she manages to turn any topic (far not only a kitchen-related) into an entertaining text that is so easy and educating to read. Fond of gardening, reading, and cooking, of course.
Emily has over 10 years of professional experience using, testing and comparing kitchen appliances. Her knowledge helps to easily and naturally solve everyday problems. She is also the owner of the lifestyle blog emilyreviews.com
Last updated: June 02, 2021
How many times have you had to throw away bad food even after taking all possible precautions? How much food and money will you save if you could preserve food for longer periods? With the best vacuum sealer, you can preserve the flavor of your foods and triple their shelf life too. That said, finding the perfect vacuum sealer is not a walk in the park. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of models to choose from but, luckily, we are here to help.
We review several features of vacuum sealers in our quest to help you find the best sealer for your home. Suction power and suction type is important as it determines the amount and time of sealing dry or frozen foods. The dimensions, weight, maximum bag width, noise, warranty, and even prices are other features that you should consider when picking a vacuum sealer. Read on to find out more.
FoodSaver FM5200 is a great vacuum sealer with an all round performance that will impress you. At first sight, this vacuum sealer seems like a pretty large machine but it does accommodate a lot of features. It allows you to use your own custom bags or use the FoodSaver bags included in its starter kit.
Sealing with FoodSaver FM5200 is a pretty straightforward task that will take you less than ten minutes. You can easily work your way around the machine even if it is your first time. It has a sealing and cutting bar at the bottom that you can use to seal and cut your bags before you place in your meat or cheese. We also loved that pulling the bag material and cutting it automatically makes the first seal of the next bag.
FoodSaver FM5200 has several buttons on top of the machine, which offer you a great deal of versatility. For example, it has wet and dry buttons that you can use to vary the vacuum suction depending on the type of food you have. It also has buttons for using the accessories, quick marinating option, instant sealing and even pulsing choice.
Other impressive features of this vacuum sealer include its viewing window, roll storage, automatic moisture detection, and LED light indicators to help during sealing. It also comes with a removable drip tray and can be dish-washed.
If you have tried out several vacuum cleaners then you know Weston is one of the serious brands that creates vacuum sealers that are worth your money. Weston 65-0501-W is a highly rated machine in the industry, and for good reasons. It may lack some of the convenience features in other models but it is great at its main job; vacuum and sealing. There is little to not like about the Weston 65-0501-W.
This Weston model is great for someone who does a lot of vacuum sealing and can also work well in the professional setting. It works very fast and offers massive suction power, which means you will be done in no time. Moreover, you can use any bag with this model as long as it is not more than 11 inches wide.
Vacuum sealing with this machine is easy although it is a manual process. However, all you have to do is to place your bag on the sealing bar and press down the cover till you hear a click sound. You can then press the vacuum or seal button depending on what you want. We recommend that you use the pulse button when sealing delicate items such as biscuits or cheese, which will be crushed since the suction power is very strong.
Aside from great performance, this Weston vacuum sealer has a sleek design that will improve the aesthetics of your kitchen.
Foodsaver V4400 is a much more compact machine that is great for vacuum sealing beef, chicken, and all other types of meat. This machine features a 2-in-1 sealer that gives you the ability to seal foods with the standard plastic bag or use its vacuum hose on your FoodSaver bag. This hose is mounted on top of the FoodSaver appliance giving you more convenience when you need to use it.
This vacuum sealer is a great choice if you are looking for a simple machine that you can use on-the-fly without complications. It has an on-board storage slot for your standard 11-inch bags that you can easily access. The machine also allows you to determine the size of the bag that you want by sliding across the in-built cutter and sealing one end. Once you fill the bags with your content, place the open side on the sealing pad and it will automatically start sucking out air.
After sucking out air from your bag, this machine will automatically seal its top with a double seal to ensure maximum freshness. The handheld accessory works well for foodstuffs that you will eat soon while the main vacuum sealing is great for long-term preservation of foodstuffs.
Why did it make our list?
2-in-1 vacuum sealer
Easy to use
Full control of the process
What is not ideal about it?
Difficult to seal wet foods as it sucks out too much liquid
Weston Pro-2300 is a commercial grade vacuum sealer that you can use for your restaurant business. The machine has an impressive 15 inch width, which allows you to vacuum a lot of food contents. It works fast and will have your meat vacuum sealed with no effort. But why should you invest in this industrial grade sealer?
First, the machine comes with a quality double piston pump that is powerful enough to seal all types of food. You can use the machine for a long time since its pumps have fan-cooled motors that are guaranteed to prevent overheating. This ensures that you get consistent results and your Weston machine stays durable.
Weston Pro-2300 has an automatic sealing function that works better than the ones in most models. All you need to do is to lift the lid, place the bag on the sealing bar and close the lid. It will then automatically suck out air and create a nice seal. Some manual sealing controls are also included in the sealing machine, which comes in handy when sealing fragile foods such as fruits.
This vacuum sealer will take up some space on your kitchen as it measures 15.3 x 23 x 9 inches. It weighs 22 pounds, which is also bulkier than other models.
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 is the vacuum sealer to pick if you would love the performance of a good sealer without having to spend much. This sealer was mainly intended to be used with the brand’s sous vide cooker but you can use it as a home vacuum sealer too. It works great for those with small apartments or homes as it can fit well even in the most limited of spaces.
You will first love how compact this vacuum sealer is when you unbox it. It measures 16.73 x 4.8 x 3.14 inches and weighs a paltry 2.3 pounds, which means you can easily store and transport it. The vacuum sealer also features only three buttons including the vacuum and seal, seal, and the pulse button. The pulse button is a manual way of vacuum sealing that gives you total control over the process, which is important when sealing delicate items.
Using the Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 is a piece of cake. All you have to do is to place the contents that you want to seal in a bag and place the open side on the sealing pad. You can then choose between the vacuum & sealing button or the sealing button only depending on what you want.
Despite being compact and working well, the Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 does not come with other accessories. It only comes with some free pre-cut bags.
Caso Design is a German brand that is known to exceed expectations with their kitchen appliances. The Caso Design VC.300 uses great engineering to offer you a unique experience when using the vacuum sealer. It is a perfect companion for restaurants and homes that enjoy sous vide cooking.
This vacuum sealer is compact but it offers a myriad of features including an in-built back compartment that will store all your bag roll. Having your bag on a roll allows you to choose the amount of bag that you need without wasting any bit. You can choose a small bag size if you are storing extra food or a large bag for long-term storage of meats. All this is possible with the safe manual cutter.
Caso Design VC.300 has two automatic sealing options including the sealing only option and the Vacuum & seal option. The former is useful when sealing one side of an open-ended bag while the latter can help keep your food fresh for 5 times longer. This will ensure that you save money and never have to throw away precious food after a few weeks.
This is also one of the few vacuum sealers on the market that comes with a food management app. You can use the app to track the storage and sealing of your long-term products by labeling and sorting the food using various metrics such as time stored, place, type of food etc.
FoodSaver is a popular brand in the industry, and for various reasons. If you are looking for a quality FoodSaver brand without having to fork out a lot of cash then FoodSaver FM3920 can be a great pick. This vacuum sealer gives you everything you need in a sealer and you won’t have to look elsewhere.
This is one of the economical vacuum sealers that you can find. This is because it includes a built-in bag holder that stores your rolls and a cutter that ensures no bag goes to waste. The cutter is safely fitted to ensure you do not have to come into contact with its blades. The automatic bag detection also reduces the amount of work that you have to do when sealing foods. This may seem like a small feature but it comes in handy for those who seal a lot of items at a go.
A retractable handheld accessory is fitted on the top right side of the machine that you can use to vacuum jars or other ziploc bags. The accessory allows you to vacuum with two speeds, which helps you customize your sealing experience further depending on what you are sealing.
After the FoodSaver FM3920 does a great job vacuuming your bag, the wide sealing strip ensures that it is fully airtight. A removable drip tray is included in case there is any overflow of gravy or stews.
NESCO VS-12 is a wise choice for anyone that would love to enjoy a huge deal of functionality without having to splurge. This does not mean that this vacuum sealer is not feature rich. You will never go wrong when you purchase the NESCO VS-12 as it works perfectly when vacuum sealing both dry and moist foods.
One of the most impressive things about this vacuum sealer is its automatic capabilities. You will find out that you can set up the machine and do some other tasks while the food you prepared is being vacuum sealed. Unlike other vacuum sealers that require you to manually push the handle, this one locks itself and seals your bags with no external input.
NESCO VS-12 also gives you the option of using a double seal in case you feel that one seal may not be enough. If you are sealing some moist foods, you may want a double seal that guarantees maximum preservation. The strong sealing option of both dry ad wet foods allows you to lock in the flavor of your food too.
While this vacuum sealer automatically seals your bags, it also includes a manual pulse control function that you can use to preserve delicate foods such as bread or cheese. A viewing window is also included to let you see the progress of the sealing process.
If you would love a FoodSaver vacuum sealer that does a great job and is not as pricey then you may get the FoodSaver 31161366. This kitchen appliance features a compact yet good looking design that does not compromise on performance. It offers everything you would get in a FoodSaver sealer but it comes at an affordable price.
One of the main reasons why people love this vacuum sealer is its compact design. This sealer is lightweight as it weighs a mere 3.2 pounds, which is great if you move around a lot. Moreover, it measures 5.7 x 12.2 x 4.3 inches and is guaranteed to save you half the space of the average vacuum sealer. It works well for those who live in a small apartment or if you do not have enough space in your kitchen.
An intuitive control panel is included in this machine. The screen on the panel shows you a number of functions, which makes it very efficient to use the sealer. The performance of the FoodSaver 31161366 is enhanced by its powerful vacuum technology that removes all air from your roll bags. A bag alignment feature is included to make it easy for you to line up the bag you wish to seal.
VacMaster VP215 is the only chamber vacuum sealer in our list. While you should expect to pay thousands of dollars when getting a high-quality chamber sealer like this one, we were impressed by its affordable price. That said, this vacuum sealer is not for everyone. It is a great investment for restaurants, commercial enterprises, or serious home cookers who often seal their products and store them for months.
With this heavy-duty sealer, you can make and preserve several batches of foods and fruits in just a single day. What’s more? It is perfect for moist or liquid foods such as stew or gravy as it will not suck out any liquid from your bag. It is also great for those who love the sous vide method of cooking.
This chamber vacuum sealer is quite durable and may serve you for years. This is because it is made from high-quality stainless steel that is guaranteed to stay strong for long. A transparent or rather, see-through lid made from acrylic acts as the viewing window, which helps you keep tabs of what is happening. The dry and wet vacuum sealing is complemented by a double-seal function for maximum preservation.
VacMaster VP215 gives its users maximum control over the vacuum sealing process. It features an LED display to give you more information and a stop button to conclude the process when you wish. We also loved that you can use almost all types of bags.
Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78220 is a compact yet versatile vacuum sealer that will offer you everything you need in vacuum sealer. It gives you the chance to vacuum seal a variety of products including fish, meats, vegetables, and even herbs. It also has a powerful suction power that will ensure your food stays fresh for a long while.
As compact as this Hamilton vacuum sealer is, it features a built-in roll storage bag inside the machine. This makes it more convenient when you are looking to seal your bags as the rolls and the machine will be stored together. It also features a cutter next to the roll storage to ensure you can cut the bag without wasting any bag. The cutter is also built-in and safe, which means that you won’t have to interact with its blades.
We also loved how versatile this vacuum sealer can be. It features 5 vacuum and sealing settings, which makes it possible to customize your vacuum sealer just how you like it. These include a dry foods settings, a moist setting, a normal mode, and a delicate mode when you are handling soft foodstuffs. Moreover, the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78220 comes with a starter kit that you can use to preserve up to 20 gallons of materials.
As highlighted several times before, FoodSaver is a renowned brand in the vacuum sealing industry, and you are not likely to go wrong with their models. That said, FoodSaver FM2435 does not only rely on its brand reputation but offers its users a great deal too. You will first notice its good looking and compact design even before you interact with the appliance. We also loved that you get a number of bags to start you off.
Vacuum sealing your bags is as easy as it gets with the FoodSaver FM2435. It has an in-built bag holder that can hold your current bag and an in-built bag cutter that allows you to slice through the bag. The good thing is that there is no limit to your bag size and you can even choose a 10 foot long bag. Moreover, this FoodSaver has the dry and wet options with the former being the default setting. You can choose the wet vacuum sealing option if you are sealing soups or gravy.
A handheld accessory is also included with this FoodSaver model to cater to those who may want to use it on their ziploc bags or on wine bottles. You can always rely on this accessory when vacuum sealing delicate foodstuffs.
NutriChef PKVS20STS is another impressive budget vacuum sealer that you can get without having to compromise on performance. This sealer works exceptionally well whether you wish to seal some frozen fish or want to store seasonal fruits to enjoy them all year long. Properly used, this vacuum sealer can save you lots of cash without you having to spend a lot of money purchasing it.
The functionality of NutriChef PKVS20STS may be basic but this vacuum sealer ensures the job is complete. This compact vacuum sealer comes in options of three colors including silver, stainless steel, and black. It can fit perfectly in your small kitchen counter top or you can easily store it away in a cupboard.
This vacuum sealer is also user-friendly making it a valuable addition to any kitchen. It features a handsfree operation where you do not have to manually lock down the vacuum sealer allowing you to carry on with other tasks. Its one-touch operation, soft-touch buttons and LED display make using it even more convenient. The appliance also offers a couple of sealing modes, which comes in handy when you need to choose between dry and moist foods. And while the NutriChef PKVS20STS is a budget sealer, it comes with several bag rolls to start you off. It also comes with a wine stopper cork and a suction hose.
Like other external vacuum sealers reviewed, this Mueller Austria MU-VACSEAL will also help you keep your food fresh for long periods. You can use this compact vacuum sealer to store food for your whole family without experiencing problems. It is not only compact but lightweight too, which means that it is portable and you can easily transport it. This vacuum sealer is also easy to use and you will not need any instructions.
One of the main things that we loved about this sealer is how it gives you total control over the vacuuming process. It features a simple electric design and includes a control panel to ensure you are always informed. It has LED indicators and soft touch buttons including a moist/dry button that comes in handy when you wish to vacuum wet foods such as gravy or casserole.
Using this vacuum sealer is also a walk in the park. It works automatically when you press the vac and seal button on the top. Although this sealer does not have the pulse control function, it comes with a stop button that allows you to halt the machine when you press it. It also comes with a starter kit including a couple of bag rolls, a wine stopper cork among others.
What makes it stand out?
It is affordable
Easy to use
Comes with a starter kit to start you off
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
The drip tray is not removable
Things to Consider
Using a vacuum sealer seems like a pretty easy piece of work that any person can do. However, choosing the right machine is not often an easy task as many people would inform you. As a first-time buyer, you might be confused about the several factors that you need to check before buying the best vacuum sealer. These factors include the suction power, brand, weight, warranty, and noise among others. With this buying guide, you will have all you need to make an informed choice.
Benefits of getting a vacuum sealing machine
There are many reasons why you should invest in a vacuum sealing machine. However, these benefits are varied and it will depend on what you wish to do with the vacuum sealer. That said, here are a couple of benefits to expect once you get you vacuum sealer.
Allows you to buy food in bulk– A lot of people buy food in bulk and place in in the freezer only to find that it is covered in frost in a week or two. With a vacuum sealer, you can still save money when you buy in bulk without having to experience freezer burn. Weston Pro-2300 is a great vacuum sealer if you are looking to seal food in bulk. It has a 15-inch bag width, which allows you to seal even the largest of foodstuffs.
Save more ingredients– It is not uncommon for most people to throw away their parsley or thyme only to get more when they need to cook again. This will be old news with a vacuum sealer as it can keep your ingredients fresh for weeks. Think about all the money and convenience that this will give you.
Preserve your snacks– Have you ever wished for an easy way to seal your biscuits or crisps? A quick solution is to get a vacuum sealer that can seal any type of bag such as Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00. This will ensure your snacks do not get soggy from the moisture or air in the atmosphere. It will also ensure the snacks do not get spoiled easily.
Sous vide cooking– For long, sous vide has been a preserve of hotels and restaurants but with a vacuum sealer you can do this at the convenience of your home. Since you will need to vacuum seal your meats for sous vide, a vacuum sealer will come in handy. Sous vide cooking ensures you get consistent and quality cooking results.
Preserve freshness with reduced oxygen packaging– Foods that you vacuum seal retain their freshness for weeks after storage. Reducing oxygen from the food creates an anaerobic environment that does not support the growth of bacteria and other pathogens.
Extend shelf-life of food– You can use vacuum sealing as a sole method of storage or combine it with other methods of storage. They help to extend the shelf-life of food for three to five times longer than the food packed in traditional methods.
How vacuum sealers work
Vacuum sealers are great appliances if you are looking to keep your food fresher for longer. But how exactly do they work? If you remember your science classes, oxygen is the culprit responsible for food rot or breakdown. A vacuum sealer works by eliminating all oxygen and other air from your bag to preserve your foodstuffs. They also work great when you want to protect frozen foods such as veggies or fruits that you put in the freezer from freezer burn. These appliances are so good that any vacuum-sealed meat can stay fresh in the fridge for up to three years. Since most bacteria thrive in high oxygen areas, they will be unable to infest the closely sealed foodstuffs. This not only extends the shelf-life of food in your household but also lets you preserve their freshness without having to use a refrigerator.
How to use vacuum sealer
Using a vacuum sealer is a walk in the park and should not take you more than 10 minutes. Some vacuum sealers come with a pre-cut and pre-sealed bag while others come in a roll that you have to cut and seal. You can also use the standard ziploc bag, which works as well as the other types of bags. For a roll bag, you will have to draw out a large piece of roll that is enough to accommodate all your foodstuffs.
Most vacuum sealers have an in-built cutter that gives you a safe cutting experience. All you have to do is to seal one end of your roll bag and you can place the contents in the bag. There are automatic vacuum sealers like Weston 65-0501-W that automatically detects when you place your bag. In other sealers like Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00, you will have to choose between the seal and the vacuum & sealing option. This video gives you all you need to know to start vacuum sealing your food.
Which type of vacuum sealer to choose
There are generally two types of vacuum sealers that are common in the market. These include external vacuum sealers like the FoodSaver 31161366 or a chamber-style model like VacMaster VP215. However, both of these types of vacuum sealers work in a similar manner by sucking out air from a roll bag and sealing it to prevent the entrance of any air.
External vacuum sealers– These are the most common types of sealers that you can find in the average home. This is because they are easier to use and are not as pricey as vacuum chambers. External sealers are perfect for home use since they are compact enough to stay on your kitchen top and you can even hold it in your hands. They are also easy to use, do not need regular maintenance, and can seal any types or bag size.
Handheld vacuum sealers– External vacuum sealers are known for their ability to store food for up to 5 times longer but handheld sealers are perfect for shorter shelf-life. Most brands in the market offer an inexpensive handheld device that you can also use to preserve foods. So, if you are a first-time buyer or are pressed on funds then you can experiment with a handheld sealer. The good thing about these sealers is that they are affordable, lightweight, portable, and can use a wide variety of bags.
Chamber vacuum sealers– Chamber vacuums, on the other hand, are mostly used for commercial purposes but you can also use one at home. And while these appliances are a bit pricier, they have a better vacuuming capacity than the other types of sealers. One of the main differences between a chamber vacuum and an external sealer is that the bag will be vacuumed and sealed inside the chamber for the former. Using this chamber is suitable for sealing liquids and thick gravy as it keeps the liquid from being sucked out in the vacuum process. These chamber sealers offer various suction levels, better sealing bars, and feature built-in pumps.
Features to consider while buying the best vacuum sealer
Buying a good vacuum sealer can be an overwhelming process if you do not have the right information. There are hundreds, if not thousands of vacuum sealers in the market but that does not mean that each of them is right for you. It is prudent that you review several factors before settling on one. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a vacuum sealer.
Like most kitchen equipment, picking a renowned brand gives you certain benefits. FoodSaver is one of the most popular brands that make vacuum sealers, and for good reasons. You will notice that FoodSaver sealers are easy to use, durable, and offer you a great sealing experience. Regardless of the FoodSaver model that you choose, you can always rely on the company to offer a good quality vacuum sealer that will serve you for years.
Weston is also a renowned brand for those who want to use their vacuum sealers for professional use. They have quality models like Weston 65-0501-W and Weston Pro-2300 that can seal several bags in a short period of time. We also loved that Weston machines are easy to use as they come with some automatic functions. They are also highly durable.
Other notable brands include Hamilton Beach, Mueller Australia, and Caso Design, which incorporates German engineering in all its vacuum sealers. That said, there are less known brands that may give you a similar or even a better sealing experience.
Having the dimensions of your vacuum sealer is very important as it will inform your purchase decision. You need to know how big the vacuum sealer is and how you will be able to store it in your kitchen. If you lack space or live in a small apartment then you should get FoodSaver 31161366 or NutriChef PKVS20STS as they are very compact with dimensions of 5.7 x 12.2 x 4.3 inches and 14 x 6 x 3 inches respectively.
However, if space is not an issue then you can get a bulkier vacuum sealer like Weston Pro-2300 or VacMaster VP215. Other vacuum sealers fit perfectly on your kitchen top while some may even be stord vertically to help you save space. The size of the vacuum sealer that you choose will ultimately depend on your needs and preferences.
The weight of your vacuum sealer also goes hand in hand with its size. Ideally, you need something that is not so bulky while at the same time you should have a stable machine that will not topple over when vacuum sealing. If you want a lightweight vacuum sealer then you can opt for the Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00, which measures only 2.3 pounds but works perfectly. On the heavier side, you can opt for Weston Pro-2300 that weighs 22 pounds.
Of course, a lighter vacuum sealer will be more portable hence easy to transport. A vacuum sealer like Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 can be a great companion for avid travelers as it is very lightweight.
For most people, the cost of the vacuum sealer may be the most important factor that they are considering. We all want to get the most expensive appliances but the truth is that we must work within our budget. The good thing is that you do not need to buy the most expensive vacuum sealer to get the best features.
Prices of vacuum sealers vary a great deal depending on the technology and design of the device. Pricier models are made of high-quality components and may have a better performance than the less costly vacuum sealers. They can also seal bags through most of the day without overheating or breaking down. Weston Pro-2300 is an example of a vacuum sealer that will give you a consistent and great performance throughout the day if you own a restaurant or you are a serious cook.
It is also important that you consider the cost of the bags. Failure to address this issue during the purchase stage will hurt you in the long run. Buying the bags can get quite expensive if you are a regular user. That said, you need to consider if your vacuum sealer accepts the use of generic bags. You will save a great deal of money if you can get a vacuum sealer like NutriChef PKVS20STS or Weston 65-0501-W that accepts the use of any bag.
The main job of your vacuum sealer is to get rid of air from your food package to stop it from rotting. That said, you need a vacuum sealer with a powerful motor that is capable of sucking air from your food. A vacuum sealer with a good suction power may be the difference between getting four months of food shelf life and one-year shelf life. This means you should aim at getting a vacuum sealer with the best suction power.
While it may be easier to figure this out, it may be more difficult to find out the specific suction powers of each vacuum sealer since most manufacturers leave this piece of valuable information out. You can rely on user reviews and the cost of the machine to assess the suction power that a vacuum sealer may have. In general, chamber vacuum sealers like VacMaster VP215 have a higher suction power than their counterparts. If you are a home user and are not ready to own a chamber vacuum, you can get the Weston Pro 2300. A powerful alternative.
Many people shopping for a vacuum sealer get too excited of the possibilities of the machine that they forget about getting a warranty. Ignoring your warranty can be detrimental, especially when you are getting a costly kitchen appliance such as a vacuum sealer. It is not uncommon for people to buy a product that breaks down one and a half years down the line. If you did not check the warranty, you may be shocked to find out that the warranty was only valid for one year or that it was a 5-year guarantee but you needed to register it. At such a point, you may have wasted hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on a broken product.
Noise levels are a pain if you are going to use a vacuum sealer early in the morning or late at night. Some models produce a decent level of noise while others have a louder sound that may seem a nuisance to other people. We found FoodSaver models to be quite louder than the other vacuum sealers in our review. However, more compact models like the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78220 and Weston 65-0501-W produced less sound.
Ideally, you want something that makes as little noise as possible. However, if you would like to invest in a vacuum sealer with a powerful motor then it may be a bit noisy. It is crucial that you balance these two factors to ensure that you do not get a silent machine that does half the job that you need. The chamber vacuum sealer is also a bit louder than the external and handheld vacuum sealers.
The ability to customize your vacuum sealer should not be taken lightly. While you may wish to have an automatic vacuum sealer like Foodsaver V4400 that detects your bag and starts sucking air, you also need a customizable sealer. Most vacuum sealers will have button options that allow you to choose the type of function that you want. You should be able to seal your roll first with ease before you place your contents. Your vacuum sealer should have enough buttons for each mode to help you customize your sealer. There are other vacuum sealers such as the Weston 65-0501-W that have both a manual and automatic sealing options, which gives you maximum control over your sealer.
Most vacuum sealers are easy to use and should not present any challenges even to first time users. That said, you need something that is easy to use and one which has clear manual instructions. This also means that the buttons or controls should be well labeled and easily visible so that you do not get confused over the functions.
An example is the vacuum and sealing process, which is different in almost all vacuum sealers. Some sealers like the Caso Design VC.300 will require that you push down the sealing bar before the vacuum sealer starts working. However, other vacuum sealers like the Weston Pro-2300 automatically lock themselves and will save you the time and effort it takes to push down the sealer.
You also need to check for pulse control as it will also influence the ease of using the vacuum sealer. You can find automatic, manual, or vacuum sealers with both auto and manual pulse controls. A vacuum sealer with an automatic pulse control will automatically detect and vacuum seal for you based on the settings that you pre-set. However, sealers with manual pulse control have a button that vacuums when pressed and will stop once the button is released.
You may want to ensure that all kitchen equipment, including vacuum sealers are durable before purchase. This is because you want value for your money and the last thing you want is a sealer that gives up after one month only. To find out if a vacuum sealer is durable, you may want to first check out the material that it is made of. Vacuum sealers made from all plastic may not be as long lasting and durable as that made from steel. The warranty terms and period of a product can also give you an idea of its durability. A vacuum sealer with a 5-year warranty is much more likely to be durable than one which does not have any warranty terms.
It is extremely important that you also consider the seal as it may interfere with the preservation process. The seal is as important as the suction power of your vacuum sealer so you ought to invest in a vacuum sealer with the best seal possible. A bad or poor seal will significantly reduce the shelf-life of your food as it lets air inside your bag. That said, there are three common types of seals including large seals, multiple-sealing bars, and heated seal bars.
Large sealing bars often make huge seals on your roll bag, which makes them stronger. These large seals can stay for weeks, if not months, without failing and spoiling your food. You can find large sealing bars in commercial vacuum sealers such as Weston Pro-2300.
Other vacuum sealers come with multiple sealing wires that allow you to vacuum seal your bags with several seals at once. For example, your sealer may come with dual sealing wires that makes two seals once your bag is vacuumed. This is a great choice because your food will still be preserved when the first seal fails as the other seal will still be in place.
Heated sealing bars are known to be one of the best and resilient seals in the industry but they still have their drawbacks. With a heated seal bar, your machine can easily seal through small pieces of food and even bag wrinkles, which are some of the reasons of seal failure. However, they may not be compatible with all types of bags so you may have to invest more in bags.
Types of bags
If you want to get a convenient vacuum sealer then you opt to consider one that gives you the chance to use a wide range of sealing bags. That said, a lot of manufacturers want you to use and buy their bags too. And while some allow you to use any type of bag, you should first confirm it before using a random bag. This is because each vacuum sealer uses a different temperature and thus may end up burning your bag if the two are not compatible. Alternatively, some vacuum sealers like FoodSaver V4400 come with an accessory hose that you can use to vacuum seal your ziploc bag. You can also get the standard generic sealing bags that works with almost all vacuum sealers just be cautious.
Extra features and accessories
There are some other extra features that are included in vacuum sealers. These features may come in handy to improve your sealing experience but they should not be a deal breaker. For example, we felt that it would be great to have a vacuum sealer with an in-built bag holder. The bag holder will reduce your storage needs and make it convenient for you when you wish to vacuum seal some food. Moreover, they also come with bag cutters that make it easy to cut and seal your bags.
There are also useful accessories such as the retractable hand sealer found in Foodsaver V4400 that you can use when vacuuming jars or different bag types. While it may be good to have a vacuum sealer with a lot of accessories, they should not inform your whole buying choice.
You need to clean and maintain your vacuum sealer regularly if you wish to use your kitchen appliance for years. There are a number of steps and habits that you should make routine to get the most out of your sealer. However, cleaning is easy and should not take up much of your time. All you need to do is to get a wet sponge and wipe off any dirt or food leftovers. Remember to clean the sealing bar as well since it may also affect the performance of your machine. You will also need a rag to wipe off the drip tray where any liquid from the bag flows to. Some vacuum sealers have removable drip trays that you can wash and rinse while others have dishwasher safe trays, which is even better. Ensure that no liquid flows into the suction pipe during cleaning if you want the vacuum sealer to last for long.
If you cook using the sous vide cooking method or want to store stews when you need a vacuum sealer that can seal liquids too. This will ensure that you can vacuum and seal meats with gravy or stew. That said, you need a sealer with wet sealing mode like the FoodSaver FM5200 if you want the best vacuum sealer for liquids. You should also get a sealer with a marinade mode that allows you to marinate meats and veggies without sucking up the marinade. The best liquid vacuum sealer should also come with a drip guard to make cleaning easy for you.
One of the main reasons for vacuum sealing food is to keep off bacteria that thrives in the air. Sucking air out of your bag will ensure that the food stays for longer without rotting or breaking down. It is, however, worth noting that you should not thaw or defrost your food in the same bag that you used to store it. This is because there is a bacteria, clostridium botulinum, which thrives in low-oxygen environment and may contaminate your food. The last thing you want is to spoil your food in minutes after keeping it fresh for years.
Hunters appreciate the importance of vacuum sealers as they may need to preserve a lot of meat while still out in the wild. The best vacuum sealer for hunters should be able to process meat fast and efficiently. You also need a vacuum sealer that can process and seal a lot of meats consecutively. Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78220 is a perfect companion for hunters as it is compact enough and can seal a lot of foodstuffs consecutively.
Vacuum sealers allow you to vacuum seal a number of foodstuffs with a couple of exceptions. In general, vacuum sealers are great for beef, fish, chicken, and other types of meats. They also work well with most vegetables except for cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, kale or even turnips. We also recommend that you avoid vacuum sealing soft breads, garlic, mushrooms, and any types of soft cheese. A vacuum sealer may also crush soft and delicate foods such as lettuce and potato chips. In such as case, you can use a handheld vacuum sealer or a manual pulse vacuum sealer where you have some high degree of control.
Vacuum sealers work by extending the shelf life of your foodstuffs. Once you vacuum seal your food, it can last for three and up to five times longer than the normal storage. However, this also depends with the type of storage method that you choose to go with. Of course, freezed foods will last longer than pantry or just refrigerator food. If you vacuum seal frozen food then you can expect it to last for 2 to 3 years. For other storage methods like storing food in your pantry, the food may last 6 to 12 months without getting spoiled. Vacuum sealed foods in your fridge may last for one to two weeks as opposed to the three days that it normally takes.
Using each and every vacuum sealer was a wonderful and different experience but we still have to pick out top choice. In first place is FoodSaver FM5200, which we loved for several reasons. This machine is quite versatile, works surprisingly well, and comes with a good roll storage compartment. We also loved that it gives you total control with its buttons, has a viewing window and can seal wet foods too.
We also loved Weston 65-0501-W, a sleek yet powerful appliance that will sort out all your food preservation needs all day. Aside from looking good, this vacuum sealer also allows you to use its automatic or manual pulse mode. It is also portable and will not take up much space in your kitchen.
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 is a great pick if you are looking for a vacuum sealer that can do the job without breaking the bank. This vacuum sealer has a great design, works fast and it is very compact. It is also one of the most silent models that we reviewed.