Food budget tight? Whose isn’t? Throwing out food that has spoiled due to less-than-ideal storage conditions hurts the wallet and hurts the environment. Wouldn’t you rather do something fun with the money that you literally throw away every time you encounter freezer burn or stale dry goods? Vacuum sealers to the rescue! Vacuum sealers work by removing the air from food storage containers and providing an airtight seal. Nasty bacteria cannot grow without oxygen, so vacuum sealed food can be safely stored up to five times longer than conventional packaging.
Why use a vacuum sealer?
Did you catch your limit? Have a bumper crop of berries? Get a great deal on a case of something perishable at the warehouse store? Have a hard time using all of your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) portion in a week’s time? With vacuum sealing, you can double or triple favorite recipes and divvy up the mass quantities into meal or portion-sized amounts and keep them as-good-as-fresh for later. Enjoy summer fruit in the dead of winter. Make up packets of your favorite smoothie combos to keep at the ready in the freezer. Prep ingredients for your favorite soups and stews. Freeze liquids before vacuum sealing - the vacuum will pull moisture which will prevent a good seal.
How do you choose the right machine for you?
Start by asking yourself a few key questions. Do you want a sturdy unit that stays on your countertop for frequent use? And, if it’s on display, is color or finish important? Would you prefer a compact appliance that you can store easily out of sight between uses? Would a lightweight, handheld unit work best for you or do you prefer countertop operation? Do you want all the bells and whistles or a more basic vacuum sealer? Do you want the option to clean and reuse the bags a few times?
Vacuum food sealers fall into three major categories: External, Chamber and Handheld. Each type has its advantages, from cost to ease of use to performance. Check out these 10 highly rated vacuum sealers to choose the perfect one for your kitchen.
External Vacuum Sealers
External vacuum sealers are very popular for home use. There are models that look great on your counter if you want to have it at the ready at all times, as well as more compact machines that can hide away in a cabinet if counter space is limited or you like to keep your counters clear. A bag is attached on the outside of the machine which removes the air and seals the bag.
Compact and portable at 14 X 6 X 3 inches, this vacuum sealer fits in a kitchen drawer, but it’s available in black, red, silver or white, so you might want to keep it on display. It’s a quieter machine than most, making it easy on the ears if you have a lot of packaging to do. It fits all quart and gallon bags and 12-inch wide rolls, so you can shop around for the best deals. The GBB food vacuum sealer also give you the option to seal without the vacuum, which is great for storing delicate foods. The smart speed adjustment automatically detects different foods.
A versatile vacuum sealer, the Sea Maid comes with bonus attachments to allow you to seal compatible canisters, jars and wine stoppers in addition to the usual plastic bags. The marinate feature does the job in 10 minutes instead of hours. Separate settings allow you to automatically seal both moist and dry foods, and there is a manual seal button that puts you in charge. The roll of bag material lets you customize the size of your bags.
Seal dry or moist food with separate automatic settings that give you the best results. It happens with just the touch of a button. NutriChef bags are reusable - a boon to the budget! The package includes an air suction hose and a wine stopper cork for preserving that fine vintage. Bags and a roll are included so you can get started right away. The stain-resistant housing (available in black and silver) is easy to clean.
The FoodSaver 2-in-1 combines a standard vacuum sealer with a handheld sealer for food storage versatility. The built-in retractable handheld sealer seals zipper bags, canisters, containers and marinates food in minutes without the need for separate attachments. The unit has moist and dry food settings and handles delicate items without crushing them. Choose from moist and dry food settings for optimal sealing. The unit works best with FoodSaver brand bags and rolls.
The FoodSaver GameSaver Deluxe is the ideal tool for hunters and fishermen to preserve freshly caught fish and game, but it is also great for regular home use. It gives you features like built-in storage and cutter, 2 seal levels and 2 vacuum speeds to control. The extra-wide sealing strip creates a secure, air-tight seal. The easy-clean patented removable drip tray makes clean-up easy from game meats, fish and other foods. It’s easy to use with one-touch controls for moist and dry food settings. Instant Seal stops the vacuum process to prevent food from crushing, and the accessory port and hose seal canisters and marinate food in minutes. 10 year warranty!
Chamber Vacuum Sealers
Chamber vacuum sealers are the powerhouse of the category, often used in professional cooking settings. They are larger than external vacuum sealers because of the internal chamber that holds the plastic bag and food. Once the product is placed in the machine, the lid is closed and air is sucked out of the entire chamber, not just the pouch itself, allowing air pressure on both the inside and outside of the pouch to remain equal, keeping liquids in the pouch. Great for sauces, soups and stews! No need to freeze the liquids first.
Heavy duty and easy to use, the double seal on each bag keeps your food packages secure. The ¼ HP pump can handle continuous packaging of a large volume of food, even if you come home after a successful weekend with your limit of fish and game. It can stand up to the demands of restaurants and caterers, not missing a beat with liquids and liquid-rich foods.
Like the VacMaster, the PolyScience Chamber Vacuum Sealer packages dry foods as well as liquids. There is a built-in marinate cycle for adding flavor in minutes. Three preset cycles can be programmed to provide vacuum levels, hold times and seal times. The seal is wider than most and holds securely. The durable stainless steel finish looks great in any kitchen, home or commercial. No worries with the maintenance-free pump.
Handheld Vacuum Sealers
Handheld vacuum sealers offer a lot in the way of convenience. They are super easy to use and store for home cooks with limited space or who will use a vacuum sealer only occasionally. They are used with special zipper bags and containers.
This is a compact, rechargeable vacuum sealer that seals up to 50 Nesco bags per charge. The ergonomic design is easy on the hands, especially if you have 50 bags to seal! It takes up very little space when not in use. Bonus use: take on trips to keep liquids from spilling in your luggage! Charger cord and stand included.
Rechargeable and cordless, this compact unit is easy to use, operating with the press of a button. The easy-clean nozzle is dishwasher safe. It’s small - store it in a drawer when not in use. Use it with FoodSaver deli containers and zipper bags. Pick a fun color - available in fuchsia or green!
This handheld vacuum sealer is powerful for its compact, easy-to-store size. Freeze meats without freezer burn and keep refrigerated foods fresh longer. The Vacu-Seal zipper bags are resealable, reusable, dishwasher safe and airtight. Powered by 6 AA batteries.