With almost 800 million people in the world going to bed hungry each night, it’s important to reduce the amount of food that’s being wasted regularly. There are several ways that you can cut down on the amount of food waste you produce, including buying less, cooking less, and of course, freezing the food that you don’t eat. While freezer bags can sometimes do the trick, they have difficulty getting the tough jobs done. If you’re looking for an efficient way to freeze your leftovers or meal plans for long periods of time, keep reading to discover the undeniable benefits of vacuum sealing your food!
In this article, we’ll talk about vacuum sealers – a brilliant invention that enables you to vacuum-treat your food supply the way they do in factories – in the comfort of your home! We’ve got a buying guide, we’ll be pointing out important features to pay attention to, and we’ll also explain briefly how to use one of these mean machines.
Oh, and yes – we’ve also assembled the top 10 best products in this particular category so that you can see which one you like the best.
Top Picks: 5 Best Vacuum Sealer
Best Vacuum Sealer Consumer Reports – A Buyer’s Guide
- Vacuum sealers have been around for a while.
- This means that there are some already well-established brands out there.
- More often than not, a famous vacuum sealer brand will manufacture high-quality products with plenty of unique features – something that lower cost or cheaply-built utensils don’t really have.
- For example, niceties such as automatic bag detection or automatic moisture detection, or indeed, a hefty and generous warranty, indicate that the brand behind the product is a solid one.
- Of course, this doesn’t mean you should shun lesser-known brands. (Even Coca-Cola was once a rookie on the market!) But if you want to play it safe, getting a vacuum sealer from a well-known manufacturer can be a major asset, indeed!
- This category is somewhat similar to the one above.
- Vacuum sealers come in all shapes and sizes, so you can expect to see several different products out there on the market. The reason we’re mentioning this is that the cost of these kitchen utensils is directly linked to two main factors:
- The brand in question, and
- The number of features each device possesses.
- These often go hand in hand, of course. Better-known and more established brands offer products with more interesting features. For example, a simple vacuum sealer with only the ‘bare bones’ structure will have a lower price, while an elaborate spaceship-like model might cost an arm and a leg! (But be well-worth it otherwise.)
- A mighty-looking vacuum sealer with all the bells ‘n’ whistles is worth naught if it can’t survive the many vacuuming and packaging tasks you lay ahead of it.
- Whether it’s due to an effort to save money on expensive materials or just general inexperience with the craft, some manufacturers of these illustrious kitchen appliances seem to offer less than great when it comes to the durability of their ware.
- A couple of red flags can point out a faulty construction that won’t cut it past the warranty. Plenty of cheap-looking plastic parts, for example. Or a series of bad reviews on a seller webpage. Also, a lack of a warranty should raise some eyebrows!
Automatic vs. Manual Machine
- Perhaps a bit confusingly, the automatic vacuum sealing machines aren’t really more advanced than the manual ones.
- In fact, the automatic vacuum sealers are made to be automatic precisely to make them simpler. This also means fewer options for the user.
- With an automatic vacuum sealer, the deal is straightforward. You start the machine, stick a bag with some vegetables in it (just the edge, of course), and press a button – the rest is magic.
- As far as the manual ones go, the idea is that more experienced users have more vacuuming options to choose from. So, if you want a more complex system of packaging food and are willing to learn how it works in detail, by all means, go for a manual model.
- Indicative of faulty ware when it’s not there and reassuring and confidence-inducing when it is, a warranty is the best advertisement for a machine manufacturer.
- When buying a vacuum sealer (but also any machine, in general), make sure to look at their warranty policy or if they have one in the first place!
(If they do, you might want to probe further because not all warranties cover 100% of the product.)
Top 10 Best Vacuum Sealer for Smart Consumers
1. FoodSaver 2-in-1 Automatic Bag Detection Vacuum Sealer Machine Reviews
If you’re on the lookout for a kitchen appliance that looks like it’s fallen straight out of a high-tech lab, this FoodSaver 2-in-1 vacuum sealer might be the thing to check out. Equipped with an automatic bag detection technology and some LED light indicators to help you see what you’re vacuuming, this mean machine from FoodSaver is a must for a food preservation-savvy family.
Other than the LED lights that help you NOT vacuum your fingers while puttering with the bags, the FoodSaver 2-in-1 vacuum sealer machine also features built-in roll storage and a cutter. These will help you create bags pretty much on the spot, without needing to prearrange anything, really.
Another automated part of the vacuuming and packaging process with this particular device would be moisture recognition technology. It works like this – as soon as you try to vacuum something that’s got leftover liquid in it, the aforementioned detector will pick it up and adapt the vacuuming process accordingly.
- Automatic moisture detection
- LED lights
- Integrated cutter
- It comes with a 5-year warranty
- Automatic bag detection
- Some customers have complained about customer support
- It doesn’t work well if there’s a lot of moisture in the bag
2. FoodSaver 2-in-1 System Vacuum Sealer Machine Reviews
If it looks like a printer, sort of works similar to a printer, and there’s food involved – it’s FoodSaver’s 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System! With one of these babies on top of your merry kitchen counter, you’ll get such niceties as an air-tight heat seal, a retractable handheld sealer, a PulseVac, and even Rapid Marinade mode for …. Ehm, rapid marinading … probably.
And that’s not all, folks! There’s plenty of other high-tech, tough-to-pronounce features to list here.
For example – a control panel, fully automatic operation, a wine stopper, and a pullout drip tray. The control panel thing is perhaps the most interesting here. All the matters about the vacuuming task at hand you can arrange and set using this control panel, so acquainting yourself with its secrets can be the start of a wonderful human-kitchen appliance relationship! If such a thing even exists.
- A Special marinade mode
- Wine Stopper
- Roll Storage
- Automatic Operation
- Retractable Handheld Sealer
- Control Panel
- A bit pricey
- Some customers reported troubles with their initial shipment (the customer service is good, mercifully)
3. VACMASTER VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer Reviews
Featuring the appearance of a car battery but the technology and the utility of a purely-bred vacuum sealer, this VACMASTER chamber vacuum sealer is a piece of technology you don’t want to miss out on.
With this particular model, the folks at VACMASTER decided to concentrate on the size of the vacuuming bags, so they’ve installed in this model a might ¼ horsepower rotary oil pump that can take care of larger packages. That’s like having a quarter of a horse working to seal your bags with celery and cauliflower! Or like a big well-fed badger, maybe. No, two big badgers working at the bags.
Anyway, thanks to its quiet operation and simple design, this model can be a perfect solution for professional chefs. You can best utilize its large capacity on a larger scale, so to speak, so giving this device to a cook that needs to get some packages vacuumed pronto will save him or her a lot of effort, for sure!
- ¼ horsepower rotary oil pump
- Double-seals each bag
- Perfect for restaurants, catering services, or hunters and farm owners
- Capable of packaging liquids and liquid-rich foods
- Too big for home use
- Quite heavy
4. Foodsaver Automatic Bag Detection With Starter Kit Vacuum Sealer Machine Reviews
Another product on this list coming from the FoodSaver folks comes in the shape of this vacuum sealer machine with automatic bag detection. 2-in-1, no less! As the name itself suggests, this means the machine can automatic bag detection, allowing you to work quickly and vacuum your bags easily.
Like the product above, this FoodSaver model also comes with an inbuilt cutter that allows you to set the vacuum bag’s size quickly. The LED lights are there to lead you as you’re inserting the bag into the sealer.
As you can see, actually sealing bags with this contraption is simple and user-friendly, even if the user is a complete and utter rookie in the kitchen. The only thing to remember is to remove the drip tray every once in a while because if too much water is accumulated there, it can start overflowing, which is not a pretty sight.
- Automatic moisture detection
- ETL and UL-certified
- It comes with a quick Marinator
- Built-in cutter
- Built-in storage rolls
- The heater can overheat if you don’t make pauses between vacuuming sessions
- The mechanism tends to use more of the bag than needed
5. FoodSaver Automatic Vacuum Sealer Machine with Express Bag Maker Reviews
Another printer-looking gadget over here. Although, to be fair, all of them more or less look like either a printer or a car battery. But there’s more to these machines than just their resemblance to other machines!
According to the folks at FoodSaver, this particular product of theirs is capable of preserving your food for up to three years! (It does need to be in the freezer, of course, but still!)
Inbuilt in its bowels, there is a clever system for dispensing vacuuming bags – you only need to put in a set number of bags in the beginning, and then the machine will do every next bag for you. Until it runs out of bags, then just repeat the process.
To ensure that whatever you’ve decided to seal within a vacuum bag remains seal for good, the folks at FoodSaver have also made their vacuum sealer work with dual sealing strips.
- Elegant design
- Easy to use
- It comes with LED navigating indicators
- Automatic moisture detection
- Roll storage
- Dual heat sealing strips
- Some users have reported problems with the pump
- Fairly pricey
6. NutriChef Automatic Air Sealing System Vacuum Machine Reviews
Correction! In one of the entries above, we mentioned that every vacuum sealer looks either like a printer or something else or the other; you can’t be bothered to scroll up. Well, this model looks like a rooter! (Pretty sure that device, in particular, didn’t pop up as a comparison point.)
Well, other than possessing an appearance reminiscent of a rooter, this plucky contraption is also easy to operate, offers two sealing modes, and has been extensively lab tested. The operation is fully automatic. All you need to do to set this device on its merry vacuuming path would be to plug it in!
Once the lights begin coming to life, you’ll see that you can carry out a wide variety of actions using the control panel on top of this device. Simply press the button for the corresponding action, and then watch it unfold before your very eyes!
- Extensively lab tested
- Features two sealing modes
- Automatic electric plug
- Easy-to-use control panel
- LED indicator lights
- Poor customer support
- Some users have reported certain stability issues (It tends to tip on one side when used.)
7. SEAL-A-MEAL Manual Vacuum Sealer System Reviews
Coming from a company with quite a cheeky and clever name, this manual vacuum sealer system represents a simple vacuum sealing device that will allow you to stick some food in a bag and then seal it shut for good. (Well, until you do decide to open it, of course.)
Using this contraption is probably the easiest thing in the world. After you’ve plugged this one in the power outlet on the wall, all you need to do to make it do its magic is simply press down on it mightily and wait for the signal to go off.
This is the so-called hands-off signal indicating that the vacuuming and sealing process is completed and that you can take your hands off the device. This offer also comes with a user manual and a 1-year warranty.
- Easy operation
- It comes with BPA-free bags
- The drip tray is dishwasher safe
- 1-year warranty
- No automatic bag detection
- No automatic moisture detection
8. NESCO Deluxe Bag Starter Kit With Viewing Lid Vacuum Sealer Reviews
For those in need of a solid and reliable piece of vacuuming machinery, so to speak, this deluxe vacuum sealer from Nesco is surely a product worth considering. It offers a sleek design and a smooth operation. In fact, the manufacturers made sure that this particular model incorporates the so-called hands-free sealing thanks to a locked handle.
Out of how you can use this sealer, there are three separate options to choose from: 1) dry, 2) moist, and 3) double. Each of these roughly corresponds to various types of food to use dry for dry meat or fresh vegetables. You can try moist with a steak ‘n’ gravy or a stew, for example.
Like some products from above, this model also works on the double seal principle, reinforcing the bags and making them bulletproof. (Not literally, of course.)
- It comes with double seal technology for additional strength
- Works with the double vacuum pump
- Three sealing choices: dry, moist, and double
- Two settings: regular and gentle
- Hands-free operation
- Locked handles
- A bit noisy
- Some users have reported inconsistent operation
9. Hamilton Beach NutriFresh Vacuum Sealer Machine with Bag Cutter Reviews
It looks simple, works simply – that’s what this vacuum sealer from Hamilton Beach is all about. To make the operation as simple and user-friendly as possible, the folks at Hamilton Beach have ensured that their sealing machine has an extra-wide vacuum chamber. (This means you won’t have to insert the bags into this apparatus with surgical precision.)
When it comes to the size of the bag you’ll be using; you don’t have to worry about it in the sense that you’ll have to measure it yourself. This is because this particular device has a built-in cutter that automatically cuts the bag at the size suitable for the amount of food. This way, you won’t be wasting any bagged material and will always get a close fit.
- It comes with a built-in cutter
- Adjustable high and low levels of vacuuming
- Roll storage
- Compatible with FoodSaver bags
- 5 vacuuming and sealing controls
- Some users have reported occasional problems with factory bags
- This unit doesn’t have a drip tray
10. Crenova Food Sealer Saver Vacuum Sealer Machine Reviews
Boasting the looks of a Mundharmonika with some buttons on top of it, this Crenova vacuum sealer is a simple and efficient kitchen utensil perfect for home use or perhaps some other small-scale users. Despite its minute size, this device is actually made out of high-quality stainless steel, so you can rest assured that this unit will endure some rough vacuuming tasks.
Another great feature of this Crenova vacuum sealer is that it comes with an option to treat both dry and moist food, so you can vacuum seal some marinated beef, for example, just as easily as you would some vegetables!
Other than this, the Crenova folks issue a one-year warranty on this product and offer lifetime support for its customers. Also, there’s a 24/7 e-mail customer service to contact the manufacturer if you have any questions.
- Made out of high-quality stainless steel
- The simple, one-touch operation
- Special CANCEL button
- One-year warranty
- Lifetime support
- 24/7 customer support
- Too small for larger households
- Some users have reported problems with sealing (Some air gets in now and again.)
Important Features to Look For when Buying Food Vacuum Sealer
- Determining the efficiency and speed with which a vacuum sealer can seal a couple of vegetables, the power of the vacuum sealer’s motor is the essential parameter for assessing the device in question as a whole.
- Although quite new to the world market, vacuum sealers already come in all shapes and sizes. And purposes, as well. This effectively means that you’ll have several different models, ranging in their power output according to their purpose.
- For example, a professional chef might need a powerful vacuum sealer that operates quickly. So, expect an industrial-sized sealing contraption to be both more powerful and bigger than a conventional one.
The Sealing Process Itself
- Vacuum-sealing your food is a preservation process that consists of two different processes.
- It’s quite self-explanatory, really.
- One part of the machine sucks in the excess air from the bag while the other one seals the now vacuumed bag for good. This is where sealing bars come into play.
- A sealing bar is a heated piece of metal that stamps onto the bag to create a seal. The stronger and larger this bar is, the stronger the seal will be. Of course, if the seal bar is too large for whatever weird purpose, you may be wasting bags for no reason, so pay attention to this.
Ease of Use
- Even though the vacuum sealing process itself isn’t really nuclear science per se, a complete novice may have a tough time figuring out how to operate a manual sealer, for example.
- If you suspect you may fall into the group of people who aren’t really tech-savvy, or indeed, are just impatient, purchasing a vacuum sealer with plenty of bells ‘n’ whistles might be a good idea.
- For example, many modern vacuum sealer manufacturers offer automated pulse controls, timers, automatic shut-offs, and other sorts of features that can help you do less and end up with more!
- This may not be the most important thing to look for, but if you can find it, great.
- You see, some vacuum sealer manufacturers make their machines so that they can accept only one sort of vacuuming bag. (Usually their own brand, as well.)
- If you can find a model that allows you to use other kinds of bags on their sealer, this can be a great way to save some money! (In case you already have some bags you can use.) Also, this will broaden the number of different packaging bags you can work with.
Automatic Bag Detection
- A vacuum sealer with an automatic bag detection feature onboard can save you a lot of effort initially when you first start using the device.
- If you’re sort of clumsy and tend to have a hard time aligning the bag perfectly every time, a vacuum sealer with automatic bag detection will do this for you!
(Note, however, that models that have this feature will usually be more expensive than the ordinary vacuum sealers.)
How to Use a Vacuum Sealer
While every individual vacuum sealing machine will have its own unique way of operating, there’s still a pretty clear consensus in the vacuuming community on how to operate one of these useful contraptions. The three-step procedure in question is as follows:
- Fill the Bag Up – with ingredients or prepared meals of your choice. This can include fruits, vegetables, meat, etc. The only thing you need to pay attention to here is the moisture. Some vacuum sealers deal well with moisture and can even vacuum seal marinated foods and stews.
The other models, without this feature, can fail to seal foods with plenty of moisture and even break down in the process! To be on the safe side, read the instruction sheets that come with your product carefully and follow the step-by-step guide. (If there is one.)
- Turn on the Machine – and attach the edge of the bag, now filled with food, to the bar of the sealer. Once the heater is ready, the machine will either do this for you, or you’ll have to press a button or two.
- Remove the Bag – Once the heater’s done its job, remove the prepared bag from the machine. At this point, you may want to check for leaks or some other imperfections. If everything’s okay, you can store the food and go on your merry way!
What are the Benefits of Vacuum Sealing Food?
Vacuum sealing is the process of removing all of the air from a package using a vacuum, and it’s certainly one of the most reliable ways to preserve the freshness of your food. Before we discuss the process of vacuum sealing, let’s take a few minutes to talk about some of the most impressive benefits of doing so from the comfort of your very own home.
Keep Your Food Fresher for Longer
Because the food isn’t being exposed to the air, vacuum-sealing your food is one of the most efficient ways to keep it fresh. Vacuum sealing prevents freezer burn and dehydration and the growth of mold, fungus, and bacteria. This is especially beneficial when you buy ingredients that tend to spoil quickly, like meats and veggies.
One of the greatest benefits of vacuum sealing is the ability to preserve seasonal foods, such as berries or tomatoes. It goes without saying that it’s difficult to get your hands on certain foods during the cold winter months, so vacuum sealing allows you to have your favorite foods all year long.
Avoid Chemical Preservation
When you purchase frozen or canned foods from the grocery store, you’re buying food that has been chemically preserved. Obviously, you don’t need to be told that these chemicals aren’t exactly good for your body. Vacuum sealing your food allows you to preserve your food without the addition of all of those nasty chemicals, which is not only good for your body, but it’s good for the environment, as well.
Save Money By Buying Bulk
If you have a large family, you might have bought bulk from time to time, which is absolutely great for your budget. If you’d like to save yourself a little bit of money, start buying bulk foods and vacuum sealing them! The amount of money you save might actually surprise you!
How to Vacuum Seal Sous Vide
Sous-vide, which is translated from French as “under vacuum,” is a method of cooking that is meant to keep the integrity of the ingredients by heating them for long periods of time at low temperatures. Using vacuum-sealed bags in hot water, the food becomes more flavorful and nutritious because the flavor compounds aren’t broken down. While it’s typically been used by professional chefs, more and more people are using this cooking method daily. If you’ve never used this method to cook your meals, keep reading to learn some simple instructions that will surely leave you dying to try it out.
Step 1 – Gather Your Food and Materials
Before you get started, make sure that you have the following materials:
- Digital Thermometer
Because the temperature needs to be absolutely perfect while using the sous-vide method, it’s recommended that you purchase a high-quality digital thermometer.
- Vacuum Sealer
Having a high-quality vacuum sealer is probably the most important thing on this list. Many professional chefs choose to use a chamber-style vacuum sealer because they’re stronger than clamp-style vacuum sealers, but the decision is ultimately yours.
And, of course, all of the ingredients you’ll need to prepare the meal!
Step 2 – Prepare the Food
It can be difficult to season the food using the sous vide method because the temperatures are lower than other methods. Typically, the flavor of most herbs and spices won’t change, but some can end up overpowering your dish, so it’s important to be mindful during this step. You shouldn’t have any problem marinating the food unless it contains alcohol, which would cause the meat to cook unevenly. Once you’ve prepared the food, you’ll want to put them into the pouches for a water bath.
Step 3 – Prepare Food in a Water Bath
To prevent bacterial growth, it’s important to follow every recipe explicitly. There’s a reason why salts and spices are added, and the temperature is what it is, so make sure that you pay attention to control the growth of microorganisms.
You’ll want to submerge the pouches completely in the purified water (you may need to weigh them down to accomplish this.) You want maximum surface area exposed to water so that the food cooks thoroughly, so don’t allow the pouches to overlap or crowd together.
Also Read :
FAQ On Best Vacuum Sealer Consumer Reports
Q: What Shouldn’t You Vacuum Seal?
- While vacuum sealing is a great way to preserve your food, certain foods shouldn’t be vacuum-sealed because harmful bacteria can be produced when doing so. Before you get to cooking, make sure that you’re not working with the following foods: mushrooms, garlic, freshly cooked or steamed veggies, and soft cheeses.
Q: What Type of Food Can You Vacuum Seal?
- The good news is that there are way more foods that can be vacuum sealed than foods that can’t. While the list could go on forever, here are a few foods that do very well when they’re vacuum-sealed: dehydrated fruit, trail mix, rice/pasta, leftovers, deli meats, and so much more!
Q: Can I Vacuum Seal Hot Food?
- It’s unbelievably important for you to understand should never seal that food while it’s still hot. Vacuum sealing hot food can cause bacteria to grow, which is why it’s recommended that you wait for the food to drop down to room temperature before you seal it.
Q: Are Food Vacuum Sealers Worth the Money?
- There really isn’t a definitive answer to this question because it’s entirely dependent on the individual’s actions. If you choose to buy bulk, plan your meals out, and budget your money, you can most definitely save money by sealing your food, which is when vacuum sealers are 100% worth it!
Q: How Long Will a Vacuum Seal Last?
- Frozen food that has been vacuum-sealed will typically last an average of two to three years. If you put your vacuum-sealed bags into the refrigerator, you can bet on them lasting for up to two weeks, which is obviously longer than the 1-3 days most food lasts in the refrigerator.
Q: Do Vacuum Seals Reduce Weight?
- While removing the air from the bag does remove a little bit of the weight, vacuum-sealed bags don’t weigh any less than they did before. In fact, they can weigh even more because you have to factor in the weight of the bag itself.
So, that’d be it, folks! Vacuum sealers represent an integral part of the modern kitchen and save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Preserving food never goes out of fashion, so get yourself a vacuum sealer if you haven’t got one already! We hope you found this article helpful and wish you a hassle-free purchase!