Thanks for visiting our best vacuum sealers reviews page. Vacuum sealers are a common machine found in commercial kitchens to help store the hundreds of pounds (or even more) of food that flows through a popular restaurant on a weekly basis. Recently, vacuum sealers are finding their way into people’s homes. These handy machines are becoming popular among bulk shoppers, gardeners, farmers’ market frequenters, and hunters as well as fisherman who need to freeze their latest hauls. Though most popularly used for food storage there are a number of other applications as well. The best food vacuum sealers will create an air tight seal around food items, blocking off the antagonists that will accelerate and cause the food to go bad.
Perhaps you have a hearty enthusiasm for deals and frequent the local Costco, farmers’ market, or fish docks. Or maybe your a hunting and fishing enthusiast. Whatever the case, buying a vacuum sealer and combining it with a chest freezer pretty much sets you up for life as far as the food preservation department is concerned.
Over the course of this review, you will see a discussion about the purpose and merits of vacuum sealers. You’ll begin to understand why this item has made its place in many a home kitchen. In our selection guide, you’ll see a few features you may want to look for before making a final purchase. In our vacuum sealer best of section below you’ll find detailed information about the best vacuum sealers currently available.
Top 9 Best Vacuum Sealers 2016-2017
Welcome to our food vacuum sealer reviews section. Here are the best home vacuum sealer models. We’ve got a range of prices from full chamber vacuum sealers to manually operated vacuum sealers on this list.
We are constantly updating our pages so you are always viewing the freshest information and latest product selections.
What is the best vacuum sealer you ask? Well, it very much depends on what your purposes are. We can point you in the right direction, but you’ll need to make the final selection so make sure to read through the product info carefully.
What is a Vacuum Sealer?
A vacuum sealer, also known as vacuum packing or a packaging machine or food sealer machine, is one of the most effective ways to get an air tight seal to help store food for long periods of time. Though tupperware, aluminum foil, and plastic bags are the most popular ways to store food they aren’t long term food storage solutions. By vacuum sealing food there is virtually no compromise in food quality and it will last nearly 5 times longer than on the shelf or using regular storage methods such as ziploc bags. That is significantly longer and makes a lot of sense for large families or anyone trying their best to cut down on food waste and preserve food.
A vacuum sealer machine is true to its name. It suctions all the air and with it much of the moisture out of the food storage pouch (or canning jar). Once complete, it seals the opening shut providing a safety lock against many antagonists that cause food to deteriorate. That will reduce the problem of mold, mildew, insects, microbes, and other not so food friendly organisms. Ultimately, you’re left with neatly packaged food you can count on to last much longer than its standard shelf life. They aren’t perfect and you still need to follow safety guidelines, but it will generally extend storage life of most food.
Combine vacuum sealing perishables with a freezer and you have a potent food storage solution. Food stored in this way will last for months or even years depending on what you are storing. Vacuum sealed items prevent freezer burn from happening, so you can be assured your food will still taste just as wonderful. Poultry, fish, and other types of meat can all benefit from the process of vacuum sealing.
Of course, it is not just food that can be sealed with a vacuum sealer. The best vacuum sealer for food may not be able to seal other household items. Some models allow you to preserve items such as linens, artifacts, cards, and many other common household items that need protection from humidity and dust. Certain models are better for some tasks than others, so it makes sense to buy the right model for the type of vacuum sealing you plan on doing. Not only does it protect the item from those things, it helps minimize the space the item takes up in storage, which is ideal for people who like to make the most out of their storage areas or may not be working with a large storage capacity.
Benefits of Using a Vacuum Sealer:
- Store seasonal fruits and vegetables and have them available all year
- Protect foods from humidity, dust, germs, bacteria, and other food antagonists
- Helps you preserve food and cut down on food waste (approximately 40% of food goes to waste in the U.S.)
- Greater number of choices when it comes to meal time, usually healthier options become more available
- Food shelf-life can be extended for a year or even several years
- Easy to label vacuum sealed items with date you bought it, you will know when to use it by in the future
- If you have a garden and grow a lot of your own food sometimes you’ll have a larger harvest then what you can eat in a reasonable amount of time, sealing these foods can help you save these healthy foods for later
Types of Vacuum Sealers
In this section we take a look at the main types of vacuum sealers: chamber and external type sealers.
Chamber Vacuum Sealers
Chamber vacuum sealers are commonly seen in commercial applications and are generally much larger than external vacuum sealers. Once only seen in the territory of professional kitchens, they are becoming increasingly popular for home use. Of course, they are typically more expensive than their external counterparts. These are great for heavy duty applications and frequent use in homes. Most chamber vacuum sealers seal things quickly and are equally effective at both wet and dry packaging. The downsides other than the high cost obviously are that these are bulky units that take up a lot of space and aren’t very portable. If you package large batches at a time, it is probably worth investing in a chamber model. These are larger, cube shaped appliances and you actually place the whole item in the chamber itself. The vacuum evacuates all the air from the chamber while sealing a bag around whatever you’re packaging. The only limitation is how much you can fit in the chamber. A large enough chamber can pretty much vacuum seal package anything.
External Vacuum Sealers
External vacuum sealers are arguably the best home vacuum sealer type. They are certainly the most prevalent vacuum sealers for home-use. They are often rectangular in shape and fit nicely on a countertop like most smaller kitchen appliances. These types of sealers clamp down on the open end of the plastic bag then sucks all the air out. A heated sealing bar melts the “neck” of the bag shut locking out moisture and other troublesome particles. External vacuum sealers are ideal for moderate to light household use. They excel at sealing larger cuts of meat as well as filets of fish. Some external models struggle with packaging anything with liquid in it or food items like flour.
Handheld Food Sealers
Handheld food sealers are the most portable vacuum sealer type. They offer a pretty darn good balance of convenience and functionality. If you are limited on storage space in your kitchen or are just looking for something that has a smaller footprint these are a great alternative. There are two main vacuum sealing designs in this category. The first is where the handheld unit makes a small puncture in the bag then sucks all the air out through the hole and seals all around the puncture. The second sealing mechanism is where the handheld device draaws air our through a one-way valve in specially designed bags that are bought with the device (and replacement bags are sold separately when you need more). Clearly, these types of vacuum sealers are best for light use and smaller food items.
Are There Any Risks of Vacuum Sealing Food?
The National Center for Food Preservation does indeed warn that there may be some risks associated with vacuum sealing food products. As long as you follow a few simple food safety tips, you will be able to avoid the bulk of these risks and minimize the remainders. Remember to always wash your hands before and during the vacuum sealing process. You want to keep all the cutting boards, counters, knives, utensils, etc clean before doing any vacuum sealing — especially if you are doing packaging in bulk. You still need to run water over the food and clean it before packaging them. If you aren’t using your hands, make sure to use clean tongs or spoons to handle the food. Most foods are best preserved when stored in the refrigerator or freezer. However, some dry foods like nuts and crackers are okay to store at room temperature in a cool dry place.
Things to Look for in a Vacuum Sealer
Here are the top things to look for when hunting for the best vacuum sealer machine for you.
- Design: The first decision you’ll need to make is if you want a chamber, external, or handheld vacuum sealer. Each of these three designs have their pro’s and con’s and most of your decision will weigh on how often you plan on using it. If you’re going to be doing tons of packaging in bulk you’ll probably want to lean towards a chamber type vacuum sealer, whereas if you are going to hardly use it you may want to get a smaller handheld machine.
- Type: Hand-in-hand with design is the type of vacuum sealer. Some are designed for particular types of sealing jobs. Is the vacuum sealer designed for food, meat, or something else? You’ll always want to make sure it is intended for your primary purpose. There are some sealer machines that are known as the best vacuum sealer for meat while others are known for their ability to handle fruits and vegetables well. The best food vacuum sealer may not be the best at sealing other types of items. There are a few models that can do a wide variety of tasks well, but they tend to be a bit more expensive or you end up sacrificing a little on the quality end of things.
- Portability: If you are looking for a food vacuum sealer with a small footprint you may want an extremely portable handheld device. But keep in mind, sometimes portability and lightweight units offer low performance and don’t last through as many sealing jobs. On the other hand, if you get a vacuum sealer the size of a dishwasher you may quickly get annoyed with how much room it takes up. Also pay attention to what material the unit is made out of, stainless steel is usually a clear winner for its characteristics of being extremely durable.
- Sealing Mechanism: The quality of the heating bar as well as the vacuum strength will work together to properly seal food. Some cheaper vacuum sealing machines don’t have sufficient strength and end up improperly sealing food. Many of the best vacuum sealers incorporate heating bars that are covered by heavy duty silicon frames.
- Maintenance & Warranty: One of the big things to look for is whether or not the vacuum sealer uses special bags. In that case, you have to buy their particular brand of special vacuum sealer bags and that cost can add up particularly if you are frequently using the sealer. If you get a cheaper machine, you may also find yourself spending money on replacement parts more often than a more durable machine. Lastly, you will commonly find vacuum sealers backed by 1 year warranties, but if you find one with a 3 year or longer warranty it is a very good sign the manufacturer is confident in their product.
- Extras: Some vacuum sealers have special features such as extra settings. These extra setting include adjustable vacuum strength, rapid marinate mode, and other such settings. Fancier vacuum sealers will have pressure gauges and LED indicators to help you monitor the sealing progress. Some machines come with external hoses that aid in sealing jars and canisters.