Best Vacuum Sealer/Food Saver – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
by David Wright |
A lot of people don’t really care about the likes of odd products such as food vacuum sealer. But let me say that almost everyone requires food saver for more than one reasons. Why do you need to consider these products?
Well, the answer might come as a shock to you, but most of us need a vacuum sealer because we’re throwing away $2,000 per household on average. Yes, statistics have shown that every year something between 30% and 40% of the food supply in the United States ends up in the garbage. These percentages translate to up to $2,000 wasted in each house.
It’s a lot of money, and all we’ve got to do is start planning our meals better and purchase a machine that in general costs less than a hundred dollars.
If you don’t have the time to read the whole article right now, then I’d recommend you the NESCO VS-02 vacuum sealer as our best pick. It’s pretty easy to use: you just put the bag in, drop the lid, lock it in place, press the sealing button, wait, and then release the lock.
Now for those that stayed, keep on reading to take a look at the other products we’re recommending, find out a bit more about how vacuum sealers work, what you should look out for, and what you should get according to what you want to do. Below is the list of our top 5 vacuum sealers.
Top 5 Vacuum Sealers
|FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1||Handheld & external|
1. NESCO VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealing System – Best Overall
This model is without a doubt the best vacuum sealer for home use because it combines the two products mentioned below in this post. The NESCO VS-02 offers the best of both worlds.
From the FoodSaver model, you’ll have the sweet and quite handy features like the roll holder, the cutter, an area in which to store the cable. Also, Nesco VS-02 has some special sealing settings for different types of food, as well as the possibility to attach a canister sealing accessory.
From the Seal-a-Meal, you’ll have its relatively small body, only 18 inches long and 11 inches wide, and the lighter weight, about 7 pounds. All this at an accessible prize.
The NESCO VS-02 has a reasonable price, can seal relatively big items, and includes a guide that explains everything you’ll need to know. It comes with a washable drip tray, a bag cutter and a place to store the roll of bags. It’s the best deal you’ll get no matter how you look at it.
Pros and Cons
The starter kit includes two rolls of bags of different sizes
Just press a button to begin sealing
Automatic shut off
Many useful features
Needs to cool down for 2 minutes after sealing
2. Seal-a-Meal Manual Vacuum Sealer System – Best Price
The Seal-a-Meal might not be the cheapest out there, but it offers the low cost as well as power and convenience. When I talk about power, I mean that this vacuum sealer is pretty small, yet you can seal medium-sized objects without a problem. And what I mean by small is that it weighs a measly 4 pounds and is 17 inches long times 9 inches wide.
The size makes it pretty easy to store and perfect for small kitchens. The only quirky, maybe slightly troublesome, feature this appliance has is that the user needs to press down firmly on the lid, with both hands, for the sealing process to start.
Pros and Cons
Works perfectly with small to medium products
Comes with a few 1-quart vacuum seal bags
Compatible with Seal-a-Meal or FoodSaver vacuum sealer bags and rolls
Includes a 1-year warranty
No added modes or features
Some people claim about big objects not sealing correctly
3. FoodSaver V4840 2-in-1 – Best of FoodSaver
This vacuum sealer packs a lot of power, and you can seal somewhat bulky products with ease and without worries. It’s pretty easy to use, comes with a manual, and includes self-explanatory buttons as well as a led display that will take you through the whole process. You’ll have complete and total control over what’s happening.
You can stop the vacuuming whenever you want and start the sealing, or not vacuum at all and just seal, or whatever you want to do. This FoodSaver vacuum sealer comes in only one color but is made of stainless steel, which makes it very durable and sturdy.
Pros and Cons
Comes with a few bags so you can start to use it immediately
Automatically detects the bag and begins the vacuuming and sealing process
A jar sealing accessory may be added to the appliance
Has a 5-year warranty
Cost a lot more than your regular model
4. FreshSaver Handheld Vacuum Sealer – Best for Uncertain Beginners
In case you didn’t guess it, this model is also made by FoodSaver. However, rest assured the price is not only accessible but relatively cheap. Which is what makes it the best option for the Average Joe that doesn’t want to spend too much money on something they’re not sure they’ll use.
The FreshSaver is quite small and light because it’s meant to be portable and easy to store. Begin the sealing process by merely pressing a button and then stop it by letting go. It’s rechargeable and cordless which again makes it convenient for walking around with it.
And in case you needed a little extra to be convinced, the bags are completely reusable – you can wash it, and resealable – once sealed, you open the plastic zipper, close it and reseal.
Pros and Cons
Packs a lot of power
Quite easy to use
Can be adapted to seal canisters
5. VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer – Best for True Professionals
You should consider this model only if you’re going to make a living out of it: if you’re a chef and need your food to be perfectly sealed, if you like gourmet-looking-and-tasting food and you need the best sealer for sous to vide, or if you own a store and sell your vacuum sealed goods.
The VacMaster is truly big, bulky and heavy. But you can seal several bags at once, you can seal jars without an added accessory, you can personalize your settings -how long it takes to seal, how strong should the vacuum seal be- and many other features.
Pros and Cons
Led display that indicates the amount of time left
Several controls give you control over the sealing process
You can seal soups, jars, bags, fruits, marinades, etc.
No overheating from constant usage
Big and heavy
How to Choose Your Best Food Saver (Buyer’s guide)
Now when the list is done and you’ve read some about the range of products, let’s explain it all in depth. That way you’ll know which one is the best sealer for you.
First things first: in case you haven’t figured it out yet, vacuum sealers suck or push out the air in your bags. That air is what causes the food to suffer oxidation or freezer burn, to decompose, spoil, become moldy, and what makes bacteria grow and multiply. Without that air, the food should last a lot longer because the bacteria can’t grow as quickly.
Attention: the food that requires it still needs to be frozen or refrigerated. Plus, don’t think it’ll be fresh and good forever, it’ll still have an expiration date – you’re just pushing it back.
As you might’ve guessed from reading the guide, there are three different types of vacuum sealers that fit more or less a spectrum of needs:
Handheld Vacuum Sealers
These models are very light and small. The handheld sealers are typically easy to use. All you need to do is line the nozzle of the appliance with the circle on the bag and press the button.
Also, these sealers are easy to store, and relatively cheap. You should be able to buy a good, durable, quality product for around $20-30. They are perfect for sealing fragile and delicate things, like snacks, cereals, or cookies, that can be crushed. You control the sealing process with a button.
You’ll need to buy a particular type of vacuum sealing bags that come with a zipper, but they should be fairly convenient. In case you get sick of vacuum sealing stuff, zippered bags are always useful. In case you become consistent and maybe upgrade to another type of vacuum sealer later, you’ll still be able to seal the crushable things through this process. Most come with rechargeable batteries or with a charging cord, making them completely portable and wireless.
There are some limits or issues of course. Mostly due to using handheld food vacuum sealers for things they aren’t designed to do. The first of the problems is that it takes a little longer to suck the air out of the bag if one of two, the bag has too much air, or the bag is too big.
Customers have reported that you need to try to push most of the air out by hand and then use the vacuum sealer to finish. If your issue is that you’re trying to seal bigger bags and the appliance is not sucking the air out correctly, then you probably should update to the next type of food vacuum sealers. Also, beware of sealing wet food, because though most have a washable little drip tray on the nozzle, it’s got a limit.
External Vacuum Sealers
If the handheld vacuum sealers aren’t enough to make your dreams come true, then it’s time to level up and get the external model. These appliances are a sort of middle ground in which you can seal more significant bulkier things as well as be careful with your delicate food all for a relatively accessible price, from $40 to $60.
The features on these devices change a lot from one model to the next, but in general, they all should come with a button or way in which to begin the sealing process, as well as a switch or levers which you press to release the bag once it’s sealed. They should also offer a button to seal only, for the cases in which you don’t want to vacuum seal and just preserve the freshness.
There are a lot of extra features as well. The common ones are roll-storage, cancelling button to stop the vacuuming and pass onto the hot sealing, automated or one-touch operation sealing process. Some don’t have it, but most come with a drip tray to catch liquid, which should be washable.
Others have different modes that should be used according to the type of food you’ll be sealing. Among these modes, there is a mode for wet food, for marinades, and other forms of food or mixtures that might cause issues. Some have the added benefit of working with a canister or jar sealer, and some have a cutter for the rolls of bags.
In general, the rule is that these food vacuum sealers work fast, need to cool after sealing, and, if used repeatedly, they might overheat. You’ve got two options, you either start cutting and separating your foods according to the biggest bag size and product size it can seal correctly, or, once more, you upgrade.
Chamber Vacuum Sealers
Beware, only purchase these models if you’re completely and absolutely certain that this is the type of sealer for you. And even then, keep in mind that they are very expensive – usually cost several hundreds of dollars. How do you know if you need one of these beasts?
Well, first you need to seriously analyze whether an external vacuum sealer will be two sizes too small for what you want or need. Will you use the external model for over an hour or longer? Do you find the waiting between sealing procedures time to consume and annoying?
Are you going to purchase several pounds of meat and food that should last you for about a month or two? Do you buy things in bulk? Will you need the seal to be perfect?
If the answer to all the questions above is yes, then you should probably investigate further about chamber vacuum sealers and consider purchasing one.
For those that are certain that they need a chamber vacuum sealer then I’ll let you know that you’re a process of analysis still isn’t finished. Chamber sealers can seal several bags or jars at the same time. They use pressure to push the air out of the bag at the same time.
So, there should be no issue with sealing liquids because there is no time for the fluid to be pushed or sucked in any direction. This procedure happens with the help of a pump. And this is where you need to look carefully and with a critical eye.
You’ll need to look for a fairly durable, well made, and easy to maintain pump if you want the chamber vacuum sealer for commercial use. Also, take care of buying your product from a good company that will take care of you.
Vacuum Sealer Bags
Now when we’ve covered all the different types of vacuum sealers, you need to consider the next important step – the bags. While you’re deciding on which model to purchase, be sure to check which size of bags work on the appliance. You might find that the bags are expensive and that you’ll end up spending more money on buying the bags.
You might also find out that they’re not sold on the stores near your home and that you’d need to buy them online or buy them somewhere far from your house. Also, they only work with a certain brand or type of vacuum sealer bag. In general, when you’re investigating about a food vacuum sealer look up the following things:
- How much will you be spending on each bag?
- What brands or brand of bags is it compatible with?
- Can you find them easily? Or will it be difficult?
- How many bags do you think you’ll need or use?
- Can the bags be reused or resealed?
How You Can Use a Food Saver
If you can’t afford the food vacuum sealers but still want to stop wasting money and food, then I’ll let you know that these appliances aren’t obligatory. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll help you out a ton and save you lots of effort. But you can still put in the effort on your own.
It might sound like nothing, but it would make a world of difference if you just plan your meals better. Buy what you’re really going to cook or eat, be honest with yourself. If you still find you need to buy a little extra and don’t want it to go bad, then you can go on the internet and learn different ways to preserve fruits and vegetables with vinegar and other natural methods.