Best Food Vacuum Sealer Review – Top 5 Freshest List for Aug. 2018
Interested in adding the newest must-have kitchen appliance to your home? If you’re like most people, of course you are – particularly if you’re intrigued by the enormous buzz around sous vide cooking. That means buying a vacuum sealer or food saver.
There are other great reasons to consider one of these food vacuum sealers, too. They’re a life-saver for people who buy food in bulk for freezing to use in the future and those who have small or crowded freezers. They also greatly extend the shelf life of food you keep in your refrigerator. That could include anything from cereals, coffee grains or even pre-cooked meals that you want to freeze.
Intrigued? You should be.
How Does A Vacuum Sealer Work?
You probably remember the basics of a vacuum, from those boring days in science class. Oxygen is evacuated (sucked out, for those who slept through science class) from a container like an air-tight jar or bag. When kept sealed up, food remains good at least five times longer than in a zip-loc bag since bacteria can’t grow in an oxygen-free environment, and you’ll avoid annoying freezer burn that occurs due to moisture in the bag.
Incidentally, you’ll get the same type of benefits by vacuum sealing important papers or silver jewelry, since with no oxygen they won’t deteriorate or get tarnished. You can also ship clothing to your sister or store clothing in a compact space, by removing all of the air from the storage bag first.
Types of Vacuum Sealers – External Sealers and Chamber Style Models
You’ll find two types of food vacuum sealer machines on the market, smaller “external” sealers and larger chamber-style models. They each operate in the same general manner, by pumping out all the air in a container and then securely sealing the bag or container against outside air and moisture leaking in.
External vacuum sealers are simpler to use, less expensive and can work with any type of bag. They’re best for occasional use around the kitchen or home. Some are small enough to be held in your hands as they work.
Chambered sealers use higher-powered pumps to do all of the work inside the machine. They can evacuate much more air from a container, do lots of sealing all at once, and make it easier to seal meat with natural juices or other liquids. Many let you adjust suction levels as well. Most are also heavier and much more expensive, which is why they’re favored for commercial purposes.
Features to Look for in a Food Vacuum Sealer
Internal Rollers and Cutters
Many food sealers require you to do some of the work. Since the food is kept in an air-tight bag, you first need the bag. You cut it to the proper size (which you determine yourself most of the time) from a long roll of plastic, and then one end goes into the machine to be sealed. Most manufacturers require that you use their own branded plastic bags since differently-sized bags may not seal right or could even melt (although once you become more experienced you can start to experiment with different bag brands if you desire).
You then put your food into the bag, insert the other end into the machine and start the vacuuming and sealing. Most models let you perform each function by pushing one button, but it can still be a pain. For that reason, the best external food vacuum sealers have integral rollers and cutters. Those are features you’ll wish you had if you purchase a lower-level model.
Wet Sealing Mode and/or Marinade Mode
Cooks who use the sous vide method, or those who freeze stews or other meals with liquids, will want a machine with a wet sealing mode. That allows you to pour sauces or gravies into the bag before it’s vacuumed and sealed. Another step up is a marinade mode, which allows you to quickly and thoroughly marinate meats and vegetables. For each of these machines, you’ll want to be sure they have a drip guard to catch any extra liquid, and it should be removable for easy clean-up.
Some models have what’s known as a pulse mode, which removes air from the bag in short bursts; this is ideal for sealing foods which can break or rip easily like biscuits or leafy vegetables. You’re able to watch the air being evacuated and stop the process before the food inside the bag is about to be crushed or broken.
Vacuum Seal Canisters and Jars as an Option
You’ve noticed by now that this discussion has focused on foods sealed into bags. If you want to vacuum seal canisters or jars, your food vacuum sealer will need an outboard port and hose that fits into containers that are designed specifically for this purpose. A machine’s hose will usually work with dedicated sealing canisters you can buy almost anywhere.
Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance
Other factors to consider are ease of cleaning and how much maintenance is required, how light and easy a hand-held model is to use – and of course, manufacturing quality and price.
The Groom+Style review team has you covered with our list of the best food vacuum sealers. Just be forewarned; once you get hooked on vacuum sealing your food for storage, you may also need to buy a bigger freezer to take advantage of all the bargains you find at Costco.
Here is Groom+Style’s Top 5 Best Vacuum Sealers list for Aug. 2018.
1. VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer
This VacMaster is a full-featured chamber sealer which isn’t for everyone. Since these Groom+Style rankings are for the best machines, though, the VP210 clearly belonged at the top.
It’s best suited for heavy-duty kitchen use when you’ve made huge batches of stew or soup for months’ worth of meals, brought in the summer crop for cooking and storage, bought out the warehouse store’s fantastic stock of low-priced meat (or hunted your own), prepare almost all of your meals sous vide – well, you get the idea.
Don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of external sealers coming up.
High-end chamber food vacuum sealers can cost thousands of dollars, so what first attracted the review team to this VacMaster was its very reasonable price, half of what you might expect to pay for a high-end commercial chamber machine. What impressed us after that was the VP210’s thoughtful design.
It’s built from high-grade stainless steel for durability, with a see-through acrylic lid. It double-seals bags for extra protection against moisture, and is outstanding for sealing liquids and meat with gravy. The wet-and-dry sealing bar in the machine comes out easily for cleaning. It even works with bags from competitors like FoodSaver. And the vacuum level (up to 29Hg) from the heavy-duty oil pump is terrific, for readers who are stat geeks.
This food vacuum sealer gives the user as much control as any model on our list, with vacuum time, sealing time and cooling time all fully and easily adjustable. An LED indicator counts down the time remaining in the current function, and there’s a button that lets you stop the vacuum function as desired. The only negatives we could find are that there’s no pulse mode or external port, you’ll have to periodically add machine oil to the pump, and you have to be careful when hand-cleaning the machine.
The VP210 is an outstanding chamber food vacuum sealer, able to do most of what commercial units can do at a much lower price.
Facts and figures for the VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants the very best home food vacuum sealer, and plans to give the machine a good workout.
PRO: Outstanding seal, full control over all functions, heavy-duty, reasonable price for a chamber sealer.
CON: Much more expensive than external units, heavy and large, no pulse mode or external port, needs regular maintenance.
2. Weston Pro-2300 Commercial Grade Vacuum Sealer (65-0201)
Weston puts the description “commercial grade” into the name of this model not only for sales purposes, but for a good reason: many restaurants use it. This external sealer has extra-wide openings and Teflon double-sealing strip that let you use bags that are up to 15” wide, or even seal two smaller bags at the same time. It’s heavier than many out-of-chamber units, made from stainless steel with a transparent acrylic top, but that also means it’s strong and durable.
You don’t get the same level of function control that you’ll find on chamber sealers like the VacMaster, but you’ll be paying about half the price. You can use a manual pressure mode to carefully seal soft foods or non-food goods. The automatic mode lets you seal up food with just the touch of one button, making the Pro-2300 simple to use for ordinary tasks. LED lights show you where you are in the process. It’s great for both wet and dry sealing, with a removable drip tray.
The seal is powerful and the machine works quickly, with the 28 Hg vacuum strength provided by a double-piston pump and fan-cooled motor that let the sealer run for several hours without overheating, as long as you give it ten seconds or so between seals. There’s an external port for vacuum sealing other types of containers (the hose is not included, though). Be aware, though, that you’ll have to cut and feed your own bags; there’s no built-in cutter.
The Pro-2300 is almost as good, and almost as versatile, as a chamber unit. You can find smaller and less-expensive external sealers with cutting and feeding capabilities, but this one is a workhorse.
More info on the Weston Pro-2300 Commercial Grade Vacuum Sealer (65-0201):
SUMMARY: For the person who wants a commercial-level, high-quality external food sealer that can seal large bags and work for hours at a time.
PRO: Terrific suction, external port, wet-and-dry sealing, automatic and manual modes.
CON: No built-in bag cutter or feeder, no hose included for external port, high price for non-chamber model.
3. FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System
Groom+Style’s number three pick is the external vacuum sealer Foodsaver 4840 2-in-1, and there are three reasons for our choice: price, full automation and a retractable, portable sealer.
Full automation means just that. You just feed the open end of a bag (up to 16” wide) into the 4840; it detects the bag and goes to work, pumping out the air and sealing it tightly. There’s also a button you can use to only seal without creating a vacuum, and a rapid marinate mode that can have your meat, fish or vegetables perfectly marinated and ready to cook within hours.
This is a very good, small device that will fit nicely on the countertop of any kitchen and comes with vacuum seal bags. But it differs from comparable models because of its 2-in-1 feature, which means there’s also a retractable handheld sealer nozzle attached to one side of the unit. It’s perfect for use on containers, canisters and zip-loc bags that are made to accommodate vacuum sealing.
The unit has wet-dry settings, a built-in roller and cutter, pulse control and a drip tray, although you may find it’s tougher to seal bags containing a lot of liquids than it is with our top two vacuum systems. There’s a reward for giving up that complete control: the price of this Food Saver, which comes in at about half of the Weston’s cost.
There’s a lot of flexibility built into the FoodSaver 2-in-1 because of the handheld vacuum sealer, and it does a very good job handling more standard assignments.
Details for the FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealing System:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants a dual-purpose, lightweight vacuum sealer that’s easy to operate and reasonably-priced.
PRO: Hand-held retractable sealer, integral roller/cutter, automatic start, rapid marinate mode, lightweight and compact.
CON: Limited manual control compared to top-rated models, doesn’t work with many other brands of bags, can’t run continuously, noisy.
4. FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealing System with Starter Kit
If you like the sound of the FoodSaver 4840 but don’t care about the handheld sealer – or want to save even more money – the Groom+Style team suggests the FoodSaver V2244. It’s smaller and doesn’t have all of the advantages of its big brother, but it’s quite good for standard vacuum sealing jobs at about one-third of the cost.
The V2244 doesn’t have a bag detector that starts the machine automatically, but it’s not a lot of extra work to insert the bag, close the cover and push the “start” button. That will take care of the vacuuming and sealing for you, and the unit shuts off when its work is done. You can also seal without creating a vacuum if you’d like. One feature that isn’t available on the higher-end model but is very cool is CrushFree Instant Seal, which helps protect delicate food that might be crushed in other sealers.
There’s an accessory port on this FoodSaver which lets you vacuum seal appropriate containers (and it comes with a hose, unlike the Weston), it works with many (but not all) brands of textured vacuum bags, and the drip tray is removable and dishwasher safe. The V2244, like the 4840, comes with an outstanding five-year warranty, too.
There are not a lot of bells and whistles on this food vacuum sealer, but it’s an excellent option at a very low price.
Looking deeper at the FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealing System:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants an inexpensive food vacuum sealer that performs well for most tasks.
PRO: Small and light, CrushFree technology, accessory port, easy to operate.
CON: No manual controls or special settings, no attached roller/cutter.
5. Waring Pro PVS1000 Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System
This Waring model is a great choice for those without much space, or those who want to be able to seal their vacuum bags anywhere in the kitchen. Shaped like a pistol complete with trigger control, the NiMH battery-powered PVS1000 sits unobtrusively in a charging base until you need it. You then seal your bag with the included zip tool (that step isn’t required, but it helps create a strong seal), put the Pistol Vac onto the bag’s valve, and pull the trigger. You’ll be able to vacuum and seal up to 30 bags on a charge.
The PVS1000 comes with 24 reusable starter bags in two sizes and will also work on many other brands of bags, plus containers like Mason jars as long as the valve size is compatible with the nozzle’s size. The one real downside, though, is this isn’t an optimal vacuum sealer for liquids unless you’re extremely careful and coordinated; if you accidentally get any liquid into the pistol, you may have to throw it away.
One final note: the charger will not work on a fully-discharged unit, so you have to be sure to recharge the battery before it’s completely drained.
A great choice for those who move around the kitchen a lot, the Waring Pistol Vac is unusual and effective.
Details for the Waring Pro PVS1000 Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System:
SUMMARY: For the person who wants a portable, rechargeable food vacuum sealer.
PRO: Portable, works with any bag size, lightweight, charger base only takes up limited counter space.
CON: No frills, not wet/dry, battery can’t be allowed to run down completely or it won’t take a charge.
That is it for our updated list of the best vacuum sealers for Aug. 2018 – if you are curious about our choices from previous years then continue reading.
The Seal-a-Meal has a few less features than the previous 2 models, at less than the price of the FoodSaver V2244. It’s designed to protect foods using the same Vacuum sealer function we’ve already heard about. The air is sucked out of the Seal-a-Meal bags to form a tight seal around the food you’re storing.
The Seal-a-Meal packaging material is strong and durable – and is designed to prevent freezer burn. If you feel like banging what you’re storing in the microwave for a quick defrost, you can – the packaging won’t tear. The packaging can also be placed in the microwave, or the bag with its frozen contents can be placed directly in boiling water to defrost.
If you are after a simple, no frills vacuum food sealer, that will keep food fresh and crisp and is available at a very reasonable price, the Seal-a-Meal is well worth a look.
Key specs of this device are:
FoodSaver V3240 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System
Overall, the first three machines we’ve had a look at have been quite small and compact. You could easily fit them in your kitchen without ever noticing, even if you had one out on display.
The FoodSaver V3240 is a little bulkier and bigger. It’s also not quite as stylishly designed and looks like a piece of tech that you might have bought in the early eighties.
But looks aren’t everything and this system still keeps food fresh and crisp for five times longer than other methods. Air and dampness are removed through multi-layered sacks. These sacks are also brilliant because your sealed food will taste as though it was purchased a moment ago. It doesn’t matter whether you’re storing bolognese or slices of pizza – the V3240 will work just as effectively.
This device is easy to use but is fully featured and will fit perfectly into a busy families life. It comes with the CrushFree instant seal functionality, and manual operation with 2 vacuum speeds. You can also decide how moist or dry you would like different foods – after all, you don’t want everything to be crisp. It also has a built-in cutter for sealing.
The FoodSaver V3240 is a fully featured, larger vacuum sealer available at an affordable price. Specific Key features of the device are:
Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer
Before we get into specifics, it’s worth pointing out that while this is last on our list, it is still a great appliance. The Nesco VS-02 is silver and black in color, looking quite modern. It’s got an easy to use control system and once again is very compact. You could store this on top of your fridge out of the way.
The biggest selling point of this appliance is that it is cheap and easy to use. It’s perhaps one of the most basic models on our list.
The device offers an easy to use one-click operation system. It also has a setting that allows you to control the sealing of more sensitive food. That means you won’t be crushing crisps or cereal using this device. It’s also possible to switch the settings for items that are moister if you want a closer seal. Don’t forget that it’s not just food you can seal with a device like this. It could be anything that you don’t want to be contaminated by air. For instance, you could use it on a rare paper item that you’ve found on eBay or an Autographed piece.
Overall it’s a fine machine that could serve your kitchen well. If you want a simple machine that still does the job this could be the right choice for you. Specific features of the appliance are:
Now that you are working towards purchasing a food sealer for your home you will need to start planning some awesome recipes that freeze well.