Vacuum Sealers For Food – Versatile & Inexpensive
[Updated 1 June 2020]Preparing and freezing meals to use later with a vacuum sealer for food saves a lot of time and money – and it sure beats the heck out of the old way!
Getting the air out of the bag prior to freezing used to be a case of pucker up, clamp puckered lips around a straw inserted at the top of the bag and suck on the aforementioned straw for all you were worth.
I always took extra special care with raw meat – sucking up the juices is simply eeewww!
Luckily these days a vacuum food sealer will take care of the sucking – and using one doesn’t leave you blowing (or dare I say it, spitting and frantically rinsing) when you’ve finished either!
We all want to increase the shelf life of what we preserve and a vacuum food sealer is the only way to really make sure all the air is out. At the very moment, the air goes and a good seal is established, you’ve given your food a significantly longer time in a refrigerator and months more in a freezer.
Cooking diabetic friendly sponge puddings or cheesecakes – anything, where sugar has to be replaced with sweetener, takes extra time, so freezing it and retrieving it in good condition really does save time. It also ensures there’s always diabetic friendly food in the freezer which is important if you want to avoid that person feeling left out or breaking into the sugary desserts!
Being able to vacuum seal main meals where sugar is non-existent, also helps for those night one falls through the door too tired to cook nor care less what the beloved blood sugar reads. Microwave or nothing!
The bags you use to vacuum seal food at home are a heavier weight than normal freezer bags, leaving even less chance for freezer burn developing. And therein lies the only real disadvantage to these machines, the cost of the vacuum bags that accompany them is more than regular bags, personally I’m always on the lookout for offers and I’ll buy quite a few if the price is right.
Home vacuum units for food all operate in the same way, with a vacuum to remove the air, a heating coil to make the seal and pressure to secure the seal. There isn’t a whole lot to go wrong, commonly the heat coil in cheaper models slows down the bagging and sealing of a lot of food at once because it overheats, eventually, this is what usually breaks down.
There is quite a bit of good information including details of all the different types of food sealer and how they work – more techie explanations than here!
Choosing The Best Vacuum Food Sealer For Your Needs
I don’t know how much research you’ve gotten done before landing here, but even if you’ve only done a teensy little bit of looking around, you’ll know there isn’t a huge amount of choice, only two or three known names make these food vacuum machines for home use. Most of the differences as you’ll see, center around features you may not need anyway.
Food Savers Vacuum Sealers are the most prolific on the market and there’s usually at least one on a discount deal, just check and be sure what’s included in the box.
So what are the main differences as you go up the price range?
Well, two things improve and you have more choice. Firstly features which automate the process appear on more expensive models, then secondly they vacuum and seal more quickly – and probably with a better seal if we are being perfectly honest, which results in better food storage for longer.
Some of the more expensive choices have a smaller countertop footprint because of their vertical style – but many are bigger and take up more room. These food vacuum sealer machines aren’t heavy so if space is short, you can very easily move them from a cupboard into position for use and then away again when you’re done.
To Buy The Best Food Sealer Where Should You Start?
Firstly figure out how much you think you’ll use it – are you a small family or a once a week meal saver? Or are you catering for lots of hungry kids, so likely to buy in bulk, having big cooking days and lay meals down for weeks ahead. If you are likely to be a casual user then the first style to look at and consider is a handheld model.
You’ll find two or three under $30 in the handheld range and several others at $30-$40. The main issue isn’t that they don’t heat up, its bags appearing to seal, but opening up again once in the freezer or fridge – which is pretty much a waste of time and money – I think it’s the bags with poor seals rather than the machines as it seems to happen in batches then not again for a while.
On Special Offer Right Now!
On awesome offer right now is this FoodSaver GameSaver Deluxe Vacuum Sealing Kit – click the link for more information and reviews on Amazon.
FoodSaver is one of the best makes and if you scroll down you’ll see several featured as a good buy. Well, this deluxe model also has hose accessories for the FoodSaver canisters meaning you aren’t limited to plastic bags or a roll of plastic, and it also comes with free bags to get you started.
If you are seriously thinking of buying a food vacuum sealer rather than gathering facts and having a think, then this is an absolute bargain right now.
If I was buying a food vacuum sealer machine tomorrow, this Waring Pro Pistol Vac takes my eye and would be my first choice – even over the bigger more powerful (and expensive) automated food sealers, this model is a stand out from the rest.
The size of a hairdryer and cordless with a rechargeable battery, the Waring Pro Pistol Vac is only a year or old on the market so not many reviews to give potential customers a flavor.
However, every review written is positive, the rating is 4.9 and this cool food vac also seals mason jars – which if you bottle tomatoes etc, is two tools for the price of one.
Although the bags used with this Waring Pro are not cheap, they are reusable and can be put into the dishwasher – though I really think they’ll last longer with gentle hand washing, don’t you?
While it doesn’t feel particularly robust, the machine is well made and won’t fall apart on you with regular family use, though I doubt it is powerful enough to use for long in a commercial food business.
It has nearly 400 reviews and an overall star rating of 4. Problems mentioned are rare and mainly caused by either not keeping the seal dead flat, or by not freezing wet produce first which when sucked up during the air removal, will interfere with the seal quality – human error rather than the machine.
With several features including hands-free sealing if you’re looking for a bargain vacuum sealer, this is frankly so inexpensive you can’t go wrong – it gets some great reviews too.
The same issues apply, as they do with all of these, if you keep the area to be sealed flat and clean, there shouldn’t be a problem.
For those folk who don’t fancy a handheld pistol style and want the traditional style, but are a bit tight on counter space, the number 4 best-selling food vacuum sealer is the FoodSaver V3240 Vertical model.
There are a lot of features included with the Vertical model including two sealer settings for dry or moist food, two speeds, and an extra wide seal mouth for larger products.
This one is a notch or two up from the FoodSaver model above (V2244) in features and naturally, price!
Small and inexpensive is this Rival Vacuum Sealer, which does get some positive reviews, though there are issues with using it for a prolonged period as the heat sealing coil tends to overheat and you then need to wait a few minutes before carrying on.
This info came from a colleague who has one and is quite happy at the price, to put up with a few ‘quirks’.
One other problem reported by several users including my friend is a propensity for bags to appear sealed, then pop open in the freezer – which is a pain and a waste (she double bags hers until sure they are okay). However, if you are not likely to overwork the Rival it does present a budget option. The overall rating is 3.7.
Currently, on offer at $165 (at the time of writing) the usual price is $200 but for that, you get a lot of automation and features.
There are two vacuum speeds and two seal levels, plus ‘progress’ lights, liquid detection, built-in bag storage plus it comes with an 11-inch roll, two gallon sized bags and three-quart bags as well.
Larger on your counter at 16 inches by 10 inches and 5 inches high, the V3835 is a well made and robust machine which will cope easily with anything a large family can possibly want it for. This is a big and powerful vacuum sealer for home use and is therefore probably more than most average families need.
So, there you have it, home vacuum sealers for food in a nutshell!
Obviously, this isn’t a definitive list – there are dozens of more models in different sizes with a mixture of feature and price tags, so go have a good rummage around and remember, with these you don’t need to go big to get the job done.
If you have any questions, drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you within a day, often faster.
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