The Top 10 Best Vacuum Sealers of 2016

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Vacuum Sealers: Questions & Answers

Why is a vacuum sealer a good investment for me?

A vacuum sealer is a great way to stretch your food budget, as it allows you to buy in bulk (which is generally significantly cheaper than buying individual food items) and store anything you don’t use for much longer than its usual expiration date. The savings you will see from vacuum sealing are nothing to scoff at; even if you don’t buy things in bulk, vacuum sealing can stop food spoilage and waste of your everyday groceries. If you like shopping at the weekly farmers market, for example, but know that anything you buy from there will go bad in a few days, you can extend the shelf life of your veggies so that you can enjoy fresh, organic produce at any time.

How much longer will my food stay fresh if I vacuum seal it?

Beef usually lasts for about 3 days, but when vacuum sealed it can last for up to 12 days. Smoked fish can last up to 6 weeks if vacuum sealed, as opposed to 2 weeks for regular storage. Pizza will stay fresh for up to 2 days when stored just in the fridge, or you can vacuum seal it and enjoy it up to a week after. Fresh produce, which normally starts going bad after 4 days, can be preserved for up to 2 weeks. You preservation times will be even longer if you freeze your food rather than storing it in the fridge.

Is there anything else I can use my vacuum sealer for, besides food?

You can use a vacuum sealer to store blankets, coats, and bulky winter items and preserve space. Any sort of large, malleable object that you want to store can be reduced to as much as half its size by vacuum sealing, making storage a breeze. If you do plan on using your vacuum sealer on larger items, make sure to buy a sufficiently large vacuum sealer, most likely a professional-grade sealer.

How do vacuum sealers work?

Vacuum sealers essentially work by sucking all of the air out of a plastic bag, then sealing the bag using either heat or zip-lock. The plastic bags can be cut to fit whatever size food you may need to vacuum pack.

What types of vacuum sealers are there?

There are small, portable vacuum sealers that use re-sealable bags; upright countertop and horizontal countertop sealers which use rolls of plastic or one-use bags; and professional sealers, which can vacuum seal large, bulk items.

What type of vacuum sealer do I need?

This depends entirely on how you plan to use the vacuum sealer. Portable vacuum sealers are great for travel, but can generally only handle very small quantities at a time. The fact that portable vacuum sealers can use re-sealable bags makes them a bit more budget-friendly, because you won’t need to buy as many bags. Countertop sealers are slightly larger and sit on your counter, and can handle moderate quantities of food. These are good for anyone who just wants to use their vacuum sealer once or twice a week for their groceries or leftovers. A professional sealer is great for campers, backpackers, survivalists, or anyone who likes to vacuum seal large quantities of food at once, but are much larger than their counterparts.

What features should I look for in a vacuum sealer?

Some good features to have in a vacuum sealer include wet/dry settings, a drip tray, a hose attachment, a bag cutter and bag storage, and adjustable speed levels.

What are wet/dry settings?

Wet/dry settings, found in many Food Saver models, allow you to adjust your sealer to optimize it for sealing either wet or dry food. Since liquid and semi-liquid food needs different sealing and vacuuming times and conditions than dry food, this ensures that each time you vacuum seal something, it’s getting the proper treatment.

What is a drip tray?

A drip tray catches any runoff or spillage from your food. For example, meat drippings, liquid perishables, or juice from fruits can sometimes overflow during the sealing process, and a drip tray catches these. Drip trays save you from having to scrub down your counters and are usually easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.

Why is having a hose attachment a benefit?

Sometimes, the item or items you want to vacuum seal don’t fit neatly into the available vacuum sealing bags. A hose attachment, found in many Cuisinart and VacMaster, allows you to vacuum seal bulkier items by attaching a hose to the machine, which will then suck the air out quickly and efficiently. This is great for anyone who wants to be able to store things like blankets and winter clothes without wanting to invest in a large, expensive, professional vacuum sealer. You can also use the hose attachment for canning or jarring nuts, jams, pickles, and other goods.

What are the benefits of a bag cutter and bag storage?

Both bag cutters and bag storage features, which are fairly standard in Food Saver models, add a little extra ease to the vacuum sealing process. Bag cutters allow you to easily cut your vacuum sealer bags to any size you desire without needing scissors, while bag storage saves you space and effort by keeping your vacuum sealer bags right inside the vacuum sealer at all times.

Why do I need adjustable speed levels?

Sometimes, you will need different speeds for different types of food and different types of bags. Thicker, heavy-duty sealer bags require slower speeds, as do delicate items like photographs. Other items you want to be able to seal quickly, so you’ll want a faster speed.

Are there other things I should consider when thinking about a vacuum sealer to buy?

One thing to keep in mind when shopping around for vacuum sealers is whether or not the model can accommodate any sort of generic sealer bag, or whether it needs dedicated sealer bags made especially for that model. For example, most Ziploc and Cuisinart models can be used with any food sealer bag, while many Food Saver models require the use of Food Saver brand bags for optimal use. While buying a vacuum sealer that requires a certain type of bag can be a bit pricier than those that allow you to buy generic, they also tend to outperform their counterparts in terms of sealing quality.

How expensive are vacuum sealers?

Vacuum sealers can cost as little as $30 or $350 or more. Consider the cost of bags when you are thinking about your budget for a vacuum sealer. Also, if it seems like a large investment, think about the money you will save buying food in bulk and how much food waste you will save by being able to enjoy your meats and vegetables long past their usual good-by dates.

Do I still need to refrigerate vacuum sealed food?

Absolutely. While vacuum sealing will eliminate most of the bacteria and mold growth on your food, some bacteria can survive even in oxygen-poor environments, and leaving your vacuum sealed food outside of the fridge or freezer can promote the growth of this resistant bacteria.

What kinds of foods can be vacuum packed?

You can vacuum seal just about any type of fresh food, including leftovers and fresh fruits and vegetables. You can vacuum seal soups and stews, mushrooms, meat, or pasta dishes. You can also use a vacuum sealer to proof bread dough if you like baking your own bread. You can also marinate food in a vacuum-sealed pouch, and it will cut your marinating time in half.

Can I use vacuum sealed bags for sous vide cooking?

As long as there are no tears or punctures in the bag, you will have no problems using vacuum sealed bags in sous vide cooking.

The VacMaster PRO260 Suction Vacuum Sealer
One button, hands-free operation system offers a convenient, easy to control vacuuming and sealing process. The VacMaster sealer has a modern space-saving design making it a great appliance for any kitchen. For even more convenience, the sealer has an integrated roll holding/dispensing system that can hold rolls of up to 11½” wide. The system also has a two-way built-in bag cutter. The sealer features a Pulse option that can be used when packing delicate food such as cookies, as well as a Seal Now option for manual bag sealing. Using a wide sealing strip, the VacMaster sealer can process 12” wide heat-seal bags. Unfortunately the dripping tray is not removable, making the VacMaster sealer harder to clean than other similar products.
Reviewed: Foodsaver FSFSSL3810-000 Vacuum Sealer
The fully automatic operation system uses a sensor to check if the FoodSaver bag is inserted in the device and once everything is ready the sealing process begins. The user friendly control panel allows the user to set up the sealer depending on the food that is being bagged. The moist and dry options ensure an optimal sealing especially for delicate aliments that can get crushed during the process. The FoodSaver sealer comes with a detachable easy-to-clean dripping tray that is also dishwasher-friendly. For added convenience, the sealer also features a built-in retractable hose as well as a roll storage container and a bag cutter. The sealer can be used for vacuum sealing various types of canisters and containers as well as for marinating food.
The FoodSaver V3835 Vacuum Sealing System
With its fully automated sensor activated vacuuming and sealing operation this ergonomically designed sealer is a handy appliance that provides a proper food storage method. The sealer features two vacuum speeds and settings for dry or moist aliments in order to provide an optimal sealing. The CrushFree feature enables the user to fully control the vacuuming process which makes it great for bagging delicate food. The unit also includes an integrated roll holder and a convenient bag cutter making it a compact, easy-to-use gadget. This FoodSaver sealer is equipped with a wide sealing strip for 11” wide bags and has a removable dishwasher-safe drip tray. It also has an integrated retractable hose that can be used for vacuuming canisters and containers.
The FoodSaver V3240 Vacuum Sealing System
With its space-saving vertical design and various operating functions, this sealer presents itself as a versatile appliance that can be of great use at home as well as in a professional kitchen. With the help of the intuitive control panel the user can select one of the two vacuuming speeds as well as one of the two vacuuming styles for dry or moist food. For add convenience, this FoodSaver sealer has a built-in roll storage compartment and a removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray. The set also includes a hose and a port enabling it to be used with a wide range of FoodSaver containers and canisters. The sealer is equipped with wide a wide sealing strip, making it perfect for packing food in big bags.
Reviewed: Cuisinart VS-100 Vacuum Sealer
Featuring an easy locking system and a simple three-button user interface, this vacuum sealer is perfect for packing up a wide range of aliments. The Cuisinart sealer comes with an integrated drip tray which might make it harder to clean than other similar products. It features an accessory port and a hose so that it can be used for sealing containers and it also has an integrated bag cutter that allows the user to cut bags to the desired size. It can be safely used for packing up delicate food with the help of the Instant Seal feature. With a sleek compact design with stainless steel accents and a small footprint this vacuum sealer presents itself as a very handy appliance.
The FoodSaver Professional Vacuum Sealer
This 25.4 x 5.4 x 10.3 inches sealer features manually operated vacuuming and sealing options for bags of up to 11” wide. The sleek yet ergonomic black design makes this sealer blend into any modern kitchen. It is also equipped with an easy-to-remove deep dripping tray that can be safely washed using a dishwasher. For added convenience, the unit has an integrated roll holder as well as a bag cutter. Accessories also include the port and hose features for vacuuming containers and different types of canisters. This sealer can be safely used when bagging delicate food since the user can control the vacuuming time. The vacuuming process can be canceled once the bag is tight enough so the food does not get crushed.
The FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealing System
This sleek looking appliance features an easy-to-use manual operating system and it ensures a proper vacuum seal. The FoodSaver sealer is equipped with a removable drip tray that can be easily cleaned using a dishwasher. It comes with five pre-cut bags for heat-sealing and a roll of uncut bags that can keep food fresh for up to five times longer than the usual storage methods. The sealer can be easily operated with the help of the push-button interface that allows the user to either vacuum/seal a bag or just to seal it and it can be safely used for packing delicate foods. It also comes equipped with an accessory port hose that can be used for sealing canisters or for marinating.
Review of the Ziploc V151 Vacuum Sealer System
This compact vacuum sealer is equipped with a motor that can crush cans with a vacuum power of up to-27"Hg bar, making it a pretty remarkable home appliance. It features easy-to-use One-Touch buttons for instant sealing or vacuuming. It also has a Pulse button which makes this device very useful when packing delicate products such as homemade cookies. The Ziploc sealer can process bags of up to 12”, ensuring air-tight sealed bags that can keep the food fresh for a very long period of time. It also features intuitive LED lights that change colors to indicate specific functions. Unlike similar products, the Ziploc sealer does not have an integrated roll holder nor a bag cutter so it all has to be done by hand.
The Seal-a-Meal FSSMSL0160-000 Vacuum Sealer
The Seal-a-Meal vacuum sealer comes in two compact, space-saving designs. Whether in white or grey, the sealer features a Press and Hold release system which grants the user full control over the sealing process. After placing the bag and firmly pressing on the lid, the Hands-Free indicator lights up, letting the user know that the sealing is now done automatically. The removable drip tray can be easily cleaned either by hand or by placing in a dishwashing machine. Even though it has a slim design it can process bags of up to 11” wide. The vacuuming process can be canceled at any time to prevent crushing delicate food. It is a convenient appliance that can be used to store a wide range of products, from cuts of meat and fish to vegetables, fruits and even cookies.
The FoodSaver GameSaver Deluxe Vacuum Sealing Kit
This sealer has a user friendly control panel with buttons that can be used for setting up different vacuuming speeds depending on the type of food that is being prepared for packing. The user can choose between the moist or dry food options and fast or normal for the vacuuming speed. The GameSaver sealer also features an Auto Vacuum & Seal option as well as a Canister mode for using the integrated hose port. Unlike other similar vacuum sealers, this one does not allow you to control the vacuuming time. The bags that come with the product have a corrugated side on the inside thus using smooth bags can result in an improper vacuuming. The pressure clamp bar presses too hard on the bag, not allowing the air to get out.

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