Vacuum Sealers Buying Guide
If you aren’t vacuum sealing your food, you are missing out on a great storage technique. Vacuum sealers are one of the modern innovations of freezing and keeping food and vacuum sealing is a technology that has moved from only commercial application, usually for retail products, to portable, inexpensive vacuum sealers that anyone can use to keep food fresh.
What is a Vacuum Sealer?
Vacuum sealers or vacuum packers are appliances that remove air from a package before you seal it. It involves sealing food (or other items) inside a plastic package that can be sealed. This not only makes an item take up less storage space, but it also keeps it fresh for a long time. The way that this works is that by removing the oxygen from the interior environment of the package, you prevent the growth of fungus or bacteria. You can store dry or frozen foods as well as liquids and vegetables.
As mentioned, vacuum sealing also has the advantage of reducing the size of the foods being stored and can make it easier to store a lot of food in a small space. There are a number of containers that can be used with vacuum sealers on the market right now. There are some food items that can’t be stored without oxygen but this process can help you to add nitrogen instead, which has the same effect on bacterial growth.
Best Brands of Vacuum Sealers to Buy
FoodSaver is definitely the best brand of vacuum sealers on the market right now. If you look at the top twenty vacuum sealers, FoodSaver has half of the spots on that top twenty list. Some of the features that the FoodSaver models offer include zipper bags and other containers for sealing up items.
These units are also extremely easy to clean because the drip tray pulls out so that you can wash it in the dishwasher. Some of the models that FoodSaver has available are two-in-one vacuum sealers which means that they are both hand portable and a standing vacuum sealer. These are also very highly rated and lauded by those who have used them.
While there are some other brands that make vacuum sealers, such as VonChef, Rival and STX, there is really no comparable brand to FoodSaver. They simply perform better than anyone else and they not only make up most of the Amazon top twenty list, they have models scattered all the way through everyone’s top 10, top 20 or even top 100.
Types of Vacuum Sealers
As you are looking at vacuum sealers, there are three basic types that you’ll be considering. Whichever one you choose depends upon your personal preference and how you prefer to vacuum seal.
The first type is called the chamber vacuum sealer. This is definitely the fastest way to vacuum seal. What you do with this type of sealer is to place the item that you are sealing inside of the containment chamber and the appliance will create a vacuum and seal the package. These are great, but these are also the most expensive types of vacuum sealers and so you don’t find them a lot outside of commercial settings. They are also heavy and very large.
The next type of vacuum sealers is the clamp vacuum sealers. This has an external clamp that comes down on the bag and suctions the air out before heating up at the opening to create a seal. However, these do require special bags that have the channels that allow the air to be vacuumed out of them. They aren’t that expensive and they are easy to use but they do require the special bags and the vacuum strength is rather low.
Finally, the third type of vacuum sealer is the one that uses a retractable nozzle. This is similar to the clamp model except that the nozzle sucks out the air while inside the bag, so it doesn’t require any specialized bag to work and you can use any that you desire. These do have the disadvantage of not always sealing evenly and they take longer to cool down, but they are inexpensive and easy to use.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacuum Sealer
There are a number of things to keep in mind when you are buying a vacuum sealer. The first thing that you should look at is whether you plan to use the sealer primarily at home or if you want to take it with you and use it in other places. If you have a vacation home or you travel a lot you may want something more portable than a large vacuum sealer that takes a lot of effort to transport.
If you are going to use your vacuum sealer at home then you can go with a countertop model, which isn’t that easy to move around. Countertop models are great for all kinds of foods including fruit and dried fruit, vegetables, liquids, meats and much more. On the other hand, the hand portable vacuum sealer units are very easy to move from one place to another but they don’t work nearly as well. The portable units are great for taking with you because they usually have zip-lock pouches and are battery operated.
If you are going to be sealing a lot of liquids, like soup, then you might want to go with a vertical sealer. That’s because they are easier to use when you have to keep the bag upright or the liquid will pour out. Also, because of this reason some models come with a canister attachment, which can work to seal canning jars.
All of the vacuum sealers that are out there work the same way in that they suction air out of the container before sealing the package with heat. Some sealers are actually built with sensors so that they can tell what the air pressure is before starting to seal. Others are not able to tell what the air pressure is, but instead, apply the heat seal after a timer ends. Which of these that you prefer will depend upon what you are trying to seal; if you are trying to seal jars for canning then the air pressure sensor types might be best for you, because too much pressure and glass will explode. But if you are trying to seal bags of all different sizes go with a timer instead.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some sealers are dishwasher safe and some even have an overflow so that you can catch liquid when it comes out. Also, there are some models that have their own roller with sheet plastic and seals so that you don’t have to buy bags for it, and it does all of the work itself. If you want to seal more than food, you definitely want to go with a more expensive model. There are some units out there that can remove all of the dust from a bag, thus preserving nonfood items for many years or decades to come. Finally, always read the reviews, because some sealers work with any type of bag but others need a special bag that is only available through the manufacturer of the vacuum sealer.