If you’ve never tried storing foods in your freezer using a vacuum sealer before then we’re very sorry to tell you that you’ve been missing out on something extremely useful indeed. Vacuum sealers, as we’ve discovered recently through experience, really are the key to keeping foods that you intend to freeze (especially meats) as fresh and protected as possible while still making them last longer. Sure, plastic and Ziplock style bags will work to hold your frozen meats as well, but they just don’t compare when it comes to protecting your food from “freezer burn”, which can change the texture and taste of the food when you finally cook it. It will still be edible, of course, but avoiding things like freezer burn (or caked ice buildup on sections of the food) helps you enjoy what you’ve frozen and its highest quality, despite that item having been stored for a period of time.
Just like us, we find that not as many people as you might imagine are tuned into just how useful, affordable, and easy to use vacuum sealers can be for the home. That’s why we’ve been gathering the links to the best vacuum sealers we could find online into one place. Shopping online lets you take some extra time to really consider your options and compare and contrast their features, getting the model that’s truly the best for your needs in the end.
What is a vacuum sealer?
A food vacuum sealer is a device that helps suck the air out of a plastic bag containing a food item that you want to freeze, then melting the opening to fully seal it so the air does not get back in. Removing the air before you freeze food helps preserve it close to fresh for longer because there is no longer oxygen to break down what’s inside or allow freezer burn once the food is frozen. Most people use vacuum sealers to preserve meat that they’d like to save for future meals.
The vacuum sealers that are made for home use are mostly very simple, straight forward, and convenient to use. While they can be a little bit time consuming to use on large quantities of food, since each bag must be individually sealed at the end, they’re still convenient, particularly if what you’re storing is small enough and will be used such that you can double up into a single bag.
Who should use vacuum sealers?
If you’re a person that likes to stock up on groceries and supplies in advance and use them as needed on into the future, then a vacuum sealer is a great option for you. This is especially true if you’re someone who consumes a lot of protein based things that have short shelf lives when they’re fresh but that you want to equip your food stores with later. Many people with large families also find vacuum sealers useful because they can buy in bulk and save the food for later.
Smaller families and single people, however, also find sealers useful because it means that can make larger quantities last without anything going bad before they get around to cooking with it, since less people naturally means less immediate need for large helpings of food.
If you still feel like you could use some guidance when it comes to making the final choice on which vacuum sealer is the best for you, check out this pros and cons style outline of the best models we came across in our search.
Are you the kind of cook who likes to prepare as much as the meal as you possibly can before you’ve even started cooking? Then you’ll love this machine and the serving suggestions it comes with from Anova. This vacuum sealer and its bags were made with meat in mind (although they work just as well for other things), and created with the intention or not only storing and freezing but also marinating your meat in advance. Put the food in the bag, season and sauce it as desired, and then vacuum seal it. This machine has an automatic function that will both vacuum and seal in one command, but also separate functions for each step, just in case.
Although most previous buyers have been very satisfied with the function and results of this vacuum sealer model, some people were dissatisfied, or at least surprised by, the size. This machine is actually quite a bit smaller than it appears in photos, so remember to check the actual dimensions before you make your purchase.View price on Amazon
- Comes with plastic bags that can be used to marinate and cook food in addition to freezing and storing it
- Automatic one touch function for quick and easy vacuum and sealing action
- Separate settings that let you control vacuum process and sealing step separately as well
- Machine is actually smaller than it appears in photos, meaning the bags is uses are smaller as well
If you’d prefer a model that’s a little more sleek and modern in its look and function then we think you might get along better with this machine from NutriChef. This unit features an easy to clean brushed steel top with digital indicators and touch setting buttons in the middle, nice and visible. It features two main sealing options; a dry setting for solid foods and a moist setting for things that are softer, steamed, poached, or more fluid. Sealing according to the right setting helps you preserve flavour and texture more accurately. It comes with a pack of plastic zipper bags that are very easy to open later but still sturdy.
While most previous buyers were rather pleased with the actual usage and results, some reported dissatisfaction with the size of the sealed portion on each bag. This machine seals together a rather wide band compared to some models by different brands, effectively losing you at least an inch of bag space. Some people find this inconvenient when it comes to sizing out what portion of food will fit in the bag in preparation for vacuuming and sealing.View price on Amazon
- Sleek, modern, easy to clean brushed steel exterior
- Simple to understand digital indicator lights and easy touch buttons
- Settings for dry food or moist food to ensure perfect amount of vacuum suction for accurate flavour and texture preservation
- Comes with a pack of custom zipper bags that are easy to open later, even with freezing
- Machine seals a larger band into the bags than some other machines, losing you about an inch of bag space for the food
Are you actually the kind of person who could benefit from doing an extremely high amount of food sealing but you’re worried about the durability of the average machine? Then you’ll appreciate the strengths of this model from KOIOS. This machine was designed with frequent use in mind, which is why its heating strip was built to withstand about 40 continuous uses all at once, per day, without wear. The vacuum mechanisms inside can also be used with an external piece that helps you air seal more than just custom plastic bags, making it useful for things like canning, jarring, and wine preservation. Each unit even comes with its own set of custom made bags.
Keep in mind that machines made by this particular brand are actually made to work specifically with bags created by the same company. It’s not so much that they won’t work at all with other bags, but rather than the results people have found will be sub par in comparison, which the company acknowledges. The bags are accessible and affordable, but being limited to one brand is something that several previous buyers considered a constraint.View price on Amazon
- Durable and capable of 40 consecutive daily rounds of vacuuming and sealing in a row without wear or overheating
- Vacuum mechanism can also be used with external piece to make air tight seals in canning, jarring, and wine preservation
- Each unit sold comes with custom made bags by the same brand, in more than one size
- Vacuum sealers sold by this company only really work to the top standard with the custom made bags by the same brand
Are you intent on getting your own vacuum sealing machine but you’re also a total beginner when it comes to using them and you want something very easy indeed? Then this slightly more automatic model from Foodsaver sounds like the best option for you. This machine has an automatic bag detection system; it sense the bag when you insert the edge and immediately vacuum seals it in one fell swoop without further action on your part. This machine also has built-in roll storage and a cutter that lets you cut custom sized bags for your food storage right from the machine itself. It also works with bags and rolls from several different brands.
Previous buyers of this particular vacuum sealing machine had very few complaints, but one detail was prevalent through all constructive feedback. No matter the size of bag you cut, the sealing action on this machine wastes quite a lot of the bag’s space, limiting how much is actually available for you to fill with food. The sealing action that closes the edges air tight has a wider border than most other models by other brands.View price on Amazon
- Bag detection system that spurs automatic, super easy vacuuming and sealing with almost no effort
- Roll storage and cutter that lets you cut custom bag sizes depending on your specific needs
- Machine works with different kinds and sizes of bags from different brands, giving you options at refill time
- Very large perimeter of sealed space in heat sealing reduces the space available in each bag for actually filling
Have you actually been scrolling through this list actively looking for a design that’s a little smaller than many units? Then you might get along better with this space efficient, lightweight design offered by Geryon. Besides being user friendly and simple to operate, this design is made with easy refilling and leaning in mind. Its top face plate is removable to make taking care of the inner workings easier or installing bag rolls from this or another compatible brand (of which there are many). The size of this sealer is designed to be space efficient for easy storage or conservative countertop placement. This sealer also has a gentle sealing mode that will actually let you re-seal opened store bought snack bags safely and effectively, keeping things like chips and crackers fresher for longer.
Be aware that this particular machine comes with a “gentle mode” as one of its settings. This is a setting that only works on some brands and types of bags, depending on their type of plastic. If you’re finding that the bag you’re trying to seal isn’t sticking properly and air tight, then you need to swap settings so that you’re no longer using gentle mode.View price on Amazon
- Easy to clean and simple face plate removal for inner care and bag roll replacement
- Good universality when it comes to compatible bag refills across various brands
- Space efficient size that is easy to store and doesn’t take up your whole countertop
- Gentle sealing mode lets you re-seal store bought snack bags to keep things like chips and crackers fresh
- Learning about your settings before use is a necessity, as gentle mode won’t work on all types of compatible bags
If your main concern before anything else is the actual strength of your sealed edges, then Nesco has just the model you’ve been holding out for. Their units are designed for an extra strong, double line seal that puts two points of heat sealed barrier between the vacuumed inner surface of the food and the outer atmosphere. This model also has a double powered vacuum pump that helps give you three sealed settings: dry, moist, and double sealed. The process by which the vacuuming and heat sealing actually happens is so automatic and seamless that it’s actually completely hands-free for you.
Although this machine does provide a more durable double seal, some previous buyers expressed discontent with its ability to withstand a lot of consecutive sealing at once. This model was made for a more casual rate of use rather than the level of food sealing that, say, a hunter might require when they are stocking up. After a few seals at once, the machine tends to leave the occasional gap in the seal as it gets overworked, affecting the airtightness on the inside of the bag.View price on Amazon
- Double strength seal with a two-line system that provides extra barriers around the edges
- Double powered vacuum pump that can give you dry, moist, or double sealing, depending on the food you’re bagging
- Automatic, hands-free sealing system that’s quick and convenient
- Double barrier sealing system takes its toll quickly and sealing becomes less effective after too many consecutive uses at once, risking gaps in the airtight sealing after a number of rounds
If your priority through this entire choosing process is actually how long the food you’re sealing will last in the freezer, then this industrial strength vacuum sealer from Foodsaver might be the one for you. In product testing, meats sealed with this machine lasted up to three years while still remaining perfectly preserved and tasting fresh. This machine also comes with an “express” bag making feature that saves time by 50% compared to other models with custom bag sizing capabilities thanks to the sealers pre-programming preference capabilities. This machine also features settings based on moisture, but it features sensors that detect the moisture level and swap settings automatically, rather than you having to manually choose a setting before you insert the bag.
Compared to the process that’s described in the instructions, some people had issues with the way that the machine works and the steps it takes to get the ideal results. Between the manual being slightly unclear and the sealer involving a slight learning curve, several previously buyers reported a trial and error period at the beginning until they got the hang of it, finding it a bit tricky at first.View price on Amazon
- Intense sealing preserves meats and other foods to a fresh tasting quality for up to three years
- Express bag making feature that’s 50% faster than other models that let you custom cut bag sizes
- Moisture sensors help automatically change settings according to each piece you seal, rather than manual selection
- Slightly confusing manual and variances between that and how the machine functions makes the first few times using this sealer a learning curve and quite tricky
If you’re still holding out for a sealer that has the capacity to handle a larger quantity of sealing consecutive sealing needs then we’re pretty sure LEM Products has just the kind of thing you’re looking for. This machine can handle five whole hours of continuous use, equalling to about 450 constant seals in a row before losing effectiveness. Its systems are designed to be one-handed for ease, including the locking lid that helps airtight vacuuming happen. The unit comes complete with a bag roll storage compartment and custom size bag cutter, as well as automatic shutoff features for safety. It even has an extra large runoff rough for juices, broken pieces, and so on while sealing.
Although most people who have experience with this machine have been impressed with its actual functionality, many of them also found the machine heavy, clunky, and a bit awkward to use at first. Its capabilities are undoubtedly effective and industrial but its layout isn’t as intuitive as some models and the whole thing can be difficult to maneuver and adjust.View price on Amazon
- Five hours of consecutive working power totalling about 450 seals in a row
- Locking lid for airtight vacuum action, which is designed to be workable with one hand for ease
- Bag roll storage and custom bag size cutter
- Large spill trough and built-in automatic safety systems
- Heavy and clunky design makes some features awkward to use, adjust, maneuver and figure out until you’ve got the hang of it
If you’re really holding out for something super compact and space efficient, then we’re pleased to report that your patience has finally paid off in the form of this sleek vacuum sealer from Slaouwo. The machine is touch-based and intuitive, using easily visible LED lights to guide you through the process. This model features two modes- dry and moist- that will help you get the right vacuum pressure and kind of seal for the particular type of food you’re storing. The bag rolls are very simple to replace and size and the machine itself is sleek, light to lift, and easy to store away.
Of course, this machine is made for ease and casual use and therefore might not withstand more industrial sealing quantities, like an entire hunt or the portioning of a very large family’s bulk sized Costco haul. The size of the machine is also quite small so, despite the fact that you can customize bag size in terms of length, some previous buyers have found the width a bit limiting.View price on Amazon
- Sleek, space efficient design that’s light to move and easy to store
- Intuitive, touch-based system feature two settings; one for dry foods and one for moist
- Bag roll is easy to replace and bag size can be cut to the custom size you need
- Width of machine is limiting in terms of size, as it is a small design
- Machine is made for casual use and therefore doesn’t withstand as many consecutive sealing rounds as some designs
What else can you use a vacuum sealer for?
Despite the fact that most people use their food vacuum sealers for freezing and storing meat, that’s not actually the only thing you can use yours for. Vacuum sealers are also convenient for preserving fish, vegetables, and baked goods (though this last one takes some care in not sucking out so much air that you crush soft things like buns).
Vacuum sealer bags
Oftentimes, food vacuum sealers actually come with the custom bags they’re supposed to be used with, or at least with a sort of “starter pack” so that you’re set up and ready to use the machine as soon as you have it. When it comes time to refill the bags (or if your model doesn’t come with any), most companies sell them packages separately. Others sell plastic sealing bags that are made specifically to be used with food vacuum sealers but are universal to most models by different brands.
Food vacuum sealers do require a specific kind of plastic bag. They do not work with the average plastic or Ziplock style bag you might be used to freezing and storing your food in.
Cooking in sealed vacuum bags
Some appliances, like certain models of instant pot and hot pot, are actually made to work with many brands of plastic bag in that you can cook your meat, fish, or vegetables while they’re still sealed. This helps lock in moisture and flavour in order to ensure that frozen food you’ve been storing for a while tastes as fresh as possible when you’re done. Other types of vacuum sealed bags can be used in regular pots and cooking appliances as well. Just make sure that you check the capabilities of the kind you’re buying carefully so you don’t end up melting plastic and ruining your dish and your kitchenware.