Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Quick pickle setting works well
Chamber limits food size
No accessory port
Chamber is only 2.5 inches high
If a standard vacuum sealer is too fussy and frustrating, or if it’s time for an upgrade, the Anova Chamber Vacuum Sealer may be the perfect choice.
Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Our reviewer was sent a sample of the Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Anova was one of the innovators of sous vide cooking for home cooks, and followed up with their own standard vacuum sealer. The new Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer adds one more option for home cooks who need—or want—something better. Unlike standard vacuum sealers that suck air from a bag then seal it, a chamber vacuum exhausts the air from the entire chamber, including the bag and then seals the bag. When the vacuum in the chamber is released, the bag and its contents are still under vacuum. One of the biggest advantages of a chamber vacuum is that it can seal wet foods so there’s no need to worry about juicy fruits and vegetables or marinated meat.
Design: Black box of vacuum space
This is essentially a black box with a clear lid. It looks nice enough to stay on the counter, but it’s not too heavy to move if you'd like to store it away—for example, for people who buy food in bulk and do all their packing and sealing at once. The controls are on top, towards the back, and simple to use. The touch screen activates either the special functions (infuse/extract, compress/pickle, or dry/cool) or the vacuum settings, with normal or strong options for both the vacuum strength and the seal. The vacuum and sealing times can be adjusted, and the vacuum or sealing can be stopped in the midst of the process, so there’s plenty of customization possible.
Setup: Easy operation
Operating this isn’t complicated. Simply put a filled bag in the chamber with the open end on the sealing bar. A small clamp lifts up and then is pressed down to hold the end of the bag to keep it in place during the vacuuming process. Then it’s just a matter of touching the controls.
Performance: Does its job well
After testing everything from soup stock to fruit to cereal, the results were consistently good. I froze some of the vacuumed-sealed items, tossed dry goods in the pantry, and cooked some using sous vide. While there were some air bubbles with oddly-shaped foods, that’s to be expected. This double-seals your bag, with the two seals slightly separated, and I didn’t have any seal failures with any of the foods I tested.
Strawberries sealed snugly, but if the berries were more ripe, they might have gotten a bit compressed by the vacuum. One of the best tricks a chamber vacuum can perform is sealing wet foods and even liquids. I tested that with a soup stock, and the vacuum performed flawlessly, perfect for freezer storage.
One downside of chamber vacuums is that the food needs to fit inside the chamber, and the lid has to close fully. That limits the size of meats and the volume of other foods. A whole rack of ribs or a large roast simply won’t fit. While cutting foods to fit in the bags is one way to solve the size problem—and it’s what I did with pork ribs—there’s another option as well. The bag containing the food can be placed outside the sealer with the open end inside. As the vacuum sealer pulls the air out of the chamber, it also pulls the air out of the bag before the final seal.
I tested the vacuum with some cereal, using the bag outside the chamber, and while the vacuum wasn’t as strong as when the food was inside the chamber, it was acceptable. Cereal sealed inside the chamber was very tightly compressed, but the cereal sealed outside the chamber was a bit loose in its bag. While I prefer a tighter vacuum for storage and sous-vide cooking, this may be the ideal way to seal super-delicate foods like ripe strawberries or other soft fruits. It’s also nice to have it as an option for food that’s too large and can’t be cut into smaller pieces. Unfortunately, there’s no pulse option, but the vacuum can be stopped at any point to keep squishy foods from getting flattened.
One of the best tricks a chamber vacuum can perform is sealing wet foods and even liquids. I tested that with a soup stock, and the vacuum performed flawlessly, perfect for freezer storage.
Features: More than just sealing
I tested the three extra features with multiple foods. The extract/infuse and the compress/pickle are similar in that they’re both performed with an open container in the chamber. The extract/infuse feature pulls a vacuum and releases it a bit several times to pull flavor out of herbs or fruits, infusing the liquid they're in. I used it to make a raspberry vinegar and a basil olive oil. To get the maximum flavor, I ran the program several times, but it’s not difficult—just press the button and let the appliance do the work.
The compress/pickle pulls a hard vacuum, then releases it. I used this to make a quick pickle, and it was fascinating to watch. The liquid bubbled as the air was pulled out of the cucumbers, then they immediately turned translucent when the vacuum was released and the liquid entered the pores of the cucumbers. The result was similar to making a refrigerator pickle, but took less than a minute. It wasn’t exactly the same, but totally delicious. When I used the same process to make lime-pickled red onions, the onions took on the lime flavor but kept the sharpness of the onions more than I expected, but they mellowed with time in the refrigerator.
The compress/pickle pulls a hard vacuum, then releases it. I used this to make a quick pickle, and it was fascinating to watch.
The dry/cool setting is meant to quickly cool baked goods while removing excess moisture to keep them from getting soggy. Since the chamber isn’t huge, a large loaf of bread won’t fit, but it’s fine for flatter breads, or for cupcakes, muffins, and small pastries or rolls. When I tried it, plenty of moisture condensed inside the machine, and the pastry emerged much cooler than it went in. This may not be an everyday need, but if the cupcakes are too hot to frost for dessert, it could be handy.
Included Accessories: To get you started
This came with a pack of 20 vacuum sealer bags to fit the chamber. Unlike standard vacuum machines, this doesn’t require special textured bags, so per-bag cost is less, and there are multiple sellers to choose from if you decide not to buy direct from Anova.
Cleaning: Not much required
Since the food remains in the bags during vacuuming and sealing, there’s very little cleaning required after a session of vacuum sealing foods. The dry/cool feature left some moisture in the chamber, which was easy to wipe clean. The only processes that could be messy are the infuse/extract and the compress/pickle, since the liquid bubbles a bit and could spill over the container if it’s overfilled.
Price: Affordable, but not inexpensive
Compared to standard vacuum sealers, this chamber vac is more expense. When it comes to other chamber vacuums, though, the price is on par with some of the less expansive models, and much less than the professional models.
Competition: Anova Chamber Vacuum Sealer vs. VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer vs. VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer
The least expensive of the three sealers, the Anova Chamber Vacuum Sealer is also lighter (just 18 pounds) and smaller. It’s a definite upgrade from a standard vacuum sealer. The price is higher than standard vacuum sealers, but it’s still affordable. The extra features are a definite plus.
Avid Armor Ultra Series USV32 Chamber Vacuum Sealer System is larger, heavier machine and has a larger chamber. However, the chamber height is just 3.5 inches compared to the Anova’s 3 inches, so it’s not going to hold a giant hunk of beef roast. This weighs a bit over 26 pounds, so it can be moved, but it’s not as easily portable as your favorite slow cooker.
VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer is built for commercial use, so it's the largest, heaviest, and most robust to consider. The chamber height is an impressive 5 inches, meaning there’s more space for food. At a whopping 83 pounds, this is likely going to park itself somewhere, where it will stay. It’s definitely not easily portable.
For a home cook who’s been using a traditional vacuum sealer, the Anova is a great upgrade, and it’s at a good price. For cooks who already know they will need a larger or more robust machine, it’s worth a look at the Avid Armor product line—they have several models suitable for home kitchens. While the VacMaster VP210 is no doubt a great machine, it’s quite expensive and may be overkill for most home cooks.
Great for sous vide and more
Anova has certainly made a name for itself in the sous vide world. This latest offering was fun to use, and it worked very well in all of the tests. It’s definitely recommended for anyone who is looking to upgrade from a standard vacuum sealer.
- Product Name Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer
- Product Brand Anova
- MPN ANCV01-10
- Price $349.00
- Product Dimensions 13.6 x 8.9 x 11.2 in.
- Power 280 watts
- Material Glass & coated stainless steel
- Warranty 2 years
- What's Included 20 vacuum sealer bags