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Have you ever looked at the expiration date on vacuum-packed meat, cheese, or other perishable foods and wondered how they could possibly last so long? The foods packaged in plain plastic wrap certainly couldn’t last that long, but vacuum packaging keeps air away from the food, so spoilage is greatly reduced.
01 of 07
Best Overall: FoodSaver FM5200-000 Vacuum Sealer Plus Starter Kit
One of the latest FoodSaver models, this one has two different areas for sealing. When you pull out a length of bag material and cut it, you make the first seal on the next bag at the same time. Then, once the bag is filled, you insert the open end of the bag into a slot to vacuum the air out and seal it.
The vacuum sealer machine also has an integrated attachment for vacuum-sealing special canisters, special vacuum zipper bags, or for using the optional accessories that seal wine bottles or canning jars.
This has buttons for wet or dry foods, canisters, quick marinating, accessories, pulsing, and instant sealing, so you’ll always use the right amount of vacuum suction. There is an integrated attachment for using this with canisters and accessories, and a drip tray to catch any moisture that might get sucked out of the bag during vacuuming.
This unit makes its seals closer to the cut edge of the bag material, so there is much less waste compared to previous FoodSaver models. There is a clear window where the bag is inserted for vacuuming, so you can make sure it’s straight and make sure you’re not wasting plastic bag.
This comes with a starter kit that includes one 11-inch by 10-foot roll of bag material, three quart-size bags, two gallons-size bags, three quart-size vacuum zipper bags, and two gallon-size vacuum zipper bags. There are other models sold without the starter kit, if you prefer.
02 of 07
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Crenova VS100 Vacuum Sealing System with Starter Kit
While it’s made to keep food like meat, fruits, nuts, and snacks fresh longer, you can also use this vacuum sealing system to keep things like papers and stuffed toys from getting dusty. It works in only a few seconds and is easy (and quiet!) to use. A few of its noteworthy features include a stainless steel case, LED indicator lights, and a flexible manual pulse function. The sealer even comes with 10 bags to get you started.
The majority of customers have been pleased with the overall performance and ease-of-use of this sealer with many saying the pulse button is amazing (it allows you to control the air that is removed, meaning you can prevent it from taking all the juice out of food like steak). Some had issues with parts breaking or the seal not being tight enough, but most people were happy with their product and would recommend it to others.
03 of 07
Best Budget: Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealing System with Bag Starter Kit
This vacuum sealer has many of the features of more expensive vacuum sealers, but at a lower price point. It has integrated storage for rolls of bag material as well as an integrated cutter for making custom-sized bags.
It has one-touch vacuuming with auto shut-off and sealing for standard foods, and a seal-only button so you can stop the process to seal delicate or crushable foods. It also has a feature that will extend the sealing time when you’re sealing potentially wet foods or for tighter sealing.
This comes with two rolls of 8.66- by 9.8-inch bag material, five 8.66- by 11.8-inch bags and five 11.0- by 11.8-inch bags.
04 of 07
Runner Up, Best Budget: Seal-a-Meal Manual Vacuum Sealer
This budget vacuum sealer boasts a compact designed, indicator lights that show the sealing progress, and a removable drip tray for easy cleaning. This sealer can accommodate the standard-sized bags made by FoodSave and other companies, including 8-inch rolls, 11-inch rolls, and gallon-sized pre-made bags.
An Open/Cancel button stops the process if you need to stop or adjust something and opens the lid when the process is done. This offers hands-free operation so you can walk away while it works – just press down on the lid until the hands-free indicator lights up and you’re done.
This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or special settings available on higher end models, but it’s easy to operate and works well for users who have basic needs. It includes four quart-size bags.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Compact: Geryon Compact Automatic Vacuum Sealer
This compact vacuum sealer doesn’t include some of the bells and whistles that the big boys do, but it does the one thing you buy it for – it vacuums and seals bags for freezing, food storage, and sous vide cooking.
This can use any brand of vacuum-sealer bag rolls up to 12 inches wide, or with pre-made quart or gallon-sized bags. To seal bags, you place the end into the machine and press down to lock it in place, then press the vacuum button. A sealing indicator shows the progress, or you can stop the vacuuming at any point to seal the bag before it is fully vacuumed, which is great for delicate foods. You can also operate the sealing function without vacuuming first, which is great for making bags.
To get you started, this includes five 7.8 x 11.8 inch bags and one 7.8 x 78 inch roll of bag material. This does not have a bag cutter or integrated bag storage.
06 of 07
Best High-End: VacMaster Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Have you ever watched a cooking show and coveted one of the chamber vacuum sealers that can compress watermelons, do a super-quick pickle, or vacuum-seal bags filled with liquids? You can certainly buy one, if you’re willing to pay the price—and if you’ve got space for a large appliance that you probably won’t want to move around a lot.
While this isn’t for casual cooks who want to freeze the five pounds of ground beef that was on sale, it is definitely the machine for folks who know what molecular gastronomy is, or who want to freeze bags of tomato sauce, stew, and soup. Or for hunters and fisherman who bring home a lot of meat to be stored for the year.
The reason that this machine can handle bags filled with wet ingredients is that the bags are place in the chamber and then the air is sucked out of the entire chamber rather than just from the bag. The pressure remains the same inside and outside of the bag, so liquids are not sucked out, as happens with other vacuum sealers. The chamber can also achieve a much stronger vacuum. Once the vacuum is achieved, the bag is double-sealed for additional security.
This also works well for fine powders that might get sucked out of the bag with a standard vacuum sealer, and of course it’s great for normal vacuum sealing uses. The vacuuming and sealing can be customized for your requirements. Overkill for some people, but just right for others.
07 of 07
Best Handheld: FoodSaver FSFRSH0055 FreshSaver Handheld Vacuum-Sealing System
If you need quick, short-term vacuum sealing, this cordless unit works with FoodSaver vacuum zipper bags and deli containers. It operates with one simple button, and the dishwasher-safe nozzle catches any liquids that are removed during the vacuuming process.
This has a charging stand, so it works cordlessly, so you can take it where you need it. Two vacuum zipper bags are included.
This can be used for short-term freezing, just as you might use standard zipper bags for freezing, but for long-term freezing, the heat-sealed bags are a better option.