Last Updated Dec 2018- Admittedly, vacuum sealers aren’t the most common kitchen gadget. If you’re looking at this page, you probably already know exactly what you’re going to use yours for. On the off chance you don’t however, it’s worth taking a few sentences to explain the idea behind them.
Why Vacuum Seal Food?
There are two reasons people vacuum seal food. One, without any air in the container, food keeps for much longer in the fridge or freezer. Because plastic keeps out air and keeps moisture in, you don’t have to worry about food drying out, freezer burn, or ice freezing accumulating inside of your Ziploc bags.
Vacuum sealers are especially nice for preserving food you get from hunting or fishing, as a single trip often yields large amounts of meat and fish that you’ll want to enjoy over time. With a vacuum sealer, you don’t have to eat fish every night for a week to keep your food from going bad. Instead, you can store it in the freezer for months.
Second, vacuum sealers make sous vide cooking much easier. Sous vide involves immersing vacuum packed foods in a temperature controlled water bath. Just like with freezing food, there’s a big benefit from actually using a vacuum sealer instead of a Ziploc bag. Not only is the container actually sealed (negating any health risks), there’s also less air in it, so your food cooks better.
If you find yourself wanting to preserve food or you prepare sous vide dishes often, a vacuum sealer is a great investment. Here are the three best models available in 2018.
Top Vacuum Sealer for Food in 2018
This household vacuum sealer is the perfect way to start out if you’re new to vacuum sealing. It’s reasonably priced and comes with plenty of bags to let you experiment with different techniques and learn how to seal your favorite foods optimally.
While some vacuum sealers force you to suck all of the air out of your bags when you seal them, the 4800 series allows you to press a button to form the seal immediately. This allows you to control how much suction the machine applies to each package. When you’re sealing steaks or fish, you’ll want to remove all the air. When you’re sealing bagels or other spongey foods, however, you’ll often want to leave a bit of air in so your food doesn’t get crushed. This neat addition gives you plenty of control while you work.
The 4800 series also is fairly forgiving when it comes to bag placement. It uses a little bit more of your bag than some models, but it’s far easier to position your bag when it comes to sealing. Since the process is so easy and hassle-free, you’ll find yourself using this machine a lot.
Finally, there’s a handy vacuum hose attachment for when you don’t want to use the whole unit. This is surprisingly handy for a variety of tasks around the kitchen, like sealing jars or Ziploc bags. Many kitchens may even get more use out of the vacuum hose than they do the sealing mode on this unit.
If you’re looking for a basic household vacuum sealer, this FoodSaver is a perfect choice. You’ll get plenty of bags to get started preserving lots of fun foods.
Marketed towards hunters and people who work primarily with meat, this FoodSaver unit differs from the unit above in a few key ways. First, its got a slightly different control scheme. Rather than forcing you to guess when it’ll crush your food, the GameSaver automatically reduces pressure and seals your bag for you.
This is a handy convenience feature when you’re processing large batches of food.
Second, it’s got more vacuum pressure than many competing models. If you want to quickly seal food and get as much air as possible out, the GameSaver is a solid pick.
Finally, it doesn’t come with as many bags as the 4800 series above. This is a bit of a letdown, honestly. Even if you’re upgrading your existing vacuum sealer, you still need bags to seal things in. Having bags in the box (or as part of a combo deal) is almost always a plus.
Like the 4800 series, the GameSaver comes with a vacuum hose attachment. While it’s got lots of suction force, it does tend to get hot. If you do big jobs often, you may need to take short breaks for the machine to cool down. Check out our final recommendation for a machine that’s more suited to industrial-sized sealing operations.
This vacuum sealer is available both with and without vacuum bags. It’s a much more robust unit than either of the GameSavers, with solid steel construction and an extra powerful commercial motor. If you’re planning on sealing lots of food per sitting, it’s absolutely the superior choice.
Like both FoodSaver models, this machine has a vacuum port that you can use for jars and Ziploc bags. Unlike the FoodSaver models, this port puts out 28″ HG of vacuum, which is quite a lot. It’s got an extra-wide mouth that supports bags of all shapes and sizes, including FoodSaver bags. You’ll have no problems getting a few extra steaks in a single bag with this bad boy.
The primary advantage of this machine is the ability to seal large amounts of food quickly in one sitting. WIth a powerful motor that’s less prone to overheating and a wider mouth, you won’t have to wait for your machine to cool off or limit yourself to using small bags. Plus, a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty means that you don’t have to worry about this thing breaking and leaving you without a vacuum sealer.
For serious vacuum sealing enthusiasts (or people shipping food), this machine offers fantastic performance at an affordable price. It’s incredibly powerful and easy to use.
What Food Vacuum Sealer Should I Buy In 2018?
If you’re just getting started in vacuum sealing, the FoodSaver 4800 series comes with plenty of bags and offers all of the functionality you need in a home food vacuum sealer. The GameSaver model is pretty similar, although it comes with fewer bags and has a slightly different set of convenience features.
Finally, if you’re looking to upgrade your existing vacuum sealer with something more powerful that can handle more quantity, the Weston Pro 2300 offers commercial power at a fantastic price.