Food vacuum sealers are one of the most efficient ways of preventing food waste. By owning a vacuum sealer, you can quickly freeze liquids, solids, or dry goods, without the risk of bacterial contamination or the disappointment of freezer burn.
While food vacuum systems have existed since the 1940s, today’s versions are greatly improved to offer even more reliability and practicality. The best food vacuum sealers are small, fast, and powerful, but they do vary when it comes to price, power type, and additional functionalities. So, how do you choose the best food vacuum sealer for your needs?
We scoured the market and hand-picked the best food vacuum sealers offered today. Whether you’re looking for the highest quality, the best bargain, large sealer for commercial use, or you simply want a well-rounded device that can fit on most kitchen counters, our detailed and honest reviews will help you make the right decision.
We also wrote a comprehensive buying guide at the end of the article, where we share the features you should take into consideration when shopping for a food vacuum sealer.
Best Overall: FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 Vacuum SealerDue to many reasons, our best overall choice is the FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 vacuum sealer, mostly because it’s fully automated, comes with advanced functionalities, and it’s still reasonably priced. It’s the perfect choice for most people, as both amateurs and experienced sealers will be pleased with its performance.
When we say that the device is fully automated we mean that you don’t even have to press a button. The FoodSaver 4840 features an exclusive technology with a sensor that detects when a bag is placed on the track and starts its job immediately. This is beneficial and convenient for most people, but especially beginners and those who have never owned a vacuum sealer before.
The unit is titled “FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1” because it comes with a handheld retractable sealer, so you have two sealing devices. You can use the handheld sealer on zip-loc bags, bags that are too big for the unit, containers, and canisters.
The added handheld, portable sealer along with some of its advanced functionalities make the FoodSaver 4840 incredibly versatile and suitable for any vacuum sealing task. The unit has an “only seal” mode, which means it can seal bags without sucking out the air. It also features a “rapid marinated mode” and a heat seal – the most reliable sealing method.
When you buy the FoodSaver 4840, you’ll get a starter pack which includes an 11″x10′ vacuum seal roll, three 1-quart vacuum seal bags, two 1-gallon vacuum seal bags, three 1-quart vacuum zipper bags, and two 1-gallon zipper bags.
The FoodSaver 4840 doesn’t work well with other brands’ bags, which means you’ll have to buy specialized FoodSaver bags to ensure your vacuum sealing is reliable and tight. The handheld sealer is partially a compensation for this, as it works on different bags. However, when using the main sealer, you’ll need to use bags from FoodSaver.
Additionally, the unit isn’t flexible, which means you won’t have much control over the vacuuming process. For beginners, families, or any kind of light-duty work, this might not be a problem, but professionals might feel limited.
Just like many other external suction vacuum sealers, the unit doesn’t run continuously.
We believe the compact and incredibly user-friendly FoodSaver 4840 is the best choice for most people as it’s a very high-quality device that’s intuitive, offers advanced functionalities, and has a fair price. While it may not meet the needs of professionals, it’s a great buy for light-duty work.
Best Quality: Weston Pro-2300 Commercial Vacuum SealerThe Weston Pro-2300 is one of the most powerful external suction vacuum sealers that comes seriously close to the power of chamber-style vacuum sealers. It’s a great buy for professionals and people who are sealing food regularly.
The Weston Pro-2300 is very powerful and durable. The unit has 935 watts of motor power and a 28hg suction level. Just as a comparison, the chamber-style VacMaster VP210 model has a 29hg suction level. This is the reason why many business owners use Weston Pro-2300 for commercial purposes – packaging vegetables, nuts, meat, and so on.
The performance of the unit regarding liquids and soft foods is somewhere between typical external suction models and chamber-type models. It features a manual pressure mode that allows you to slowly and carefully seal soft and moist foods.
The unit is versatile and can seal a variety of bags as it’s compatible with bags from other brands. Plus, it has an extra-long, 15 inches (38 centimeters) seal bar, which means you can vacuum seal bags of up to 15 inches wide.
The Weston Pro-2300 has a fan-cooled motor that’s specifically designed for continuous use. There’s no downtime, so you can seal bag after bag, in a matter of minutes.
Although the brand advertises this product as commercial-grade, some customers have noted that the vacuuming time is a little longer than other commercial-grade or chamber-style sealers, which means it can slow down the work process of some types of businesses. Nevertheless, it’s perfect for large quantities of food at home or in small restaurants.
Some people might find it annoying that there’s no way to activate the sealer without activating the vacuum first. This doesn’t affect its performance, but it can be annoying if you only want to make bags from a roll.
The Weston Pro-2300 is a true workhorse machine that’s meant to handle heavy-duty work. It’s expensive for an external suction vacuum sealer, but considering how many obstacles, typical for external sealers, it overcomes, we can say that the price is justified. The Weston Pro-2300 is a good buy for professionals, small restaurants, or people who have a small kitchen, but still want the power of a chamber-style machine.
Best on a Budget: FoodSaver FSFRSH0051 Vacuum SealerWhen you’re not looking to invest some serious money because you want a compact and easy-to-use food vacuum sealer, you should take a look at the FoodSaver FSFRSH0051. It’s a good quality vacuum sealer, efficient, and portable, perfect for people who use sealers occasionally and want something they can fit in a drawer.
The FoodSaver FSFRSH0051 is very easy-to-use, which means that if you’re a complete newbie, you’ll love how intuitive and no-fuss the whole process is. Take it in your hands, press the “on” button and the device starts sucking air.
The size of the FoodSaver FSFRSH0051 is only 3.94 x 3.07 x 8.86 inches, while it weighs only 13.6 ounces. You can easily store in any kitchen drawer.
The size and weight of the device, along with the fact that it’s cordless and operates on batteries, means you can take it with you anywhere you go. This is especially beneficial for hunters and fishermen who like to preserve their food right on the spot, instead of waiting to come home.
The device works on almost any sealing bag, which means the size of the bag is not a problem! Plus, when you buy the product, you’ll also get two reusable 1-quart vacuum zipper bags.
The unit is made of plastic and it might not be as durable as our pricier recommendations. Considering the price this is okay, but it is something you should have in mind.
Also, the device is not meant for continuous use, nor for heavy-duty work. If you are someone who seals large quantities of food on a daily basis, you might feel limited.
The FoodSaver FSFRSH0051 is a great-quality vacuum sealer, meant for light-duty work. The device is very easy-to-use, compact, and portable, which makes it the perfect choice for people who prepare raw food outdoors or simply want something convenient.
Best For Commercial Use: VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum SealerAs our best commercial food vacuum cleaner, we chose the Perfect for VacMaster VP210 chamber-type sealer, as it’s great for continuous, heavy-duty work. This unit can quickly vacuum all types of foods, work with different types of bags, and you have full control over the process.
If you’re looking for a professional and extremely durable vacuum sealer, the VacMaster VP210 won’t disappoint you. The device is made of high-grade stainless steel and can easily obtain a 27-29hg level of vacuum, where most units get to 25hg.
The VacMaster VP210 is fully flexible, as it allows you to control the vacuum time (how much oxygen you want to remove), sealing time, and cooling time – something which professionals will truly appreciate.
At the same time, the VacMaster VP210 is always ready to work, without any downtime. The unit works continuously, which means you won’t have to wait before vacuum sealing again. This feature makes the device especially beneficial for commercial use.
The unit shines where external suction models fail – it’s wonderful for quickly sealing liquids like soups, marinades, and stews. While external suction devices require the liquid to be frozen before sealing it, the VacMaster VP210 only requires you to place the liquid inside the chamber and push a button.
On top of all else, it’s compatible with bags from different brands, which means you won’t have to go out of your way to buy specialized bags for the machine.
Unfortunately, the device doesn’t have an external port, which means you’ll have to add machine oil to the pump manually. This can be a dealbreaker for people who want something simpler or use a vacuum sealer only occasionally.
The VacMaster VP210 is the best choice for professionals, hunters, sportsmen, business owners, and large families where vacuuming food is a daily sight. The unit is durable, flexible, convenient, and it can run continuously.
The best vacuum sealer is the FoodSaver 4840 2-in-1 as it’s a well-built device for a great price. The unit is fully automated, intuitive, extremely versatile, and comes with a starter kit package, in which you’ll get a variety of sealing bags. Maybe one of the most impressive features is the added handheld sealer, which is portable and can be used on any zip-lock bag. It’s a great choice for most people.
Professionals and experienced sealers, however, might be better off with our highest-quality pick, the Weston Pro-2300. It’s an extremely powerful and durable device that surpasses all expectations you would have of an external suction type of vacuum sealer. The suction power is comparable with the VacMaster VP210, while the functionalities are designed to solve regular problems external vacuum sealers have, such as sealing soft and moist foods.
On the other hand, light-work users and people who really want something simple, but efficient, will be most pleased with our budget pick, the FoodSaver FSFRSH0051. This vacuum sealer might not offer advanced functionalities like our other recommendations, but it can get the job done. Plus, it can fit perfectly in any kitchen drawer and it’s a great choice for people who never owned a vacuum sealer before.
Finally, VacMaster VP210 is the best choice if you intend to use the sealer commercially. It has everything you need to make the whole process quick, convenient, and smooth. The construction of the unit is quite sturdy, which makes the VacMaster VP210 very durable and powerful. Additionally, the device will give you full control over the three stages, so you can adjust the time according to your needs. But, most importantly, it can run continuously, so you can finish the job in no time.
Everything You Need To Know About Food Vacuum Sealers
Spoiling food, bacteria, and fungi infestations have been an issue throughout the history of time, which is the reason why, today, we have advanced food vacuum sealing systems meant to preserve the freshness of food and extend shelf-life significantly. There are many ways to preserve food, but using vacuum sealers is definitely one of the easiest ways that don’t change the texture or taste of fresh foods.
Types of Vacuum Sealing Systems
There are two basic types of vacuum sealing systems – external suction and chamber vacuum sealers.
External suction vacuum sealers work in a way that a bag is attached to the vacuum-sealing machine externally. The machine will remove the air and seal the bag, which is all done outside the machine. A heat sealer is often used to seal the pack. External vacuum sealers are smaller, more convenient, and mostly meant for home-use.
Chamber vacuum sealers, on the other hand, use pouches and full mesh vacuum sealer bags. The bags are placed inside the chamber (with food inside) while the sealer evacuates the air from the chamber leaving air pressure equal after which it seals the bag. The single-chamber food vacuum devices are the most popular ones and are usually small, portable, and convenient to use, as opposed to higher-end models which can be a lot bulkier.
There are double-chamber devices, too. They work in the same manner as the single-chamber food vacuum sealers, only after sealing the bag, the chamber is refilled with air, which in turn squeezes any remaining air out of the bag. Double-chamber devices are typically used in factories by medium to large businesses.
How Do Vacuum Sealers Work?
Just like the name implies, vacuum sealing is the process of vacuuming i.e removing air from a bag and sealing it. While the food can be put into various containers, plastic bags are the most common form for general household use. Some vacuum sealers even come with plastic rolls from which they create the plastic bag. Basically, all you need to do is place the food inside the bag, position it on the vacuum sealer’s mark (external sealers) or place the sealer above the small opening (hand-held sealers), and press the on button. The whole process is very straightforward and you’ll have a sealed bag in a matter of seconds.
After this, you need to store the food – typically in a freezer. Freezing is the preferred method of preserving for most people. Cured meats, coffee, fresh fruits, vegetables, and leftovers are among the foods that can be frozen. However, you can also keep sealed food in the regular fridge.
The science behind vacuuming food is in the oxygen, or better yet, the lack thereof. Oxygen spoils food in three ways – oxidation, enzymatic oxidation, and encouraging the growth of molds, bacteria, and some yeasts. Removing as much air as possible will ensure that your food stays fresh and uncontaminated for a long period of time. However, be careful, oxygen is just one factor. Heat and water can also spoil food, which is the reason why, after vacuuming, food is being frozen or kept in the fridge. This prevents moisture from surrounding the food item.
Types of Foods You Can Vacuum Seal
The question that surely popped in your mind at least once by now is: “Can I vacuum seal any type of food?” The answer is yes, but there are several exceptions.
If you’re a newbie or you’ve never owned a food vacuum sealer before, you should invest some time researching all the food groups you’re interested in vacuum sealing. This is a great way to learn how to properly prep the foods and avoid making mistakes that can result in spoiled food.
In general, food vacuum sealers work well for all types of food – solids, liquids, moist, or dry ingredients. For example, you can vacuum seal chunks of meat and fish. Most fruits and vegetables are safe to vacuum as well. However, you should not vacuum seal cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, etc.
You should also avoid vacuum sealing:
- Soft cheeses – while hard cheeses are okay, soft cheeses mold faster when vacuum sealed.
- Whole apples – you can seal slices of apples, but not whole apples. Also, make sure you spatter some lemon juice over the apple slices to prevent them from browning.
- Raw onions and garlic – they release natural gasses that can affect the integrity of the vacuum seal.
- Warm veggies – let the cooked veggies come to room temperature before vacuum sealing them.
There are two reasons for this. First, some types of foods can actually spoil quicker when vacuum sealed, and second, some foods can damage the integrity of the vacuum seal or the device. For example, liquids can be vacuum sealed directly in a chamber vacuum sealer, while external suction devices will suck in the liquid which will destroy the motor.
If you buy an external suction type of vacuum sealer, make sure to first freeze the liquid and then seal it.
How To Find the Best Food Vacuum Sealer?
The best food vacuum sealer does the job of removing oxygen from the packaging and allows for a sealed food storage method very reliably. It’s important to choose sealers that are made of quality parts and are dependable to use without fail.
Some basic units that cost less perform great without offering any additional functionalities, while others offer more control over the process which may or may not be worth the extra money. Comparing the price, reliability, and other features will help you find the right device for your needs. The points explained below are good to ponder on when it comes to narrowing down your choices.
The first thing you should consider is how you’ll use the food vacuum sealer and for what purpose. Is it exclusively for home-use? Are you a hunter who regularly needs to preserve large quantities of meat? Do you own a small business or a restaurant where working with food in bulk is a necessity and leftovers are an everyday sight? Different uses are best met with different types of food vacuum sealers. For example, most higher-end external suction vacuum sealers will meet the needs of large families, but they may fall short for business owners, where chamber vacuum sealers shine.
Portability And Storage
Consider the dimensions and weight of vacuum sealers before spending your money. If you want a vacuum sealer for home use, make sure you get one that’s going to fit in your kitchen and one that’s easy to store once you’re done sealing. On the other hand, restaurants and small business owners may want a bulkier, semi-permanent sealer as they seal large quantities of food on a daily basis.
Additional Features And Control
When buying a food vacuum sealer, look for added functionalities, and more control over the sealing process. Some models allow you to control how much air you want to remove from the bag, while others have an additional “seal only” functionality. Also, some models come with a retractable handheld sealer and can double as a jar sealer or bottle stopper.
Before You Go
Preserving food can save you a lot of money and cut food waste significantly. Food vacuum sealers are beneficial to everyone – students, families, sportsmen, hunters, and commercial businesses. Therefore, we hope that you were able to find the best food vacuum sealer for your needs among our recommendations. If you’re still hesitant, make sure to follow the links where you can check out specific prices, product details, and customer reviews.
Want to see our favorite vacuum sealers one more time before you go? Here they are!
Amazon product information last updated on August 10, 2020. Images, prices and links from Amazon Product Advertising API.