You work hard for your money, so why throw it out the window by improperly wrapping food in the freezer? It doesn’t matter if you love to hunt, freeze and store your game, buy food in bulk and like a stocked freezer, or make a habit of saving leftovers, the best way to preserve food is through vacuum sealing.
The longer food is exposed to air, the quicker it decays and rots. With chicken, pork or beef, it only takes a day or two on the kitchen counter for it to spoil.
Putting food into the fridge in an airtight container extends its lifespan, and in the freezer, it’s good for a few weeks or months. However, if not properly sealed to keep out the air, food will suffer from freezer burn, which can affect its taste and quality.
A good vacuum sealer protects your food from freezer burn and keeps it fresh-frozen longer than any other method.
We narrow down the four best vacuum sealers you can buy online. Read on to find the one that’s right for you.
Top Pick Best Compact Cordless: FoodSaver 31161370 Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer
You may not buy in bulk, but you do like to keep food fresh in containers in the pantry, fridge and freezer. You’ve thought about getting a vacuum sealer but you don’t have much space in your kitchen, especially for another small kitchen appliance with a cord. Plus, it’s not as if you plan on freezing a lot of food – you’re only one person. Nonetheless, the idea appeals to you. If you’re looking for a cordless and compact vacuum sealer to use occasionally, then this is the model for you.
To suck the air out of freezer bags and containers with a handy but small device, we recommend the Foodsaver 31161370 Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer, Handheld. This vacuum sealer lets you enjoy all the benefits of vacuum sealing while taking up minimal counter space.
The handheld sealer features a strong innovative motor that removes excess air from vacuum seal bags quickly and quietly. You can seal up to 60 Food Saver one-quart bags with just one full 24-hour charge, and the streamlined charging base keeps your countertops neat thanks to the built-in cord management system.
This handy little sealer is compatible with all Food Saver vacuum zipper bags and Food Saver fresh vacuum seal containers. The kit includes a docking station and four, one-quart vacuum seal zipper bags. Measuring 4.33 x 6.5 x 11.42 inches and weighing only 9.1 ounces, just tuck this vacuum sealer into a drawer when you’re done.
- Can seal up to 60 Food Saver quart bags with just one full 24-hour charge
- Zip bags do not work with moist foods
- Not compatible with other bags
Top Pick Best Budget: Etrigger One-button Automatic Vacuum Sealer
You know that vacuum sealing is the best way to extend preserving food in the freezer. You are so tired of wasting food to freezer burn, but you’re on a budget and not sure you can afford a vacuum sealer to suit your needs. If you’re looking for a quality sealer that won’t break the bank, then this model is for you.
We recommend the Etrigger One-Button Automatic Food Sealer Machine for all your food preservation and Sous Vide needs. Easy to use, this vacuum packing machine is designed with a one-button vacuum sealing operation with intelligent LED indicator lights. Seal your food in only five seconds, and vacuum seal it in eight seconds.
Equipped with a powerful -60kPa vacuum pump, air is quickly sucked out of the bag. Constructed from high quality, durable ABS material, the machine’s upgraded technology quickens heat dissipation and has an automatic overheat protection function that extends the life of the vacuum sealer.
With three modes – vacuum and seal, semi-vacuum or seal – this unit is flexible for many uses. For example, the semi-vacuum operation is suitable for crispy and soft foods such as potato chips or breads and cakes. The seal-only mode can be used to preserve snacks or soups. However, if you want to seal soup, it’s important to make sure the area where the bag is being sealed is dry.
The sponge around the vacuum chamber is detachable and easy to clean and the kit comes with 15 BPA-free vacuum seal bags. Measuring 14.17 x 2.13 x 1.97 inches and weighing only 1.54 lbs., this small but mighty machine won’t take up much counter space.
Oh, did we mention this vacuum sealer comes with a 12-month warranty? Bonus, right?
- Easy to use
- Can be used with other vacuum bags
- Has an 12-month warranty
- Not able to do large quantities at a time
Top Pick Best Versatile: GERYON Vacuum Sealer
You have a large family and that means smart food shopping. It also means planning ahead by freezing meals and food, as well as leftovers. Using a vacuum sealer makes sense, but you’re not great with small appliances and prefer something easy to use and effective. For a food sealer that does a great job, has flexible options and modes and is simple to use, then this is the model for you.
We recommend the Geryon Vacuum Sealer. This powerful machine gives you the option of using specially designed bags of a set size, or with the convenient roll cutting system, you can make a customized bag in a few seconds to suit every need. This unit fits up to 12-inch width Geryon or other brand vacuum sealer bags and rolls. What’s more, there is also an accessory port and hose so you can vacuum seal canisters or wine stoppers.
This model has a fully automatic vacuum sealing operation with soft touch digital buttons and LED indicator lights with electric plug in. For added function and flexibility, this vacuum sealer is designed with two selectable modes to provide food with the best possible preservation based on the different type of food you wish to preserve, including a dry or moist setting. And since you may not want to vacuum seal everything, you also have the option to just seal.
If you are concerned about how to clean the food sealer, it’s not a problem. With its separated design, you can remove the upper lid to clean it easily and safely. Measuring 14.6 x 5.67 x 3.3 inches and weighing on 2.6 lbs., it’s compact and lightweight for portability and easy storage.
- Has a dry and moist setting
- Built-in cutter roll lets you customize bag size
- Comes with an air-suction hose
- Easy to clean
- Instruction manual may be confusing at first
Top Pick Best Large Quantity: FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer GM710-000 GameSaver
You are a family of hunters. Once done, you preserve all the game, storing it in the freezer. If you’re looking for a vacuum sealer made specifically to meet the needs of hunters such as yourself who want to preserve large quantities of food quickly on site or at home, then this is the model for you.
Created with hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts in mind, we recommend the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer GM710-000 GameSaver. This unit features an updated design that includes an integrated carrying handle, large rubberized buttons, intelligent sealing control, a bonus 15-foot 12V power cord, extra-large drip tray, and a built-in storage compartment.
This mighty system will handle just about any job from small game birds to large fish fillets. You can take it with you to your fishing or hunting camp and preserve your prized fish and game right after the harvest, while they are still at the peak of freshness. Lightweight, portable and powerful, the Big Game system is perfect for on-the road or daily in-home use.
This vacuum sealer removes air from specially designed bags then applies heat so it seals meat, fish, and poultry airtight to prevent freezer burn and spoilage. Its heavy-duty construction and high-performance power processes preserves faster with up to 80 consecutive seals or 240 pounds.
This convenient kit includes one 11-inch x 10-inch heat seal roll; one 8-inch x 10-foot heat seal roll, five one-quart pre-cut heat seal bags, five one-gallon pre-cut heat seal bags and one accessory hose. Measuring 23.7 x 5.2 x 10.2 inches and 7.92 lbs., other features include: a strong, airtight seal with the auto vacuum and seal button; easily creates custom-sized bags using the auto seal feature; a fresh handheld sealer accessory to preserve food in the refrigerator and pantry; an integrated roll cutter to eliminate the need for extra tools to create customized bags; and built-in storage clips for the hose to make transportation easy and convenient.
- Designed for up to 80 consecutive seals
- 12-Vold DC adapter for use in the field, boat or RV
- Especially designed for hunters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts
- Expensive for small home use
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a vacuum sealer so you will choose one that best suit your needs:
The type of food you want to seal
You can vacuum seal almost any type of food including fish, beef, chicken or other meats and almost any type of fruits or vegetables, except for cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, to name a few. Foods that should not be vacuum-sealed are mushrooms, garlic, and soft cheese like blue cheese.
Finally, you need to be careful when sealing delicate foods such as lettuce, potato chips, and soft breads because the vacuum sealer can easily crush those items. Using a vacuum sealer that has a pulse mode gives you more control. When you press the pulse mode button, the vacuum sealer motor slowly pulses, drawing the air out gradually so you can monitor its progress. You want to remove as much air as possible, but not enough to crush the food.
How the bags work
Most sealers use pre-cut bags or one that you cut from a roll to package and seal your foods. Using a precut bag is simple: you choose a bag, put your food item in it and then seal or vacuum seal it.
To use a roll, you pull out from the roll the size you want to hold that particular food and then cut it from the roll. Because this can be a cumbersome two-handed process, you may prefer to find a vacuum sealer that comes with a built-in vacuum sealer bag roll and a cutter built into the unit. Once the bag is cut, you place one end of the bag into the sealer and activate the sealing process. Some sealers do this is a single button push while more advanced models have an automatic sealer where you insert the bag, the machine senses it, grabs it, pulls it in and seals it automatically.
Some models have clips or clamps you have to engage before you can start the sealing process.
Using the roll method, once one end of your bag is sealed, you put the food item in, take the open end and place it back in the machine. Activate the vacuum and sealing process and you’re done.
Wet mode and marinade Mode
If you want to vacuum seal food in a liquid, especially if you have a Sous Vide immersion circulator, you need to find a machine that accommodates this function. Many food sealers only work well with dry ingredients.
Some models have a special marinade mode. If the model you’re looking at only has a wet mode, this will still work, just not as well. When you look for a model that vacuum seals wet foods, make sure you choose one with a drip guard or tray to catch excess liquid, so it doesn’t spill all over the counter. Consider a removable, dishwasher safe drip guard to prevent bacteria from building up and cross-contaminating your food.
Canisters and containers
If you’re also into vacuum sealing specially designed canisters and containers, look for a sealer that comes with an accessory port and hose to use on these items. The vacuum sealing port is fairly standard, but it’s best to make sure. Standard sized containers and canisters make it easy to buy items in bulk and then divide it up into smaller containers to stay fresh longer.
Types of bags
Most vacuum sealers recommend you purchase bags that go best with that particular machine. They require this because some machines may seal at different temperatures, so using the wrong bag could mean it won’t seal properly. However, other models work well with any bag. Before purchasing a machine, check to see if there are any restrictions or limitations on the type of bag you can use.