Best Food Vacuum Sealers for Locking in Freshness

Unless you're vacuum-sealing lots of liquids, the Weston Professional Advantage still provides the best combination of power, performance, features and value, so retains the top spot in our latest update. If you do need the capability of sealing liquids, canisters and canning jars, look to the versatile, durable VacMaster VP112S.

The quiet, powerful performance of the Waring Pro PVS1000 handheld vacuum sealing system makes it a hit with both experts and owners — it's the only handheld model to receive a recommendation from a prominent test kitchen. Best Vacuum Sealer Users say the PVS1000 even works to seal vacuum canisters, and that it's so powerful it'll suck a piece of bread down to a hard cube if you don't watch it carefully. Like most vacuum sealers, the PVS1000 struggles to handle liquids and juicy cuts of meat.

Those who vacuum seal frequently or in large batches, or who want to seal soup, marinades or other messy foods, the VacMaster VP112S is a top pick. Although the versatile controls have a bit of a learning curve, owners love being able to adjust variables like vacuum speed, power, and the temperature of the heat sealer bar. The VP112S will seal anything that fits into the internal chamber, including pouches up to 12 by 14 inches, canning jars, and vacuum canisters.

External Vacuum Sealers

This is the most ubiquitous type of home-use vacuum sealer. These rectangular, countertop appliances clamp down on the neck of a specially designed plastic bag from the outside. The sealer then vacuums all the air out and uses a heated sealing bar to melt the neck of the bag shut. Because you don't have to fit the food being sealed into the body of the vacuum sealer, this type of machine excels at packaging large cuts of meat and filets of fish. On the downside, the sealer bar sometimes needs to "rest" for 10 or 15 seconds between uses.

Chamber Vacuum Food Sealers

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Once found only in professional kitchens, chamber vacuum food sealers are becoming increasingly popular for home use. If you deal with messy foods frequently, or if you tend to vacuum seal large batches at a time, it's worth investing in a chamber vacuum food sealer. With these cube-shaped countertop appliances you put the food into the chamber, the vacuum sealer evacuates all the air from the chamber — establishing a vacuum without squashing anything out of the bag — and then seals the bag shut. You are limited only by the amount of food that can fit in the chamber.

Handheld Food Sealers

Handheld food sealers offer a good balance between convenience and usability. They're a great choice if you want to have a vacuum sealer on hand to use only occasionally, or if storage space is at a premium. These petite appliances either draw the air out through a one-way valve in specially designed bags, or draw the air out through a small puncture in the bag, then seal all the way around the puncture. However, some caution is advised before purchasing a handheld vacuum sealer. Motor size usually correlates to vacuum power, so they're best reserved for sealing small packages. Expert tests also found that handheld models don't always create a lasting seal, so consider opting for a larger model if you need to store food for long periods or seal medium to large batches.

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