If you've been looking for a way to store and freeze your food, a vacuum sealer is the perfect solution. While there are two main types of vacuum sealers—bags and containers—the purpose for them is the same. Vacuum sealers help to preserve a food's quality, color and nutrients by removing unnecessary air before it gets stored in the fridge or freezer. To help you find the perfect vacuum sealer to fit your needs, we've pulled together a list of the best food vacuum sealers.
When food is exposed to air, it becomes susceptible to the process of oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical process that can lead to changes in an ingredient's color, flavor and nutrient content (think: wine turning vinegary or an avocado turning brown). To combat that process, a vacuum sealer works to remove any unwanted air in a bag or container. Essentially, the vacuum sealer sucks out the air and creates a tight seal that prevents air from leaking into the container and thus ruining your food.
There are two types of vacuum sealers: bags and containers. A vacuum bag works with a vacuum sealer machine, which removes the air and then heat-seals the bag. The most common use of a vacuum seal bag is to freeze produce like berries or greens to enjoy when they're not traditionally in season. (If you're a hunter or somebody who likes to stock up on large amounts of meat, you can also use the bags to vacuum seal meat.) A vacuum bag can also be used in sous vide cooking, a process that takes the aforementioned bag and cooks it in a water bath at a low temperature for an extended period of time. A vacuum bag is also great for marinating foods, imparting flavor quickly because of the tight seal. The majority of vacuum sealer bags are not reusable—or if they are reusable, it's only for a limited number of times—so they are not the most cost-effective or eco-friendly choice if you're looking to frequently vacuum seal your food.
The second type is vacuum sealer containers. Compared to the bags, vacuum sealer containers are a more budget-friendly option as they can be used again and again. Depending on the container, the removal of air can happen in two different ways. Some vacuum sealer machines come with an additional piece that fastens on the lid of the container to remove the air. If you're looking to use containers and bags, be sure the machine offers both options. The second way you can remove air in a container is with a pump, either an automatic or manual one. It works similar to a bicycle pump, except you're removing the air instead of adding it. A vacuum sealer container is great for storing all kinds of food in the fridge or freezer.
This is our list of the best vacuum sealers to make it easier for you to pick one.
Read on for details on what makes these vacuum sealers the best, as well as the sealers that deserve an honorable mention.
The Zwilling Fresh & Save is the best of both vacuum sealer bags and containers. This versatile set comes with one medium and one large glass container, two small and two medium vacuum bags and an automatic pump to remove air. The glass containers are safe to use in the freezer, oven (without the lids), microwave (without the vacuum seal) and dishwasher, which means you could take your leftover casserole from the freezer to the table in just one container. Meanwhile, the vacuum bags can be endlessly reused, and are compatible with the freezer, microwave and dishwasher. And rounding out the set is the automatic pump, which quickly (and quietly) removes the air. With this set, the possibilities of preserving and storing food are almost endless.
To buy: Zwilling, $100
These budget-friendly storage containers from Lasting Freshness are a step above the rest. The lids snap closed to ensure a tight and leakproof seal. To remove air, simply use the manual pump, which is a quick and efficient process. The best part about these containers is the wide variety of sizes they come in, including 18-ounce, 1.5-quart, 5.5-quart and more. Plus, the containers easily stack together to make the most out of your fridge or freezer space. And when you’re ready to clean, just pop the containers in the dishwasher before reusing them.
To buy: Amazon, $55
For a sleek and affordable machine, the Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer is the perfect choice. The Anova has three basic functions: pulse vacuum, seal, or vacuum and seal, and first-time users will find it easy to operate. Compared to other vacuum machines, the Anova’s process for removing air is a quieter and gentler one, but just as effective as louder machines. With the pulse vacuum feature, one can adjust the rate of air leaving the bag to avoid squeezing or bruising the contents of the bag.
To buy: Amazon, $80
The FoodSaver VS3150 is an all-around workhorse. FoodSaver has two different bag options: a zip-top bag and a seal bag, which both work with this machine. The zip-top bags get sealed with the handheld vacuum sealer, which is great if you need to quickly freeze or marinate something with minimal hassle. When you have more time, opt for the seal bags, which you can make in custom sizes thanks to the built-in cutter bar and seal feature. In addition to this unique feature, the vacuum seal machine also has options for marinating foods and adapting the vacuum seal to a moist or dry setting depending on what you’re sealing. And if these handy features weren’t enough, the cord of the machine retracts, which makes it easy to store when not in use.
To buy: Amazon, $150
With the Frieling Vacuum/Sous Vide Sealer, you get intuitive control over the intensity and duration of the air-removal process. You can choose between a ‘Strong’ or ‘Gentle’ vacuum level and a ‘Dry’ or ‘Moist’ setting, which makes it easy to adjust depending on the structure and stability of your food. Plus, the Frieling has a helpful ‘Stop’ feature in case you need to pause the vacuum seal process and adjust the contents of the bag. The BPA-free bags are microwave- and freezer-safe and are puncture-resistant.
To buy: Amazon, $100
Unlike other vacuum sealer bags, the Oliso Frisper Pro-1000 removes air with a punch and seal method on a zip-top bag. To use, simply align the arrow on the bag with the machine and vacuum seal. This different feature allows for the Oliso bags to be reused up to 12 times, depending on the size of the bag. In addition to this sustainable feature, the Oliso machine also has suction cups on the base, which ensures stability. Plus, the machine has a “flexitube” that can be used for vacuum sealing bottles and jars. And, to top it off, the machine includes an easy-to-read display that indicates when the vacuum sealing process is complete.
To buy: Amazon, $150
If you’re looking to preserve and store pantry items, the Prepara glass canister is a great choice. From cereal to granola to coffee beans, the Prepara will prevent your food from turning stale. Unlike other vacuum seal containers, the Prepara doesn’t require a separate pump to expel the air. Instead, the lid acts as a plunger and audibly removes the air when pushed down. This vacuum seal process could not be simpler and will make storing food a breeze. The Prepara containers come in three different sizes for all your pantry storage needs.
To buy: Amazon, $20 for a medium container