Vacuum sealers - some people swear by them, and no doubt a few people will disagree with our findings below. We recently put a whole range of vacuum sealers to the test (member content), and we’re currently not recommending any.
If you’re thinking about getting one anyway, check out our buying guide for things to consider:
What are your thoughts on vacuum sealers? We’d like to hear your experience, leave a comment below.
We use one here for sealing home grown trout for freezer storage. I can vouch for the effectiveness of this method as we’ve eaten trout that has been in the freezer for 18 months, with a taste indistinguishable from freshly caught trout.
We use a PacFoods PF VS305
The only real issue is that sometimes you need to be doing the sealing at a consistent rate, if you try to seal a pile of bag ends in a rush, it gets hot and you have to wait for it to cool down, which is generally only a problem on hot summer nights.
From the review:…do you really need to buy a whole appliance just for one job?
Yes, when you have 200+ trout to freeze!
We cut the ends from the bags when we want to eat a fish, and wash and re-use some the bags for other non-food purposes, the rest going to “soft plastic recycling” ie probably landfill. We live in hope of someone developing a more environmentally friendly alternative, but in the meantime, that is all we have.
I was interested in the quote “Vacuum sealers won’t miraculously extend use-by dates either, so don’t count on them to help you squeeze a few extra days out of that fancy cheese you got at half price because it was approaching the cut-off.”
Fancy cheeses only get better with age, so ones near or after the “best before” date are the ones to get!
We’ve used one for over 20 years. We were 4 WD offroad travellers and so space was limited and we found cryovac enabled us to carry any meats we wanted easily, but still in a fridge. We did find that sausages had to be frozen first otherwise they burst. Don’t use it much now, but we found it to be an absolute boon for such travel.
It’s a very broad topic which goes well beyond red, white and fishy meats.
Taking Choice’s advice as reliable, should we be mindful some of the misinformation may start with what are food suppliers are being told? One will need to read the above linked articles to suggest how it appears.
Curiosity has been to also look to a retail product the well promoted “FoodSaver” products and their consumer advice. They do avoid making any claims for extending the life of any meat product except when frozen. Unreliably the brand claims fish, poultry, beef etc all have only a 6 month freezer life without vacuum sealing. Different to the guide on my old freezer door.
There is likely to be significant difference between domestic vacuum sealing machines and those available to the commercial/manufacturing industry.
Off the top of my head, differences such as quality of packaging materials, ability to create a good seal and vacuum strength (air extraction) are likely to differ.
In addition to this, doing vacuum sealing at home will be some time after picking, processing and packaging by the food’s manufacturer. This allows spoiling microbes to multiply to higher levels which then are sealed in a vacuum package at home…leading to accelerated spoiling.
If the food is sealed in a higher vacuum and quality packaging by the food’s manufacturer soon after preparation, it has the potential to store foods before they have high microbial populations.
Furthermore, food hygiene standards for food manufacturing are very different to a domestic kitchen. The risks of contamination in a domestic kitchen being far greater.
All these add up to potential for vacuum sealing at home being significantly less effective than that done in the commercial environment.