Vacuum sealer: 6 tips for choosing the right one

Vacuum Sealer: 6 Tips for Choosing the Right One vacuum sealer Canadian Tire

The vacuum sealer (or “food saver” or even vacuum packer) is an excellent way to preserve food and avoid waste.

Between extending the life of your preparations, and easy storage in the refrigerator, the benefits of a vacuum sealer are numerous, and the investment is very profitable.

However, you still have to know how to choose it! With the many models flooding the market, it is sometimes difficult to navigate and make the right choice according to our needs. Do not panic!

This article gives you our 6 critical tips for choosing a suitable vacuum sealer and making your life easier in the kitchen.

Vacuum sealer: 6 tips for choosing the right one

By the way, what is a vacuum sealer?

A vacuum sealer (or vacuum device) is a device, most often made of stainless steel, which is found a lot in the field of catering but also now in private homes. It allows fresh or cooked food to be stored in vacuum bags, hermetically sealed. Completely airtight, the food is protected from the ambient air and the development of micro-organisms, leading to the rapid decomposition of food. In general, vacuum-packed foods last 5 times longer, and most minerals and vitamins are retained. It is normal because food is not subject to oxidation, deprived of oxygen. Very practical and economical, vacuum packing prevents you from throwing away your leftovers and allows systematic storage in your refrigerator.

1. Choose the right type of vacuum sealer.

There are two types of vacuum sealers on the market, one mainly dedicated to domestic use and the other specifically for professional service.

1a. Machine with external suction

It is the type of sealer found both for catering professionals and individuals. It is more affordable and mainly used to preserve dry and hard foods, such as cheese, meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables. With an external suction machine, you favor keeping small quantities, and you can choose the size of what you pack, thanks to different sealing bars. Be sure to use embossed vacuum bags.

2a. Bell machine

This type of device is mainly intended for catering professionals since it is very versatile and bulky: it allows you to vacuum dry food and liquids and sauces! Conservation and storage needs being more frequent and important in catering, it is the ideal machine. Unlike the vacuum sealer, you can use embossed vacuum bags or smooth bags (much cheaper). The vacuum is created inside the bell (a device that is closed on the bag), then once emptied of its air, the bag is placed in the vacuum chamber.

vacuum sealer bell machine

2. The power of the vacuum sealer

The power is essential in the purchase criteria of a vacuum sealer. Expressed in Watts, it determines the suction power and the quality of the sealing of the bag. We recommend at least a minimum power of 130 watts, ideal to avoid any overheating the device and longer life. The welds will also be tighter and more solid. If you are looking for a professional vacuum sealer, these can go up to 500 watts. The price varies accordingly. Be aware that another key point concerns the suction power of the vacuum sealer. It is expressed in liters per minute, and it is generally advisable to invest in a model offering at least a capacity of 10 liters per minute.

3. Vacuum machine suction speeds

The suction speed and the packaging speed allow greater flexibility in the vacuum sealing of any food. For example, a fast pace is preferred for fragile and moist foods (fruits, soups, and sauces), while a slower speed is more suitable for dry and solid foods. Having a device equipped with several speeds ensures perfect packaging control, taking into account the fragility of the food. Some manual vacuum machines are ideal since you can manage the speed yourself until the end of the vacuum cycle. Some top-of-the-range models with 3 or 4 rates, generally with excellent power, ensure robust, frequent, and solid seals over time.

Vacuum machine suction speeds

4. Ergonomics and options of the vacuum machine

An efficient machine is good, but having a device with thoughtful ergonomics, features, and design is even better! Be aware that vacuum sealers are the most compact models, easy to use, and take up the least space so that they can be stored very easily in your kitchen. Some of the most common features on the market include:

  • LED indicator lights marking the sealing process: red which turns green when the operation is complete;
  • Technology that reduces vibrations and noise for an optimal user experience;
  • A storage compartment for the roller, with integrated cutter;
  • A temperature control function to ensure better sealing of the vacuum bag;
  • Two sealing levels for wet or dry foods;
  • An automatic or manual vacuum packaging option, depending on the food to be preserved;
  • A juice collection tray;
  • An adapter or suction hose for sealing cans or jars;

These options increase the purchase price, but your user experience is more pleasant and accessible, so it’s worth it!

5. The best brands for vacuum sealers

Investing in a reliable and recognized brand for your heat sealer is the assurance of benefiting from customer service with small onions and guarantees if you encounter problems with your machine. The best devices include Magic Vac, FoodSaver, Klarstein Footlocker, Fresh World, Crenova, Kitchen Chef, Homecube, Andrew James, Tellier, Lacor, and KitchenBoss. With these manufacturers, you are guaranteed the best value for money! Also, always beware of tempting offers online, often listed on disreputable foreign sites. The quality of the materials may not be optimal, and incidents may occur. In addition, you could find yourself faced with ghost sellers, totally non-existent during the after-sales service.

6. The price of a vacuum machine

The price of a vacuum sealer is mainly determined by its suction power, features, and versatility. Entry-level models are starting at $100, with prices that can reach more than $600 for the ultra-sophisticated machines. If you need a sealer occasionally to package small quantities, a suitable quality device at $150 will be an excellent deal. On the contrary, if you work in catering or need a device that holds up, offers good suction power, and has interesting features, it is better to turn to a higher price.

A few tips for optimal use

  • Always check the bags you use: embossed for vacuum machines and smooth or embossed for bell machines.
  • The size of the bags must be large enough so that your preparations do not overflow when sealing;
  • Vacuum-packed foods can be frozen; their shelf life will be all the longer;
  • Your food should always be vacuum-sealed when it is as cold as possible to avoid temperature shock and damage to the pump;
  • If you vacuum packs your meats, don’t worry if the color turns grey/brown. It is a natural consequence, as the pigment changes from the bright red oxygenated form to the dark red reduced form, turning to brown. It does not mean that your meat is good to throw away; quite the contrary! The nutritional and taste qualities are in no way altered. Once unwrapped, the meat will regain its bright red color;
  • Don’t hesitate to vacuum-pack your meat directly in a marinade: the taste and flavors will be more than tenfold when cooking!
Why buy a vacuum sealer?

Why buy a vacuum sealer?

For food preservation

With food vacuum sealing, oxygen is blocked, as is the proliferation of micro-organisms responsible for food spoilage. This preserving food allows it to stay fresh up to 5 times longer. In complete safety, we fight effectively against food waste, with products that can be frozen and consumed up to 2 to 3 years later. Charcuterie, for example, which does not keep for more than a week in the fridge, will keep for 20 to 25 days.

For vacuum cooking, all types of food.

Sous vide cooking consists of cooking your bag directly in a pot of boiling water. It preserves the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and has very uniform cooking without adding fat. The significant advantage of vacuum packing is that you can store both cooked and raw food, meat, and vegetables. A real-time saver at mealtimes!

To benefit from true versatility.

The heat sealer is not only intended for packing food but also for valuables, jewelry, important documents, etc. It is an excellent way to protect them from dust and humidity and facilitate their storage. With the natural ease of use and compact size, the device offers you the most possibilities.

How does a vacuum sealer work?

The vacuum machine works thanks to several pumps to evacuate the air, a sensor to detect the level of vacuum, and a welding system sealing the bags. Very fresh food (or cooked, which you will subsequently reheat) will be placed in the vacuum chamber so that the opening of the vacuum bag is positioned on the sealing bar in a horizontal position. Vacuuming begins when the packaging machine is closed with the lid and ends when the latter opens and lets air enter the vacuum chamber. For bell models, the air in and around the bag is sucked out during the vacuuming process. While for machines with external suction, only the air contained in the bag is sucked.

Where to buy a vacuum sealer? vacuum sealer Canadian Tire

Vacuum sealers can be found online, on Amazon, or in specialty stores like Canadian Tire, Walmart, or Costco. We have written a specially dedicated buying guide if you need to compare different models!

What you must remember :

  • A vacuum sealer allows you to preserve food up to 5 times longer, thus avoiding food waste and fully retaining its nutritional values!
  • The different options, speeds, and suction powers offer true versatility in preserving all the types of food desired;
  • The models with the best value for money run around $150 and provide you with significant savings in time and money;
  • You can vacuum seal both solid and dry foods (meat, fish, vegetables, cheeses, etc.), as well as liquid and fragile foods (sauces and soups). Everything is stored; nothing is thrown away!