The best vacuum sealer of 2020

Sian Babish

Vacuum sealers come in handy when you're packing for a trip. Rather than worrying about leaky bottles of shampoo and the like, vacuum seal them. This also helps save room by eliminating excess air.

A vacuum sealer is an easy way to keep meat, chicken, or fish store-fresh and without freezer burn, even a few months after it's been frozen.

Vacuum sealers preserve foods by essentially shrink-wrapping them in plastic bags. The process sucks out all air, which is the culprit of not only freezer burn, but also browned or discolored food once it defrosts.

Here, we've taken a closer look at market trends this year to help you find the right vacuum sealer. Our short list highlights three brand-new picks, including one at a budget-friendly price.

Best vacuum sealers of 2020

1. Mueller Austria's Vacuum Sealer Machine: By far one of the most reliable models around, this new arrival earns the top spot on our list this year.

2. GERYON's Vacuum Sealer: We're excited to share this new pick, which is affordable and beginner-friendly.

3. NutriChef's Vacuum Sealer: A newcomer to our list, this sleek sealer has a small footprint and comes with everything you need to get started. 

For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.

What you need to know before buying a vacuum sealer

A vacuum sealer is a handy tool that helps you save big on groceries. For one, you're able to stock up on meat, chicken, or fish when it's on sale. Vacuum sealers are great for freezing leftovers rather than wasting food by throwing them out. They're genuine time-savers as well; it's easy to grab a pre-cooked dinner from your freezer if you don't have time to prepare a fresh meal.

There are three types of vacuum sealers: handheld, chamber, and external models. While they all employ the same sealing and air-sucking process, each vacuum sealer does it differently. Handheld vacuum sealers are recommended for sealing small foods like cold cuts, cheeses, or small portions of produce or leftovers. They're battery-operated and space-saving, and most of them fit in kitchen drawers. They aren't best for longer sessions of sealing, as their power is somewhat limited.

External vacuum sealers are more common for household use. Often referred to as countertop sealers, these designs have longer sealers (up to 16 inches long) that clamp down on bags and suck air out of them. They're more powerful than handheld sealers, making them suitable for sealing larger cuts of meat as well as longer sealing sessions.

Chamber vacuum sealers are by far the largest and most powerful models. With these, bagged food is placed inside the chamber and sealed as air is vacuumed out of it. Certain designs are equipped with custom cutters to trim the bag down to the right since once it's sealed. Given their large footprint, they're seen more often in restaurants than in homes.

It's important to discuss the bags used for vacuum sealers, because they're much different than resealable bags and plastic wrap. They're thicker, have a higher heat tolerance, and they're puncture-resistant. This is why it's easy to freeze cuts of meat and chicken still on the bone, as the sharp edges won't tear the bag open. Most vacuum sealers work with third-party bags, but some models are only compatible with their manufacturer's branded bags.

You can find handheld vacuum sealers for $20 to $35. External (countertop) vacuum sealers run between $50 and $200. Middle-of-the-road options in this bracket cost $70 to $100 and include well-made, heavy-duty models.


Q. Are there any foods I shouldn't vacuum seal?

A. Soft cheeses, garlic, and just-cooked vegetables that are still warm aren't a good idea. Many manufacturers include a list of foods in their user manual that should and shouldn't be sealed; however, the list is in no way definitive, so be prepared to do a bit of research as you learn the ins and outs of vacuum sealing.

Q. Can I vacuum seal pantry staples?

A. Yes, many people vacuum seal flour and sugar to preserve their freshness better than when they're left inside bags or some canisters. It's common to seal them in one-cup measurements.

In-depth reviews for best vacuum sealers

Best of the best: Mueller Austria's Vacuum Sealer Machine

What we like: An engineered design that's reliable and performs well in prolonged sealing sessions. Packaged with a small set of starter bags, so you're able to seal as soon as you unbox.

What we dislike: Occasional quirks, including seals that may be off-kilter.

Best bang for your buck: GERYON's Vacuum Sealer

What we like: At its budget-friendly price, it's a solid choice for beginners, especially because the controls are straightforward. Includes lifetime support from the manufacturer. Popular for sous vide cooking.

What we dislike: Works well, but isn't as reliable or powerful as premium models.

Choice 3: NutriChef's Vacuum Sealer

What we like: Stainless steel finish blends in well with other kitchen appliances. Comes with reusable bags and saves big bucks long-term. Equipped with two sealing modes for dry and wet food.

What we dislike: Has a bit of a learning curve. Instructions could be more user-friendly.

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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