Vacuum food sealers help extend the life of groceries and create compact storage portions. But some see the price tag on vacuum food sealers and wonder if they’re worth the price.
Vacuum sealers are worth the price for people that regularly buy food in bulk, prepare their own meals, and hate wasting food. They’re also great for people that harvest fresh produce and need to save food storage space.
Read on to discover the pros and cons of food vacuum sealers and whether or not you should invest in one.
- Pros of Vacuum Food Sealers
- Cons of Vacuum Food Sealers
- Reasons You May Want a Vacuum Food Sealer
- Why You May Not Want a Vacuum Food Sealer
Pros of Vacuum Food Sealers
- Extends shelf life of foods. Vacuum-sealing food creates an airtight environment with minimal oxygen, extending the shelf life by four to six times.
- Preserves perishable food bought in bulk. Buying food in bulk is an excellent way to save money, but you need to store it so that it remains fresh for a long time and takes up as little space as possible. A vacuum food sealer creates an almost invisible seal around the food, keeping its storage size to a minimum.
- Excellent way to save leftovers. Making a big pot of chili or a casserole is cost-effective, but often results in leftovers. Instead of forgetting about your leftovers in the refrigerator and then throwing them out, vacuum sealing gives you more time to enjoy them.
- Ability to select a customized portion size. Vacuum sealing food allows you to create portions in any size you want. For example, if you buy trail mix in bulk, you can divide it up into your chosen portion sizes and vacuum seal them.
- Vacuum sealing prevents freezer burn. Food that is freezer burned can be dry, tough, and lacking in flavor. Vacuum sealing prevents moisture loss during freezing by providing an airtight space with no oxygen.
- No chemical preservation. If you grow many fruits and vegetables in your backyard, you probably harvest a large quantity of produce at the end of summer. A vacuum sealer preserves your produce without using chemicals or other methods like pickling.
- Convenient way to marinate food. If you enjoy marinating meat, a vacuum food sealer can enhance the marinating process by forcing the marinade into the meat, resulting in a tastier meal.
- Facilitates sous vide cooking. Sous vide cooking involves boiling vacuum-sealed food portions that can be frozen or fresh. It’s a fuss-free cooking method as there’s minimal clean-up involved, and you can transfer your vacuum-sealed food portion directly from the freezer to a pot of boiling water.
- Prevents mess in the freezer. When freezing food in plastic bags or containers, it can sometimes leak out if the container accidentally opens or the bag tears. Vacuum-sealed food has a robust covering that’s difficult to tear, making it far less likely to make a mess in your freezer or refrigerator.
- Reseals opened bags of food. Using bag clips to keep cereal and chip bags closed works well, but the contents will become stale after a few days. Your vacuum food sealer can reseal cereal and chip bags, keeping the contents fresher for longer.
- Has multiple other uses. Apart from being an excellent food storage method, vacuum sealing has other benefits, including keeping small camping items dry, storing documents, and compactly storing out-of-season clothing.
Cons of Vacuum Food Sealers
- Most vacuum food sealers use non-reusable plastic bags. With microplastics invading our oceans and waterways, many people are mindful that they should try to recycle plastic whenever possible. After breaking open a vacuum-sealed food portion, it’s usually impossible to reuse the plastic.
- Can be expensive. If you’re on a strict budget, buying and owning a vacuum food sealer can be costly. The price range of vacuum sealers is often from $60 to $400, depending on the model. However, you’ll also need to buy plastic bags regularly, making it an ongoing cost.
- Some bacteria thrive in a vacuum-sealed environment. Vacuum sealing prevents oxygen from entering the airtight space, but some anaerobic bacteria thrive in an oxygen-free environment. You shouldn’t vacuum seal soft cheeses, gas-emitting vegetables, raw bananas, or mushrooms, as it will make them ripen faster.
- Vacuum-sealed bags can be challenging to open. Most people don’t have problems opening a vacuum-sealed food portion. Still, you may struggle to open it if you have arthritis, muscle weakness, or rheumatism.
- It’s challenging to vacuum seal liquids. You can’t vacuum seal liquids (such as soups or smoothies) unless you freeze them first. This can be inconvenient as you need to wait several hours before vacuum sealing.
Reasons You May Want a Vacuum Food Sealer
Whether or not you should get a vacuum food sealer depends on your lifestyle and how you buy and cook food.
Read further to discover some compelling factors that could make investing in a vacuum food sealer worth it for you.
You Live on Your Own
If you live on your own, you probably already know that it can be challenging cooking for one. Most grocery stores sell meat, fish, and poultry in portions that are too large for a single person to eat in one sitting.
After grocery shopping, you could use a vacuum food sealer to store and freeze the food you’re not going to use immediately, helping you reduce waste and save money in the long run.
You Often Buy Food in Bulk
Buying perishable food in bulk or on sale is an excellent way to save money, but it can become expensive if you don’t manage to use it all up before it spoils.
With a vacuum food sealer, you extend the shelf life of your perishable food from four to six times, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your bulk food finds.
You Hate Wasting Food
If you only have a few cookies left in the bag, some leftover tortilla chips from lunch, or a tiny piece of steak, it can be tempting to throw it out. Using a storage container for only a few items can seem like a waste.
However, with a vacuum food sealer, you could easily save one or two cookies or a handful of chips by sealing them into a small, airtight bag. Over just a single year, a vacuum food sealer can help prevent a lot of food waste.
You Need To Save Storage Space
Do you live in a small apartment with limited pantry, refrigerator, and freezer space? If so, a vacuum food sealer can help you optimize your food storage space.
After vacuum-sealing your food portion, you can place it directly into your refrigerator, freezer, or pantry, where it will take up minimal space.
You Grow Fresh Produce
Many people grow berries, apples, and other tasty fruit and vegetables in their backyards, which they harvest at the end of the summer.
Canning the fresh produce is an excellent way to preserve it, but you need to invest in jars and perfect your canning technique. Vacuum sealing is a much easier way of preserving harvested fruit and vegetables. Plus, it takes up less space than jars!
Why You May Not Want a Vacuum Food Sealer
If you’re on the fence about buying a vacuum food sealer, it can be helpful to understand why someone may not want one.
Here’s why a vacuum food sealer may not be the right choice for you:
You Eat Out a Lot
If you rarely cook meals at home and eat out a lot, buying a vacuum food sealer may not be wise.
The most common use of vacuum food sealers is storing leftover food or fresh produce. Still, if you only buy perishable food on occasion, a vacuum food sealer won’t make financial sense.
You’re on a Strict Budget
A vacuum food sealer is a fantastic gadget to have in your home, but it’s certainly not an essential kitchen item.
Depending on your model, a vacuum food sealer can cost between $60 and $400. After that, you’ll need to buy bags for the vacuum sealer every few months, which may not be feasible if you’re on a strict budget.
You’re Concerned About Non-Reusable Plastic
Although you can usually recycle the plastic from vacuum-sealed food, this may not be possible if it’s too dirty. Recycling plastic is better than sending it to a landfill. Still, the recycling process uses energy and water, and some people aren’t comfortable with using a piece of plastic only once and then recycling it.
If this sounds like you, you may be better off freezing your leftovers in reusable containers.
You Have Limited Countertop Space
Vacuum food sealers aren’t huge, but they can be bulky and take up precious countertop space in your kitchen. This is an especially important factor to consider if you have limited space in your kitchen.
You could always store your vacuum food sealer in a kitchen cabinet, but you may not have the space to spare.