7 things you can do with a vacuum sealer

Storage & Organization

Vacuum-sealed food can stay in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, where food stored in conventional containers lasts for just one to three days. In the freezer, vacuum-sealed food can last an average of two to three years, while it will last six to 12 months, on average, stored any other way.

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A vacuum sealer can do more than preserve food

People began buying vacuum sealers for home use in the 1960s to keep food fresher for longer. Their popularity grew in the 90s as infomercials touted the cost-savings of extending the life of refrigerated and frozen food. But vacuum sealers can do so much more.

From boil-in-a-bag cooking to new ways to store old things, people are discovering that vacuum sealers come in handy for way more than simple food storage. 

Vacuum sealer uses 

Boiling bags

There is nothing simpler than plopping a bag of frozen food into a pot of boiling water to heat it for a quick and easy meal. Today, home chefs understand that cooking fresh food using the same process keeps it tender and moist. The cooking method known as sous vide has grown in popularity. A vacuum sealer can make it safer, creating a tight seal on bags before submerging them in the water, preventing water from seeping through and destroying your food.

Seasonal storage

People who live where the seasons change know the problems of clothes storage. Vacuum sealers are space makers. Just place the clothes in a bag, suck out the air and you have a condensed package for easy and safe storage. When the seasons change, clothes come out of the bag as fresh as they were the day they went in.

Silver lining

Silver tarnishes when exposed to air. To eliminate tarnishing, keep your silver in a vacuum-sealed bag. Without oxygen, silver will stay just that — silver. It will be shiny and ready for use at your next gourmet meal with friends or holiday dinner with family, no polishing required. 

Value valuables 

Whether it’s your marriage certificate, child’s birth certificate, children’s artwork, baseball cards, or your precious Derek Jeter and Harrison Ford autographs, you want to keep documents and cherished memories safe. Placing them in a vacuum-sealed bag protects them from the air that can yellow them or water that can stain and damage them. Take them out when you want to reminisce and seal them back up again for safekeeping until that feeling of nostalgia hits again. 

Wrap up the holidays

Holidays come, and holidays go. Vacuum seal your creepy black spiders, ghosts, and goblins for Halloween; your leaf garland, pumpkin decor, and turkey-shaped pillows for Thanksgiving, and your ornaments, lights, and bells to decorate your tree. In vacuum-sealed bags, they’ll be protected, organized, and easily identifiable in your attic, garage, or basement for quick retrieval from holiday to holiday. 

Backpack(ages)

Whether hitting the trails or communing with nature, you can make easy-to-prepare food packages to take into the wild. Use vacuum-sealer bags to create meals that you can cook in a pot over a roaring campfire or seal up freeze-dried meats, fruits and vegetables for lightweight backpack staples for a quick bite or boost of energy when you take to the trails or scale the highest mountain.

Traveling toys for tots

Those long car rides with your kids can seem even longer when you add boredom and hunger to the itinerary. Vacuum seal bags for each child, filled with coloring books, crayons, traveling games, fruit snacks, and crackers, will keep them entertained and fed. That could help stop the squabbles and whining and limit how often you’re asked, “Are we there yet?”

What to know before buying a vacuum sealer

Vacuum sealer types 

  • Handheld vacuum sealers: This type removes air from bags that have a special zip-top. 
  • External suction food vacuum sealers: External sealers suck the air out of the front of a bag to completely seal it.
  • Chamber food vacuum sealers: Air gets pumped out of the bag and the chamber simultaneously with this type of vacuum sealer. This method creates a seal tighter than the other two methods, making it the most ideal for sealing bags containing liquids. 

Bags

For external vacuum sealing machines, mesh-lined bag rolls are the preference for proper sealing. While the standard bag for chamber vacuum sealers is 3 millimeters thick, you can use 5-millimeter and 4-millimeter thick bags for most applications.

What are the best vacuum sealers to buy?

MXBOLD 35PCS Portable Vacuum Sealer Machine

MXBOLD 35PCS Portable Vacuum Sealer Machine

Smaller in size, this handheld vacuum sealer comes packed with power. You can seal 60 bags with one two-hour battery charge, and the built-in battery charger and absence of wires make it easy to travel for use indoors or out. 

Sold by Amazon

FoodSaver FM5860 Vacuum Sealer Machine

FoodSaver FM5860 Vacuum Sealer Machine

It’s easy to use this external vacuum sealer — the rolls of plastic that create the bag roll out easily to whatever size you need. Once you have your desired size bag, fill it, press the seal and cut button, and you have a tightly sealed package ready to be stored away. 

Sold by Amazon

Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer

Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer 

The double line seal you get with this chamber vacuum sealer strengthens the closure for added protection. It has a variety of settings depending on your needs. You can choose from a regular, gentle and dry, moist, or double seal.

Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohl’s

 

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Jodi Shafto writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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