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Goodbye freezer burn, hello sous vide steak. Automatic Bag Packing Machine
We updated this article in September 2022 to ensure all products vetted and tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances Lab were available, in stock and correctly priced.
A vacuum sealer is a useful tool for food preservation — the device sucks the air out of a plastic bag to create optimal storage conditions for raw protein, uncooked grains and even whole coffee beans. With food prices on the rise, ensuring that your food stays fresh and in good condition before you get the opportunity to consume it is worth the purchase of a food vacuum sealer alone. It’s an investment that's well worth the money for anyone who hunts, tends to buy in bulk and freeze, likes to defrost pre-portioned amounts for meal prep or cooks sous vide.
Vacuum sealers work by removing air from a plastic bag filled with food before sealing it with heat, keeping your food fresher for longer by creating an environment that makes it very hard for bacteria to thrive. The tight seal also helps prevent moisture loss and freezer burn. Both handheld and countertop vacuum sealers can help all kinds of food last longer (except for foods like soft cheeses, raw mushrooms and fresh garlic that contain anaerobic bacteria, which loves oxygen-free zones).
For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab has researched and evaluated all kinds of kitchen products, including ones that can help you keep your food fresh for longer, from the best food storage containers to the top reusable produce bags. Our picks for the best vacuum sealers to buy in 2022 are a mix of top-performing models tested in our Labs, favorites that staffers use in their own homes and well-reviewed products with unique features that impressed our analysts, based on their extensive testing experience with popular kitchen appliance brands.
Scroll to the bottom of this article for more information on how we test vacuum sealers, how to choose the best vacuum sealer and more helpful FAQs.
A well-priced and highly efficient machine suitable for most home cooks' needs, thanks to powerful suction, various pressure settings, an accessory port for things like jar attachments and the ability to create either a single or double seal on bags. As an added bonus, this sealer also has a built-in bag cutter and roll storage compartment. Its versatility makes it great for all kinds of activities, including vacuum sealing bags and jars for sous vide and meal prep. A large handle makes it easy to use, and the control panel is clearly labeled, a feature we look for in all kitchen appliances we test.
This popular food vacuum sealer is compact, lightweight, versatile and under $50. Two sealing modes are accessible via user-friendly soft touch digital buttons and it works with both vacuum sealer bags and rolls. What's more, a separated design makes the machine easy to keep clean and sanitary, since you can take off the upper lid to clean the vacuum chamber and gaskets. Just take note that online reviewers say that this vacuum sealer takes a little practice to get the seal perfected.
This new vacuum sealer from FoodSaver does it all. It vacuum seals moist and dry food using pre-cut bags or a roll that stores within the unit; it also features a built-in handheld adaptor that can be used with resealable bags and additional attachments, like bottle-stoppers and reusable containers. We tested all of the features and found it was relatively easy to use, though positioning the bags for proper sealing took some getting used to. Vacuum-sealed chicken breast and burger patties lasted for weeks in the freezer with no signs of freezer burn, and apple slices retained their just-cut color in the fridge. It proved to be handy for sous vide and meal prep, too.
This machine has two dedicated modes — dry and moist — accessible with one-touch operation. The moist mode is particularly important if you tend to package marinated meats for sous vide, oily foods like fish or leftovers with residual moisture, since it'll help you get a tight seal regardless of any little droplets of liquid. We like the slip design and sleek buttons on the control panel — it makes it extra easy to wipe down. If you also like to match all of your appliances, this vacuum sealer comes in four different colors.
For a sleek, modern option you won't mind stashing on your countertop or pulling out of a drawer, try the Anova, the same brand famed for its sous vide cooker (our top pick for the Best Soude Vide Machines of 2022). It's a great option for anyone new to vacuum sealing or sous vide because it performs well, but has just three buttons and easy-to-follow illustrative directions. This model also comes with 10 bags so that you can start vacuum sealing right away. In tests, it was relatively quick, too, sealing steaks in just 20 to 30 seconds. If there's any downside, it's that it lacks extras, like an accessory port, a bag cutter and bag storage.
Though bulkier and less attractive than other models, this machine is about as close to commercial-grade as you can get for sealing large quantities of meat. It's a real workhorse with a 680-watt, fan cooled motor that prevents overheating even during heavy use. Still, an intuitive control panel with one-touch operation ensures it's simple enough for novices to use. It can even handle 16-inch wide bags for large hunks of meat, if you like to sous vide brisket or pork butt.
Despite being extremely compact (it fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just one pound!), this handheld vacuum sealer was highly effective in our tests. After three weeks of storage, apple slices didn't brown, strawberries showed no signs of visible mold and chicken showed no signs of freezer burn. Its battery life was impressive, too: It sealed 60 FoodSaver quart-size zipper bags on a single charge. What's more, the bags are meant to be reused, which makes it a great for meal prep; plus, it's a cost-saver and a win for the environment. If you are looking for a vacuum sealer with multiple settings and lots of versatility, this isn't for you, but it's a great choice if you want to keep things easy, especially if you're new to vacuum sealing.
The Good Housekeeping Institute has been testing products since 1900. Today, the analysts in the Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab carefully and rigorously evaluate kitchen gear and cooking tools to find the best products on the market that actually work.
To evaluate food vacuum sealers, the GH Kitchen Appliances Lab tests how well foods like chicken breast and hamburger patties keep without any signs of freezer burn. We also test more delicate items, like berries, to see if they can be stored without being crushed. When testing, we assess functionality — ease of use, how intuitive the settings are, how loud the machine is, how long it takes to seal food — and any additional unique features like built-in bag cutters and holders.
The best vacuum sealers are slim and can do it all (seal both dry foods and liquids, as well as pulse and seal), but it's worth considering the following factors when looking to buy:
✔️Handheld vs. countertop: If you lack space or tend to move around a lot, you'll likely prefer the maneuverability of a handheld machine, but if you rely on your food vacuum sealer often, the superior performance and durability of a countertop model may suit you better. Here's the difference:
Whether you buy in bulk, freeze small portions for meal prep or hunt, vacuum sealing is worth it. It helps most food from going stale as quickly as it would in a non-airtight container, and also helps prevent freezer burn, which affects taste and texture. "I really like vacuum sealing for keeping food fresher in the freezer," says Kitchen Appliances Lab Director, Nicole Papantoniou. "I tend to vacuum seal individual portions so I can defrost them quickly."
Vacuum sealers are also helpful for sous vide cooking. It ensures a tight seal to prevent any liquid from entering the bag.
All vacuum sealers are not the same – they mostly differ in type. For most home cooks, a handheld or countertop sealer will get the job done. There are also chamber vacuum sealers that are primarily found in restaurants, which are typically bigger, heavier and work faster than household versions. Chamber vacuum sealers work by putting the bag of food inside the chamber and closing the lid to seal the bags. They can handle multiple bags at once and are also good for larger foods.
Since most home models provide similar results and features, it's best to look for the model that fits best in your kitchen, has the settings that you need (like moist, marinate or dry) and includes vacuum sealer bags.
Nicole Papantoniou, Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, oversaw testing for this article. She has been professionally testing kitchen gear for nearly 10 years.
Hand Held Metal Detector For Food Processing Brigitt Earley is a freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience at lifestyle publications like Real Simple, Oprah Daily and Apartment Therapy. She specializes in writing product review content in a wide range of coverage areas, including home, health and food.