Are Vacuum Sealers Really Worth the Extra Cost?
Vacuum sealers are a source of widespread debate, with equal numbers of people on both sides either loving them or considering them worthless to a certain degree. They’re sold within infomercials seen on TV, and you’ve probably seen some on clearance racks at your local stores as well.
Therefore, you may be wondering to yourself, “Are vacuum sealers really worth it in terms of price and convenience?” In this article, we decided to take a quick look at what makes a good vacuum sealer, and indeed whether they’re really worth all the hype they receive.
It really doesn’t matter how much air a vacuum sealer can remove from a package. That is, if the sealing mechanism doesn’t work properly or leaves gaps in an airtight seal, you’ve wasted your money buying one. Some vacuum sealers have special bags that work in tandem with the sealer to ensure the sealing mechanism doesn’t create holes or tears, however.
Vacuum sealers work by heating the sides of the bag slightly, then pressing them together to melt the plastic to a point where no holes can occur. Some sealers can heat up too much and end up burning through the plastic, which obviously creates the potential for air pockets. This is why choosing vacuum sealers with specifically designed bags is a good idea, since the plastic is composed of the same material throughout to prevent melting or holes.
A vacuum sealer is also pointless if it doesn’t do what it says it will; create a vacuum that sucks all the air from the bag itself. Some sealers on the market today don’t have enough power or good hardware to create the amount of suction necessary to produce as good a seal as intended.
Conversely, too much power is no good either, since a sealer with too much power can actually crush the food inside the pouch. Another problem with lots of suction is that food becomes partially dehydrated, leading to more opportunity for freezer burn. As you can see, a happy medium is necessary to store food securely without making it into something it clearly wasn’t meant to be.
Worth the Hype?
Vacuum sealers can have many variables, so before investing any money it becomes important to do some serious research. Replacing the old-fashioned Ziploc and straw method of sealing foods in the freezer requires a patient understanding of how sealers work. If you have the time, you could try a few models out to see which ones work best, but sealers aren’t absolutely necessary to store frozen foods correctly.
In the end, the decision on whether to spend the extra money on a vacuum sealer is yours. Keep in mind, however, the need to check whether your extra investment doesn’t contribute to holes in freezer bags, frequent freezer burn, or foods damaged by too much vacuum power.