Food & Drink

What vacuum sealer should I get?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 14th, 2017 2:29 pm
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Dec 11, 2012
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'fraid I've to go with @death_hawk on this. got a vacmaster vp112s from a father's day sale coupla years ago (paid <usd$400 I think) + a bunch of bags as well. had to do a pick at the border though but it was def worth it. I love my chamber vac & have been shopping for stuff on sale & sealing everything for the freezer. vacmaster bags costs me approx $0.04-0.08 a piece depending on size or alternative, one can use any plastic bags that fits the chamber & length of seal bar.

besides the savings of bags & food in the long run, I love that I can vac seal liquids as well which really cant (or shouldnt rather) be done by the typical suction based machines.
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Sep 2, 2008
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$1000???? make friends with a restaurant near you and go to their back door and trade a few beers for a few minutes of sealer time. Bags included!
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Aug 22, 2006
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slowtyper wrote:
Nov 26th, 2016 9:17 pm
$1000???? make friends with a restaurant near you and go to their back door and trade a few beers for a few minutes of sealer time. Bags included!
What's a beer worth nowadays? $1.50?
For that price you could afford to run a FoodSaver.
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Aug 9, 2013
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Scarborough
For what it's worth DeathHawk makes good points about owning a chamber vacuum but some things don't need to be preserved as much as it's stated because well, it's overkill. The vacuum chamber has it's cons too like limited work space meaning you can only vacuum seal the size of it's chamber which in most cases it's fine but with my Weston Pro-2100 I order up a roll of bags and I can seal a larger/longer piece of meat versus cutting into pieces. Of course it's probably the only con you would have on this type of machine.

Buying even a crappy vacuum sealer is a good head start to saving money by eliminating food waste. And once you own the machine I strongly recommend you Google search these two things (Meal Prep Sunday) + (Sous Vide).

Thank me later.
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Aug 22, 2006
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OrangeBerry wrote:
Dec 1st, 2016 10:43 pm
For what it's worth DeathHawk makes good points about owning a chamber vacuum but some things don't need to be preserved as much as it's stated because well, it's overkill.
I somewhat disagree with this.
I mean... it's somewhat ridiculous to vacuum seal (for example) Sour Cream 4 times but I find it convenient because it's money I'd normally be throwing away between actual money from paying more for a smaller container or throwing away product that's the same cost as a smaller container.
Unless you have other examples I missed.
The vacuum chamber has it's cons too like limited work space meaning you can only vacuum seal the size of it's chamber which in most cases it's fine but with my Weston Pro-2100 I order up a roll of bags and I can seal a larger/longer piece of meat versus cutting into pieces. Of course it's probably the only con you would have on this type of machine.
This is also a good point, but to be honest the only thing I really can't vacuum seal are whole racks of ribs and whole primals of steak cuts.
The ribs I do frequently have to vacuum seal because I smoke quite a few ribs so they require cutting in half and the latter I almost never do except in the case of dry aging.
Outside of those 2 items, there really isn't anything that I do seal that doesn't fit.
But it is a downside that's worth mentioning.
Buying even a crappy vacuum sealer is a good head start to saving money by eliminating food waste. And once you own the machine I strongly recommend you Google search these two things (Meal Prep Sunday) + (Sous Vide).

Thank me later.
Basically this.
Any vacuum sealer is better than no vacuum sealer but a chamber makes more sense in the long run.
As Pete_Coach experienced, he uses his food saver once a week and saves money.
I use mine an average of once a day and I save quite a bit more money.
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Aug 22, 2006
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Mars2012 wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 5:52 pm
I was interested in a chamber sealer but where is the best online price? It's so much cheaper buying in the States (both machine and refills). I don't live close to the border so can't go across to pick it up.
Apparently I missed this post in the wall o' text I wrote...

So I was looking around in the few Canadian places that carried it.
TL;DR it's cheaper just to get it shipped here.

For me, the base machine with no bags is about $85 shipping. $465+85 = $550USD = $750CAD roughly.
Cheapest I can find in Canada is close to a grand. So I've compiled a "starter" kit and a rough shipping estimate to my postal code.
Your actual shipping rate may be more or less. Plus you'll save $165 if you can drive to the US.

Image

$800USD roughly right now which works out to $1080CAD at current (terrible) exchange rates but this literally includes enough bags to last you for years.
If you seal one thing per day on average (I'm doing roughly 1.5/day) this will last you nearly 8 years assuming an even distribution of bags (which won't be even, I use the 6x10* more than anything else) *I know I said 6x10 because that's what I have. If I didn't have those I'd buy 6x12.
For the $35USD I would actually get another pack of the 6x12s (because let's face it, you're spending a grand, what's another $35?) and you'll have enough bags to last you over a decade.
This wide assortment of bags covers damn near every use case I have at home with the exception of whole racks of ribs and whole fillets of fish. They're just too long to fit in the machine.

Also, I'd actually recommend you get the 4mil bags instead of the 3mil bags. They're about 20-30% more expensive but they're thicker.
This is completely optional as 3mil bags are just fine, but thicker bags are more resilient to punctures etc.
All (most as my 2.5x10 aren't) of my bags are 4mil. Most restaurants and the culinary school I attended use 3mil bags.

At the end of the day, assuming nothing breaks, you're looking at $100/year to sustain vacuum sealing including bags.
if you throw out more than $2/week in food, you can literally pay for a chamber sealer with spoilage alone.
Hell, assuming you spend $10 on lunch, vacuum pack those leftovers and take it to work literally once a month instead of eating out means you can pay for the chamber via lunch alone.
Compound that with food that you should be buying in bulk but currently don't due to spoilage issues, you're going to be breaking even and making money far quicker.

Even if I threw out my machine and ALL my bags right now I'd still be ahead of the game.

TL;DR Bring lunch instead of buying lunch once a MONTH and you get a free chamber sealer
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May 28, 2012
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Saskatoon
^Thanks for the great info, death_hawk! (Better late than never, I thought you had me on ignore, Winking Face).

These things are really massive and heavy, correct? I'm thinking it's not possible to get it sent to a US address when we are on holidays and bring it back that way?
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Aug 22, 2006
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Mars2012 wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2016 10:12 am
^Thanks for the great info, death_hawk! (Better late than never, I thought you had me on ignore, Winking Face).
That's what happens when I don't shut up I guess Face With Tears Of Joy
These things are really massive and heavy, correct? I'm thinking it's not possible to get it sent to a US address when we are on holidays and bring it back that way?
Yeah. It's not moving once it's down.
I mean... if you have a GIANT suitcase you may be able to bring it back, but you're going to probably pay more than $150 in excess baggage fees.
I think it's like 60lbs. Plus it's dimensionally heavy too.
Plus you're gonna have to get bags too and amazon.ca no longer has a large selection of bags.
If I were to get anything right now (or in the near future) the above is what I'd be buying.
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Nov 17, 2004
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Couldn't agree more with @death_hawk About 3 years ago bought my vp215 (oil pump model) from Amazon ca for $999. Current price is $1459. Worth every penny! Probably recouped 50% of purchase price in bag savings, not to mention convenience and intangibles
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Dec 4, 2009
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Bskll wrote:
Nov 25th, 2016 9:51 am
you no longer have to deal with spoiled food, possible food poisoning from food gone bad. you can buy any sale you see in bulk instead going to the store frequently to buy fresh food. taking food on trips/potlucks/get-together is easy cause you can do prep at home. marinating meat is super easy and less wasteful. saving dried goods is easy too.

i even use my vacuum to save apples. sometimes i only want to eat half of an apple and keep the rest fresh for lunch the next day. pop in vacuum sealer and it is as fresh as if i just cut it the next day. made soup that you want to take to work? seal it into 5 bags and 1 bag for lunch each day.
What an incredibly wasteful practice, using a plastic bag to preserve half an apple, that's brutal.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
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death_hawk wrote:
Dec 2nd, 2016 2:23 am
I use mine an average of once a day and I save quite a bit more money.
As a self proclaimed single guy, when do you eat all this food you're vacuum sealing once a day? Why do you even vacuum seal anything?

I would suggest if you're filling vacuum bags with food, you're likely saving nothing but rather buying way more than you need.
"I'm a bit upset. I've been grab by the back without any alert and lubrification"
Lucky
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Aug 22, 2006
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Toukolou wrote:
Jan 23rd, 2017 11:04 pm
As a self proclaimed single guy, when do you eat all this food you're vacuum sealing once a day?
I eat a couple meals a day.
Some things (nuts, butter, sour cream, yogurt) get used over time.
Why do you even vacuum seal anything?

Why don't you?
I would suggest if you're filling vacuum bags with food, you're likely saving nothing but rather buying way more than you need.
I'm saving quite a bit of money actually.
Non-bulk packs are expensive, plus I spend significant amounts of time and fuel buying them more frequently.
Buying groceries once every week or two means I can have fresh things and save money via bulk packs.

My sour cream example for example.
A retail pack of 250mL is like $3. 1L is like $3 at Costco.
I'm spending $3 either way and before vacuum packing I'd be tossing 80% of 1L because it's too much.
Now I can split it into 4 portions, use one of them, vacuum pack 3 of them, and now if I have a use for sour cream in the next month or so I don't have to pay another $3.
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death_hawk wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2016 1:20 am
Apparently I missed this post in the wall o' text I wrote...

So I was looking around in the few Canadian places that carried it.
TL;DR it's cheaper just to get it shipped here.

For me, the base machine with no bags is about $85 shipping. $465+85 = $550USD = $750CAD roughly.
Cheapest I can find in Canada is close to a grand. So I've compiled a "starter" kit and a rough shipping estimate to my postal code.
Your actual shipping rate may be more or less. Plus you'll save $165 if you can drive to the US.

Image

$800USD roughly right now which works out to $1080CAD at current (terrible) exchange rates but this literally includes enough bags to last you for years.
If you seal one thing per day on average (I'm doing roughly 1.5/day) this will last you nearly 8 years assuming an even distribution of bags (which won't be even, I use the 6x10* more than anything else) *I know I said 6x10 because that's what I have. If I didn't have those I'd buy 6x12.
For the $35USD I would actually get another pack of the 6x12s (because let's face it, you're spending a grand, what's another $35?) and you'll have enough bags to last you over a decade.
This wide assortment of bags covers damn near every use case I have at home with the exception of whole racks of ribs and whole fillets of fish. They're just too long to fit in the machine.

Also, I'd actually recommend you get the 4mil bags instead of the 3mil bags. They're about 20-30% more expensive but they're thicker.
This is completely optional as 3mil bags are just fine, but thicker bags are more resilient to punctures etc.
All (most as my 2.5x10 aren't) of my bags are 4mil. Most restaurants and the culinary school I attended use 3mil bags.

At the end of the day, assuming nothing breaks, you're looking at $100/year to sustain vacuum sealing including bags.
if you throw out more than $2/week in food, you can literally pay for a chamber sealer with spoilage alone.
Hell, assuming you spend $10 on lunch, vacuum pack those leftovers and take it to work literally once a month instead of eating out means you can pay for the chamber via lunch alone.
Compound that with food that you should be buying in bulk but currently don't due to spoilage issues, you're going to be breaking even and making money far quicker.

Even if I threw out my machine and ALL my bags right now I'd still be ahead of the game.

TL;DR Bring lunch instead of buying lunch once a MONTH and you get a free chamber sealer
It's a little dated, but what site is this?

For me, I would rather spend less, but not that big on an issue... space is at a premium though. What are the dimensions roughly?
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joeyjoejoe wrote:
Jan 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
It's a little dated, but what site is this?
Hmm.
Apparently I'm stupid and never listed a retailer...
It's
http://www.webstaurantstore.com/
For me, I would rather spend less, but not that big on an issue... space is at a premium though. What are the dimensions roughly?
According to Webs it's:
Width 16 Inches
Depth 24 Inches
Height 9 Inches

Amazon says:
Product Dimensions: 48.9 x 33 x 69.8 cm
I have no idea who is right though.

These are by no means small (or light) at 36lbs so it's not something you're storing under the counter.
However it's fast become my most used kitchen appliance that doesn't generate heat so it lives on my counter (or rather a little cart) permanently.
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Nov 17, 2004
243 posts
72 upvotes
couple of examples...t

leftover chicken and beef broth, chamber sealed in milk bags and frozen.
Image

2 lb of yeast from Costco $4.99, to be divided and vac sealed. Compare this to Walmart prices (click here) , let alone supermarket prices.
Image

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