It seems the whole world has embraced the ethos of the ant this season, and not the grasshopper. Collectively we are preserving and storing food more than ever before: to maximize summer/early fall produce bounties, to reduce food waste in anticipation of tighter access to foods in coming pandemic months, and to have something productive to do while spending so much time at home. It’s been a big turn for many of us, but in many ways a good one.
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Which is why it’s time to talk about vacuum sealers. Built to do just what it sounds like—seal up food for easy long-term storage by removing any air—vacuum sealers can be tremendously useful for food preservation of all kinds. Here are the top 3 reasons you should consider investing in a vacuum sealer now, plus great models to buy now.
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Reason 1: You are a small household of one or two.
It might seem counterintuitive for a small household, but a vacuum sealer is a terrific investment if you are only one or two at home. Since smaller households tend to go through food at a slower pace, the ability to preserve foods in smaller amounts or to store them over a longer time will help you avoid food spoilage. Whether it is repackaging a partially used wedge of parmesan cheese, breaking down a package of meat into smaller portions for freezing, or re-sealing pantry items like crackers or cereal to keep them from staling, a vacuum sealer is a great thing to have in your kitchen.
Which one to buy: The Anova Precision Vacuum sealer takes up very little space perfect for smaller kitchens with limited storage and uses pre-cut bags that require no extra prep steps.
Buy it here: Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer ($79.83), amazon.com
Reason 2: You do sous vide cooking, bulk shopping, or both.
If you have embraced sous vide as a cooking method in your house, having a great vacuum sealer is really important. It makes everything easier, and you get a much better result than using zip-top bags. The same holds true for people who buy in bulk. If you are purchasing large volume items, whether it is baking items like flour or nuts, cooking items like large packs of meats or seafood, or even snacking items like large bags of chips, a vacuum sealer will help you break things down into more manageable portions sizes and store things safely in your fridge, freezer, and pantry.
Which one to buy: Nesco VS-12 is one of the highest rated home vacuum sealers you can buy. It can use either pre-made bags or cut-to-size rolls, which store neatly in the unit with a special cutter. The most important thing is that it can work for a long time without needing cooling off time, so it is great for projects where you need to do a lot of sealing at one time.
Buy it here: Nesco VS-12 Vacuum Sealer ($99.99), amazon.com
Reason 3: You have a family.
If you are a household of four or more people, a vacuum sealer can be a godsend. It will allow you to pre-prep meals in advance and preserve in the fridge or freezer to make meal planning a cinch. You can also address the issues around different eating habits and restrictions in your family, so if your gluten-free teenager needs to keep their carbs separated from the rest of the family, this can keep those expensive specialized products fresh longer and uncontaminated.
If you are a larger household, you want a sealer that is super easy to use for everyone or you’ll become the official sealer for the home, which is a burden no one needs. And you want something you can keep at hand, so that it becomes a part of the day-to-day life of the family, and not a big piece of gear that has to be schlepped out.
Which one to buy: For these reasons, a hand-held sealer is a terrific option. The FreshSaver Handheld Vacuum sealer is a cordless rechargeable sealer that works with pre-made vacuum bags that have a special nozzle, or with specialized containers. Just put the food in and use the small unit to remove the air—it’s as easy as closing a plastic container, really!
Buy it here: FreshSaver Handheld Rechargeable Sealing System ($59.98), amazon.com
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