The Best Vacuum Sealer for the Kitchen, According to the Best Experts

published Dec 13, 2019
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Too often, the freezer is where leftovers go to die a terrible, freezer-burned death. You buy a big pack of chicken breasts with the best intentions. And you even portion them out into family-sized amounts as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Then, weeks later, you go to pull one out and it’s freezer-burned and has taken on a pale, sad color. This is where vacuum sealers come in. We often say that anyone with a Costco membership needs one of these gadgets, but really, they can be useful for so many families.

There are a few things you need to consider when it comes to vacuum sealers — most clearly, the ability to suck the air out of a package and seal said package. An accessory port is a nice-to-have feature (to seal jars or marinate meat), and you may want more control options depending on what you’re hoping to vacuum seal. For example, some machines have special settings for moist foods (although lots of manufacturers recommend freezing soups and stews before you seal them), and some machines have pulse or manual buttons to seal delicate items without smashing them (or, at the very least, a cancel button to end the process early). Of course, the more features, the more expensive the machine. So which machine is best for you? Let’s take a look.

Here are the vacuum sealers that other experts recommend and our own two cents at the end.

The Best Vacuum Sealer, According to Wirecutter

Nesco VS-02 Vacuum Sealer, $55

Wirecutter’s first choice (the Nesco American Harvest VS-12 Vacuum Sealer) seems to be sold out everywhere (including the manufacturer’s own website), so we’re defaulting to Wirecutter’s runner-up. This model got points for its low price, plentiful control options (testers noted a few times that it has more options than most models in the same price range), and strong suction. It’s got a sliding bag cutter and the option to extend the sealing time for moist foods. Note: It doesn’t have a pulse button, but it has a cancel button.

The Best Vacuum Sealer, According to Cook’s Illustrated

FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealer, $69

Cook’s Illustrated picked that same Nesco VS-12 that Wirecutter picked (go figure!). Their runner-up costs nearly $300 and is also hard to find. So we took a look at their third pick, which still got a great score during testing and has a very decent price tag. Testers loved the machine’s slim, compact design and easy-to-use interface. It doesn’t have a countdown screen (their first two picks do), but that’s not a huge deal-breaker, they said. It’s easy to clean (thanks to a removable tray) and can be operated manually if need be.

The Best Vacuum Sealer, According to Good Housekeeping

NutriChef Vacuum Sealer, $54

Testers at Good Housekeeping picked this model because it has two sealing modes: one for dry foods and another for anything that’s moist (their word choice, not ours, sorry!). They liked that it has a fully automatic design, is stain resistant, and comes with six vacuum bags.

The Bestselling Vacuum Sealer on Amazon

FoodSaver V2244, $50

This FoodSaver model is the bestselling vacuum sealer on all of Amazon and has more than 2,300 five-star reviews. Proud owners of the machine like that it isn’t too fussy to use, has consistent results, and costs less than lots of other machines. And many are quick to point out that they previously had other FoodSaver machines for years and years, so they’re optimistic that this one will last just as long.

Kitchn’s Thoughts on the Best Vacuum Sealer

If you’re looking for a reliable machine that’s also very versatile, go with the Nesco VS-02. It’s well-priced and highly effective; bags sealed with this machine stay airtight for months on end. There’s no pulse button (again, what you want if you’re sealing delicate foods), but that’s hard to find on less expensive models and not really a deal breaker because this machine does have a cancel button and you can always freeze delicate foods before you seal them. And we like that it at least has an extended or normal seal time, which isn’t common in models at this price. Plus, it has bag storage and a sliding bag cutter.

Do you have a vacuum sealer you love? Tell us about it in the comments below!