Vacuum sealers remove air from around your food, claiming to maintain the quality, flavour and nutrients longer than traditional methods.
In the CHOICE kitchen lab, we put budget vacuum sealers up against high-end models to find out which ones work the best. Here's how we do it.
With over 30 years of combined experience they've seen lots of new technology enter the kitchen space, including the increasingly popular air fryer. Fiona and Martha know how to give appliances a thorough workout in the CHOICE kitchen lab and vacuum sealers are no exception.
With a range of products on the market, what makes us choose one vacuum sealer over another to test? As with most of our product testing, our aim is to test the most popular models on the market and what you're most likely to see in stores.
We survey manufacturers to find out about their range of models, check market sales information and also check for any member requests to test specific models. From this information we put together a final list that goes to our buyers.
They then head out to the retailers and purchase each product, just as a regular consumer would. We do this so we can be sure products are the same as any consumer would find them and not 'tweaked' in any way for better performance.
Our kitchen lab puts vacuum sealers through their paces to determine if freshness and food quality is retained for longer when vacuum sealing compared to using conventional storage methods. We conduct three main tests to assess performance:
- Pantry storage: We judge the appliance's ability to vacuum seal a delicate, dry food (Cheezels) to retain crispness, flavour and texture in ambient (pantry) conditions.
- Fridge storage: We look at whether the vacuum sealers will prolong the quality of fresh meat (chicken breast) in the fridge.
- Freezer storage: We assess whether the vacuum sealers will prolong the quality of fresh meat (chicken breast) in the freezer.
We also conduct extra tests that are not scored and don't form part of the CHOICE Expert Rating:
- Canisters/Delicate foods: We use fresh baby spinach to assess any handheld attachments for vacuum canisters to determine their ability to retain the quality of a delicate moist food stored in the fridge.
- Crushing: We vacuum seal Cheezels using the gentle mode (where available) to assess how well the vacuum sealers handle delicate foods without crushing them.
Ease of use
When determining how easy vacuum sealers are to use, we assess:
- the thoroughness of the instruction manuals (ideally they should include diagrams, detailed operation guidelines and food safety information)
- the clarity of the control labelling, intuitiveness of the controls and ease of operation
- how easy they are to operate, including locking/unlocking the lid, cutter use, creating bags and using vacuum tube accessories
- versatility of the unit and optional accessories
- how easy they are to clean and store.
The CHOICE Expert Rating, our overall score, is made up of:
- performance (50%)
- ease of use (50%).
We maintain a kitchen lab that is up to date with the latest reference machines and calibrated measurement tools for our testers to bring you accurate results.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.