By removing oxygen when storing foodstuffs, you can extend the shelf-life of the food you are storing. For example, meat will normally last about six months in the freezer, but if you vacuum seal the meat first and then freeze it, it can last up to two years. Vacuum sealing is also good for storing food such as nuts, which contain fats and which normally go rancid in oxygen.
Here are the best vacuum food storage solutions on the market:
Waring Pro PVS1000 Pistol Vac Professional Vacuum Sealer System
This is a battery operated hand held vacuum sealer.
It comes with 12 one-gallon bags and 12 one-quart bags included – the bags are especially designed for this sealer (you place your food in the bag, close it, and the position the pistol end of the sealer on the red valve on the bag and it removes all the air). The bags are heavy duty and reusable (you can clean them in the dishwasher). It also has a suction cup which you can fix to the pistol to allow you to vacuum jars.
The battery is rechargeable (and comes with a charging stand) and you get a limited five year motor warranty for this machine.
This is an easy to operate counter-top vacuum sealer that allows you to both heat-seal bags, and vacuum seal bags. It also has a port for a hose (included) that will allow you to vacuum jars.
It comes with a roll of bagging included. Please note, you will need a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the bags as you go.
This unit runs on standard household 110 volts, and you get a 1 year limited warranty. This Food Saver is made in the USA.
Seal-a-Meal FSSMSL0160-000 Vacuum Sealer
This vacuum seals, with a separate heat seal option, so you can effectively create your own bags from a length of roll. Note that you can’t use this to vacuum jars, but it is inexpensive and very good value for what it can do.
It has a removable drip tray to catch liquids (and the drip tray can be cleaned in the dishwasher), and they include some 4 quart seal-a-meal bags with the machine. It is operated on a standard 110 volts.
Please note that normal food safety rules still apply when using a vacuum sealer – use the vacuum sealer in conjunction with pressure canning or freezing rather than as a substitute. For more on vacuum sealing safety, please see the following article.