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The Best Vacuum Sealers

If you regularly buy or prepare food in bulk, a vacuum sealer can save you time and money—but only if the machine is quick, effective, and easy to use.

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Last Updated June 1, 2023. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 22: Prime Rib and Popovers

Update, June 2023

The Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer is our new Best Chamber Vacuum Sealer. It did a great job of vacuum-sealing different types of foods and can even vacuum-seal liquids. It also performs a number of fun additional tasks, including infusing, compressing, and quick-pickling. It can’t vacuum-seal large foods (roasts, a gallon of tomato sauce), though, so it’s best for cooks who will make use of those extra functions and only save or seal small or flat foods.

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What You Need To Know

The best vacuum sealers for home cooks perform well and have simple, intuitive controls. Our overall favorite is the Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer. This compact but sturdy external vacuum sealer excelled at vacuum-sealing food and has an easy-to-read display screen that indicated when the machine was vacuuming, sealing, or done with its cycle. A handful of settings offered all of the customization we needed. We also love the sleek and even more compact Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer Pro, which performed just as well and is just as easy to use. An added bonus: Both machines have a roll storage compartment with built-in slicer so that you can easily cut bags to size, though Anova’s jammed occasionally during use. 

Finally, our favorite chamber vacuum sealer is the Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer. It’s large, expensive, and heavy, but did a great job of vacuum-sealing different types of foods, and can even vacuum-seal liquids. It also has some fun extra functions, allowing you to infuse, compress, and quick-pickle foods. It can’t vacuum-seal large items (roasts, a gallon of tomato sauce), though, so it’s best for cooks who will make use of those extra functions and only save or seal small or flat foods.

What You Need To Know 

Have you ever frozen ground meat or berries inside a zipper-lock bag and found them covered in ice crystals only a week later? We have. Vacuum sealers can prevent that disappointment. These machines remove air from customized storage bags before sealing them tightly, effectively protecting the foods inside the bags from moisture loss or gain, whether they’re stored for long periods in the freezer or at room temperature in the pantry. 

Countertop vacuum sealers are ideal for those who do a lot of vacuum-sealing—vegetable gardeners, frequent visitors to farmers’ markets, CSA members, people who like to hunt and fish, bulk shoppers, and meal preppers—they’re sturdier, easier to use, and more powerful than the handheld vacuum sealers that you’ll occasionally see on the market. And because their customized bags are watertight and sturdy, vacuum sealers are also a good tool to have if you do a lot of sous vide cooking.

External Vacuum Sealers versus Chamber Vacuum Sealers

There are two main types of countertop vacuum sealers, each with different advantages. 

External vacuum sealers, sometimes called edge sealers, are the most common type; they’re usually affordable and compact. With these, you put food in a plastic vacuum-seal bag and insert the open end of the bag into the sealer. The vacuum sealer gradually sucks the air out of the bag; once this is done, it melts a narrow strip across the t...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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