For centuries humanity has faced one enduring problem, how to preserve the food we eat. Humans found early in our development that foods like meat will spoil, but they can make us very ill if we try to eat them in that state.
Even before we knew that bacteria existed, humans realized that food resources had a shelf-life, so we began experimenting with ways to keep them safe for consumption. For example, we put food in cool spots in our homes, hung it in outbuildings and eventually found that salting meat kept it fresh for long periods.
With the advent of science and the discovery of microbes, we were better able to seek out new ways of not only keeping our food safe but making it last far longer than ever before. Enter vacuum food sealers.
The first vacuum sealers began being used by industry in the 1940s during World War II, but in 1963, a German inventor named Karl Busch made the first units to be marketed to the public. Consumers have watched with joy and participated in finding great uses for them ever since.
How To Choose The Right Vacuum Sealer?
There are different factors you should consider to decide which vacuum sealer is the best one for you. The first thing to consider is your reason for wanting to vacuum seal your food.
There are many purposes people have for vacuum sealing their food. One of the biggest is to save money. Whether you have a large family or live alone, have a summer garden, own berry bushes, or hunt, vacuum-sealing your prizes can be an important way to enhance your food budget.
Some who prefer to buy their groceries in bulk also enjoy the benefits of using a food sealing system. It allows them to save space in their freezer or pantry and avoid freezer burn.
Why are vacuum savers so effective in preserving food? The answer is in what is needed by the pathogens need to grow. Vacuum sealers evacuate the air necessary for bacteria on and in the food you are preserving to grow. Take away the oxygen from the bacteria, and its growth is highly curtailed. Vacuum sealers cannot keep food fresh indefinitely, but it is a great way to slow down its spoilage extensively.
There are many vacuum sealers on the market today, but two stand out as the best food vacuum sealers in value and popularity. Foodsaver and Seal-A-Meal. While choosing between which of these two models will meet your needs, there are some essential criteria to consider:
- The cost of the unit
- The bag sizes and accessories available
- Do you want the choice to preserve not only in bags but in other containers as well?
- Consumer rating of the product
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealers
According to the FoodSaver official website, this type of vacuum sealer: “keeps food fresh up to 5x longer and saves up to $2700 per year based on buying in bulk, on sale and preventing waste” and have an “easy-to-use manual operation to preserve a variety of foods.”
There are many different models of FoodSaver products depending on your needs in usage and price point. There is the basic model, the FoodSaver FM2000 Vacuum Sealing System for $79.99, and the FoodSaver® 5800 Series 2-In-1 Automatic Bag-Making Vacuum Sealing System for $299.99 which can be purchased either on the FoodSaver official website or in retail stores around the country. These models are ideal for use by either families or single persons in the preservation of their food.
The FoodSaver Gamesaver is a popular model for use by outdoors people and is ideal for gaming and fishing. The FoodSaver® GameSaver® Big Game™ GM710 Food Preservation System, which is priced at around $199.99.
It is important to note that these prices are only the high and low-end versions available of the products offered by FoodSaver. In addition, some listed on their website are priced in between what’s been listed above.
FoodSaver vacuum sealers are compact and are easily manually operated. Customers report that there is less bag wastage because it seals almost every time on the first try. This product comes with a 5-year limited warranty and has many accessories available that can seal not only bags but bottles and jars. In addition, it has an accessory port and hose to seal canisters and marinate food in minutes.
FoodSaver® offers many different sizes of bags at reasonable prices. They come at many sizes and prices, a few of which are listed below:
- 11 x 16 Inch regular bags (three-roll pack)
- 11 x 18 Inch GameSaver bags (six-roll pack)
- 8 x 20-inch regular bags (three-roll pack)
- Gallon sealer bags for a 30-ct. box
- Pint for a 28-ct. box
- Quart for a 12-ct. Box
There are many other combinations not listed above of sizes available on the FoodSaver® website.
The bags are specially made to withstand the rigors of staying for long periods in the freezer, as well as going from your freezer straight into boiling water or your microwave. Also, the variety of sizes makes them helpful to anyone, no matter your need or purpose.
The consumer ratings are given online; FoodSaver rate 4.8 out of 5 for buyers’ enjoyment of its convenience, ease of use, and enormous long-term cost savings.
Seal-A-Meal Vacuum Sealers
According to the official Seal-A-Meal website, their product is designed to “Keep food fresh longer than traditional food storage methods.”
Seal-A-Meal offers one model priced at $49.99. The unit is described as utilizing a press/hold release system, a patented removable drip tray, having hands-free indicator lights and having a compact design. In addition, Seal-A-Meal offers a one-year limited warranty.
The Seal-A-Meal bags are available in 8-inch, 11-inch, quart and gallon sizes in bags and rolls. They do not offer accessories.
Seal-A-Meal rates a 4 out of five in consumer satisfaction. The reasons for the rating are that you must use it primarily for sealing solid food, and you cannot use it in a heavy-duty manner, such as preserving large amounts at one time. Consumers also did not like the lack of available accessories. However, they loved the low cost of the unit and the ease they had in using it.
Comparing FoodSaver to Seal-A-Meal
This is the first and foremost model for a food saver from Seal A Meal. As mentioned earlier, Seal A Meal provides some of the best vacuum sealers on the market, so it is no surprise that this vacuum sealer system is among the most popular.
This is the only model offered by Seal A Meal right now, but it provides some of the best features of them all. The vacuum sealer works to remove all the air from plastic bags to create a secure seal, which prevents the food from taking up too much space in your freezer or refrigerator and ensures that your food will last much longer.
In addition, your food will retain its taste and nutrients, which is a far cry from when you have to deal with fruits and vegetables going bad after only a few days. You can prep meals ahead of time if you’re busy and store the food in the bags.
The best part of this vacuum sealer system is incredibly easy to use; it offers one-press vacuum sealing. First, you need to press down on the lid with both hands until the Hands-Free light illuminates. Then, the unit will work to vacuum and seal the bag using the sealing band.
You don’t only have to resort to using the vacuum sealer for food; it is also great to use for liquids and creams when you travel, or you can protect important documents and paperwork if you’re moving, for example, and so much more. In addition, you can use the vacuum sealer system with any of the food saver bags offered by the company, as the company provides bags in many sizes.
It is perfect for people who live in small homes, but keep in mind that you should not use an extension cord with this product if you’re tight on space. When you purchase this unit, you will get four 1-quart vacuum seal bags, a user manual, and a 1-year warranty along with the machine itself.
The first vacuum sealer system from Food Saver is also one of the best for food items. FoodSaver is considered the main rival of Seal-a-Meal Vacuum, but they are both the best in bag rolls and all the other features you need in a chamber vacuum sealer model.
This machine works to prevent freezer burns, rotting, and more, saving you money and keeping your food fresh for several times as long. Ground beef, for example, can last up to 3 years in your freezer and still stay fresh with this product.
You can use it for many different purposes, such as preparing meals, storing leftovers, and more. The machine also offers automatic bag detection to make vacuum sealing easy. All you have to do is put the vacuum seal bags in the chamber, and the machine will do the rest.
The vacuum sealer also offers built-in roll storage and a cutter to let you make pre-cut bags to fit anything you need to be sealed. It also has lights on the unit to help guide you through the process.
In addition, this vacuum sealing system offers consistent sealing, and you are guaranteed to reach the optimal vacuum level with an airtight seal. It also provides automatic moisture protection to switch to the correct mode so you can still get an airtight seal out of the deal.
There is also a removable drip tray to catch any of the overflow liquid. This means that you can also use the machine to store food in glass jars, canning jars, or something else to help make the sealing process easier and prevent the problem of overflow and dripping.
In short, the Food Saver is one of the options that you need to consider for your kitchen.
The next Food Saver vacuum sealer is also a highly reviewed and rated product. In addition, it offers many of the same features as the other FoodSaver option, which shows that the brand consistently produces high-quality products.
With this, you will save more money and food in the long run because you won’t have to worry about throwing away rotten food constantly. In addition, if you use this machine for vacuum sealing, you will be able to keep food tasting fresh for much longer than if you were to use traditional methods.
This is because the Food Saver removes all the oxygen and moisture from inside the special bag rolls using the vacuum sealing system, which helps to ensure that the food will not grow mold, mildew, or go bad quickly.
The sealing process is straightforward, and that is only exemplified by the fact that this vacuum sealer is also an express bag maker, which reduces the steps to the vacuum sealing process by 50% compared to other models manufactured by the same brand.
This is due to the second heat-sealing bar, which is meant to automatically prep the next bag. This helps to resolve the issue of time, and it makes preparing for meals so much easier. In many reviewers’ opinion, this model is one of the best on the market, especially for people who don’t have much time on their hands.
An easy-view vacuum window lets you easily control where you seal and when you need to replace the roll bags. There are also light indicators to help guide you through the process of vacuum sealing. These unique features also help to make this machine one of the best on the market.
Finally, the vacuum sealing system offers automatic moisture detection, which means that it can detect any moisture in your food, thus switching to the correct mode to ensure an airtight seal.
Conclusion: Which Is Better?
Overall, one can see that the vacuum sealers offered by both Seal-a-Meal and FoodSaver have the same functions and carry out the same process. However, the FoodSaver sealers provide more features that could make them a more convenient option depending on what you’re looking for.
FoodSaver offers a much greater range of both models and accessories, which makes it very attractive to people who need a system that allows them to seal in bulk. Our favorite is the FoodSaver V4400 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Machine, which has an automatic bag detection and sealing mode, so you get an airtight seal every time.
The Seal-A-Meal Manual Vacuum Sealer System is priced at around $50 and is a good option for those who don’t want to invest a lot of money in a vacuum sealer. This is a manual sealer, which is easy to use and has a compact design. However, it’s not the best option if you’re planning on vacuuming meat and food in bulk.
While both systems have pros and cons, choosing a vacuum sealer system is mainly based on personal needs and desired outcomes. Both systems offer the same great benefit, stopping food from spoiling quickly.
Using a food preservation system such as FoodSaver and Seal-A-Meal can save you money and time while keeping your pantry and freezer neatly stocked with groceries to feed yourself and your family. In addition, utilizing a vacuum seal product can mean many years of peace of mind that the food products bought by your hard-earned paycheck are being protected and used to their full potential.
How to Use a Vacuum Sealer