Cooking food sous vide sounds like it should be complicated… but this could be farther from the truth. Sous vide simply means vacuum-sealing food in a plastic bag and then cooking it in a water bath at a precise temperature. This results in tender meat, fish, or vegetables that melt in your mouth!
The key to sous vide cooking is using the right tools. So if you’re a professional chef or you’d just like to up your sous vide cooking skills at home, we’ve done our research to present to you the best vacuum sealers for sous vide.
Top 12 Best Vacuum Sealers For Sous Vide
First on the list is the NutriChef PKVS Vacuum Sealer. This budget vacuum sealer comes in a relatively simple design, but it has everything you need in a sealer for sous vide cooking. The one-touch buttons on top of the unit are simple and easy to clean, with the LED lights indicating which option you selected.
The best part about the NutriChef vacuum sealer is it offers separate sealing modes for fully dry or moist food, making it perfect for vacuum-sealing marinated meats and even soup. It also comes in gentle or normal settings to seal delicate foods like berries and cereal.
Upon purchase, the NutriChef vacuum sealer comes with five medium-sized bags and one extra-large vacuum bag roll, all of which are waterproof and reusable. This food vacuum sealer also includes an air suction hose and wine stopper cork so that you can seal canisters or unfinished bottles of wine.
- Can seal moist foods well
- One-touch operation
- Only fits up to 14-inch bags
The fan-favorite Foodsaver V2244 has been in the market for quite some time, but it’s not to be overlooked! This is a great basic model for sealing bags, and its compact size will fit even the tightest countertops.
Not much can be said about Foodsaver vacuum sealers as they are solid, reliable food sealers. Still, in today’s market, other Foodsaver vacuum sealers are available out there with multiple settings, functions, and extra accessories.
- Comes with a starter kit of various bag sizes
- No extra functions
One of the best things about the Mueller Vacuum Sealer Machine is its versatility in adapting to other brands of vacuum sealer bags and rolls. This unit boasts of an easy-to-use control panel with extremely responsive buttons — even to the point of hypersensitivity.
Like NutriChef, Mueller also lets you choose from gentle or airtight vacuuming and moist and dry. The unit’s incredible suction power also allows you to get picture-perfect seals, even on irregularly-shaped items. However, the Mueller has no integrated bag cutter, nor does it have onboard storage for bag rolls.
- Compact size
- Quick, strong seal
- Includes accessory port and hose
- Hypersensitive buttons
- No bag cutter
A second model from FoodSaver makes our list! The FM2435 series offers much of the same vacuuming power signature from FoodSaver, with a wide sealing strip that can fit bags as wide as 16 inches.
Much like other FoodSaver series, the FM2435 comes with an accessory hose attachment port that can be used to seal canisters and unfinished wine bottles. Another welcome addition is a drip tray that is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
A starter kit complete with several large-sized bags and a ten-foot roll is included with every FoodSaver FM2435.
- Wide sealing strip
- Dishwasher-safe drip tray
- Starter kit bags will last you a long time
- No internal storage
- Only one year limited warranty
The Nesco Deluxe VS-12 is probably the best on the list for vacuum-sealing delicate foods. The unit’s gentle mode can seal bread and pastries until they’re squished flat. The Nesco VS-12 has three seal settings for your consumption: dry, moist, and double seal, for extra protection.
One of the cool things about the VS-12 model is the digital display that counts down, so you’ll know exactly how long your vacuuming and sealing takes. And even though Nesco is a lesser-known brand, we can confidently attest that this unit performs just as well as the big players in the game.
- Digital display
- Built-in internal storage
- Different rolls of bag material
- No air hose hookup
- Vague warranty details
Arguably the most inexpensive on this list is the Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer. The unit’s controls are simple — you can choose from either vacuum/seal or seal only. It also includes a bag roll compartment and a built-in bag slicer.
On the downside, however, since this Nesco edition is a budget unit, it doesn’t have the option to seal liquids or marinated food. You will also need to press down on the edges pretty hard to get the bag to seal completely. For its price, though, we can’t complain.
- Built-in bag roll compartment
- Intuitive control panel
- No moist sealing
- Bulkier than other models
Geryon is right on top with FoodSaver regarding popular vacuum sealers. The Geryon Automatic Sealer has a whopping eight different food sealing settings, including vacuum and seal, canister, moist food, dry food, gentle for fragile food, and pulse, which the LED light conveniently shows.
Furthermore, this Geryon vacuum sealer machine sports a floating hinge, allowing the removal of the top part for easy cleaning. Each purchase comes with a set of bags, an accessory port, and a hose for sealing containers.
However, if you’re sensitive to noise, we wouldn’t recommend the Geryon, as it is one of the loudest on this list.
- Compact and lightweight
- Removable upper lid
One of the most respected brands in sous vide cooking is Anova, and the Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer does not disappoint! This is one of the best vacuum sealers to be used alongside the brand’s sous vide cooker.
This one-touch unit has three settings: vacuum and seal, seal, and pulse vacuum. Those who live in homes with small kitchen spaces would love Anova because of its compact size that would fit inside kitchen drawers and cabinets.
It works well with vacuum-sealing meat, but if there’s any downside to this unit, it doesn’t work well with delicate produce like fruits. It also does not have any accessories, aside from the ten pre-cut bags.
- Intuitive use
- Compact and lightweight
- No accessories
- Limited functionality
If you’re looking for the best vacuum sealer for handheld use, you can’t go wrong with the FoodSaver Handheld. This nifty tool is extremely compact — it weighs just one pound and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Don’t let its size fool you, though — this unit performs like a beast in vacuum sealing and works well with a variety of food items like tough steak and delicate berries.
One full 24-hour charge of the FoodSaver Handheld seals up to 60 FoodSaver quart bags. There is no charging dock with this unit but rather a charging cord.
- Long battery life
- Handheld compact unit
- Not as powerful as full-sized vacuum sealers
10. FoodSaver VS3150
One of the newest models from FoodSaver is the VS3150. The best part about this unit is its versatility; it has modes for both wet and dry foods and pulse mode for crackers, cookies, and cereal. The drip tray within the unit is also removable, making cleanup of unwanted spillage easy.
The FoodSaver VS3150 has a handheld vacuum cleaner built-in, which we found ourselves enjoying for small jobs like marinating two cuts of chicken breasts at a time. It can also be used with additional attachments like bottle-stoppers and reusable containers.
If you could consider this a downside, the unit’s lid is canted at an angle, meaning the bag positioning takes quite some time to get used to. It’s also quite taller at the back and bulkier than other vacuum sealers.
- Has a built-in handheld vacuum sealer
- Includes moist, dry, and pulse settings
- Slanted lid
Unlike other horizontal vacuum sealers, the Gourmia GVS445 catches your eye with its vertical orientation. However, its unique layout makes it the perfect size and shape to store bags and push against your kitchen wall for more counter space. The controls are positioned on top of the unit, with various sealing methods for you to choose from, including sealing canisters and even a pickling function.
However, this sealing unit comes with only one bag and a small roll, meaning you will have to invest in additional vacuum zipper bags if you want to start to cook sous vide. It does have a built-in cutter to make your own custom bags easily, though.
- Vertical orientation is good for kitchen space
- Various sealing methods
- No specified warranty
- Comes with only one bag and a small roll
The FoodSaver FM5200 is specifically designed to work well with rolls! The unit has an internal bag roll storage that is open to view, so you can easily tell when it’s time to refill. It also has a dishwasher-safe removable drip tray that can catch juices or liquids while sealing.
Furthermore, the unit comes with a handheld sealer, giving you various sealing options. Additionally, every purchase of the unit comes with a wealth of bags and a ten-foot roll to get you started.
The Express Bag Maker feature found in the FM5200 series lets you make your own bags faster by cutting the bag-making steps in half. This makes it perfect for those who like cooking/sealing in bulk! Roll waste is also reduced by 30 percent with this unit.
- Can seal moist foods well
- One-touch operation
- Only fits up to 14-inch bags
Vacuum Sealer Hand Pump
If you’re concerned about the costs, you don’t have to purchase a full-sized vacuum sealer just yet. Of course, a hand pump vacuum sealer won’t be as simple and easy to use and will require a little bit of manual effort from you, but it’ll get the job done just fine.
External Vacuum Sealer
External vacuum sealers are the best sous vide vacuum sealers for beginners. They are the typical edge sealers that you will find done in your local grocery stores. External vacuum sealer units will not break the bank like regular chamber vacuum sealers, but their unit-specific bags do cost a lot more.
Chamber Vacuum Sealer
If you project that you’ll be doing a lot of sous vide cooking in the foreseeable future, investing in a more-expensive chamber vacuum sealer is the way to go. This is the best sous vide vacuum sealer, as it places bags inside a chamber to remove the air fully. This process is great for wet seals, like marinated meats, as it doesn’t agitate the food or liquids inside.
The cost of unit-specific zipper bags for a chamber vacuum sealer is also relatively more inexpensive when compared to external vacuum sealer bags, which might prove to pay for the unit themselves in the long run.
Not all vacuum sealers are built similarly — some units feature a stronger vacuum strength, which makes a difference in how much time it takes to seal food. However, most manufacturers do not advertise the vacuum strength of their units, and it will be up to you to find out which specific unit has the strength to fit your specific needs.
The vacuum sealer you choose must be reliable and efficient. The standard rule of thumb is that the sealing process of top-rated vacuum sealers should not take more than 30 seconds. When using the dry mode, there should be no air left inside the bag, and on wet mode, there must be no air left inside the food bag, yet the marinade must still be left intact.
Furthermore, there should be no chance of leaking in the bag seals. A good vacuum sealer also prevents freezer burn.
Ease Of Use
Other vacuum sealers are intuitive to use, while some had us scratching our heads trying to make sense of the instruction manual. Good vacuum sealers must be user-friendly with good supporting materials. We also scored quieter units higher than those who made excessive, loud noises.
Marinating meats with flavor and spices is an age-old trick to make them more scrumptious and flavorful. After adding seasonings, using sous vide vacuum sealers will make the flavors adhere to the meat even more, as this process compresses the spices and rubs into the nooks and crannies. This is how you can get picture-perfect dishes with minimal effort.
Moreover, vacuum-sealing creates an impenetrable bag around your meat, so when it is popped in the heated water bath later, water is prevented from entering the bag, leaving the flavors intact and the food undiluted. Learn how to sous vide frozen steaks here.
A built-in roll or bag storage in a vacuum sealer is nice, but it’s not a necessity. After all, having these extra features within the machine will translate to a larger, bulkier unit. If they have this feature, they should feel solid and sturdy — not flimsy and prone to snagging.
Getting a vacuum sealer that will heat-seal bags flawlessly will give you the best bang for your buck. This is especially crucial if you own a restaurant and frequently have a large quantity of meat to seal. Many vacuum sealers are developed to run consistently without overheating, but some units require a downtime interval to cool down in between uses.
However, if your vacuum sealer is only for home or personal use, this won’t be an issue.
Also Read: Best Torches for Sous Vide Cooking
Controls & Customization
Customization is highly important in a sous vide vacuum sealer. You want a unit that includes a wet mode, marinade mode, and pulse mode, aside from the standard dry sealing.
Some vacuum sealers allow you to override automatic controls to customize the levels of sealing. Seal-only is another cool feature that only seals the bag without removing the oxygen inside it, making it perfect for half-eaten bags of chips.  Vacuum-sealing meat is also a great way to prevent freezer burn.
Acceptable Bags & Rolls
Before you jump the gun on purchasing a vacuum sealer, perhaps something to keep in mind is its compatibility with other bags and rolls. Some units will only accept bags and rolls manufactured by the same company as the unit itself, while others will accept nearly any bags or rolls. The more flexibility and freedom you have in after-sales purchases of bags, the more you will be able to shop around for the best bags and rolls prices.
Size & Weight
The size of the unit is directly correlated to the bag size you can use, as you will only be able to seal bags as wide as the seal bar. You will also likely lug the vacuum sealer around the kitchen, so you want a food sealer with a weight that you’re comfortable with.
Storage & Portability
One of the things that must be considered when purchasing vacuum sealers for sous vide is their storage and portability. Since this machine is not often used, you will need a place to store it in between uses.
Some vacuum sealers can be stored horizontally and vertically to minimize storage space. They also feature cord-wrapping and accessory compartmentalization to enhance its space-saving function further.
Read: Grill vs Sous Vide
Benefits of Using Vacuum Sealers for Sous Vide
The main reason people opt for cooking sous vide is stronger flavor retention. Vacuum-sealed bags further seal in flavors, juices, and aromas to all nooks and crannies of the meat, bringing out its potent flavor.
Unreliable vacuum sealers can result in open baggies that can spill steak juices in the cooking process, or worse, even get the ziplock baggie sink to the bottom — which means you’re boiling meat, not cooking it sous vide. Bags that have air inside will also tend to float, resulting in uneven cooking. But, what’s the best steak for sous vide?
Stays Fresh Longer
Outside of sous vide, vacuum sealers keep food fresh for longer. You can keep meat fresh inside the freezer for up to two years inside a vacuum-sealed bag!
Furthermore, vacuum sealers are handy for meal prep and food storage. You can arrange your meals for the week inside vacuum-sealed bags to ensure they stay fresh until you’re ready to cook them. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
Better Surface Heat
With sous vide, a vacuum-sealed bag ensures that hot water gets in contact with more surfaces of your food. This will result in a more even cooking temperature throughout.
Will any vacuum sealer work for sous vide?
Yes, any vacuum sealer will work for sous vide. You also don’t have to invest in the more expensive brands of vacuum sealers right upfront — any brand will do just fine.
Do I need a vacuum for sous vide?
Yes, a vacuum sealer is required for sous vide cooking. Sous vide translates to “under vacuum” in French, which means cooking vacuum-sealed food in a water bath at a low temperature. Without vacuum-sealed food, the only thing you’re really doing is “boiling.”
And the #1 Vacuum Sealer for Sous Vide is…
And the best sous vide vacuum sealer is the NutriChef PVKS Vacuum Sealer! We can’t recommend this enough for people who are just getting started on their sous vide journey, and even for those who have a little bit more experience. This is a no-frills, solid, reliable sealer that has everything you need.
Vacuum sealers are great tools to keep in your arsenal for anyone who wants to keep their food fresher for longer. Let us know what you think about the NutriChef PVKS Vacuum Sealer by sounding off below!
NutriChef PVKS Vacuum Sealer
- Has a one-touch operation
- Works great with moist food
- Is budget- and beginner-friendly
Agnes is a kitchen and cooking enthusiast as well as a fitness fanatic. She loves to help readers upgrade their kitchen with the best available products!