Vacuum Sealer Reviews, Sous Vide Cookers and My Love Affair with Sous Vide

sous vide cooking, vacuum sealer reviews, molecular gastronomyHi there, my name is Tiffany Sanders and I live off the West Coast. My love with sous vide method of cooking began 4 years ago when I stumbled upon the topic online. Back then the concept was only known to large kitchens and accomplished chefs. However, over the decades, gradually equipment required for the art became globally cheaper and more available to the “ubiquitous” home cook – allowing anyone to make great gourmet meals with absolute ease and convenience.

Okay so what do you need? To start off with you need at least a vacuum sealer (check the various vacuum sealer reviews – chamber and external variants, although you only need an external sealer if sous vide is all you are after). And if you are really serious take a look at the water ovens or also called sous vide cookers. Also don’t forget to check out our top 5 recipe section.

Unfortunately, I can’t purchase each and every machine out there to review but it is my goal to eventually review all vacuum sealers in the market and water ovens too. Thankfully, this niche does not change products or even models as quickly as say a Vacuum cleaner, so having used various models and makes in the past puts me in the unique situation of using my experience to help you decide on the right hardware for your sous vide kitchen with personalized vacuum sealer reviews.

I have set up a rigorous test procedure that you can read in my Vacuum Sealer buyer’s guide along with understanding various criteria to judge and make a more educated better buying choice. From quality, features to reliability, durability and overall customer reaction you can see all this and more in all my vacuum sealer reviews.

What Else?

Well, like I said before, top recipes categorized by cuisine and occasion are also there if you wish to stay current in your maiden kitchen expeditions. Also, do take a look at our tips, tricks and knowledge section, especially if you aren’t yet convinced why you need a vacuum sealer. I reveal how this kitchen gadget actually is a must-have home convenience equipment! Likewise, check out niche related articles, get updates on discounts and special offers or contests only on

Why Buy a Vacuum Sealer at All?

why buy vacuum sealersOk, so the entire concept of sous vide revolves around the use of vacuum sealed pouch in a hot water bath. What you do is put all the spices, herbs and ingredients necessary for a recipe in a pouch, vacuum seal it and then drop it in a controlled hot bath or water oven. Yeah, it is that simple really!

But other than its uses in sous vide, did you know that with a vacuum sealer you can preserve food far longer than plastic wraps and Tupperware? Yes, while conventional methods of storage may be effective solutions, they only extend shelf life by a few days at most. On the other hand, good vacuum sealers are indispensable for storing ration and food indefinitely for months, and that too without really affecting its quality or taste.

This is possible because when vacuum sealing or even canning a jar with a vacuum sealer, all the air is suctioned out and with it all the moisture. Anything sealed in a vacuum pouch has no air (well they are called vacuum bags for a reason). With no moisture and oxygen, mold, mildew, pest, microbes never germinate. According to some estimates, vacuum sealing can prolong shelf life by nearly five times!

Oh! By the way, when you store these vacuum sealed bags in a freezer, the sub-zero temperatures add to the preservation process by dramatically slowing down enzyme breakdown that is the root cause for all perishables going bad. Moreover, with zero air, frozen vacuum bags do not suffer from freezer burn so if you like the idea of storing frozen meat, fish or poultry in bulk vacuum sealing is definitely worth your while. Marinades take a fraction of the conventional time necessary if you seal the meat or fish and throw it in the freezer – no more refrigerating overnight to get that perfect marinade!

And if you still aren’t convinced why you need to read up on my vacuum sealer reviews, well here’s another reason. Certain models will even let you wrap linens, artifacts, magazines, general household items. How can this be useful, you ask? Well think of camping or even relocating overseas. Anything that needs protection from dust and humidity, for instance your clothes to preserve that fresh smell and feel, can be vacuum sealed exactly like perishables are done. Just keep an eye out for my special Judgement Day Vacuum Sealing Series, you will be astonished by what you can do with a good sealer.

Temperature Is Everything In Sous Vide

why temperature matters in sous videSous vide is all about the temperature. Precision of the water bath temperature reading is everything to ensure uniformly cooked food. Unfortunately using an oven thermometer every now and then isn’t going to give you uniformity in the level of doneness. What you need is a specialized device suitable for sous vide based on your needs and your unique budget.

Thankfully, equipment for this specialized form of cooking has become more readily available over the years and for us home cooks, controlling water bath temperatures is a breeze. As long as you have a vacuum sealer, you can decide on whether to go the expensive chamber based Sous Vide machinery way or use an immersion circulator.

What To Consider For Your Cooking Equipment?

For a quick insight, here are a few things you have to consider.

  • Water Bath Capacity: The capacity of your equipment will govern what you can and cannot make. When calculating your base requirement take into consideration that you will only use half the water bath capacity to ensure proper water circulation. In fact, larger the capacity more is the power used and hence, the size of the container to ensure even distribution of heat.
  • Container Type: Some systems come with a container while others don’t. Regardless every container must have flawless insulation to save energy, reduce time and ensure evenness in heating. With immersion heaters or circulators, you must keep in mind that they don’t typically come with lids so heat loss is inevitable. However, there are specialized containers for such immersion type regulators.
  • Temperature Fluctuation: Like I said before, controlling the temperature is everything in sous vide. The best equipment maintains stability in the range of ±0.05 °C. It all depends on the quality and careful testing done by manufacturers.
  • Power: Be it an all-in-one cooker solution or your personal collection of heating element, container and so forth – greater the power of the heating element faster you get your equipment ready for sous vide.

There are many more things to consider, but from a temperature aspect these are vital. Based on the equipment in question, you would have to look at different features. In fact, there are many accessories that are available depending on the configuration you opt for.

To get a more in-depth idea on sous vide cooking needs try my “Sous Vide Buyer’s Guide”.

Top Vacuum Sealer Reviews!

Buying A Vacuum Sealer – A Quick Overview

For a more detailed approach and my personal take to buying a vacuum sealer, see my vacuum sealer buying guide.

Do you plan on moving around with a vacuum sealer? You may not think portability accounts for much until you factor in its various uses. Think of camping, picnics and parties – places where vacuum sealing can come handy. Are you a homeless shelter volunteer, maybe carrying your vacuum sealer would be a great idea to help the poor stay rationed for longer than just the weekend. Many counter-top models will be no more than the size of a modern age printer making them somewhat portable. These are good enough for packing meat, veggies, fruits, marinade items and even liquids to a certain extent. On the other hand, such tiny units aren’t the most efficient. Because they have smaller pumps and compact heat seals, you just can’t expect the consistency seen in heavy duty chamber sealers.
Some come with upright sealing mouths while others use a horizontal orientation. The upright or vertical orientations make liquid sealing easy and may accommodate cans and jars. Flat vacs however are primarily for dry items and larger bags. They may not be as easy to handle with liquids.
Top end models can gauge the air pressure in the bag or container prior to sealing, accordingly adjusting to the needs. These obviously cost more and are just as efficient with reduced bag wastage. The alternative is a time based seal where you simply set the time to suction air out of the bag or container and let it run. Problem with such units is that if you aren’t careful you can easily puncture a bag or even blow a glass jar to smithereens by reducing the pressure too much.
Not all features available as add-ons with vacuum sealers will appeal to you. For instance, some come with multiple speeds, sealing actions while others are designed to be efficient with liquids more so than solids or may even be dishwasher friendly. Carefully choose these consumer centric features based on your unique requirement as each feature may add to the price tag.
How easy is the sealer to use? Can it take in any kind of bag, what are its limitations? Certain models need proprietary bags and generic rolls may not produce the same results. Likewise, few models will be capable of handling glass jars but might increase the difficulty of sealing. Also, under simplicity comes the maintenance factor. Does it become harder to use the sealer over time with reducing efficiency? Will the compressor wear out quicker than anticipated and what then?

Lots of considerations go into the purchase of a suitable vacuum sealer and prime among them is what you will use it for. I personally keep multiple sealers and use them for myriad occasions and needs. It is my hope that through my experiences detailed in the various vacuum sealer reviews, articles, how-to-guides and maintenance manual found here you will understand the need for one and happily choose one for your maiden sous vide/vacuum sealing journey.

Remember a vacuum sealer is not just for sous vide cooking!


I stumbled across SousvideXpress while figuring out. Now it is my only choice on everything sous vide.
Jacobi Rice | Dallas, TX
I bought all my sous vide equipment thanks to Tiffany’s exhaustive guides and reviews. Definitely the best source online for anything sous vide.
Jennifer Ralton | Miami, FL

Types Of Sous Vide Temperature Based Units

Typically, sous vide is possible using three current age equipment. What you prefer entirely depends on what you already possess and how serious you really are about sous vide. Unlike a vacuum sealer that you can reuse, other accessories aren’t all that versatile outside of the kitchen.

immersion circulatorsImmersion circulators are the most popular kind since they take up less space, are the original sous vide equipment and can operate with varied sized stockpots. In fact, good immersion circulators also keep up circulation and are therefore great at maintaining the heat throughout. However, they have a maximum and minimum capacity that you must adhere with to ensure proper and safe usage. Some come with additional features such as low water level shutdown, temperature alarms and even smartphone connectivity!
aoua vide with PIDRice Cookers With PID is the poor man’s approach to sous vide. Many modern day rice cookers come inbuilt with PID controllers and while they aren’t the best at maintaining accurate temperature readings, they are at least cheap and easy to learn the art of sous vide from scratch. Unfortunately, you need a large rice cooker to ensure proper water circulation and since the temperature readings aren’t all that accurate owing to their mechanism of operation, it is best not to try intricate recipes.
water bath sous vide machineWater Bath Sous Vide Devices also called as temperature controlled water baths are the most inexpensive solution and tend to come as a single convenient unit. They have a container with lid and heater with temperature control that makes sous vide a domestic art form. Personally I prefer this over all else as it reduces the need to constantly monitor your recipes. However, they are large and bulky, heavy and rather slow to cook with. The reason why you have to cook slowly with such equipment is because it does not circulate water at all and thus hurried efforts can manifest in uneven results.

Just Two Forms of Vacuum Sealers

Functionally vacuum sealers can easily be classified into two broad categories and this takes into account how air is suctioned our from the containing package and sealed thereafter.

Chamber Vacuum Sealers

Chamber Vacuum Sealers

Chamber Sealers are quick, efficient and large or bulky. You have to place the container inside a large chamber that then uses this chamber to create a vacuum, finally double sealing the package once done. However, beware of the price point as they usually are heavy duty, full metal bodies meant for commercial packaging.

See Chamber Vacuum Sealer Reviews

External Vacuum Sealers

External Vacuum Sealers

External Sealers usually have a clamp based design that need specialized textured bags with channels running through the bag to help such air out. The sealer will clamp down and create a suction to draw air out before finally impulse heating the open end to create a complete seal. These are simple devices and rather affordable too. However, beware of the maintenance and specialized bag costs.

See External Vacuum Sealer Reviews
Usage Frequency:
Weight & Form Factor
Maintenance Costs
Bag Compatibility
Usage Frequency:
Weight & Form Factor
Maintenance Costs
Bag Compatibility