Vacuum packing increases the length of time that food stays good up to 5 times longer than just putting in the freezer. Chamber vacuum sealers are the pro’s tool to package food for preservation and sous vide cooking. They work even better than suction vacuum machines, and easily handle liquids without spilling. Let’s look at these two models from VacMaster to see which one will be the best for you.
VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer
If you’ve never seen one in action, let’s go over how the VP210 works. Place the food item inside a plastic bag and lay the open end of the bag on the sealing bar. Close the lid and wait 25 to 60 seconds, depending on what settings you dialed in earlier. You’ll hear the machine pumping the air from the chamber. Near the end of the cycle you will see the plastic sucked down tight against the food inside the bag. The lid pops open automatically when the bag is sealed and the machine is done. Think of all the storage space you’ll save by vacuum-packing your food!
Besides meats and other foods, vacuum chamber sealers are ideal for preserving gravies, marinades, and liquids because they don’t spill. You can literally lay an open bag of water inside and close the lid, the machine will seal it, and there won’t be a drop spilled. That happens because the air pressure stays the same inside and outside the bag while the machine is working. The VP210 has a removable plate or tray inside to support bags of food. Pull the tray out and you can place Mason jars up to 7 inches tall inside and seal those too.
The VP210 has a 2-cylinder piston pump that requires no maintenance. It’s a little louder than the rotary oil pump in the VP215 described below. Although the machine is very heavy, it doesn’t take up much counter space, not even as much as a microwave.
The trickiest part of using it is figuring out what vacuum time and sealing time settings you’ll need to dial in. But once you’ve set them, the machine remembers them for the next time.
Both of these sealers hold bags up to 10 by 13 inches in size. The assortment of bags included in the box are FDA-approved for food handling, but the machine itself is not NSF-certified.
Remember that some foods (like soft cheeses) don’t do well in vacuum packs, and some need to be blanched before sealing. Foods that are easily crushed can be frozen first so that they retain their shape.
More features of the VacMaster VP210
- 1-year limited warranty
- Weighs 72 pounds and measures 20 by 14 by 15 inches
- Stainless-steel body
- Double-seal wire
VacMaster VP215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer
From the outside, the VP215 looks similar to the other sealer above. But there is a big difference. The VP215 runs on a quiet rotary oil pump. This means it needs oil changes about twice a year. The VP210 doesn’t need any maintenance at all.
Why bother getting a vacuum chamber sealer that you have to maintain? The VP215 is five or six seconds faster on average than the VP210 because it’s more powerful. If you’re doing massive amounts of vacuum-packing, those seconds will save you a lot of time over the long run.
Even though the VP215 is more powerful, its internal chamber size is the same as the VP210. It accepts up to 10 by 13-inch bags, and the seal bar has two heating wires for secure closure of every pouch. The chamber can also hold up to 7-inch tall Mason jars once the plate inside is removed.
More features of the VacMaster VP215
- Measures 20 by 14 by 15 inches, weighs 84 pounds
- Sealing time ranges from 20 to 40 seconds, a little less than the VP210
- Pump is 1/4 HP, runs on 4A
- 1-year limited warranty
- Comes with assorted sealing pouches
If you’re vacuum-packing at home and you don’t mind a little noise, consider getting the VP210. There is no maintenance required.
If you have a production environment like a restaurant kitchen, where time matters a lot and maybe noise does too, consider getting the VP215. It’s faster because it’s more powerful than the VP210, and it’s quieter. The only downside is that it needs bi-annual oil changes.