vacuum sealer
Vacuum sealers help cut down food waste and expenses in the long run, especially if you tend to buy in bulk. Image Credit: Shutterstock

After a long day at work, finding wilting produce and off-smelling meat in the fridge can mean another round of takeout. This not only incurs extra expenses for the month but also leads to repeated food waste. If only there was a way to extend the shelf-life of our groceries.

Enter vacuum sealers, nifty countertop machines that preserve food in sealed bags for later use. Vacuuming is the easier, fresher method of meal prep you didn't know you needed.

Are vacuum sealers worth buying?

It takes a few minutes to seal a cut of salmon, a lemon slice and herbs, drizzled with olive oil. Empty the contents into a pan, and there you have a quick, healthy dinner for yourself.

"Vacuum sealers suck out the air from a bag of food, and this does three things: it maintains the freshness of the food, locks in the flavour of the product you want to cook and increases the shelf-life," said Max Strait, a Dubai-based professional chef of 12 years, who is also known as The Bearded Brit Chef (@thebeardedbritchef) in the hospitality industry.

Strait shares that the home cook can marinate proteins in advance, but this also applies to vegetables and hard fruit, such as apples and pears, for roasting. "You can cook the sealed bag in a sous vide machine, which is poaching the fish or chicken in water, and it's healthier," he added.

How long can sealed foods last?

vacuum sealer
If frozen, raw cuts of meat can last for years, per the guidelines posted by the featured brands in our list. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Anything can be sealed and stuck into the fridge or freezer, as long as it doesn't spill over. "Foods that have a lot of liquid can be difficult to vacuum seal. Sealing hot liquids is not advised, so if you're storing soup, wait till it's cooled down and make sure you're not overfilling the bag," said Strait.

Cooks are known to seal whole cuts of protein. If raw, the cut can last up to a week in the fridge. Though to squeeze the longest shelf life out of vacuuming, you can freeze your cuts for up to a month, he adds.

"You should go for firm protein, like chicken breast and salmon. Put a bit of olive oil, and it'll help lock in the flavour and tenderise what you want to vacuum. Avoid sealing minced meat, unless you want to freeze-store it for longer," advised Strait.

Sealed fruits, however, don't last as long as meat, so this is something to keep in mind. It's best practice to label the bag with the date it was sealed on. And, the first step to storing foods properly, without a shadow of doubt, is to "make sure all the air is out".

Which vacuum sealer is the best for me?

vacuum sealer
To save space, you can opt for machines that come without an internal roll compartment. Image Credit: Shutterstock

A good vacuum sealer will ensure no air is left behind to spoil the food. Strait has been using his own sealer from Anova for years, with no issues to report. He recommends a few pointers for home cooks interested in purchasing their own unit.

"It has to be compact, especially since most kitchens are tight on space. The sealer should be easy to use, not too complicated, and could have a pulse feature to get all the air out," he suggested.

We've compiled the best-rated sealers for food below, starting off with Strait's pick. Shop with an Amazon Prime membership to get free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer


  • Three-button function - easy to use
  • Extracts air at a rate of four litres per minute
  • Option for gentle pulse vacuuming to preserve liquids
  • Small and space-saving
  • Comes with 10 bags


  • Does away with more advanced features

Anova Culinary's vacuum sealer comes with 10 bags, to get you started right away. Strait calls the brand a market leader in sealers. This unit is a small, space-saving machine that starts extracting air at the touch of a button. Its fast extraction rate is capable of removing four litres of air per minute. You can store fish, meats, cheeses, grains and coffee, or use the Precision Vacuum Sealer to create pre-portioned sous vide meals. The pulse vacuum button is great for liquids and more delicate foods. Even if you run out of Anova's included bags, reviews say the machine works perfectly with all kinds. They call the sealer uncomplicated, unlike expensive models.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh23 and two years for Dh33.

2. Best for Sealing Liquids: FoodSaver Food Vacuum Sealer


  • Features roll storage
  • A number of functions - pulse, moist/dry, speed
  • Has a drip tray for liquid contents
  • Cuts the bag
  • Includes hose and container for canister mode


  • Only works with FoodSaver-branded rolls

For a more industrial sealer, look to FoodSaver's machine, which has integrated roll storage. This means your vacuum sealer will always be ready to seal, cut and go in seconds. The unit heat seals the bag on its own once the air is completely removed. Like the Anova sealer, there's a dedicated pulse function for vacuuming delicate items. You can control the speed, too, to customise the sealing process. Plus, if you're storing moist foods, select the right setting on the unit, and it adjusts accordingly. The home cook gets everything they need on delivery, including 10 small and large bags, a roll and a FoodSaver container for canister sealing. Reviewers are impressed with liquid sealing for sauces, but do note that the unit is only compatible with FoodSaver rolls. Others use the sealing function to re-seal packets of chips and snacks.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay AED 73.65 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh52 and two years for Dh73.

3. Best Value: Inkbird Vacuum Sealer Machine


  • Built-in cutter
  • Options for dry/moist sealing, seal only and pulse control
  • Can be stopped manually
  • Includes a bag roll, air suction hose and five vacuum bags


  • No roll storage within machine

Inkbird's economical vacuum sealer features the most sought-after functions, at a great price. You can pulse-vacuum manually to avoid dry foods from crushing, quickly cut the bag for batches, and pick from dry or moist mode. Some reviews point out that it's quieter than their FoodSaver sealer. Inkbird promises up to nine days of freshness in the fridge with its powerful vacuum sealer. It has a seal-only option, as well, for pantry items. Buyers have sealed chicken, fish and beef, and are happy to find them fresh in the freezer for a long time. This starter kit comes with a vacuum hose for containers and a bag roll.

4. Best Design: Crownline Vacuum Sealer


  • Attractive appliance
  • Sleek touch controls
  • Moist/dry mode, seal-only option and manual vacuuming
  • Supports external vacuuming for canisters


  • Can get noisy
  • No roll storage within machine

Sleek, digital and every bit modern, the Crownline vacuum sealer is a stylish kit with touch controls. The smart control panel features options for dry and moist modes, vacuum and seal-only. It doesn't seal automatically after extracting the air, but this gives the home cook more control over the vacuum process. Crownline recommends freezing any liquid before sealing, to ensure a secure, airtight storage. According to the brand guidelines, vacuum-sealing cooked meat and storing it in the fridge compartment will last you for up to 20 days. At room temperature, pantry essentials like rice and flour can stay fresh for up to 12 months. Reviewers say sealing is great, but the process can be noisy.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and two years for Dh25.

5. Best Budget: Solis Vac Quick


  • Vacuum and seal or manually seal
  • Seals large 30cm-wide bags
  • High extraction rate
  • Has a built-in valve for external vacuuming
  • Value for money


  • Doesn't come with accessories, unlike other options in the list

If you've been meaning to try out a sealer but don't want to break the bank, consider the Solis Vac Quick. A wide vacuum sealer for bags up to 30cm, the Vac Quick is as simple as a kitchen appliance can get. It only has two operating modes, where the vacuum and seal function does everything for you automatically, and the instant seal function stops vacuuming and starts sealing on demand. The unit extracts at a rate of eight litres per minute, so your bags are ready for storage in no time. Do note that it doesn't have a pulse function.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh17.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.