CONSUMER REPORTS — Frugal shoppers, bulk food barrens, home gardeners, and Consumer Reports Nutritionists all know the benefit of a well stocked freezer.
“Keeping my freezer stocked with whole foods like seafood, fruits, veggies and grains is key to a healthy diet,” said Amy Keating of Consumer Reports. “Vacuum sealers help maintain the quality of frozen foods by limiting exposure to air. And maintaining the quality of your food reduces waste.”
CR tested seven vacuum sealers ranging from 60 to 180-dollars. They work by removing the air from a bag, then fusing the top along a heated strip to create an airtight seal.
“We knew from previous testing that vacuum sealing does extend the life of food. So we tested how well they seal dry foods and moist foods, how quickly and quietly they operate and how easy they are to clean,” said Bernie Deitrick of Consumer Reports.
All of the vacuum sealers CR tested were excellent at sealing dry goods, but only four were better when sealing foods with liquids, like meat marinades. The FoodSaver Multi-Use, the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh, the Black + Decker Premium Vacuum Sealer and the Anova Culinary Vacuum Sealer.
If you don’t have countertop or cabinet space for an extra appliance, you can still take advantage of the benefits of freezing. The key is to remove as much air as possible.
“Your best bet is to emulate that vacuum sealer. Squeeze as much air out of the plastic storage bag or better yet wrap your food tightly in plastic wrap or foil before putting it in the bag,” Amy Keating said.
And if that frosty freezer burn does happen, don’t worry. It doesn’t make the meat unsafe to eat, but it can change the taste, texture, and appearance.