Proper food storage protects the quality of food, reducing waste from spoilage and mold. Air is the culprit. Vacuum sealing equipment is a great solution. A variety of sealing products are available on the market. Choosing a model depends on the quantity of food you will be preserving, your budget, and your enthusiasm for vacuum sealing. The Seal-A-Meal Manual Vacuum Sealer System is a unique solution that is affordably priced which makes it easy to try out this food-saving technology.
Vacuum sealing machines produce a result familiar from observing the packaging of many foods in the grocery store. Fish, meat, some frozen vegetables, coffees, nuts, and other foods come in vacuum-sealed packages that preserve their freezer or shelf life. These machines vacuum out the air in a plastic bag and seal it tightly before air can sneak back in. Sealing is also an essential step in the popular sous vide cooking style, which requires sealing the food to be cooked in a plastic pouch.
What Is the Seal-A-Meal Manual Vacuum Sealer System?
The Seal-A-Meal Manual Vacuum System is an economical entry-level vacuum sealer. This basic machine gets high marks for providing a good introduction to vacuum sealing food preservation technology. The Seal-A-Meal can process foods with some liquid content even better than some more expensive models. This is a good tool for occasional sealing for left-overs or small-batch cooking. It can also be used to seal non-food items to protect them from water damage and for making ice packs.
The Seal-A-Meal comes packaged with four-quart bags and a user manual. This device is also compatible with eight-inch, 11-inch, one-quart, and one-gallon Seal-A-Meal and Foodsaver bags, Foodsaver Easy Seal & Peel Vacuum seal rolls, and Liquid Block vacuum seal bags.
It has a drip tray for catching liquids and food that may be squeezed out during the vacuum process, helping to keep the work surface clean.
How the Seal-A-Meal Compares to Other Vacuum Sealers
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- Foodsaver FSFSSL4840-000 V4840
- VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer
- THE FRESH SOLUTION FOR FOOD STORAGE: Vacuum sealing removes all the air from specially designed bags, then uses heat to...
- PRESERVES TASTE & NUTRIENTS: Confidently store fresh fruits, vegetables, cuts of meat, fish, and more! When air is...
- MAKES SAVING TIME & MONEY EASY: Prepare meals or ingredients ahead of time for no-hassle weeknight dinners that you can...
- The Seal-A-Meal’s lightweight and compact size means this machine is easy to store and occupies a small footprint on the counter. This is a very basic, no-frills vacuum sealer but has everything necessary to get started with vacuum sealing. Its removable drip tray catches any food and liquid that is squeezed out during the process. The Seal-A-Meal is treated with Microban Antimicrobial Protection to protect the sealer from bacteria.
The Seal-A-Meal vacuum seals food in three easy steps. The first step is to line up the bag to the sealing strip on the machine. Place the items to be sealed in the bag, leaving three inches between the bag contents and the top of the bag for space for contraction.
The second step is to open the lid, put the open end of the bag into the device’s drip tray and close the lid locking the cover in place. The third step is to press firmly on the lid with both hands until the indicator light illuminates. That’s the signal that you can let go, and the machine will continue the vacuum and sealing process. Some users report that this process can be tiring when sealing multiple bags.
- This vacuum sealer is a starter model that has produced good test results for sealing foods with liquids. This is a good machine for occasional usage, for preserving small batches, and for testing your interest in this food preservation technique.
- The Seal-A-Meal Vacuum Sealer System comes with a one-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.
- Keep food fresh in the freezer up to 5x longer and in the fridge or pantry up to 2x longer, compared to ordinary storage...
- Automatic bag detection and vacuum sealing means two quick and easy steps to seal and save
- Handheld sealer seals FoodSaver zipper bags, canisters, and containers, and marinates food in minutes
This Foodsaver V4840 Vacuum Sealer is a durable, high-quality machine that helps preserve food freshness for as long as three years in the freezer, maintaining food quality and taste, and without freezer burn.
- Produce and foods prepped ahead can be stored in the refrigerator much longer when processed in the Foodsaver. This machine has more sophisticated technology than the Seal A Meal and can process larger batches more efficiently.
- The Foodsaver is an attractive appliance that will fit compactly on a counter for frequent use or be easily stored. It has automatic features that enhance its operation including automatically detecting the bag in the chamber, built-in storage for plastic rolls, LED light indicators, and automatic moisture detection to set the machine to the correct mode for the food being sealed.
- The Foodsaver is easy to use. It has space in the unit to hold a roll of the bag material and has a cutter. This enables the users to make their own bags and cut their supply cost plus offering the convenience of everything in one place. Its LED light indicators guide the user through the process. Its patented removable drip tray catches any overflow liquid and is dishwasher safe.
- The Foodsaver guarantees it will reach the optimum vacuum level and produce an airtight seal. It has smart technology to detect the moisture level in the food in the bag. It adjusts to the correct settings to assure an airtight seal.
- The Vacuum Sealer has a five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
- Easy To Use Control Panel and Pressure Indicator - Perfect vacuum and seal with minimal effort with one-touch controls....
- Maintenance Free - The VacMaster VP210 uses a maintenance free air pump that is built to last and requires no oil...
- Quality At Home and Reliable for Your Business - With the compact design this vacuum sealer is the perfect crossover for...
The VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer is a heavy-duty vacuum sealer that keeps food fresh up to five times longer. It is a heavy machine with a heavy price tag, many times the price of the Seal A Meal model and several times more than the others in this review.
The supplies for the VacMaster cost considerably less than the rolls and bags for the suction-style machines. This machine is capable of handling products for a small commercial food processing operation and for restaurants using sous-vide technology. It is popular with hunters who process their own meat.
Chamber Vacuum Technology
- The VacMaster’s chamber vacuum technology is an entirely different process from the suction vacuum style of the other models. This is especially useful for packaging liquids and foods with high liquid content.
- The bag is placed inside the machine’s chamber; the lid is closed, and the air is sucked out of the chamber, not out of the bag. The pressure remains the same on the inside and outside of the bag, and all the liquids stay in the bag. The bag is sealed, and then, the air is allowed back in the chamber. This technology achieves a more powerful vacuum level than suction-style machines.
- The VacMaster VP210’s chamber vacuum technology means this machine can handle liquids efficiently. It creates a double seal on the bag for extra security. It is a heavy-duty machine able to handle volume processing. The machine comes with 25 each of three different bag sizes.
- The VacMaster is easy to use. At 83 pounds and 24″ x 19″ x 19,” it needs a somewhat permanent place in the kitchen. This is not a portable machine. There is a little set-up involved, which is easy to do, and the manual gives good instructions.
- This is a production model machine with efficient chamber vacuum technology capable of processing liquids without leakage.
- This VacMaster vacuum sealer has a limited, one-year warranty.
Seal-A-Meal: Final Review
The Seal-A-Meal is a perfect starter machine. It is priced so reasonably that you don’t even have to think about making the investment. If you are thinking vacuum storage is a good idea, you can be doing it in your own kitchen in no time.
This machine doesn’t have settings to worry about. You follow the three basic steps and your food is sealed. It takes a little more hands-on work to hold the lid down until the vacuum forms, but for small batches or single packages, this is not a problem. In fact, it is part of the fun of new kitchen activities.
How About the Other Two Vacuum Sealers?
It’s possible you will try the Seal A Meal vacuum sealer and decide this is for you. Some people have gone through several of these small machines before realizing they probably need to step up to a bigger model. The Foodsaver, Vacmaster, and Kiois models in this review offer excellent options for that step up to a more heavy-duty model.
The Foodsaver and Kiois are basically the same concept of suction vacuum technology as the Seal A Meal and all three use the same kind of supplies. The Vacmaster is definitely in a different league with its chamber vacuum technology. The supplies for the Vacmaster are considerably cheaper than supplies for suction machines. For anyone sealing large batches, this will eventually make up the difference in price between the Vacmaster and the other machines.
The Seal-A-Meal does everything a person could expect from a basic vacuum sealer. It is super easy to use. It is very affordable. It can’t be faulted for not having all the features of the other models in this review. It is what it is – a very good entry-level vacuum sealer ideal for occasional use, for small batches, or just for providing an introduction to the world of vacuum storage.
It’s always a challenge to give a rating to a product that is being compared to models much more sophisticated and more expensive. In purely objective terms the Seal A Meal is a limited vacuum sealer. If you are someone who has a need for a machine capable of large batch production, the Seal A Meal is not your machine. The others in this review will be more suitable.
Last update on 2023-12-06 at 11:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API