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One deer, 60 pounds. Trout or salmon, 13 pounds. The meat or fish that you get in one round outdoors will often be too much to eat in a single sitting. Here, we will cover why a vacuum sealer is the best way to preserve your prized catches, and how to choose the ideal option — be it on your counter or on the go. These reviews for the best vacuum sealer for meat & fish are exactily what you need to get a better bang for your buck.
Why Traditional Means Won’t Do
Ziploc bag, pop it in the freezer, done. Right? Not quite! You may not know this, but your hard-earned food might be ‘burned’, if it comes into contact with air while in the freezer. This won’t completely ruin it, but you will notice the change in looks, texture and taste. Besides, no air means no oxygen, which means no bacteria; a vacuum seal will keep your meat and fish safe to eat up to 5 times longer than regular containers and bags. Whether you’re a hunter, or someone who likes to buy in bulk, you can be sure your food will truly last a long time —even years—, and it will occupy much less space, to boot!
Pro Tip: Freeze It First!
Far from burning it, it will help it; not only will it eliminate any bacteria that might be present on the food, it will also prevent the juices within from seeping out. Your cuts will be all the tastier for it!
The Right Bag
The best best vacuum sealer for meat & fish isn’t much without the right supplies. It’s not all about the machine: for top sealing strength and protection against freezer burn, the bag you use is important too. If for any reason it is not the one offered by your vacuum sealer’s manufacturer, the bag you choose should still be high-quality, and of a size that comfortably fits your unit. You should also be prepared to procure bags of varying sizes, to accommodate your food no matter the bulk and shape. Here are a few suggestions for bags that are strong enough to keep your food safe for as long as you need them to:
BPA-free, 3.15 mil thick. Made black to block out light and help keep contents fresh for longer. They can be boiled, which makes them good for sous vide cooking. 50 bags per package, available in 5 sizes.
8”x12”bags, 1-qt capacity, 100-pc package. Embossed microchannel interior for better vacuuming and sealing, bone guards to prevent from punctures. Works with Nesco, Weston, Foodsaver, Cabela’s, among other brands.
150 bags. Works with multiple brands, although vacuum sealer model should be verified to ensure compatibility. Top panel is 3-mil thick, 4 mil on the embossed back panel to maximize protection.
The Things That Matter
A bag can only hold a few pounds of meat. If you buy your meat in bulk, or if you find yourself in need to prepare a big catch, your vacuum sealer will be working overtime. In this case, you want a machine that can go for some time without a break.
A countertop vacuum sealer will be optimal for someone who buys their meat at the supermarket and is happy to prepare it for storage at home. An outdoorsman, however, might want to process their catch as soon as possible. In this case, a portable vacuum sealer
A vertical sealer may provide more peace of mind, especially when we are working on meat and fish that are particularly juicy. However, these will often be more expensive, and a horizontal unit will handle your haul just fine most of the time, juicy or not.
If the sealer is bigger, it can take bigger bags, and therefore handle bigger batches. A larger machine will likely come with a higher price tag.
Ease of use is important; therefore, we want a panel that is not complicated to understand and operate. Beyond that, a few accessories won’t hurt, such as a wine cork stopper. Does it include bags? Even better, especially if they come in different sizes.
Made in engineered ABS, not only can this unit seal your edibles in bags, it can also work with canisters thanks to its included air suction hose. It is capable of handling dry and moist food by separate modes, and its vacuum strength can also be selected between gentle and normal. Operation is through a panel on the top, with a total of 6 buttons. Housing can be wiped easily, and the upper lid can be removed.
Also included: 5 individual bags and 1 bag roll.
- Cleaning it is straightforward.
- User friendly.
- Not known to be long lasting.
This one was designed with the outdoorsman in mind: able to work through 80 seals or 240 pounds, it features a carrying handle, drip tray and extra large rubberized buttons. A 15” 12V cord and adapter will allow you to power it up in RVs, boats, cars and the like.
A strip provides a seal that is twice as wide as the average, and the integrated roll cutter removes the need for individual bags, as you can get them the size you need them. Rubber feet at the back keep the unit upright to simplify storage.
- It can keep working for long periods of time.
- Finding certain replacement parts can be difficult.
The housing is stain resistant, easy to wipe clean. At 12 liters per minute, it doesn’t take long to take out all the air from the bag, and the 5 buttons on the top panel are simple to understand and operate.
This one might be a good pick for the beginner: aside from individual bags and roll, the package includes a cork stopper to seal half-empty bottles of wine, and an air suction hose to work with canisters.
- Well suited for anyone who is just getting into vacuum sealing.
- Requires a break of at least 40 seconds between one round of sealing and the next.
It doesn’t include wine cork stopper, but it comes with the works, i.e. 5 individual bags, 1 bag roll and air suction hose for canisters. It’s made in engineered ABS, and it is operated with a panel on the top with a 5-button layout that is fairly common in this sort of appliance: mode button (gentle/airtight), food button (dry/moist), and controls to begin and stop vacuuming process.
It could be considered somewhat unremarkable, but it is low on price and generally considered to perform adequately. It should be noted, however, that this one is not intended for heavy duty: if it overheats, it might require up to 5 minutes to return to operational temperature.
- Accessible by price, operation and overall package.
- Manual often not included.
This unit might be worth a second look if you’re after a heavy-duty appliance: its stainless steel body is resistant to rust and high temperatures, and able to endure long usage periods. Sealing time is between 10 and 20 seconds. Seal maximum width is 11.8”.
Even though it doesn’t include a bag roll, it does come with a total of 20 bags split in 2 different sizes 6”x10” and 8”x12”. Another bit of added value is the hose accessory, in case you need to work with canisters.
Bonus points: you have 4 colors to choose from.
- Seal can be quite wide.
- Suited for heavy duty.
- Includes more bags than the average.
- Variety of colors.
- Air suction can lack in strength.
Your Stockpile’s Best Friend: FoodSaver GM710-000 GameSaver
While several of its features are tailored to the hunter or fisherman, it doesn’t alienate it from the comforts of home: whether you got a good haul from the wilderness or brought several pounds of meat from the supermarket, the goal remains to get the food ready for storage as fast as possible. In this, the GameSaver shines: you can process as much as 240 pounds without taking a break, and thus can be sure your pile will be ready as soon as reasonably possible.
Plug it in aboard your boat, or on the counter: if not with the 12V, you can power it through standard 120V AC, and it will even perform at a higher speed thanks to the increased energy it receives. Set it upon its back, and it will fit just about anywhere for storage, ready for you to pull it by the handle when it’s time to go again. Thanks for checking out our reviews for the best vacuum sealer for meat & fish Out in the wild or in the kitchen, this hardy appliance got you covered.