Vacuum sealers are one of the most commonly used small appliances in my kitchen.
Here are some of the ways I regularly use a vacuum sealer:
- Seal meat or vegetables for cooking sous vide. If you are into sous vide cooking, a vacuum sealer is a necessity!
- Preserve meat that was cooked in a smoker (fish, sausages, cheese, etc.) – I smoke a lot of food and this is a great way to seal them for the freezer to prevent freezer burn.
- Vacuum sealing a ham bone, chicken or turkey carcass to be frozen for a future time of making soup. This is perfect for after the holidays.
- Buy meat or other food in bulk and then dividing them into portions, vacuum sealed and frozen.
PolyScience is one of the leading companies when it comes to modernist cooking. Along with sous vide immersion circulators, The Anti-Griddle and The Smoking Gun, PolyScience also has a line of vacuum sealers. The entry model is the 150 Series and they sent me one to test out.
The 150 Series Vacuum Sealer is the entry model in PolyScience’s line of sealers. There are five buttons on the control panel of the sealer.
- Auto – this makes vacuum sealing fool-proof because it goes through the stages of vacuuming and sealing. First it removes all the air from the bag and then it creates the heat seal.
- Pulse – this allows you to remove air from a bag manually. This is perfect for bags with some liquid. I use a lot of marinade for my meats and this is a great way to pulse the air out but not the liquid.
- Seal – this creates the heat seal, but does not remove any air.
- Seal Plus – this button extends the sealing time producing a stronger seal. I really like this function for when I sous vide meat.
- Stop – this stops the machine when it is in operation.
There is also a valve spot to add a hose. This can be used for vacuum marinator jars and canisters.
The arm of the sealer lifts up to reveal the gasket, moisture reservoir and heat strip. The design and layout is quite similar to many of the other vacuum sealers I have used. It is functional and really easy to use.
The first test I did with the 150 Series was to seal some shrimp that I was planning to sous vide. I created a marinade with olive oil, lime zest and minced jalapeno pepper that I tossed with the peeled shrimp.
I placed the shrimp in the bag and got them ready to be vacuum sealed. I lifted the arm up and placed the open part of the food safe bag so that it rested just within the foam gasket.
I closed the arm and pressed down on the two corners to lock the machine and it is now ready to be sealed. I pressed the auto button and the 150 Series first removed the air. There was a bit of marinade liquid in the bag but the machine did not pull that out. Once the air was removed, it then moved on to create the heat seal on the bag.
One feature that I particularly liked about this machine was that the lock is released after the sealing is complete. I have used some other machines that have locks which need to be manually released.
The shrimp was perfectly sealed. All the air was removed and only a couple drops of marinade was pulled out of the bag. I sealed 3 more bags of shrimp and the results were consistent every time. The machine worked great.
Next, I tried chicken breasts. I buy them in bulk and vacuum seal them in smaller portion sizes. As you can see in the photo above, the vacuuming works great. It consistently gets all the air out.
It is also possible to use large bags for bigger portions or larger cuts of meat. The large bags fit in the machine just fine. It is also possible to use rolls that are cut to customized lengths. I use that regularly when I vacuum seal kielbasa or other sausages that I smoke. It is also great when I smoke a whole filet of salmon.
The PolyScience 150 Series Vacuum Sealing System worked great every time I used it. It does not have advanced options or the ability for customizing vacuum pressure or heat sealing. That is fine because the auto function is sufficient for most jobs. At a really great price, this is an excellent model for the home cook who is looking for an entry level sealer.
Pick up this, or other products by Polyscience, at their website.
Disclaimer: Polyscience provided me with the vacuum sealer. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.