Vacuum sealers have become one of the most used tools in my kitchen. From preparing food for sous vide cooking, bagging and sealing left overs and vacuum sealing food that I smoked (fish, sausages, cheese and more), the vacuum sealer is almost an every day appliance for me. PolyScience has a number of vacuum sealers in their line that can fit the budget of any home cook. PolyScience is one of the leading companies when it comes to modernist cooking. Everything from the sous vide immersion circulators, The Anti-Griddle, The Smoking Gun, and the line of vacuum sealers, show that PolyScience makes quality products.
The 200 Series Vacuum Sealer is their middle model and they sent me one to test out.
Previously, I reviewed their entry model, the PolyScience 150 Series Vacuum Sealing System.
The 200 Series vacuum sealer is a step up from the entry level 150 series and it comes with a number of added features.
Here are a list of features as found on their website:
Automatic or manual vacuum control options ensure the perfect seal
Instant seal function for working with delicate items
Built-in heat seal roll cutter and storage compartment
A fold-out lift stand makes working with liquids trouble free
Adjustable heat seal level ensures air tight seal every time
Easy-to-read digital display
Built-in external vacuum hose and available canisters expand your culinary options
Ideal for Sous Vide cooking and other household applications
- Seal bar length is 12 in / 30.48 cm
- Maximum bag width is 11.75 in / 29.85 cm
There are a number of buttons on the control panel of the sealer.
- On/Off – Powers up the machine.
- Marinate – For use with the hose and external vacuuming function. This allows you to enhance the marinating of meat and other food under air pressure in special marinating containers.
- Option – This is also used with the hose and the external vacuuming function.
- 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 run the vacuum system in the machine to it will not remove any air.
- Up an Down Arrows – This increases or decreases the heat seal time. The length of the seal is indicated by the number to the left of the arrows and goes from 1-9
There is also a hose in a little hidden chamber on the right side of the machine. This can be used for vacuum marinator jars and canisters.
One of the features that the 200 Series model has over the entry level 150 Series, is that there is a bay to hold a bag roll. This allows you to create custom vacuum bags any length you want. This is great if you want a small bag or an extra long bag. Simply pull to the length that you need and then close the lid.
Move the sliding blade across to create a clean cut for the bag. Obviously the bag is not done yet as both ends are open. It is necessary to seal one end before adding any food to the bag.
Place one of the open ends on the heat seal and close the lid. Press the seal button to run the heat seal. In the picture above, you can see the seal it created. Now the custom made bag is ready to be used.
I smoked a lot of food for Super Bowl, so it was not a surprise that there was plenty left over. I had a full rack of ribs and figured that it would be best to vacuum seal it and throw it in the freezer. That would provide a sweet meal some other day. The bag I custom made from the roll, was long enough to fit the whole rack. There was a lot of BBQ sauce all over the ribs so I decided to use the Pulse button to draw the air out while limiting how much liquid was pulled out of the bag.
The pulse button is easy to use. As long as it is pressed, the vacuum is working, pulling out air. Let go of the button and it stops. I pressed it for about 15-20 seconds and that pulled most of the air out. Then I did short presses until it looked like most of the air was out.
After that, I pressed the seal button. By default, the seal is at a setting of 7. After the seal was done, the machine beeped and the lid lock released.
Looking at the bag, I was very pleased that all the air was released. Turning the bag around, you could see that the bag took to all the contours of the ribs, even the underside of the rack of ribs.
I looked at the seal and saw that even though I was pressing the pulse button, some sauce was drawn past the seal line, prior to sealing. It was not an issue though, since it was just a little. This is why I really like the pulse button and use it a lot. It allows you to manage and control how much vacuuming is done. In spite of a little liquid, the seal was great.
The next food I vacuum sealed was a bunch of sausages that I smoked. I smoke a LOT of sausages – they are great in soup, pizza, and more. I like to freeze them in portions of 4-6 for days when I need just a few. I made a custom bag about half the size of the rib bag. I placed in the sausages and lined them up together. This minimizes air pockets and makes it easier for the vacuum sealer to pull out all the air.
I used the Auto function on the 200 Series for this job and it worked great. The Auto function runs through the vacuuming process first, pulling out all the air. Then it goes through the heat seal function to finish the job.
Looking at the bag, I was very pleased with how well it drew out the air. There were no air pockets at all and the bag pulled the links together and followed every crevice in the sausages.
The 200 Series Vacuum Sealer by PolyScience is a great product and offers lots of features. It has more options than the entry level 150 Series and provides a greater customization including the ability to create bags any desired length, the strength of the heat seal and more. Some of the higher end machines are chamber vacuums, but they may be out of the budget of the home cook. A product like the 200 Series allows you to do many projects with liquids and marinades and is perfect for anyone looking for a vacuum sealer with a lot of functions.
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.