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VacMaster VP112S Chamber Vacuum Sealer
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- Redesigned heavy-duty chamber & lid allows for consistent performance with a 4 mm wide positive seal
- Marinating cycle marinates and infuses meats, fruits and veggies; helps penetrate food with deeper flavor
- New easy to use control panel
- Chamber technology allows you to vacuum package liquids and liquid-rich food
- Low-profile design hinged lid tucks neatly towards the back of the machine, making this countertop friendly
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|Item Dimensions||13 x 28 x 19.5 in||19 x 24 x 19 in||23 x 15.3 x 9 in||13 x 19.25 x 27.5 in||14 x 20 x 15 in||19.25 x 16.75 x 9.5 in|
Our #1 selling chamber vacuum sealer is new and improved! Re-engineered chamber and lid are heavy-duty allowing for repetitive sealing. Adjust vacuum level and seal time with the enhanced easy-to-use control panel. Now features marinating cycle, which will marinate and infuse your meats with deeper flavor. The marinating cycle will alternate back and forth between a state of vacuum and a state of rest, helping achieve the optimum flavor infusion. Improved vacuum sensor technology, makes the VP112S even easier to use. Set your desired vacuum pressure, press start and you'll receive positive seals with every chamber vacuum bag. As always the VacMaster VP112S features advanced chamber vacuum technology, allowing you to vacuum package liquids and high moisture foods. Let the VP112S save you time and money with vacuum packaging. Whether you are vacuum packaging stews or marinating the perfect steak, helping keep your food fresh up to 5x longer.
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If you can handle the price, this is a great chamber vacuum sealer for the home. It takes up the least counter space (but it is still very big), is easy to use, accepts a wide variety of bags, and doesn't look too shabby either. Whether you're using it for plain old vacuum sealing, sous vide cooking, or vacuum infusion/compression, the VP112S is a solid choice. See the full review for some usage tips and other considerations.
It's amazing that you can get a full-featured chamber vacuum sealer (CVS) for less than $1,000 these days. This is still a major purchase, but if you're looking at this at all, you probably already know that you're going to spend some real cash for a CVS. I'll cover the three most likely uses for this machine, food storage, sous vide cooking, and "modernist" cooking techniques.
If you're used to using the counter top clamp-style sealers, moving to a CVS will be a welcome change. The bags are cheaper and pre-made, the process is faster, and (best of all) you can seal foods with liquid in them! The chamber of the VP112S is deceptively large, allowing you to use the 12"x13" bags, and those hold a lot of food. It gets out all the air quickly and creates a very strong seal on the bag. The first time you seal up a bag of soup will blow your mind; it comes out exactly like the vacuum packs you buy at the store. Unlike the clamp-style sealers, you don't need to hover over the STOP button in case some steak juice or stray broth starts creeping towards the edge of the bag. In a CVS nothing moves during the process. If you are only sealing dry and frozen foods once or twice a month, the VP112S (or any CVS) might be overkill and a waste of money. However if you are constantly vacuum sealing food (those textured bag rolls for the FoodSaver get expensive) or want to start sealing foods with lots of liquid, the VP112S is your best bet.
Sous Vide Cooking:
I'll admit I originally bought the VP112 specifically for sous vide. At the time most websites recommended using a vacuum sealer for anything you planned to cook. If you don't know what sous vide is, a quick Google search will teach you everything. Truth be told, while a CVS is a great tool to have for sous vide applications (especially cook times longer than 24 hours), I would not buy one if that is the only reason you want it. At the end of the day ZipLoc bags work perfectly well (or better, in the case of fish) in almost every recipe, and they are much, much cheaper. That's not to say the VP112S doesn't help with sous vide, but it is definitely a convenience over a requirement. Even though I own it, I use ZipLoc bags more than I use vacuum sealed bags. Consider also that when you use a CVS you need to let the food or liquid cool completely before sealing, which takes time. ZipLoc bags do not. I'm not trying to talk you out of it, I love my VP112S and still use it all the time, but not nearly as much as I thought I would for sous vide.
This is where chamber vacuum sealers can get really cool. Want to rapidly pickle fruits and vegetables in minutes rather than days? A CVS can do it. Want to marinade a chicken breast without leaving it in the fridge for half a day? Once again, a CVS can. Want to infuse watermelon with liquor to make a tasty adult snack for parties? Yup... CVS. Whether you're using Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking or the many websites dedicated to the same methods, the VP112S will launch your Iron Chef abilities into the stratosphere! The marinating function on the VP112S makes it much easier than on older models, running multiple cycles without you having to reset the chamber each time.
I learned from experience some things that make using the VP112S a better experience. Hopefully they help you too!
** Always, always chill your food before sealing. Honestly, the colder the better. Vacuum sealing will bring the boiling point of water down to room temperature, and if your food is warm it will start to boil which adds air to the sealed bag, defeating the whole point of the machine. The more liquid, the more boiling. I like to fill the bags then leave them in the fridge unsealed overnight. Then I seal them the next morning, nice and cold. This isn't necessary for most things, but if the bag is holding a lot of liquid it helps.
** If you are going to freeze the bag anyways, consider freezing the food first. I do this with steaks, which I buy in bulk from a butcher then keep in the freezer in individual bags. If you freeze the steaks first they will not deform to the shape of the bag when you seal them. This isn't a big deal, but some people don't like the wrinkles you get in the meat. Better still, by freezing the steak first you ensure the juices won't boil in the sealer. With chicken breasts you can actually change the texture of the meat if the juices boil. This only works if you were going to freeze the food anyways, though.
** Don't fear a bubble here and there! Sometimes it's better to use a lighter vacuum such as with fish and chicken. This may result in a few stray bubbles in the bag, especially if there is a lot of liquid inside. Relax, it won't kill you, and if you are planning to sous vide the food, the bubbles will not change the cook time. Just make sure you are chilling your food before sealing and you will keep the bubbles to a minimum.
** Get a cart! If you plan on keeping the VP112S on your counter at all times, cool. But it is very big, and you may want to free up that space for something else. The VP112 is heavy. Very heavy. If you are planning on storing it under the counter and lugging it out each time you want to seal, you may get sick of it fast. Instead (and if you have room), get a rolling cart and keep the VP112S on it. That way you can roll it up to the counter, plug it in, seal to your heart's content, then easily roll it back to the closet. I use this cart, and it's great for storing all sorts of kitchen tools: Seville Classics Heavy-Duty Commercial-Grade Utility Cart, NSF Listed
- Can seal foods with tons of liquid in them
- 12" wide sealing bar allows for use of large 12"x13" bags
- Shorter than almost any other CVS
- Easy to operate with a shallow learning curve
- Marinade function runs multiple vacuum cycles to rapidly marinate anything
- Kind of looks like a miniature teleporter, giving you street cred with your kid's nerdy friends
- Much cheaper than the average chamber sealer
- Still expensive for a home kitchen
- Heavy, and takes up more counter space than most other appliances
- Loud during use
- Will not do your taxes for you
If you have any questions at all, please leave them in the comments. I am usually good about answering them quickly. And no, I am in no way compensated for this review, and I paid full retail price for my VP112S. Thanks!
First, let me say that the VP112S does what it is supposed to do and does it well. I do kind of wish it had the external port but, then, I almost never use the vacuum canisters or jars I spent good money purchasing.
The beauty of the chamber system, as others have said, is that you can vacuum liquids. I roast a duck every month or so and use the giblets, and bones (everything except the leg quarters and breasts) to make duck soup. I add cooked rice to the soup or, sometimes I just save the soup and add fresh or frozen rice later. The VP112S works great for vacuum sealing the soup and the bags are great for heating the soup but I usually just put the frozen soup in a pan out of the vacuum bag.
Some have recommended freezing your food before vacuum sealing in a chamber vac. With a Foodsaver style (ribbed vacuum bags) you have to freeze wet foods first because it sucks the wet out of the food and into the seal area, yielding poor seals. If you freeze meats before vacuuming, it will create ice crystals on the meat. That ice is pulled from the moisture in the meat and will lead to a less-complete vacuum. There's just no need to freeze things before packing. Cool them, yes.
So what's the real value? How do you justify a 500-700 dollar (check sponsored links for possible better prices) vacuum sealer? First, let's start with the claim that some of the external vacuum sealers make that they save you up to 2700 dollars per year - and that's with 75 cent a-piece bags. So, right off the bat, you can see that if you take 700 dollars of that 2700 dollars and buy a chamber vacuum sealer, you can use bags that cost 3 cents to 8 cents.
Why are the vacuum chamber bags so much cheaper? It's that they don't have those ridges that the other ones have. The ridges in the others are there to create exit ways for the air when the vacuum is pulled. Without the ridges, the bag would seal tight under the rubber seal and air can't be pulled out. The chamber vac, on the other hand, vacuums not just the bag but vacuums the air around the outside (the chamber) so there's no need to seal the end during the vacuum process. No rubber seals pressing on the opening. It's my opinion that the ridged bags are far over priced and I thank the makers of those bags for raising their prices high enough to push me to the VP112S. It was a great thing for us.
Considering the difference in price of about 300 dollars, it will take about 500 bags to break even on bags alone. But the bags aren't the only big savings. At 75 cents a bag for the other system, we threw most leftovers away because the bags often cost as much as the value of the leftovers. Case in point: I purchased a pack of 4 quarter-pound hotdogs and we ate two for dinner. Normally, the other two would go in the fridge and we might end up throwing them out. AT two dollars in value, it didn't make sense to spend another 75 cents to preserve them. Even if we had saved them with the Foodsaver, it would have added 35% to the cost of eating our leftovers. Now, with the VP1112S, and a 4 cent 6x8 bag, we don't even think about whether to vacuum them; it's automatic. The hot dogs will last for weeks unfrozen in the fridge until we get that craving again - and I just ate those other two for dinner tonight. That is how it always is at our house. Our VP112S stays on the counter because we use it almost every day and often many times in a day.
There are two other great value statements for our chamber sealer. First, we have a very busy schedule. It's just impossible to cook our favorite foods. We tried cooking for the week on the weekend but that lasted one weekend and we promised to never do it again (we used to do it all the time 30 years ago when the kids were young but that was then and this is now). So rather than trying to cook 5 to 10 meals on a Saturday, we cook one meal but cook it in a large batch. The leftovers get divided into single and double servings and put in the freezer. Over a few weeks we have an assortment of all our favorite foods and only have to cook one meal on Saturday instead of 5 or 10.
The single and double servings leads to the next value statement. I grab the single serving packages and pack in my lunch box. By lunch time, whatever I grab (and I usually don't even look to see) is thawed and a few minutes in the microwave and I have a favorite meal for lunch. Remember that duck soup? It's awesome for lunch. An interesting thing I found in testing is that I can even cook a full pot of rice in the rice cooker, divide it into serving size packages at 3 cents a bag and vacuum them for freezing. I was afraid the process would destroy the rice but it actually did not. At 29.3 hg it appears to be mush looking in the bag but it's just fine when you open the bag and really see it. Just to be safer, though, I vacuum the rice at 23.0 hg - just slightly higher than most ribbed-bag vacuum sealers work. So I can freeze individual servings of sides, vegetables, main courses, etc. and just grab any bag of each for lunch and have a full, balanced, meal out of the freezer - and the three bags to pack that great meal cost me between 9 cents and 12 cents total, compared to 60 cents to 75 cents.
I sometimes have to travel to another town for work and I have an apartment to stay in when I am there. A favorite lunch is a national fried chicken chain that has a two piece lunch special for 2 dollars on Wednesday. I buy 8 of them, eat one, and pack the rest for the freezer using the Foodsaver. The problem is, at 75 cents a bag, it isn't worth saving the biscuits or mashed potatoes and just barely worth saving the chicken. I'm going to order a second VP112S for leftovers and chicken at the apartment. By the way, with the adjustable vacuum, the VP112S packs tender biscuits just fine.
I could go on and on - and I guess I did :). It's a bit of a high cost of entry but if you can get past that, you'll save money at a rate much faster than trying to save with those other bags.