Running a great kitchen requires great appliances, and one of the most overlooked tools for the home chef is a vacuum sealer. They are great for preserving everything from leftovers to wild game, and the spare bags are economical and easy to find. If you have been reluctant to invest in this essential kitchen timesaver, consider these three benefits of owning a quality vacuum sealer with a copious supply of extra bags.

This option is BPA- and phthalate-free. Nutri-Lock

Vacuum sealing can extend the refrigeration life of any food up to five times or more. Because air is locked out and moisture lock in, using a vacuum sealer prevents freezer burn and food dehydration. The bag’s puncture-resistant material is also more durable than aluminum foil, shrink wrap, or freezer paper. For those who like to freeze-dry or dehydrate their own meals, a vacuum sealer is a natural partner in that process and will extend the expiration date of your dishes.

This choice comes with ‘bone guards’ to stop piercing from steaks or other meats. Wevac

One of the great benefits of vacuum sealing is flavor retention. This is true not only for preserving the natural flavors of any prepared meal, but also for infusing marinade ingredients into raw foods. In a vacuum environment, meat and fish act as a sponge, soaking up ingredients much faster than they would under ambient pressure. This is great for those times when you want to pump up the flavor in short order but can’t wait overnight for the marinade to work its magic.

Also Consider

This option comes in three different sizes: pint, quart and gallon. Avid Armor

Sous vide is a French culinary term for cooking in a vacuum-sealed bag immersed in water at a precise temperature. Because the meal cooks in its own juices, which enhances flavor and produces consistent results, sous vide has long been a standard technique in restaurants that need to quickly prepare high volumes of quality food. It has also become popular with home chefs who entertain frequently or simply want to take advantage of sous vide’s ability to lock in flavor and moisture. Most vacuum seal bags can be used for sous vide cooking.