A lot of the food, especially fresh food, is wasted. It is estimated that about 1/3 of the food that we buy is thrown out. How this figure is arrived at is often unclear, does it include unavoidable waste like potato and vegetable peelings or food that is left over on a plate? However the figure is reached, when it is thought about, a great deal of food is thrown out because it is no longer fresh. Just think, if your food bill were cut by even 10% because you did not have to throw out fresh food that is no longer edible how much money you would save each week. One simple and cost effective way of reducing this wasted money is to vacuum seal food.
Vacuum sealing can, without adding any preservatives, extend the freshness of your food by up to 5 times what it would otherwise be. The Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealer, is an example of a very efficient, quick and low cost way that food waste can be reduced. The vacuum sealing can be as simple as placing your food in the bag and pressing a button. Your food will be vacuumed packed and sealed with the minimum of time and effort.
With the manual override on the Nesco VS-02 even delicate foods such as leaf vegetables and even potato chips can be vacuum sealed. Freezing is often thought of as the best way to prolong the usable life of food, but frozen food can dehydrate and get ‘freezer burn’, when food is vacuum sealed this dehydration and freezer burn are so much reduced that the food can last up to 5 times longer than non-vacuum sealed frozen food. Salad foods that will only last a few days in the refrigerator can last up s few weeks.
Our Nesco VS-02 Review
Despite it being an inexpensive example of a vacuum bag sealer, the Nesco VS-02 is a very well designed and durable vacuum sealer. Measuring 18.3 x 5.1 x 11.8 inches and weighing in at 7 lbs. the Nesco VS-02 is a little larger than many similar models but only because it has a built-in roll dispenser and cutter. This is a highly useful feature lacking on many similar vacuum sealers. To make a vacuum seal bag all that is needed is to pull out the amount that is needed, slide the built in cutter from one side to the other, then seal one end. You then have a bag of the size that is needed.
If what is being vacuum sealed is something that a small amount is needed at a time, making the bag longer allows you to cut the sealed end off, take out what is needed and the re-seal the same bag. This can be repeated several times, depending on the excess amount of roll that is added initially. For most foods the one button operation, which vacuums out the air and seals will be ideal. For more delicate foods that would possibly be crushed, a manual over-ride is used so that before any crushing takes place, the vacuum can be cut off and the bag sealed. As with any standard vacuum bag sealer, as it operates any excess liquid in the food will be also drawn out with the air. The Nesco VS-02 has a trap to catch any of these liquids to avoid any possible damage to the sealing mechanisms.
Many vacuum bag sealers do not seal bags with moisture in the area of the bag that is to be sealed. The Nesco VS-02 copes with this by being able to have an extra-long seal time to make sure that a firm seal is made. This feature is also useful for sealing extra thick bags that need some extra heat to cope with the thicker plastic. For any foods that are rich in liquids or sauces it is recommended that they are first placed in the freezer to, if not solidify then at least thicken the liquid to prevent it being drawn out with the air. Although Nesco sell their own branded bags and bag rolls, other users of the Nesco VS-02 have found that it seals other manufactures bags and rolls just as well.
When buying very large bag rolls that are too big to fit in the storage compartment, some users roll a length off the roll, cut it and then place that in the storage section. Although the Nesco VS-02 will seal all plastic bags, including many of the original packing that the food comes in, the Nesco bag material has small ribs that allow a better vacuum to be formed.
One problem that many people find when storing food is that the usual method of putting the food in plastic containers, much of which is empty, take up a great deal of space in the freezer or refrigerator, after the food has been vacuum packed it can be put in the refrigerator or freezer without any additional containers being needed, saving a great deal of wasted space.
Nesco VS-02 Pros & Cons
Nesco VS-02 Best Features
- Built in bag roll holder and cutter – until you have had to cope with unrolling a bag and then finding the scissors then trying to make a straight cut square to the roll, this feature may not seem that important. However, it is a highly useful feature that makes you wonder why every vacuum bag sealer does not have on.
- Manual override – this allows users to seal delicate leaf vegetables and items like potato chips without crushing the contents
- Extra heating time – a great feature for use when there is moisture on the sealing surface to ensure that a good seal is made. This saves wasted bags and wasted food when the bag leaks in air when it is stored. This can also be used when using extra thick bags, giving enough heat to seal the thicker material
- Moisture trap – when foods have liquid in them, any excess that is drawn out with the air is caught in the moisture trap preventing any damage or corrosion to the vacuum pump
- Wide sealing strip – the Nesco VS-02 will seal up to 12 inch wide bags
Nesco VS-02 Conclusion
The Nesco VS-02 is highly rated by existing users. Although it is slightly larger than some comparable vacuum bag sealers, this is only because the Nesco VS-02 has an integral bag roll storage section and built in cutter.
For many, especially those who have used vacuum bag sealers without this, a little extra on the size is well worth it for all the time and effort that is saves. Only the much more costly chamber type of vacuum bag sealer will do a perfect jobs of sealing liquids and soups, the Nesco VS-02 with the built in moisture trap and the extra heating time option can, unlike many conventional vacuum bags sealers cope well with small amounts of moisture.
While many competing vacuum bag sealers will only seal their own bags and the operating temperature and seal time are based on this, the Nesco VS-02 is adaptable to any type of vacuum sealing bag. This additional heat time is particularly useful for using thicker bags for sealing food items with sharp edges in them, like a rack of ribs, as the additional thickness help prevent punctures in the bag and thereby losing the vacuum.
Overall the Nesco VS-02 is highly recommended for the value for money, the adaptability and, not forgetting the very handy integral bag roll storage and cutter.