The VacMaster VP210 takes a rather different approach to vacuum sealing food in bags when compared to the vast majority of vacuum sealers available on the market today. Vacuum bag sealers are increasingly popular due to their convenience when it comes to storing food – either fresh or frozen – due to their ability to prolong the freshness of food by up to five times longer than non-vacuum sealed food stored in the same environment and thereby reduce the amount of food that is wasted. A problem with ‘conventional’ bag sealers has always been dealing with liquids such as soup or liquid rich food such as stews.
Due to the way that standard sealers operate, by sucking all the air from the bag before sealing, they also draws out any liquid that is in the bag as well. The VacMaster VP210 works by placing the bag in a chamber. The air is sucked out from the whole chamber meaning that there is no pressure differential between the inside of the bag and the outside. This means that all the liquid that is in that bag stays in the bag. The bag is then sealed and the air let back into the sealing chamber. Due to the vacuum being formed in a ridged chamber the level of the vacuum achieved is greater than that which can be achieved by conventional vacuum bag sealers.
The VacMaster VP210 is more expensive than many vacuum sealers on the market but it is a well-built heavy duty sealer which will take a great deal of day in day usage. It is quite a large machine when compared with conventional vacuum sealers. As it weighs about 80 lbs. it needs to be sited and used in one location rather than put away and taken out when needed to be used.
Our VacMaster VP210 Review
The first thing that we noticed about the VacMaster VP210 is, that when compared to standard vacuum bag sealers, it is big and heavy. The foot print is 19″ x 24″ and when the lid is opened it is 24″ high, so it may not fit on the counter top and under some over counter cupboards when the lid is opened. It is also very heavy so it needed two people to lift on to the counter and position it. It had to be placed where it was going to be used as it is not the type of kitchen gadget that you put away and take out only when you need to use it.
Regarding the size and weight though – this should be fairly self explanatory. This is a commercial grade vacuum sealer, and is rated for constant usage in a setting where sealing foods is almost a necessity. It is rated as being ideal for restaurants and takeaways.
Straight from the initial setting up, we decided to do a simple test seal with a steak just to try the machine out and make sure that the seal setting was correct. It did seal, but we decided to increase the time by 5 seconds just because the option is there. Being able to change the time dynamically is a god sent. If you are dealing with difficult foods, opting for a slower seal time will result in a much more firm and tighter seal overall.
One of the VacMaster VP210 strong selling points is its ability to vacuum seal liquids easily and without sucking the liquid out as it seals. So, after reading some reviews of others who have purchased this machine, we thought I would try and seal a bag of water purely to put the machine to a difficult test. We were pleasantly surprised, not so much that the machine sealed the bag of water, but that it was so easy that we were successful on the first attempt.
One of the things we like to cook in the office is stews and curries. The problem in the past has been storing the left overs in the freezer. Conventional vacuum sealers are not very good at sealing dishes with lots of sauce with them – as you can imagine. So, we’ve gone back to using bulky plastic containers for these types of foods. With the VacMaster VP210 these dishes are no problem. They easily and cleanly seal the contents in a compact bag which does not waste any room in the freezer or refrigerator. When it came to eating the sealed food, we just put the bag in gently simmering water and cooked it from frozen.
As we mentioned earlier, this is a sturdy and durable sealer and although it is a little on the more expensive side when compared to many other vacuum sealers, it is a very flexible machine which can do everything that a standard sealer will do and then a lot more besides.
Is it worth the extra money? – that depends on how much you would use the sealer. Our opinion is that, as long as you can site it in a convenient position and along with the availability of bulk buy bags at a reasonable price, plus the facility to be able to vacuum seal all foods, not just solid food, it can be a well worthwhile investment. Many people who already own one agree that this is a great buy. In our own independent analysis of consumer reviews, we found that barely anybody has a bad comment about the VacMaster VP210.
But, as mentioned earlier… This really is a commercial graded vacuum sealer. It would be most happiest sitting in an environment that demands constant use – so keep that in mind.
VacMaster VP210 Pros & Cons
VacMaster VP210 Best Features
- Sealing of liquids – this is undoubtedly a real selling point for this machine. It gives the VacMaster VP210 a real edge over most other vacuum sealers available on the market today with this feature alone.
- Dry vacuum pump – the pump on this sealer is dry and completely maintenance free. There is no need to top up and change the pump oil.
- Double sealing – each bag has a double seal to ensure that a strong seal is maintained until you need to open the bag.
- Sealed vacuum chamber – this allows higher levels of vacuum to be achieved than with standard sealers.
- Spacer plates – the VacMaster VP210 comes with a series of spacer plate that you can add to the vacuum chamber when you are sealing smaller quantities. The plates reduce the amount of air that needs to be vacuumed out and therefore greatly reduces the sealing time.
- Bulk buy bags available – with many less expensive standard sealers the initial price may be lower but the cost of bags, that are usually only available in quite small pack sizes, tend to be more expensive. Additionally the bags come in a wide variety of sizes.
- Food stays fresher longer – with vacuum sealing your food can stay fresher, or last longer in the freezer for up to five times longer than when stored using conventional means.
VacMaster VP210 Conclusion
We really liked this vacuum sealer from the moment that we could seal water in a bag with no spills or any problems. Initially, we were concerned that it was too large and heavy to be practical in a domestic kitchen, but the additional flexibility that the VacMaster VP210 brings somehow convinced us that it could have a place in a consumer home setting.
We really liked the fact that anything that we wanted to preserve could be, and we didn’t have to worry about the amount of liquid in the food as to whether it would be able to be satisfactorily vacuum sealed. We like the fact that VacMaster had thought to include spacer plates to reduce the time taken to seal smaller quantities. This shows that some thought has gone in to the use as well as the design of the machine.
The VP210 is so robust that it would a good tool for smaller commercial kitchens and catering companies. Many owners of this vacuum sealer find it particularly useful in sous vide cooking (cooking vacuum sealed food very slowly in water at relatively low temperatures (typically 130 to 140 degrees f for meats) for many hours.
The VacMaster VP210 may beyond what you intend to spend on a vacuum sealer, but with the added flexibility and durability it may just be a wise purchasing decision. A must-have all-round vacuum sealer for commercial settings, and one to think about for home use.