There are many vacuum bag sealers on the market today and choosing the right one can be a little daunting. The popularity of vacuum bag sealing in growing, not only due to their ability to prolong the freshness of foods, both cooked and uncooked, by up to 5 times that of standard storage methods, but as sous vide cooking (very slowly cooking foods at lower temperatures with the food sealed in a vacuum bag to preserve the juices) becomes more popular vacuum sealing is a necessary part of the preparation. The VacMaster VP215 is the one of the premier models in the VacMaster range of versatile vacuum sealers.
The VacMaster VP range is a chamber type of vacuum sealer which means that due to the method of creating the vacuum it is, unlike many other vacuum sealers, capable of vacuum sealing soups, and liquid rich foods such as stews or even water if you feel so inclined. The VP215 has the ability to vacuum seal liquids because of the method in which it creates the vacuum. Rather than just suck the air from the bag (which also sucks the liquid from the bag) the VP215 has a chamber in which the bag is placed. Air is then removed from the whole chamber which maintains an even vacuum both inside and outside the bag. With the equalized vacuum the liquids do not get sucked out.
The VacMaster VP215 is a heavy duty vacuum sealer that is designed for frequent use. It is heavy, weighing in at 85 lbs. so it is the type of sealer that it needs to put in position where it will be used and leave it there. It also has a reasonably large footprint when compared to standard vacuum bag sealers, measuring 20” x 14” x 15”.
Our VacMaster VP215 Review
As mentioned in the introduction the VacMaster VP215 is a large heavy vacuum sealer so locating it needs some thought. It is not the sort of tool that is taken out and put away after every time that it is used. Weighing in at 85 lbs. it also needs 2 people to lift and site it. That being said, once the VacMaster VP215 is in position one of the first things that becomes obvious is that this is a well-built strong vacuum sealer that is made to be used.
Many people just want to get on and try out their new purchase but a few minutes spent reading the instructions first is definitely worth the effort here, it will help ensure that you have perfectly sealed results every use and in the shortest possible time. With the machine are some spacer plates. These are used when smaller amount of food are to be vacuum sealed. They basically take up space in the chamber which reduces the amount of air that needs to be vacuumed out which speeds up the cycle considerably.
A good first test for the VP215 is to try sealing a bag of water. Not only will this makes sure that the vacuum pump is withdrawing air and the sealer working correctly it will prove the capability of the sealer to vacuum seal liquids. For anyone who has used a standard vacuum bag sealer and tried to seal foods with a liquid before the results will be really impressive. So the sealer has been set up and tested how does it perform in general use?
Often people like to prepare a large quantity of food in one go and then vacuum seal it. This is yet another area where the VacMaster VP215 comes in to its own. The powerful ¼ HP rotary oil pump needs less effort to produce the vacuum so it can work for that much longer without needing a period of rest to allow it to cool down. For those who like to prepare a large quantity of soup or stews in one batch and separate in to individual portions for later meals, the ability to seal the whole batch in one go without having to stop and start is a real boon. In fact VacMaster recommend that this vacuum sealer is suitable for small restaurants and delis as well as for those who hunter and people who fish for the very reason of its capacity to work for extended periods.
As to the size of bags that the sealer can cope with, VacMaster sell a 10” x 13” bag (in packs of 250) which is the maximum size that they recommend but other users have reported that they have achieved perfect results with bags as large as 10” x 15”. The most popular sized bags are the 8” x 10” and the 6” x 12”.
The VacMaster VP215 may be a little large for some kitchens, and the height can make it to larger to fit on some counters with wall mounted cupboards over them, but if you need a heavy duty machine with a large capacity that can also seal liquids this is an ideal vacuum sealer.
VacMaster VP215 Pros & Cons
VacMaster VP215 Best Features
- Able to seal liquids as well as solid foodstuff – this is without a doubt a real asset to anyone who likes to be able to vacuum seal any type of food including soups and other liquid rich foods.
- Powerful ¼ HP rotary oil vacuum pump – this pump enables the VacMaster VP215 to work for extended periods without needing to cool down allowing users to vacuum seal large batches in one go.
- Spacers to reduce size of chamber for small items – by reducing the chamber size with the spacers the vacuum can be formed much quicker than otherwise, greatly speeding up cycle times.
- Clear lid – to allow you to check on the progress of your sealing and stop if the bag needs adjusting
- Stainless steel body – for easy clean and rust free body
- Quick cycle times – of between 20 to 40 seconds with no cool down period needed in between each cycle
- Quieter operation – the rotary oil vacuum pump runs much quieter than conventional vacuum bag sealer pumps
- Longer lasting freshness of all foods whether fresh or frozen – the food that is vacuum sealed will last up to 5 times the length of food stored conventionally in freezer, refrigerator or larder
VacMaster VP215 Conclusion
For the person who just wants to vacuum seal the occasional steak or similar this is probably not the machine for those who would like to be able to vacuum seal anything, including liquids and work in batches the VacMaster VP215 is definitely well worth considering. It can easily cope with moderate to heavier vacuum sealing larger quantities of food on a continuous basis without having to pause for a cool down after each sealing cycle.
This is particularly valued for those who like the sous-vide method of cooking as the preparation can be carried out quickly. The rotary oil pump is much quieter than usual with vacuum sealers and apart from occasionally having to check the oil is maintenance free. The VP215 comes ready to use straight from the box with a selection of bags and spacer plates plus a bone guard to prevent punctures when sealing food with sharp bones in it. Also included is a very simple but highly useful stand to make filling bags much easier and cleaner.
Overall the VacMaster VP215 is a highly recommended vacuum bag sealer that not only has excellent conventional vacuum bag sealing specifications but also for it liquid sealing capabilities.