The Vacupack Elite proudly proclaims that the sealer is manufactured in Italy and upgraded in the USA. What the modifications are exactly isn’t stated but seems to be an upgraded heat bar, whatever they are the machine ends up as a good looking versatile vacuum sealer that is able to seal even wet bags. An impressive offering on this vacuum sealer is a 2 year warranty and 5 year service contract included in the purchase price.
The stainless steel construction will prevent any rust while the special design of the crimp sealer heat bar is what allows the Vacupack Elite to effectively seal even wet bags without the trouble of having to dry the sealing area first. A powerful vacuum pump will give a higher level of vacuum than most standard vacuum sealers. To prevent a mess and to divert any liquid from the wet bag there is a moisture trap. Operation is designed to be simple and straight forward with automatic setting for vacuuming and sealing the bags, although there are manual settings for those who would prefer to adjust the machine to their preferences.
A big positive about this sealer is that they do not say that you need to use their brand bag in fact a selling point is the versatility to use any bag that is suitable for vacuum sealing. The Vacupack Elite is primarily designed for domestic use but the high production output that it is capable of means that it could be used in smaller scale commercial operations. Although some websites state that the machine is for domestic use only and not intended for commercial use, Vacupack’s own website states that the Elite is suitable for light commercial usage. For such a well-built sturdy vacuum sealer the Vacupack Elite only has a footprint of 13” by 7” and it is 5.5” high, it weighs only 15 lbs. Included in with the sealer are a selection of sous vide vacuum bags.
Our Vacupack Elite Review
When we first came across the Vacupack Elite and the adverts saying that it vacuum seals wet bags, we were more than happy to put this claim to the test. Our first impression of the Elite straight from the box was that it looks like a serious commercial machine, even though it has a small footprint and is relatively light at only 15 lbs.
It is small enough that it will fit pretty much anywhere you want to locate it in your kitchen while at the same time easy enough to put away and take out when you need to use it if space is at a premium. Included in the box is connections to allow the Elite’s vacuum pump to be used for the vacuum sealing of jars. So how does the machine actually perform? As you would expect, it works very efficiently and simply. Just place the open mouth of the bag in on the bed close the lid press ‘automatic’ and off you go and your bag is sealed. A feature that we particularly liked was that if you want to stop the cycle before the heat cycle, turning the machine on again allows air back into the bag to easily break the vacuum.
OK, dry bag sealed successfully. But, what about a bag that gets moisture all over the inner faces of the bag where it is to be sealed?
It was suggested that we try with a moist sponge and see what happens. The instructions tell you to wait until the moisture has stopped moving that way you know that the vacuum has been achieved, you can then go on and seal. Not only did the bag seal perfectly, we ended up with a sponge about ½” thick. There is a small channel to collect any liquid that is drawn out when sealing and it is recommended that the channel is wiped out after every time there is a wet bag. Should this not happen there is a little raised pipe to protect the machine and in the worst cases where the pipe gets covered with water there is a moisture trap on the left of the machine to prevent moisture damaging the working parts. It is claimed that the Vacupack Elite will seal through oil, fat or food sauce, so time to test that claim.
Using a pork steak with an oily marinade, we placed that in the bag making sure that the sealing faces had a least some oil on them and proceeded to seal. Again the process was flawless. It does take a little longer to seal wet bags as it is recommended that the heat is left on setting 4 which gives a little more time to heat through the moisture. Cleaning the sealer is very easy, the 2 neoprene seals pull out making it very easy to wipe down the machine, the stainless steel body and the sealed switches can be cleaned with a damp cloth. We found this to be an easy to operate vacuum sealer with a very quick cycle time.
We also like the idea that any make of vacuum sealing bags are suitable with this machine – an extremely positive aspect for consumers. For the average consumer, forking out on expensive Vacupack’s own brand bags just isn’t feasible.
Vacupack Elite Pros & Cons
Vacupack Elite Best Features
- Seals wet bags – this is undoubtedly a key feature, the modifications, carried out in the USA, to the heat bar are what allows this machine to seal through all types of liquids. The company guarantees that the Vacupack Elite will seal wet damp bags.
- Moisture trap – to prevent damage to working parts if the moisture tray is not emptied after every wet bag is sealed.
- 35 to 60 bags capacity per session – up to 60 bags can be sealed in one go before the machine needs to cool down.
- 2 year warranty – and a 5 year service contract shows how much faith the manufacturers have in the durability of the Vacupack Elite which gives potential buyers confidence
- Attractive design – the sleek stainless steel body and the flush touch buttons will look good in any kitchen.
- Compact and light – unlike many other vacuum sealers this is an efficient and well-built machine that still manages to keep relatively small and light, so it won’t be too intrusive in even a smaller kitchen.
- Suitable for any vacuum seal bag – this machine will seal any vacuum seal bag regardless of bag manufacturer. Will take bags up to 12.5” wide and any length.
- Attachments for jar sealing – an extension hose with a choice of end fittings to vacuum seal jars.
- Ideal for marinades and sous vide cooking – voted sous vide vacuum sealer of the year in 2011.
Vacupack Elite Conclusion
With so many vacuum heat sealers on the market today and with a wide price range it can be a little bewildering as to which one to actually choose. The Vacupack Elite is certainly well worth considering due to its ability to seal wet bags and its very long warranty. The ability to use any vacuum sealing bag or roll is a definite advantage as it allows you to choose the best size bags for what you want to vacuum seal rather than the limited number of sizes available from individual manufacturers.
We liked the ability to seal moist and wet food (although it in common with many vacuum sealer it will not seal liquids such as soup), plus its easy clean low maintenance design. It was easy to operate and we did not have any failed bags in the large selection of foods that we sealed with the Elite.
There are less expensive machines on the market that will do many of the tasks that this sealer will do and do them adequately but if you are someone who like the convenience of being able to vacuum pack your food, not being able to vacuum pack moist foods, such as marinades, can be a real drawback. The Vacupack Elite is a very good vacuum sealer.