Does anyone own a vacuum sealer?
Is it worth the investment for a home cook? If so, what makes/models are recommended?
It is likely that my information will not be of much assistance to you since my Rival vacuum sealer dates from the Nixon administration. I used it extensively when we did a lot of sailing; made extra portions of 'oven' meals to be reheated on the boat. The big bonus for me was no lengthy cooking aboard, no pots to wash and ready hot water for other uses. I haven't used it for a long while since I do a lot of à la minute cooking now. Since this was a SuziHomemaker model and not designed for commercial use, it may have no bearing on your decision. I have no idea if a good vacuum sealer would be "worth the investment for a home cook" as you ask. I used the hell out of mine, but it had a specific purpose.
NB: be certain to really seal the bags. Any gap renders your food worthless.
Edit: it was not a Rival brand, It was a Seal-a-Meal. This post has jogged me into getting it out onto the counter for some more use. Thanks.
We've had a foodsaver for years now, we even bought one for my parents! It's not as fancy as a commercial chamber model, but I think it's a great option for a home cook! We use it for many things, freezing on sale meat in portions for our household, marinating for a last minute dinner idea, sous vide,and even making our own "instant dinners" for at home or camping/cottaging. Some of the newer models even have a wine corking setting so when ours dies, we've had it for 5 years now, I think I'll get one with that option. :)
I use a Vacmaster VP 215C. At the price in the link, this machine is a steal.
I got it from here: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/ary-v...
Absolutely love it, crazy versatile machine, it earned a space on my kitchen counter full time after the first month.
Edit: I have a super nice foodsaver too, just sits now that I have the vacmaster. I'm going to give it to a family member who got an Anova on Kickstarter.
Right on. I heard those are nice machines, few folks over on Chefsteps have those as well. You can quick pickle and do infusions in them right? Or is the vacuum not quite there? I guess you could always run multiple cycles anyway.
Edit: Great thing about chamber sealers is that the bags are much cheaper. I buy them by the thousand.
Weston commercial model. expensive & worth it (assuming you have freezer space and/or do sous vide. Even better is a chamber sealer but they're unwieldy even for me.