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Best Upgrade For Experienced Dehydrators
The Nesco dehydrator features a sleek stainless steel frame with a rear-mounted fan and a front window with interior light for easy viewing. Setting the unit up was very simple–I just set the temperature and time, and it dings and turns off when finished. No tray rotation is required. The tested food was well-dried and had a nice crunch and good flavor.
Best affordable vacuum sealer: Nesco Deluxe Vacuum Sealer VS-12
This vacuum sealer very nearly made our top spot. If it had a built-in handheld sealer, it probably would have. It was almost identical in performance to the FoodSaver, but even quieter. Just like the FoodSaver, it had wet and dry modes as well as pulse for fragile items. It similarly had built-in bag roll storage and a cutter to make it easy to make your own custom bags.
An extra feature we liked was its digital display that counted down, so we knew just how long it the vacuuming and sealing would take. It also gave the option of selecting a double seal for extra protection, and the unit is lower profile than the FoodSaver too.
Overall, it’s a solid machine that performs as well as our top pick. It lacks a few of the FoodSaver’s details but offers others, and it’s quite a bit cheaper. If you can live without the handheld sealer, or would rather purchase one separately, get the Nesco VS-12.
There was really nothing not to like about this one. It lacked a handheld feature, but that’s more of a bonus for the FoodSaver than a drawback of the Nesco.
The Nesco VS 12 Deluxe is our pick for the best vacuum sealer overall because it gets most of the jobs done quite well at an affordable price. It’s not going to be the tool you use to seal up bags of liquid, but that’s not the intended use for external vacuum sealers in the first place. For most home-kitchen vacuum sealing jobs, the Nesco is both affordable and reliable.
Although you’d be set regardless of which machine you choose, the Nesco version won our top seal of approval thanks to how easy it is to use. Since vacuum sealers tend to be a new machine for many, it pays to have a version that’s easy-to-use with various control options for more customization.
Testers found this machine to be the simplest to maneuver, since it comes with different power and preservation settings that help control the pressure and seal depending on what you’re preserving. That means you can save delicate, finer foods like fruit with less suction to help preserve their whole shape. We specifically tested raspberries to compare each machine, and this was the only machine that could keep the shape of the raspberries intact, and keep them fresh.
Easy to use with multiple sealing settings and the durability of models costing several times its price, the Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer is our best overall choice for vacuums sealers. With a straightforward control panel featuring five simple options to choose from (wet, dry or double sealing for more difficult jobs, and either normal or vacuum pressure), this model is perfect for vacuum sealers with any level of experience. It’s powerful enough for your larger portions while the pulse button allows for the manual control of air extraction to precisely suit more unique or fragile vacuum sealing needs.
It has a hidden storage area for a full roll of sealing bags (comes with two full starter bags in two sizes) as well as a cutting tool for making each bag your ideal size. It works with any brand of bags, too, not just Nesco’s. There’s also the option for double air extraction when you’ve got extra large or heavy portions to get sealed. Best of all, it’s a breeze to keep clean and the controls light up when activated so you always know what the machine is doing.
The Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer is our favorite vacuum sealer of the bunch. This countertop model is sleek and not too big to keep out on display or store. The button panel on the top is designed simply for ease of use. One of our test kitchen’s favorite features was how delicate this sealer was when dry sealing the Chex Mix. Without breaking any of the cereal pieces, it was able to seal the bag tightly.
It does have some trouble moist sealing if there’s a good amount of liquid in the vacuum bag. However, this was the only issue we encountered, so our experts advise being cautious when using the moist seal option. The bags maintained a sturdy seal throughout testing, even the halved avocado hardly showing signs of ripening. Versatile and user-friendly, this vacuum sealer is perfect for anybody’s kitchen. We recommend it for somebody who’s just starting to work with vacuum sealing or as a thoughtful gift for the home cook in your life.