I purchased the Ziploc v151 Vacuum Sealer (~$60, Amazon.com) in July 2014 – this review is backdated to the time of purchase. It’s seen two and a half months of consistent use, but will soon be retired in favor of a chamber vacuum sealer. The Ziploc v151 vacuum sealer has served its purpose well, and I believe it to be an excellent value amongst entry-level vacuum sealers.
The Ziploc v151 is an edge-sealer. The single best feature on it is the Pulse button, which gives the user control over how much air to evacuate from a bag. Similarly priced units from Foodsaver lack this feature. The Pulse button has proven invaluable when dealing with liquid-rich foods.
The Ziploc v151 also features an accessory port that is compatible with Foodsaver branded canisters and accessories.
I bought the unit because it was remarkably affordable. Prior to this purchase, I was using Ziploc freezer bags, and I was cooking sous vide in constant fear that the bag would spring a leak. The price paid for the Ziploc v151 was worth it – no more dread.
I use my Ziploc v151 with Foodsaver rolls. Buy a multipack (~$50, Amazon.com) and keep them around the house. In addition to sealing vacuum bags, the v151 can also seal Mylar. I use it to seal large bags of chips so that they remain fresher. It works similarly well for my massive bags of oatmeal.
That being said, not all is sunshine in the land of edge-sealing vacuum packagers.
Cons particular to all edge sealers
- Poor handling of liquids and powdered goods
- The best solution to this is to pre-freeze liquid-rich goods, and to place powdered goods within a bag prior to vacuum sealing (inception vacuum sealing)
- If liquid gets into the seal area, it can interfere with the sealing process – wipe the area to be sealed dry in the event that the seal does not form properly before trying again
Cons particular to the Ziploc v151
- The black foamy material that surrounds the drip basin is porous
- Remove it and clean it, or live on the edge and ignore this
If you’re looking to add an entry-level edge-sealer to your kitchen, the v151 warrants your consideration.
The only complaints that I have are related to handling of liquids. The edge-sealer simply isn’t going to handle liquid-rich foods well, unless you freeze liquids prior to sealing. But you already know this – if you want to handle liquid-rich foods, you’re going to give serious consideration to chamber vacuum sealers, and the affordable Ziploc v151 isn’t even on your radar.
For everyone else, pre-freeze and use the Pulse button.
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