The Best Vacuum Sealers for Fish and Game
Properly processing and packaging your fish, game, or other food items is vitally important for long-term storage in the freezer as well as maintaining optimal taste and texture for the table. Using a quality vacuum sealer will ensure that your fish or game stays and tastes fresh for three to five years…far longer than other traditional methods of packaging. If you’re an avid outdoorsman who takes pride in processing your own food, you should know that investing in a quality sealer will actually pay for itself with just a few uses, as the cost of taking fish or meat to a commercial processor can be quite expensive…not to mention…you may not even get back your own fish or game.
Like most outdoor products, there are lots of makes, models, and brands to choose from when it comes to vacuum sealers. And, as I always preach, you get what you pay for when it comes to reputable, reliable gear…so buy high quality the first time! Now a true, professional grade vacuum sealer will cost thousands of dollars and take up half your garage, but there are now many consumer grade products on the market that do a fantastic job and are very affordable. I’ve purchased and used quite a few different vacuum sealers over the years, many of which have gone right back to the store after using them for just a few hours. Some of the sealers designed for “home use” may be fine to use once in a while for a stack of asparagus from the garden or a leftover chicken breast or two, but will fail miserably when confronted with the daunting task of continuously sealing a boat full of fish fillets or an entire deer or two.
A quality “consumer grade” vacuum sealer must be able to work long, hard hours, with consistent, strong suction and flawless sealing capabilities. One should also be able to use a variety of vacuum storage bags and materials with it instead of specialty items that are exclusively compatible with one particular model or brand.
Processing and Packaging Tips
Before recommending some specific products, let me first offer a few tips for processing, packaging, and thawing your fish or game. First of all, when confronted with a large quantity of meat or fish to process, I suggest throwing a processing party! Invite your hunting or fishing buddies over (along with their vacuum sealers!) for some BBQ and camaraderie and work together at getting everything packaged up for the freezer. It gets the job done fast and turns an otherwise rather monotonous chore into a fun and festive time! Just be sure to return the favor when your buddies invite you (and your vacuum sealer) over to help them.
Something else to keep in mind, when storing your vacuum sealed fish and game in the freezer, be somewhat gentle with it. Carelessly chucking your sealed packages in the freezer in a reckless, unorganized manner, in which they’ll get beat up, knocked around, or have other heavy items placed on top of them, may result in the seal breaking and your fish or game becoming susceptible to freezer burn. Be sure to stack or organize your sealed packages in a careful manner in which they will be secure for long periods of time.
As a final tip, when unearthing your fish or game from the freezer and preparing to cook it, place your frozen packages in the refrigerator and thaw it out overnight, or, if in a hurry, place the packaged fish or game in the sink and run cool water over it for as long as it takes to thaw it out…usually 10-20 minutes…depending on quantity and thickness. Most culinary professionals prefer this faster method for optimal flavor retention, as thawing in the refrigerator for many hours can sometimes dry the fish out. It is not recommended to leave fish or game out in the open, at room temperature, to thaw out as this will result in rapid bacteria growth and a not-so-fresh flavor.
So, with all this in mind, below are some of the most dependable, highest rated vacuum sealers currently available. Click on the photos below to learn more and order yours today through our Amazon affiliate service.