External Vacuum or Chamber Vacuum?

Vacuum packing is currently one of the best methods to preserve our food.

In general, vacuum sealing is the process in which atmospheric oxygen is removed from our packaged foods before sealing. Thus, preserving our items in an airless environment. This comes with many benefits which include the limiting of fungi and bacteria growth and the preservation of nutrition and taste in food. This also helps with the reduction of space, the reduction of cost- and so much more.

At the moment, the two most popular basic types of vacuum sealing are external and chamber sealing. They are both very different and it is important that we make the right investment based on what we need.

The only similarity is the ability to control the vacuum and seal settings in order to suit your needs. However, that’s where the similarities end.

What are the main differences between the two? Which one should you go for?

Obviously, the main difference is in how the air is sucked out from both machines. Let’s start by going through a quick rundown of how they work:  

External Suction Vacuum Sealing- This method is very straightforward. Firstly, place your solid foods into one of the sealing bags. After that, place the open end of the bag into the sealing machine. Once activated, The machine will suck the air out of the bag and seal the open end with a heat strip.

Chamber Vacuum Sealing- The food is placed in a bag, and then placed inside the vacuum chamber with it’s open end laying on a sealing bar. The air from the entire chamber is pumped out (this includes the air from your bag) and the ends of your bag will be sealed.

Besides the method of sealing itself, here are some key differences between the two:

1.) Price

Compared to external sealing, chamber sealing is definitely the more expensive alternative. The price mainly depends on the model, but some chamber sealers are thousands of Ringgit more expensive compared to external sealers.

2.) Size

Here are two pictures of an external vacuum sealer and a chamber vacuum sealer:

As illustrated , chamber vacuum sealers are a lot bigger in size and less portable compared to external vacuum sealers. For example, the outside dimensions of MyChef’s new iSensor tabletop L chamber sealer is 560 x 465 x 210 mm (WxDxH). The dimensions of La.va’s V300 external vacuum sealer is 410 x 210 x 98 mm (WxDxH).

3.) Solids and liquids

External Vacuum Sealing can deal with solid and frozen foods. However, most cannot deal with liquids or moist foods as the external vacuum sealer will try to suck out the liquid as well. On the other hand, chamber sealing can work with both solids and liquids- making it ideal if you want to seal soups, stews, or sauces.

Whereas, liquids can be sealed in the chamber vacuum due to the equal pressure in the chamber and the bag itself. This will eliminate the risk of the liquid being sucked out of the open bag.

4.) Types of available vacuum bags suitable for use

You will have more choice in terms of suitable bags for chamber sealing. Both regular bags and full mesh bags are able to work with chamber vacuum sealers. However, external sealers will only work with full mesh bags- which is more expensive compared to regular bags.

In conclusion, the choice between both chamber and external vacuum is simple:

If you are looking for a cheaper, smaller alternative and mainly want to seal solid foods- you can have a look at our top recommendation for external vacuum sealer here. However, if you don’t mind spending a little bit more for more flexibility in food sealing- you can have a look at ISensor’ chamber vacuum sealers here

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