If I had to guess why vacuum sealers have become so popular recently, it would be the rise of sous vide cooking and barbecue. When you spend 12 hours smoking a brisket on a backyard offset smoker, the last thing you want is freezer burnt meat.
Searching for vacuum sealers online can be overwhelming. The market is flooded with good and bad options. Vacuum sealers can range in pricing depending on if you’re looking for an external sealer or chamber vacuum sealer.
After researching all options, we ended up purchasing the Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer from JVR Industries, Inc. Let’s take a closer look at this machine, its capabilities, and why we chose JVR over other brands.
Conversation with JVR on the Phone
Before we move forward with the review for the Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer, I wanted to discuss why we ended up purchasing from JVR. We spoke to a few manufacturers on the phone, including VacMaster and MEAT.
This is to be expected when you’re spending close to a thousand dollars on a vacuum sealer. The phone calls with other manufacturers were underwhelming to say the least, but JVR was a different story.
The person we spoke to was genuinely interested in chamber vacuum sealers and took the time to ask us detailed questions about what we were using it for. The conversation took an unexpected turn when the person talked me out of purchasing a more expensive unit because they felt I would be happier with their less expensive Vac100 model.
Most companies you speak to will always be in upsell mode, trying to get you to spend as much as possible. That wasn’t the case with JVR Industries, and their authenticity came through over the phone.
What’s Included With the JVR Vac100?
- Accessory Hose
- Replacement Seal Bar Tape
- Replacement Heat Strip
- Wine Stopper
- Filler Plates (Quantity of 2)
- Bottle of Oil (VacOil)
- Power Cable
- Allen Key (3mm)
- 1L VacLok Stainless-Steel Canister
- Sample Pack VacPouch, sizes include: 3 MIL – 6×10, 8×12, 10×12, 12×12 • 4 MIL – 8×12
Comes Shipped in Heavy-Duty Packaging
The JVR Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer is heavy for a residential/light commercial model. The unit comes in at 67 lbs, which is over double the weight of similar units offered by companies like Avid Armor.
JVR Industries takes no shortcuts when shipping their products. Our Vac100 sealer arrived in the most heavy duty cardboard packaging I have ever seen. And that’s saying a lot in a time when over 50% of all of our shopping is done online.
JVR Vac100 Features
Quiet Chamber Vacuum Operation
If there is one thing you notice about many vacuum sealers, it is how loud they are. The first thing that stood out for me was how quiet the unit was after watching comparison videos on the Fire & Water Cooking YouTube Channel.
The Fire & Water channel does a fantastic job of comparing the JVR Vac100 to VacMaster and MEAT brand chamber vacuum sealers. He goes into great detail about the different models, and it’s worth checking out.
8” Tall Chamber Vacuum Sealer
The second reason we chose the JVR Vac100 sealer is that it stands only 8 inches tall while still featuring a commercial pump. This unit is the perfect blend of commercial build quality with residential ergonomics.
This was a feature we learned about from our phone conversation with JVR. The Vac100 has a “skip function” feature built-in that allows you to stop the vacuum operation mid-cycle by pressing the down arrow.
Most chamber vacuum sealers do not have this feature, which means you have to continue to let them run until their cycle ends. This can be a problem when using a chamber vacuum sealer if liquids start to boil and make their way toward the seal bar.
The skip function allows you to quickly stop this and complete the seal process without having to start over.
12” Vacuum Seal Bar
The Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer has a 12.3 inch wide seal bar, as compared to the 10 inch wide seal bars found on comparable models. The heat strip width is 6 mm, which creates a wide seal to ensure freshness as compared to 4 mm which is found on other home units.
Clear Shatterproof Tempered Glass Lid
The clear glass lid makes it easy to watch the vacuum sealing process in action. This is a good thing because if you have liquids starting to boil and pulling toward the seal bar. The clear glass lid allows you to see if liquids are boiling, so you can quickly hit the skip function button to stop the vacuuming cycle and seal the bag.
Handles on the Side
The Vac100 Chamber Vacuum Sealer has built-in handles on the side, making it easier to transport. The unit is heavy to move because it is high quality, but nevertheless the handles are there if you need them.
Seal Retort and 7 Mil Mylar Bags
We don’t have any experience with retort or Mylar bags, but the JVR Vac100 is capable of sealing these types of bags if that is something you’re interested in.
Seal Mason Jars and Canister
The JVR Vac100 comes with a 1L VacLok Stainless-Steel Canister that allows you to store items inside to vacuum seal with the included accessory hose. You will also have the capability of sealing 4-8 ounce regular mouth ball mason jars right inside the chamber thanks to the dropdown floor.
What Size Foods Can You Vacuum Seal?
The Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer comes with two filler plates. These plates can be used to adjust how much air is in the chamber, so you can reduce cycle times. If you’re sealing large cuts of meat, you can remove both plates, so there is adequate room.
Because we barbecue a lot, my biggest concern when purchasing a vacuum sealer was whether we could vacuum seal cooked briskets and pork butts. We have been able to vacuum seal a whole small pork butt using the largest bag, which is 12” x 14”. But typically, we have to cut briskets and pork butts in half to get them properly vacuum sealed.
Full racks of smoked baby back ribs can easily be cut in half and vacuum sealed to preserve them for a later date. It’s nice knowing the food you spend so much time cooking will be like fresh when you’re ready to eat it.
Steak is par for the course when it comes to vacuum sealing. Many folks prefer to buy their steaks in bulk to save money and then choose the amount they need when sealing for future meals.
These meatballs and hamburger patties were cooked on our offset smoker as well. The marinara sauce will start to boil with the meatballs while vacuuming, which is why the skip function (down arrow) is so helpful.
3, 4, or 5 Mil Vacuum Seal Bags?
After speaking with JVR, I learned that meat will have the same storage life in the freezer with 3mil bags as it will with 5mil bags. The main difference is durability when handling the packages, and thicker bags also are less prone to puncturing.
One thing you need to keep in mind when vacuum sealing is you can vacuum an item too long, causing the item in the bag to puncture the plastic. We recently discovered this when vacuum sealing beef jerky.
Furthermore, items that have bone exposed need to have a lighter vacuum seal, so the bag is not pulled too hard into the bone, causing the bag to break open. JVR sells special bags for bone-in products if that is something you require.
Dry vs. Oil Vacuum Sealer Pump
After speaking extensively with JVR personnel about oil pumps, I was convinced that a dry pump was not the way to go. JVR only offers chamber vacuum sealers with oil pumps because they do the best job at removing moisture and oxygen from the chamber.
Yes, you will have to change the oil once a year, but it is easy to do when the unit is as serviceable as the Vac100. Dry pumps are offered by many manufacturers for one simple reason… to make more profit.
JVR Vac100 Serviceability
The Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer features a unique housing that completely opens to allow access to all major components. This makes maintenance and troubleshooting a breeze.
Other Chamber Vacuum Brands We Considered
VacMaster Vacuum Sealers
VacMaster seems to be the king of chamber vacuum sealers when it comes to online reviews and YouTube videos. We were seriously considering purchasing one of their units as their customer service was good at answering our questions.
The phone call with JVR is what led us to not purchase a VacMaster and go with the JVR Vac100 instead. The unit is a different design from most other larger vacuum sealers, which is what made it stand out for us.
MEAT Vacuum Sealers
MEAT had the best website and marketing for chamber vacuum sealers that appeals to the outdoorsman. We probably would have purchased a Meat chamber vacuum sealer if the customer service was better, considering they were the first company we called.
Avid Armor & Vevor
Avid Armor and Vevor have some of the best YouTube marketing videos that go into great detail about their units. Because the videos are so good, the companies feel like marketing companies first, and then vacuum sealer companies second. Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend with most things today.
Best Chamber Vacuum Sealer for Home Use?
I could not tell you if the Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer is the best for your home, but it was a good fit for us. We were looking for a smaller chamber vacuum sealer that was built more like a commercial unit for longevity reasons.
The JVR Vac100 features a large 12.3” seal bar with a chamber spacious enough to seal large cuts of meat. The skip function has been our favorite feature, as it allows us to stop the vacuuming time and complete the sealing process without starting over.
If you order one, the unit will come with some sample bags to get started with. We have found we use the large and medium size bags the most with our leftover barbecue.
Our experience so far, owning the JVR Vac100 chamber vacuum sealer for three months, has been great. The unit has performed well on everything from briskets to lemon blossom cakes.
JVR Industries also carries a complete line of bags for their chamber vacuum sealers at a reasonable price. Combine all that with the support you receive from JVR, and I feel we have a winner.