As an apartment dweller with a small kitchen, I know that my dream kitchen appliances are not meant for this space. Instead, wishes of stand mixer and a huge cutting board are tucked away in the back of my mind for that someday home with long quartz countertops (it's a dream!), and a tiled mosaic backsplash. A vacuum seal system was also on that wishlist for the dream home, something that I didn't think could properly fit in an apartment. That all changed when the Vacuvita® One Touch Storage System arrived at my desk.
I've tried my share of kitchen products, and whenever I test something for Wide Open Eats, there's one question that I always ask: Will this easily fit into the daily routine of our readers? I loved it so much, we're actually giving away a set. You'll find the giveaway at the bottom of the post and you can find it here, too.
What is the Vacuvita® One Touch Storage System?
The Vacuvita system is a one touch vacuum storage system centered around the Home Base and is designed to keep food fresh. A sleek storage container for your countertop, it creates a vacuum for the food inside and is the vacuum sealer for the containers and bags. You simply plug in the vacuum tag and use the adapter on the bags and containers. Vacuum sealing with Vacuvita is easy as plugging in a vacuum tube, pressing a button, and waiting a few minutes.
The food storage system comes with the Home Base, one small Vacuvita container, five large resealable vacuum bags, and five medium resealable vacuum bags. The containers are dishwasher-safe, as is an insert in the Home Base. The resealable vacuum bags are reusable, except when you use raw meat, poultry, or fish. There's a handy Vacuvita app that connects to your Home Base where you select the food inside and it will send you reminders when it's close to expiring. Since vacuum sealing food keeps food fresher up to five times longer, the reminders mean you don't have to mentally keep count.
If you, like me, once thought that vacuum sealing was a luxury, I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be. The good news is that it's effective and during my use, I consistently cooked better and spent less time at the grocery store each week because food lasted longer. It is on the pricier side with the whole set costing $299.99. However, it's less expensive than a brand new KitchenAid Stand Mixer or a premium blender and I actually saved money using the system. Here are the three reasons I think that vacuum sealers, especially the Vacuvita, are worth incorporating into your routine.
1. I'm motivated and encouraged to cook well.
I tend to cook simply, without much of a plan, during the week. While I've tried methods of meal planning, this just seems to be my rhythm: consult standard grocery list, make a few changes based on what looks best in the store, and cook from the pantry with fresh produce and protein all week. That often means I'm not prepping ahead, like marinating my meat, because I choose what to make for dinner just before I cook. This is just fine, but I know that my flavors could be stronger and taste more vibrant.
I used both the Vacuvita vacuum bags and the container for marinating meat during my testing. The one claim I had to test was whether or not the Vacuvita container could marinate my meat to full juicy flavor in just 20 minutes. So I removed my Meyer lemons (we'll get to those in a second), and poured the marinade in, submerging my chicken breasts. Dinner that night was delicious and the rich flavor was a pleasant surprise, especially considering it was only 20 minutes in the refrigerator. I simply stuck the container in the dishwasher afterwards for easy clean-up. For daily use, this is just one way Vacuvita shines.
I don't often buy nicer ingredients, like Meyer lemons and blood oranges, and instead reserve the purchases for once each season. Having lost two blood oranges in a bunch of five because I just didn't use them in enough time (I'm embarrassed to admit!), and was heartbroken to throw my mushy blood oranges away. I received the vacuum sealing system right after I bought Meyer lemons, and knew it would be perfect for testing.
Vacuum sealed in the container, then the medium vacuum bag for my marinade test, my Meyer lemons have lasted 14 days in long-term storage and counting. I'm going to use them this weekend to make our Test Kitchen's new Lemon Muffins because the app tells me I have six days left until they're questionable. Without Vacuvita, I know these four leftover lemons would have gone unused, despite my best efforts.
2. I feel less frazzled keeping track of dates in the kitchen.
Every year, the average household wastes 1,300 pounds of food, resulting in $1,500 worth of waste. Food expiration dates have a way of running up on you and I know that I waste my fair share of fresh food and perishables, like chicken breasts that teeter on the edge for a day too long or soggy salads.
Our grocery store chicken breast purchased only seemed to last two days after bringing them home, which meant we only had proteins on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. When I began using the Vacuvita vacuum bags, I found that the chicken breasts sealed inside lasted until Friday and it encouraged me to marinate them before storing. You can even use the bags in sous-vide cooking which is so convenient if you have a sous-vide system. So cooking well, saving money instead of wasting meat, and the ability to enjoy fresh food? Check!
3. It saves space and pulls its weight.
I was most skeptical about the size of the Vacuvita Home Base. I have about two squares of full countertop space in my kitchen, so not much. There's something about it, though, that makes it seem bulkier than it really is. I replaced my bread bowl with the Home Base and immediately felt like more space opened up on my counter with the clean, straight lines. The press of the button unseals the unit and opens the lid for you, and to close it, you simply press and release for easy access.
The best part is that as a bread box, it holds an awful lot of bread. Above is the contents of my bread bowl and I didn't think all of it would fit inside, but I was happily proved wrong. So here's what it held: one large flour tortilla bags, two small flour tortilla bags, one plain bagel, four slices of Farmhouse Sourdough, one full loaf of wheat bread, and one bag of six bagels. I don't know how I accumulated so much bread product, y'all.
Well guess what! The Home Base didn't care how much bread I had. It fit all of it inside and vacuum sealed it to boot. A word to the wise, this hums like something out of the Jetsons when it's sealing closed, but it's all over in about 45 seconds. The last remaining bagel had a longer shelf life and instead of molding, I was able to eat it happily.
Due to its ergonomic design, I have more countertop space because the flat surface up top is great for stacking ingredients as I prep dinner. Made from BPA and BPS free plastic, this sustainable way of keeping produce and perishables fresh for a longer period of time is easily added to any cooking routine.
So in the end, is the Vacuvita system worth it? I think so, especially because you can customize your own system by adding bags and food containers to fit your needs. For example, I'll be buying two more vacuum containers specifically for deli meat and hard cheese, and another set of medium bags for smaller meat portions. Because I'm such a fan, we've partnered with Vacuvita for a giveaway.
Enter your email below for a chance to win Vacuvita® One Touch Storage System, complete with the Home Base, which is available in five colors, though your unit will be chosen randomly. The five colors are: caviar black, olive green, oval room blue, pearl white, and royal orange. You'll also receive one Vacuvita container, five medium resealable bags, and five large resealable bags. This giveaway is only valid to consumers in the United States and Vacuvita cannot shop to P.O. boxes. For more product information on this easy access storage system, you can check visit Vacuvita online and shop their products on Amazon with free shipping for Prime members.
The author received a Vacuvita® One Touch Storage System in exchange for a review. All opinions are the author's own.