I know it sounds crazy, but I’m pretty excited about Vacmaster’s decision to release its new DUO550 model (amazon). This model is special because for the first time in the VacMaster series of machines, it combines a chamber vacuum with a suction sealer. This two-in-one technology is great because it provides a level of versatility that hasn’t been found in vacuum sealing machines before.
Vacmaster Duo550 chamber lid down:
Vacmaster Duo550 Chamber Lid Open:
If you’ve read our article on The Best Vacuum Sealer’s for Sous Vide Cooking, you’ll remember that chamber vacuums are generally more powerful, versatile, and are associated with professional-grade cooking. Conversely, suction machines are more widely available and consumers are familiar with this technology from brands like FoodSaver.
The neat thing about chamber sealing is that you can do liquids and other preparations that a suction vacuum simply cannot. In essence, the DUO550 is a ‘prosumer’ swiss-army-knife of vacuum sealing machines that can handle just about any task you throw at it.
Sealing food, Chamber Mode
Sealing food, Suction Mode
Why does the ability to chamber or suction seal matter?
Each approach, chamber vs. suction has its pros and cons. Suction sealers don’t really have any limit, aside from bag size, regarding the size of the items they can seal. Whereas for chamber sealers, the food and bag obviously have to within the chamber.
A benefit of chamber sealing is that it is generally a more “airtight” and powerful suction and the method of doing it (creating a vacuum and sealing the bag in this vacuum) allows for liquids and other items to be sealed when doing so with traditional suction sealing would be impossible. In short, each method has their pros and cons.
Here is a great video explanation of the difference between chamber and suction sealing:
Why the ability to seal both ways matters, is that finally you have one machine that can competently handle BOTH tasks. You no longer have to compromise and choose one technology over the other. Now, depending on what you are sealing, or how you plan to prepare food, you can use the preferred method to get the best results. This avoids the requirement of purchasing two machines or comprimising with one that cannot perform all the tasks needed in the kitchen.
Specifications of the VacMaster Duo550:
- External suction sealer and chamber vacuum sealer in one
- Cycle Time: 30-60 Seconds
- Control panel: adjustable vacuum and seal, marinate function, and digital display indicator
- Maximum Chamber Pouch Size: 12” W x 10” L
- Chamber Size (WxDxH): 13” x 8.5” x 3”
- Overall Dimensions (WxDxH): 20” x 15” x 7.5”
- Weight: 40 Pounds
- Includes: (6) 12” x 6” and (6) 10” x 8” chamber pouches, 10 quart size suction vacuum bags, and manual
Keep in mind when budgeting counter-space that this is a 40lb monster, that is 20 inches wide, fifteen inches deep and 7.5 inches high.
The VacMaster Duo550 has the versatility to handle just about any vacuum sealing job. The ability to suction and chamber seal is fantastic innovation for the consumer. Another advantage of the VacMaster is that it can use as wider variety of bags, many of which are cheaper than the FoodSaver and other brands of vacuum sealers.
This machine would probably be most appropriate for the enthusiast kitchen. It is a serious piece of equipment, takes up a fair amount of counter space and costs around $600.
Vacmaster has a great reputation and its products consistently receive high marks on amazon. This machine is an excellent choice if you’ve always wanted a chamber sealer but didn’t want to have to keep a suction sealer on hand too.