The Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78220 was one of our favorite vacuum food sealers to test because it was easy to use and includes a couple features other sealers don’t have. It comes with a lot of bags and extra plastic to make additional bags, which helps give it more overall value.
This food sealer has a locking lid but also lets you simply hold down the lid during the vacuum and sealing process, if that is easier for you. We had to hold down the lid for about 30 seconds each time we used this Hamilton Beach sealer, which is double the amount of time required by Seal-A-Meal, another sealer that needs you to hold down the lids while it operates.
The lock on this lid is a bit tricky to get the hang of. Our arms and core body muscles got a decent work out; we had to simultaneously hold down the lid while pushing the lock release buttons on either side, then release them once the lid was properly aligned. This was much more complicated than other vacuum food sealers that didn’t require as much contorting to lock the lid. Thankfully the lid of the Hamilton Beach automatically releases when the sealing process is done. This is the only vacuum food sealer we tested that has this auto-unlock feature.
The Hamilton Beach food vacuum sealer has three settings. The manufacturer suggests using the Extended time setting for moist foods since it needs a little extra time to ensure the sealer bag forms tightly around each piece of food. This machine sealed pineapple and chicken without any issue, creating an impressive, firm seal.
The Pulse setting is for delicates. This lets you control how much air is vacuumed out before the bag is finally sealed. You can stop the vacuum process when your sealer bag has formed around your food without crushing or distorting it. We didn’t see a difference during our tests between using the Pulse and the regular setting for some of our delicate foods, including bread and cereal.
Regardless of the setting you use, the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78220 is a loud machine. We were startled the first time we turned it on, and we definitely couldn’t have a conversation while it was in use. Even raised voices were hard to hear over the noise of this vacuum sealer.
Though it’s noisy – and using the lid lock requires some extra, awkward steps compared to other models – the Hamilton Beach NutriFresh 78220 is a good vacuum food sealer. It easily preserves different foods, from meat to pineapple to bread, without crushing them and while still creating a good seal. It comes with 10 pre-made bags and a roll of plastic to make your own, so the Hamilton Beach is also an overall good value.
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