We waste an awful lot of food in the United States. The USDA estimates that annual food waste in the USA is over 133 billion pounds worth over $160 billion dollars! The goal of every vacuum sealer is to help a family cut down on their food waste and save money be preventing so much food from ending up in the trash.
Most vacuum sealers out there already do a pretty good job of this: they can vacuum seal most things you can throw at them, so a lot of the time a buying decision comes down to price and convenience.
So how does the ICO031 Vacuum Sealer stack up in this crowded market? In our opinion: extremely well.
The ICO031, like most vacuum sealers on the market today, is designed to help you store and freeze food for long periods. A vacuum sealer works by removing all the excess air inside a vacuum bag and then sealing it shut with heat. With the air removed, the food will retain its flavor and nutritional value for much longer – usually about 5 times longer.
Impeccable Culinary Objects even claims you can extend shelf lives of some items from days to years using their vacuum sealing system.
At a Glance ICO031 Vacuum Sealer Review
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Key Features and Benefits of the ICO031 vacuum sealer
Manual or Automatic Vacuum Sealing: We found that the automatic setting on the ICO031 worked very well. For delicate or difficult items, you can also vacuum and seal manually using the “cancel” and “seal” buttons, which also worked well. The buttons are also touch sensitive, which was a nice added feature.
Normal/Gentle automatic settings for Moist/Normal foods: 4-different settings to play with allowed us to get a perfect vacuum seal on frozen broth, beefsteaks, salmon, and fresh vegetables.
Innovate and unique vertical design: One of our favourite features about the new ICO031 is its intelligent design which saved a ton of counter space in our already very full kitchen.
Removable, machine washable drip tray: The machine washable part is a nice added feature. Nobody likes doing the dishes.
Sous vide ready BPA and phthalate free bags included: perfect for sous-vide or if you’re planning to seal and reheat meals for the whole family.
Stunning and easy to use: the design really looks great in our kitchen and is a nice change from the industrial look and feel of so many of the FoodSaver models out there today.
User Opinions of Impeccable Culinary Objects ICO031 Vacuum Sealer
According to various users, this ICO031 vacuum sealer is great for home use and ideal for sous vide applications (those BPA free and phthalate free bags really help!)
Users also appreciated the ICO031’s vertical design and praised its space-saving ability that made it ideal for cooks living in apartments or for people who want to have a powerful vacuum sealer on their countertop at all times.
Pros and Cons of the ICO031 Vacuum Sealing System
We tested the ICO031 over 4 days, giving it a thorough test before deciding on the things we liked most about it, and the things that we would change:
Pro: Very strong and quiet vacuum sealing for the product’s size: When we first received our ICO031, we were surprised as how small it is. On the counter, it’s only 3.5 x 6 inches and 18” tall. Compare this to the new FoodSavers FM5000’s size of 9.3” x 17.6” and 9.6” tall – that’s a huge difference in the amount of real estate needed for your vacuum sealer.
We were able to easily vacuum seal a fresh beef steak, prep a salmon filet for sous-vide, and vacuum seal a frozen soup using the ICO031, so its small size doesn’t give up anything in power, and the noise wasn’t obtrusive at all. Great for a home-use device where you don’t want to add to the noise of an already busy household.
Pro: Four different settings to maximize versatility: The ICO031 has 4 different settings, each one giving excellent results when used with the correct food type.
For fresh meats and other moist foods, there is a “Moist” setting. For everything else, you’ll want to select “Normal”. You can also control the vacuum power of the sealer with the “Gentle” or “Normal” settings. You can create a seal on its own (without vacuuming out the air inside the bag) or cancel the process at any time for a fully manual seal – ideal for delicate items like bread and muffins.
Con: Not as powerful as an industrial vacuum sealer: If you’re looking to seal 100s of steaks a day or prep an entire shelter or camping trip in one day, the ICO031 isn’t going to be strong enough for you. Take a look at one of Weston’s industrial models instead (although be prepared to spend – those vacuum sealers can run over $300!)
Pro: Phenomenal value for the price: At just $87.99 the ICO031 really punches above its weight. It functions beautifully as a home vacuum sealer and doubles as a great tool for sous-vide. Plus, the counter-space saving design and the unique and pleasing design make this a tool we’re happy to have in our kitchen.
Also, Impeccable Culinary Objects (ICO) is selling their own line of BPA and phthalate free vacuum bags for $18.99 per 50 pack, which is less expensive then FoodSaver’s own bags (at the time of this writing).
Without a doubt, the ICO031 Vacuum Sealer is a phenomenal home use vacuum sealer. It’s eye-catching, space-saving design and its high vacuum power to size ratio make it a top value pick. At $87.99, it’s tough to beat.