How Chamber Vacuum Sealers Unlock Modernist Culinary Techniques at Home

Stoneware bowl of potato gnocchi with pickled mushrooms and micro greens made using the Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer

You may have seen chamber vacuums (or CVacs, for short) in restaurant kitchens. They are typically used for creating airtight seals on food items that may need to be stored or cooked sous vide, as well as for special techniques like compression and infusion. In this blog post, I’ll be breaking down some of the science of chamber vacuum sealers so you can decide if this is an appliance that would be useful for your own kitchen, professional or otherwise.

For me, CVacs have always been one of those specialty appliances, alongside PacoJets and blast chillers, that make fine-dining cooking so difficult to replicate at home. At one fancy kitchen, we would use a CVac to compress persimmons in a light syrup until glossy and mosaic-like. At another, we used it to vacuum seal big bags of chicken bones with water and aromatics to be cooked sous vide — an excellent way to ensure proper stock consistency. During a stint interning at a seafood distribution facility, we used CVacs to seal small jars of ultra-luxe caviar so they would stay fresh longer. My favorite application, though, was probably watching pastry chefs aerate chocolate in them. What a delight to see those big bubbles captured in chilled chocolate form!