Oliso PRO Smart Sealer Review
I was recently given a free Oliso PRO Smart Sealer to test out and review. I've been using it for several months now and here's some of my thoughts on it.
What the Oliso Sealer Is
The Oliso is basically a small "edge vacuum sealer", similar to a FoodSaver sealer. It works by putting your food in a pouch, closing it, and sliding it into the side of the Oliso sealer. The sealer sucks out the air and seals the bag, leaving you with a bag ready for sous vide or storage. It lists for $199 but it usually available on Amazon for around $150.
What is Good About the Oliso Sealer
I've really enjoyed using the Oliso over the last few months and it has several strong points.
The Oliso is smaller than most vacuum sealers, coming it at about 9"x 13", compared to 10"x17" for the smaller FoodSaver sealer. Since I live in New York in a small apartment, the smaller size makes it more convenient to store.
It's also easy to use. You just put the food in the bag, close the seal, then use the Oliso on it. It's very fast and simple, with less moving parts than a FoodSaver. I found that the amount of air removed was comparable to other sealers and the seals always held, two critical components of a sealer.
I like that the Oliso had a setting for "Dry" food or "Moist" food. The moist one worked well when I had some liquid in the bag.
The Oliso also comes with an external port and tube to use with wine or bottle stoppers, or other external containers.
A non-sous vide benefit is that the bags can be re-used and re-sealed multiple times. This process does work ok for sous vide, but it is a real big benefit if you vacuum seal food for storage. You could seal, for instance, your grains in a bag, then when you need some just open it, remove what you need, and reseal it. It could work with frozen foods as well. Once you are near the re-use limit for the bag, you could use it for sous vide and toss the bag, so you don't have to worry about cleaning meat juices out of it.
What I Didn't Like About the Oliso Sealer
The biggest impediment for me to recommend the Oliso is that you have to use their own bags with it. While their bags are expensive, they are also high-quality, thick, and made to be reused up to 12 times. However, I tend not to take the time to clean out and reuse the bags, especially that many times, which means the higher cost of the bags is sunk money for me.
While Oliso bags cost the same as FoodSaver-brand bags, about $20 for 28 1-gallon bags, with a FoodSaver you can use off brand bags, such as these from Avid Armor which cost $25 for 100 bags. Spending half as much on Foodsaver bags, or a fifth as much for a FoodSaver off-brand roll, makes a lot more sense. You can also use a bag roll to make your own sized bags, say for a large rack of ribs, which you can't with the Oliso.
That said, if you are like my mother-in-law, who washes Ziploc bags to reuse them, then you will most likely be able to get your money's worth!
Also, because you are reusing the bags, you are generating a lot less plastic waste. If you re-use each bag 10 times, that's 9 times you aren't throwing away a gallon sized plastic bag.
Another negative with the Oliso is that you can't get a great vacuum when there is a lot of liquid in the bag. This is also an issue with FoodSaver and other edge sealers, so it's definitely not unique to the Oliso. It does have a "moist" setting and a manual cut-off button, which allows you to use it with liquids, you just can't get as good of a seal as you can with a chambered vacuum sealer.
I have used multiple sealers over the years, including Ziploc Freezer Bags and several FoodSaver edge-type sealers. Once I got into testing the Oliso I used it almost exclusively for several months for all my sealing needs. I've also heard from other sous vide cooks and chefs that I respect who regularly use it.
However, once my supply of bags ran out, I couldn't pull the trigger on the more expensive replacement bags and I've gone back to my old Sous Vide Supreme edge-sealer.
Should You Buy the Oliso Sealer?
From a purely functional standpoint, I really enjoyed the Oliso sealer, and I also like the look and feel of it. If you are doing a lot of general food storage, or if you don't mind cleaning bags after you use them, I think the Oliso is a great little machine and was a joy to use.
However, if you only use it for sous vide, and don't like to clean bags afterwards or aren't concerned about generating plastic waste, then it might not be worth it for you due to the high cost of replacement bags.
If you think the Oliso is right for you, you can purchase it at Amazon.com (where we receive a small cut) or from Oliso directly.
Have you used the Oliso Sealer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on the Exploring Sous Vide Facebook group.
This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
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