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How To Use Ziploc Bags In A Vacuum Sealer - Best Home Preserving
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There is nothing new about using a Ziploc bags in a vacuum sealer for packaging or storing items. While storing food in Ziploc Bags, a vacuum sealer offers great convenience and ensures your produce stays fresh.  They are still just bags and using them does not guarantee that the food will not spoil. 

If you wish to enhance the overall safety of your favorite food items, you can apply a simple process to achieve this.  You can discover the wonders of vacuum sealing with Ziploc bags for increasing the shelf-life of most food.

This post will help you understand how to use Ziploc bags effectively in a vacuum sealer. 

Initially, the process of vacuum sealing food at home might appear intimidating.  However, as you learn more about the process, you will realize that it is highly cost-effective and saves time.

Using Ziploc Bags In A Vacuum Sealer

Ziploc bags are fantastic when you want to store food for short periods.  This is because of the ease of opening and closing these storage bags, and the fact that you can use them multiple times.

However, when you seal Ziploc bags you cannnot remove all the air without squashing the food inside.  Therefore, they are not ideal for ensuring safe long-term food storage. 

ziploc bags for food storage

If you wish to use Ziploc bags for long-term food storage, the safest way is to process them in a vacuum sealer.

You can vacuum seal the bags with a top-quality vacuum sealer for ensuring a strong seal with no air inside the bag.

A good vacuum sealer will remove the air and seal the Ziploc bag, keeping food fresh for a longer period of time.

Safely store these processed Ziploc bags in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer for many months, or even years.

The Benefits Of Using Ziploc Bags for Vacuum Sealing

Extend the shelf life of your favorite food items and make better use of storage space.  A top-quality vacuum-sealed Ziploc bag will also ensure maximum security for your precious processed foods.

Use Ziploc bags for vacuum sealing to add an extra level of protection to any food items. With quality construction, they can be used many times to save even more money. 

Here are the benefits of using Ziploc bags for vacuum sealing:

  • Extend The Shelf Life Of Fresh Produce:

Vacuum packaging your food in Ziploc bags will help keep food fresh for longer periods.  This applies to fresh fruits and vegetables, but also processed meats and cheeses, nuts, herbs and fresh meat or game.

When you vacuum seal food in a Ziploc bag, you can extend its shelf life by around 3-5 times.  This is especially true of meats stored in the freezer.  With all the air removed from the bag, there is no risk of freezer-burn.  This means you can have meat in the freezer for a year or more.

vacuum sealed food in ziploc bags

          However, the ultimate shelf life will vary depending on the type of food and where you are storing it.

Keeping food items in vacuum-sealed Ziploc bags helps prevent cross-contamination, mould formation or food dehydration.  Also, avoid any nasty bacteria and mould that require oxygen to grow.

You can easily reduce food spoilage and vacuum seal your Ziploc bags. 

With vacuum sealing and Ziploc bags, you will also observe the food stays fresh with minimal discolouration or changes in odor or texture.

The process also helps in preventing ‘freezer burn.’  This occurs when water escapes from your food and oxygen is let in.  This process of dehydration and oxidation will affect the appearance of your food, often making it dull and brown.  More importantly, it may also affect the texture and taste.

  • Better Storage Solutions

spacesaver ziploc bags

Ziploc bags are available in all sizes and shapes.  Foods stored in vacuum-sealed Ziploc bags can be easily stacked or stored together for optimizing space.  With a vacuum sealer removing all the air within the bag before sealing, your bag “shrinks”.  This means you can fit way more items in your pantry, refrigerator or freezer.

Save money and buy in bulk, knowing that you can safely store your purchases for many months.  Also save on expensive kitchen renovations or having to up-grade your kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and freezers.

Better yet, you can use Ziploc bags and vacuum sealing to protect your valuable items at any time around the house.  Not only can you keep valuable linen and clothes free from dust and mold, you halve the storage space required.

Pack winter linen and blankets into a large Ziploc bag and remove all the air to safely store them over summer.  They will emerge fresh and clean, ready for the next years winter.

Our experts also agree that using Ziploc bags in a vacuum sealer can protect other valuable items.  We easily sealed birth and marriage certificates, passports, jewellery and even our will documents.  Needless to say, there are many other items that could be vacuum sealed in Ziploc bags for safe-keeping.

Steps to Use Ziploc Bags in a Vacuum Sealer

If you are considering using a Ziploc bag for the process of vacuum-sealing food, here are some essential steps to follow:

  • Remove the seal from the Ziploc bag.  Make the cut directly below the seal of the bag such that you are able to achieve a straight line. 
  • Start filling the Ziploc bag with the items that you wish to store.  Be  careful not to overfill the bag.  If you place too much food into the bag it will overflow and result in a poor seal.
  • Place the top of the Ziploc bag onto the sealing strip of the vacuum sealer.
  • Press the option of “vacuum & seal” on the sealer. Air will be removed from the Ziploc bag. Once the desired amount of air has been removed, the vacuum sealer will automatically seal the Ziploc bag.  If you don’t have an automatic vacuum sealing machine, you will need to do these 2 steps manually.
a hand removing seal from ziplock

Initially, vacuum sealing a Ziploc bag should start with selecting the right sealing bag in the first place.  Depending on the type and quantity of food that you wish to store, you should aim to select the right size bag.

At the same time, pay attention to the quality of the Ziploc bag you are using. There are  many different zipper-style bags on the market and the quality of construction varies greatly. 

For soft foods such as processed meats, cheeses and fruit, a lightweight bag will be fine.  However, if you are vacuum sealing meat with bones, harder foods such as nuts or things you wish to store in the freezer, you should look to a heavier Ziploc bag. 

If you are using a handheld vacuum sealing machine, then you will require two bags –one large and the other smaller in size.

    Types of Vacuum Sealers To Use For Ziploc Bags

    There are various types of vacuum sealers that work with Ziploc bags.  We cover all the different vacuum sealer types on this site.

    • Manual Vacuum Sealer:

    There are several models in this category that are easy to use and deliver optimum results.  To use modern-day manual vacuum sealers, you are only required to place the Ziploc bag into the appliance and press the lid down.

    The appliance will remove the air once activated.  To complete the sealing process, simply press the seal button to engage the heat-seal wires.  A light will indicate when the process is complete.

    A manual sealer is a great machine for beginners as it is very easy to use.  There is no additional setting involved for sealing Ziploc bags in a manual vacuum sealer.

    • Automatic Vacuum Sealer:

    automatic vacuum sealers for food

    Using automatic vacuum sealers to seal Ziploc bags will save time while featuring the most advanced settings. 

    You can programme these appliances to remove as much or as little air as you need, depending on the food you are preserving.  These vacuum sealers are relatively more gentle on your food items.

    Once you have programmed your automatic vacuum sealer, just place the Ziploc bag onto the appropriate bar and shut the lid. 

    Press the start button and the vacuum sealer will remove the air and then seal the Ziploc bag.

    Automatic vacuum sealers have almost become a standard kitchen appliance.  Their ease-of-use, low price point and ability for multiple uses makes them ideal for both beginners and professionals.

    • Handheld Vacuum Sealers

    You will often find these units come in a “pack” for beginners.  They come with a variety of bag types and sizes for sous vide cooking and different food storage uses.

    These rechargable handheld vacuum sealers will often work for an hour before needing to be plugged in to the charger.

    They are powerful machines, offering suction power of up to 50kPa.  This will ensure all the air is removed from the Ziplock bags and keep food fresh up to 7 times longer.

    Completely wireless they offer total convenience to use anywhere – even when you are camping or travelling.

    The only downside is that they require special bags which have a vacuum port built-in.

    Handheld vacuum sealer for ziplock bags

    Conclusion

    Using Ziploc bags for food sealing has been an old hack that many have used to keep food fresh.  However, for preserving food at home, you really should use Ziploc bags in a vacuum sealer. 

    With vacuum sealing Ziplock bags, you remove all the air from the bag before sealing.  Not only do you remove the oxygen required for bacteria and mold to grow, you can easily store much more food in your available storage space.   Extend the shelf life of certain foods by up to 7x using Ziploc bags in a vacuum sealer.

    Use Ziplock bags in a vacuum sealer to save you time and money

    For more preserving and saving tips, follow our Expert Tips To Use Food Vacuum Sealers At Home.

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