Seal the Deal: Guide to Choosing the Perfect Vacuum Sealer Bag

Today, we’re diving into the world of vacuum sealer bags – those magical pouches that can keep your food fresh for longer and reduce waste.

Whether you’re a meal prepper, a garden enthusiast, or just someone who hates throwing away spoiled food, vacuum sealer bags might just become your new best kitchen companion.

Vacuum sealing is a dependable method to extend your refrigerated foodstuff’s shelf life while maintaining its taste, nutrients, and texture.

Read on to spot the right vacuum sealer bag for your needs.

Types of Vacuum Sealer Bags

Let’s start with the basics. Not all vacuum sealer bags are created equal. They come in different materials, each serving a specific purpose. Here are the main types:

1. Polyethylene Bags:

Material: Durable plastic
Best For: Everyday use, especially for meat and produce

Polyethylene bags are the workhorses of vacuum sealing. Made from sturdy plastic, they are perfect for sealing everyday items like fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. These bags are versatile and a go-to choice for daily kitchen needs.

2. Mesh Bags:

Material: Breathable fabric with a plastic lining
Best For: Dry foods like grains, nuts, or homemade snacks

Mesh bags bring a different texture to the table. Crafted from a combination of breathable fabric and a plastic lining, they are excellent for sealing dry goods. Ideal for items like grains, nuts, or your favorite homemade snacks, mesh bags allow for some breathability while keeping things fresh.

3. Mylar Bags:

Material: Metallic polyester
Best For: Long-term storage of dry goods, including emergency supplies

If you’re thinking long-term, Mylar bags step into the spotlight. Crafted from metallic polyester, these bags are the choice for extended storage. Perfect for sealing up emergency supplies or stocking your pantry with non-perishables, Mylar bags are a durable option for items you want to keep for the long haul.

Benefits of Vacuum Sealer Bags

These bags are like food preservation wizards, casting spells to keep your meals fresh, flavorful, and free from the clutches of freezer burn. Let’s uncover the magical benefits of vacuum sealer bags:

1. Preservation of Freshness and Flavor:

Imagine biting into a piece of steak that tastes as fresh as the day it was sealed. Vacuum sealer bags lock in the freshness and flavors, preserving the quality of your food.

2. Prevention of Freezer Burn:

Freezer burn, the arch-nemesis of frozen foods, is no match for vacuum-sealed items. The airtight seal created by these bags shields your food from the icy wrath of freezer burn, ensuring it stays as delectable as ever.

3. Extended Shelf Life:

Say goodbye to the days of watching your fresh produce wilt away. Vacuum sealer bags extend the shelf life of both perishable and non-perishable items. Your pantry and freezer become havens for long-lasting goods.

4. Reduced Food Waste:

Ever found a forgotten bag of spinach wilting away in the depths of your refrigerator? Vacuum sealer bags help reduce food waste by keeping your items fresh for longer, minimizing the chances of anything going bad before you get to enjoy it.

5. Environmental Impact:

Less food waste isn’t just good for your wallet; it’s good for the planet too. By using vacuum sealer bags to extend the life of your food, you contribute to a reduction in overall food waste, making your kitchen a bit more eco-friendly.

6. Ideal for Meal Prepping:

If you’re into meal prepping, vacuum sealer bags are your best friends. Seal individual portions of your meals, and you’ll have a freezer stocked with ready-to-eat goodness for those hectic days.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Fellow kitchen adventurer; let’s navigate through the pitfalls and ensure your vacuum-sealing journey is a smooth one. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

1. Overfilling or Underfilling Bags:

  • Mistake: Stuffing bags to the brim or leaving them half-empty.
  • Why It’s a No-No: Finding the right balance is key. Overfilled bags may not seal properly, while underfilled ones might not get the air evacuation they need.

2. Using Incompatible Bags:

  • Mistake: Assuming all bags work with every vacuum sealer.
  • Why It’s a No-No: Not all bags are created equal. Check the compatibility of the bags with your specific vacuum sealer to avoid sealing mishaps.

3. Forgetting to Remove Excess Air:

  • Mistake: Neglecting to ensure there’s no extra air in the bag before sealing.
  • Why It’s a No-No: Air is the enemy in the world of vacuum sealing. Make sure your bags are airtight for optimal freshness.

4. Sealing Wet or Moist Items Without Precaution:

  • Mistake: Vacuum sealing items with high moisture content without taking precautions.
  • Why It’s a No-No: Moisture can impact the sealing process. Freeze or partially freeze moist items before sealing to avoid a soggy situation.

5. Not Cleaning the Sealing Area:

  • Mistake: Neglecting to clean the sealing area of the vacuum sealer.
  • Why It’s a No-No: Residue can interfere with the sealing process. Keep the sealing area clean for effective sealing every time.

6. Sealing Without Checking for Contaminants:

  • Mistake: Sealing without ensuring the bags are free from contaminants.
  • Why It’s a No-No: Contaminants inside or on the bag can compromise the quality and safety of your sealed items.

7. Storing Items That Shouldn’t Be Sealed:

  • Mistake: Assuming everything can be vacuum-sealed.
  • Why It’s a No-No: Not all items are meant for vacuum sealing. Some items, like mushrooms or soft cheeses, can be negatively impacted by the process.

Avoiding these common mistakes ensures that your vacuum sealing adventures are not only efficient but also result in fresher, longer-lasting food.

Things to Consider While Buying Vacuum Sealer Bag

As can be seen, there are several vacuum sealer bags to choose from. Some are designed to work with a specific brand of vacuum sealer machines, and others come precut to streamline your vacuum sealing tasks.

But, how do you ensure that you pick the right sealer bags from the vast array? Here are ideas to contemplate before you start shopping around.

How Safe Are Vacuum Sealer Bags?

Some low-quality vacuum sealer bags contain toxic plasticizers like bisphenol A and phthalates.  When heated, these chemicals break down, and they leach into your food, thereby exposing you, your family, or your clients to severe health conditions.

For that reason, we suggest that you always look around for vacuum sealer bags that are free of BPA, Phthalates, and any other toxic plasticizer. Usually, such bags are labeled as “100% non-toxic”, “food safe,” “FDA certified,” “Phthalate Free,” or “BPA Free.”

If you intend to use the bags for food preparation, buy microwave-safe, boil-safe, or sous vide-safe vacuum sealer bags. You can use such food sealer bags for microwaving, boiling, or sous vide cooking without contaminating your food.

What Vacuum Sealer Machine Do I Use?

The type of vacuum sealing machine you use plays an important role when looking for the best food vacuum sealer bags. This is because some vacuum sealer bags are designed to be used on a specific brand of vacuum sealer machines. In contrast, others are compatible with almost all common vacuum sealers used in the food industry.

Thus, before you buy, make sure that the sealer bags you wish to purchase are designed to work with your vacuum sealing machine. Alternatively, you can shop around for those generic sealer bags designed to work with all types of sealer machines.

How Much Do the Vacuum Bags Cost?

Vacuum sealer bags can cost any amount above $15. The price differs depending on the vacuum sealer bags’ size, quality of construction material, quantity per package, and length of a roll.

While many people believe that expensive items are of high quality, however, that isn’t the case when it comes to buying vacuum sealer bags. Several high-quality sealer bags are sold at a relatively cheap price, while there are substandard types with a prohibitive cost.

Therefore, never use price as one of the factors used to gauge the quality of vacuum sealer bags. But, instead, vet the sealer bags against their safety, durability, and quantity.

Does Durability Matter When Looking For Vacuum Sealer Bags?

A vacuum sealer bag’s durability matters a lot when looking to buy the best vacuum-sealed storage bags. For instance, less durable vacuum sealer bags can tear or puncture easily, thereby opening excess oxygen, germs, and other contaminants that will accelerate food spoilage. Using them would be a waste of resources.

For that reason, if you don’t wish to handle the loss associated with using less durable vacuum sealer bags, get sealer bags that are made from heavy-duty, premium-grade materials. Such sealer bags will not tear or puncture easily.

Precut Sealer Bags Vs. Roll Sealer Bags: Which Is The Best Type?

Bags that come as a roll are great since they let you customize the size of your sealer bags according to the quantity you wish to store. You will have the freedom to make good use of every inch of your sealer bag. However, cutting and sealing these vacuum sealer bags will consume much of your effort and time.

If you lack time to cut and seal vacuum sealer bags, the precut sealer bags would be an ideal option for you. They come in varying sizes and volumes to let you choose a suitable size for your food preservation project.

Can I Reuse Vacuum Sealer Bags?

Yes, you can reuse vacuum sealer bags, but not all. If you want reusable types, get those designed from a thick, heavy-duty material that can be washed, dried, and reused. Probably, you should go for one whose material is at least 3 millimeters thick.

Vacuum sealer bags made from a thin material can tear or puncture during the process of washing, drying, or sealing them for reuse. As a result, these vacuum sealer bags would not be suitable for reuse.

What Are The Best Vacuum Sealer Bag Brands?

Buying vacuum sealer bags from reputable brands is an excellent way to avoid buying substandard bags. Why? Many trusted brands focus on maintaining their good name. And so, they will do anything to make sure that their customers are always contented.

Some of the top manufacturers of vacuum sealer bags are Nutri-Lock, FoodVacBags, Vacuum Sealers Limited, Simple Houseware, Wevac, etc. These brands are popular for manufacturing durable sealer bags that are compatible with most vacuum sealing machines.

But still, you can get the best vacuum sealer bags from less popular brands. However, you would need to evaluate the quality and safety of such vacuum sealer bags keenly.

Final Thoughts

Vacuum sealer bags are great for anybody who wishes to extend their foodstuff’s shelf life up to 5 times longer. You can also use vacuum sealer bags to speed up the marinating process or to sous vide.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie in the kitchen, these bags are a game-changer. Freshness, reduced waste, and a well-organized kitchen are just a few seals away.

It is time to extend your foodstuff’s shelf life!

Happy sealing!

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