If you take a look at a sealed package of meat, you’ll notice that it can keep for a long time. But once you open the package, it’ll only be safe to eat for about a week, maybe two. Why? The culprit is often air.
Oxygen is essential for humans to survive, but it’s usually the main culprit in food spoilage. Like humans, microorganisms rely on oxygen to survive, which is why moisture and air often result in the growth of mold. Exposure to air also results in oxidation. A sliced apple, for example, will turn brown on the outside, even if it’s still fresh on the inside. The key to keeping oxygen away from food is vacuum sealing.
Vacuum sealing is nothing new — it has antecedents in the Napoleonic era, and it’s been a common practice for home canners since the mid-1850s. Mason jars are commonly used for preserving jams and other foods. This old-school method is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon, but it does have its limitations. If you’ve got larger pieces of meat, for example, they’re unlikely to fit in a mason jar. Enter the best vacuum seal food bags.
You’ll find vacuum-packed foods at just about any grocery store, but you may not have considered doing it at home. But, whether you’re a regular cook or only whip up a fresh meal once in a while, you’ve probably regretfully thrown out food that you forgot about or didn’t eat quickly enough. A vacuum sealer will help you minimize the amount of food you throw away, saving you money and reducing waste. You can also use these bags in the freezer, and they’ll help prevent freezer burn and dehydration.
There are many different vacuum sealers on the market, and all of them use vacuum bags. While you can typically use the branded vacuum bags for the machine you use, it can also be worth branching out and trying different styles of bags. Some of them have their own unique features, and you can often find good deals on bulk bags. We’ve rounded up some of the best vacuum seal food bags available right now. All of these options are BPA-free, so you can use them worry-free.
1. Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags
These bags from Wevac are an impressively good deal. Two 50-foot rolls are included, so you can easily seal a lot of food before needing to re-up your supply. They’re available in two widths: eight inches and 11 inches, so you can choose the size that best fits your machine. These bags are designed to work with any machine, including Food Saver, Nesco, Weston and Ziploc. These bags also come with five “bone guards,” which are reinforced plastic squares that can be placed over bones in meat to prevent punctures to the bags.
Pros: Two 50-foot rolls included. Designed to work with any machine. Economical value.
Cons: No measurement markers along the edges.
2. FoodSaver Heat-Seal Bags
FoodSaver makes some of the best vacuum sealing machines, so it’s no surprise they make some of our favorite bags. These bags offer a sure seal every time, and they’re easy to use. Rather than coming in a roll, these bags are pre-cut into a one-quart size. That makes them easy to use and saves you the trouble of measuring. The one-quart size is great for most foods, ranging from cuts of meat to vegetables. Twenty bags are included.
Pros: Easy to use, pre-cut quart-sized bags. Reliable brand.
Cons: Designed specifically for FoodSaver machines, so if you use another system, you may want another option.
3. WISH Vacuum Sealer Bags Rolls
These bags from Wish come in four rolls, each of which is 25 feet long, making it a good value. The rolls are 11 inches in width, making them a good size for larger items. These bags are designed to be compatible with machines from various brands like Seal-a-Meal and Nesco. The bags are made from a thick material, and they have a textured design with embossed channels that help with ensuring a tight seal.
Pros: Designed to be compatible with machines from a variety of brands.
Cons: These bags can take a little more effort to ensure a proper seal.
4. FoodSaver FSFSBF0226-FFP 1-Quart Precut Heat-Seal Bags
Ripping your average plastic sandwich bag doesn’t come with quite the struggle at all, but with the FoodSaver FSFSBF0226-FFP quart bags, you’re absolutely going to struggle. These air-tight individual bags come in a set of 44 and lock in flavors and freshness for days on end. When it’s time to open up and get prepping, you’re going to need some pretty strong scissors to tear these open. The bags are built with a multi-layer design that’s hard to tackle, so get prepared.
Pros: Really strong and protective against any air getting inside.
Cons: The bags might come a bit smaller than expected.
5. Houseables Vacuum Sealer Rolls
These heavy-duty eight-inch by 50-foot bags and 11-inch by 50-foot bags have an embossed dotted pattern that keeps food fresher for up to five times longer than your classic zip-top bag. While it’s excellent for food, this works just as well for common household items you want to seal as well from jewelry to medicines. Save time and money by joining these for both home and commercial use as well.
Pros: Comes in two sizes and is made of highly protective materials.
Cons: It doesn’t work for all vacuum sealers.
6. KitchenGynti Vacuum-Sealer Rolls
Get the most out of your vacuum-sealer bags with this inexpensive set that can do it all. These bags can withstand a number of temperatures that go deeply outside your average refrigerator and freezer’s temperature control. You can quite literally safely stick these into the microwave oven and even cook them directly in a bag for sous vide cooking. These are some of the very best vacuum-sealing bag options out right now.
Pros: These bags have a number of potential uses and come at an affordable price point.
Cons: Some will find no use for cooking inside of the bag.
7. SurpOxyLoc 200 Quart Size 8″x12″Vacuum Freezer Sealer Bags
If you’ve got a “clamp style” vacuum sealer, these vacuum-sealing bags are exactly what you need. This pack of 200 is generously priced and is perfect for sealing both raw and cooked foods for much longer after their initial expiration date. Each bag is so temperature safe that you can cook in them and even throw them in the dishwasher if you so please. They are puncture preventative so no air will slip in and they will easily save you a ton of space in your fridge or freezer.
Pros: There are seriously a lot in this set so you’ll absolutely get your money’s worth.
Cons: Some might not need as many as there are included.
8. FoodVacBags Vacuum Sealer Bags
If you use your vacuum sealer a lot, it’s worth stocking up on bags. There are two rolls from FoodVacBags, each of which is 50 feet long. The bags are 11 inches wide, making them a good size for packing all kinds of food. The bags have a textured, honeycomb surface that helps to create a tighter seal around the food. These bags are safe to be boiled, used in the microwave and frozen.
Pros: Good value for two, 50-foot rolls. Designed to work with any machine.
Cons: Material is somewhat thin.