Ziploc® Brand Vacuum Freezer Bags

Asked by wjc on Friday, July 09
We use Ziploc vacuum bags for freezing foods. We know that you can use them in the Microwave to thaw or heat the contents but, does anyone know if they can be used for Sous Vide cooking.

7 Answers to This Question

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I've used normal zip lock bags in sous vide with no problems. I wouldn't use them for vegetables since they are cooked at 185F but for meat, chicken, and fish they work fine. <br /> <br />If you don't have the zip lock vacuum bags you can just close the bag except for the last inch then submerge the whole bag except for that corner. That will force out the air and you can finish sealing the bag. <br /> <br />As always, they say the plastic is safe but I'll leave it up to you to make that determination for yourself.
Answered by Jason Logsdon on Friday, July 09
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I use cheap generic ziplocks with great success. I also use the "dip then seal" method. Instead of sealing them in the scalding hot water oven, I fill a separate stock pot with hot water, just cool enough to be comfortable, and seal the bags in that. With practice, the air can usually be very thoroughly removed. They're dirt cheap, and can even be better than a vacuum sealer if what you're cooking has a lot of liquid. They are all, I believe, made of polyethylene, which is about as safe as any plastic. I've never given it a second thought.
Answered by Ken W on Monday, September 06
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I just had a conversation with a technical person about Ziploc at the S.C. Johnson Co and was told the following. <br />1.The polyethylene can be heated to 235F without a problem. Then it breaks down. <br />2.Even though it will break down and leak at 235F nothing of a health nature occurs. <br />3.I asked about hours in the cooking vat. She didn't have an answer for that except so say that polyethylene in general will not break down. I don't know how many hours one could safely proceed. <br />3.There is no other reason to not use it in a "sous vide" bath, as long as the temp. remains below 235F. <br /> <br />
Answered by Kent on Tuesday, March 22
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Travelducky, was your gallon size bag a Ziploc or a generic ziploc?
Answered by ElsieD on Wednesday, February 01
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I've used smaller quart-sized ziplocs many times with individual pieces of steak, pork, and chicken. I've never had a problem, but it was always 145 degrees F or less, and less than 2 hours. <br /> <br />Last week, I tried to use gallon-sized bags at 155 for a larger 'roll' of pork, and could not stop them from leaking after a couple hours. I went through four gallon ziplocs and one oven roasting bag, and they all leaked at the seams after 3 or 4 hours. <br /> <br />Very disheartening.
Answered by Travelducky on Tuesday, January 31
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I used to use ZipLok sandwich bags for chicken breasts, hamburger patties, and pork chops (boneless) but I had a few that failed to hold a seal and filled with water from the water bath. It's difficult to get a seal sometimes-- the bag drags across the seasonings and the zip seal becomes fouled. I decided to use the quart ZipLok freezer insteAd of sandwich bags and the "yield" improvement paid for the bags easily. Since that first month cooking sous vide I've used the freezer bags only. The quart bags are larger than the sandwich bags and the zippers foul less often.
Answered by Leigh Jones on Tuesday, June 18
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Final alternative step. <br /> <br />Zip lock to corner then "suck" air out using good old human mouth and seal whilst still in mouth. Works well with practice. <br /> <br />It's not "unhealthy" as you don't spit into the bag and are sucking out the air as normal. Any "human germs" are on outside and should be destroyed when in the water. <br /> <br />OK; so just do it for your own cooking but it save the extra water bath.
Answered by afclark on Friday, November 11
You can also find a lot of sous vide information, as well as over 100 recipes, in our book Beginning Sous Vide which you can get at or as a pdf download.

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