BEST VACUUM SEALER BAGS
Today we’re focusing on something every vacuum sealer user will have to come across at some point; choosing bags. Bags (or rolls) are what a sealer uses to contain your food, and each have their own pros and cons in terms of how they are designed, how durable they are, whether they are reusable or not. The best way to choose is to look through the features of each, consider the cost and make an informed decision. We’ve put together this guide to help you to work out the very best for your own vacuum sealing needs.
It is worth stating at the start that some sealers are designed only to use certain bags, and if this is the case then you need to consult with the documents the manufacturer provided, it will usually say on the box or in the manual whether you can use compatible vacuum sealer bags or even rolls, but it is also worth looking online at whether people are mixing and matching with their own sealers. You need to make sure you have this compatibility, unfortunately we can’t just walk into a store and pick up any old bags.
What to Look For in the Best Vacuum Sealer Bags – The Considerations
Before looking at some models, we’re going to have a look at what you need to consider when it comes to buying bags.
- Branded or compatible. Most vacuum sealers have their own bags or rolls which you can buy, these will be branded as foodsaver, nesco or whatever brand your vacuum sealer is. They’re pretty safe to buy and use but the price can also add up and many people think you’re just paying for the name. There are many compatible bags and rolls out there which will work just as well with your foodsaver vacuum sealing machine, and cost a lot less money. A good method to work out whether they will work for you is to scan through the reviews on amazon which will tell you more about how people are using their sealer bags and whether compatible models are reliable.
- Rolls or Bags. This is a big one and will depend largely on your model of sealer. Some will let you use either but this is not common, so your choice comes at the point of buying a vacuum sealer. With bags, you’re restricted to exact sizes, but the process is arguably a bit easier.
- Thickness and durability. This comes down to the quality of manufacture and is something to look at on individual reviews. It will also affect how easy it is to seal certain types of foods.
- Reusable? This is an ongoing cause for debate and is something to consider. If you buy a vacuum sealer bag which is reusable, it may set you back to start with but it may in the long term save you a lot of money. I would add to that though that it will also mean more effort as cleaning out the bags after use can be tough, especially if they’ve been used to vacuum seal liquids or for frozen food.
- Sizes. The chances are you’re going to want to seal things of different sizes, especially if it is being used in a kitchen which is lively and therefore the sealer is going to be regularly used, this can be a commercial kitchen or a home kitchen. The size of bag you’re going to need to save a big batch of a meal is going to be different to if you’re just saving a small piece of expensive, quality steak or fish. Thinking about what you’re going to be using it for will lead you to an answer about what size of bags you need. Some sealers will allow you to use different sizes, but for the most flexibility, you’re going to want to use rolls which allow you to cut to size.
Reviews of the Best Vacuum Sealer Bags (and Rolls)
Instead of going through their whole range, I’m going to recommend a brand of manufacturers for vacuum sealers. FoodVacBags manufacture a range of sealer bags and rolls with a lot of compatibility. They are, as you would expect, BPA free and safe, but they’re also flexible and come in a variety of sizes you can use to seal food! The reviews of their products show you what you need to know, with the vast majority of users reporting no problems at all and using their bags with a wide variety of sealers from all different brands and models.
Best FoodSaver Bags and Rolls
FoodSaver are a prolific manufacturer of vacuum sealers, in fact I don’t think there are a rival who even come close to the amount of sealer models they have on the market. It follows that they have exceptional quality vacuum sealer accessories and consumables, and their bags are excellent. They are ‘simmer and microwave safe’ which means they are probably the best vacuum sealer bags for sous vide cooking and allow you to submerge them after sealing and cook within their bag. The reviews on Amazon and elsewhere show how highly regarded these are, and the vast majority of the reviews are 5 star. Are there any downsides? Well, these aren’t the cheapest models on the market and using compatible bags is undeniably cheaper. FoodSaver do not recommend it and even claim their own bags are the only ones which you can safely use (this is up for debate).
The point is that these are wonderfully good quality and durable bags which are designed to work seamlessly with the vacuum sealers made by FoodSaver.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST VACUUM SEALER BAGS
Choosing to purchase a vacuum sealer is one of the best money saving investments you can make. Thousands of dollars through food costs are saved annually with a food saver. After your purchase the next step is to keep that money saving mode going. So you want to get the most for your money when purchasing replacement vacuum sealer bags.
With the large amount of food saver models available there is also an even larger amount of bag material to go with them. Retail stores and online distributors alike have several selections of replacement bag options. However you can’t choose just any type of replacement bag. There are a few characteristics to look at first.
Most vacuum sealer models come with a standard starter kit to get you going with vacuum sealing immediately. Eventually that starter kit will need to be replaced. So when you are shopping for bags look for brands that are compatible with your product. Often times buying another manufacturer’s bag material might be cheaper but it may not work. Some bags are specially designed to work with your model. You might find that your sealer only works with bags that are ribbed at the top for sealing. Or it is possible that air pockets will be left in the generic bag. Some bags may seal tight but eventually unseal after a few days in the freezer.
Vacuum sealer bags can vary greatly in cost. Usually it would depend on the maker of the bag material as well as the type you want to buy. It may seem cheaper to buy a roll of bag material. However, when you break down the cost by what you want to use it for, it may be cheaper to go with precut bags. The pre cuts will save you money and time. With a roll of bag material you need to spend time sealing both sides of the bag material. Often times you may end up using more bag than you originally needed. So in the long run precuts are more cost effective. But shop around for bag choices. Once you find the right bag type for you machine, then you can look at what options are available for bag replacement purchases.
You want to buy bags that are sturdy enough to last a while. They need to be able to handle heat from sealing and handle freezer conditions. There are some bags out on the market that are not made strong enough. Some are made of too thin of a plastic. Sometimes you end up with air or liquid leakage. At other times, the bag may not stay sealed and will come undone after a few weeks. Bags can often at times split open going from the freezer to the microwave. If you want to do Sous Vide cooking you need a good bag that will hold up under submersion. Your sealed bags will be placed in water for cooking. So having a leak proof bag is imperative with this method. So you need to check resources for the best brands out there of bags that will last a long time.
The amount of brands of bags is nearly 10 times the amount of actual food saver machines. There are many brands to choose from but only a few are actually compatible to your machine type. The FoodSaver company has been around for years. They have numerous products on the market for vacuum sealers. Most of their products use a special bag type designed for FoodSaver. In some cases it has been reported that other brand name bags won’t work with certain FoodSaver models. It is also not recommended to purchase other brand bags with a FoodSaver product. Other models such as Cuisinarts or Westons have bag type issues as well. So you need to be careful when buying bags. The best option is to go with your vacuum sealer’s brand when buying bags. This may save you tons of money in the long run. While it may be cheaper it is usually not best to buy another manufacturer’s brand in bag material. Generic bags may work with your machine, but make sure the bag is compatible as far as design goes. So if your current bag has a ribbed opening you may want to get generic bags similar in style.
Replacement bags for vacuum savers come in all sizes. You can get them in pint size, quart size and even in gallon size bags. Some online marketers even carry odd sizes as well. So whatever your needs are you will be covered. Bag roll material also comes in different sizes. Depending on how much you want to save in food storage, you can make a roll last a long time or not. Precuts are usually the most cost effective choice. Online retailers tend to be the most cost effective as opposed to department stores. You will even get more options in sizes.
These days most plastic products are flagged as BPA free or may contain BPA contaminants. So you want to buy bags that are safe for not just you and your family but also for the environment. Reusing or recycling bags is a great way to save money and be environmentally conscious. Wash used bags when you can. Reuse them too. Most bags will reseal if there is enough space at the top. Larger used bags can always be cut down to accommodate small food items for saving.
Bags can vary greatly in the world of vacuum sealers. With so many options to choose from you want to make sure you buy the most cost effective bag. The best recommendation is to continue to use the same bag type that came with your vacuum sealer product. If that bag type is not available then look into a compatible bag material. Also save money on bag purchases by recycling old bags when possible.
The above tips are designed to make choosing bags for your sealer easier, as well as recommending some models for you to try out, but the decision is often down to the individual vacuum sealer you have bought, and whether you want to use unbranded bags or rolls or you want to stick with the manufacturer, spending more in the process but playing it ‘safe’.
Vacuum Sealers have revolutionized the way many kitchens are run and can save you a lot of time and money, but without using good quality bags then the effectiveness is going to be compromized.