Freezing the food helps you significantly increase its shelf-life and reduce the chances of wastage. How well and for how long the food lasts in the freezer depends on how well you freeze it. If you are not aware of the tips and steps for freezing and refreezing food, you might be wondering, can you freeze food in Ziploc bags?
You can safely freeze food in Ziploc bags. Ziploc bags aren’t a hundred percent airtight, but they do a good job keeping most of the air out and about. These bags are not as sturdy as freezer-safe bags and are also less expensive. Although freezing food in them is safe, reusing the same bag for freezing/refreezing food is not recommended.
Now you might be wondering what exactly are Ziploc bags? Are they sturdy enough to safely freeze and refreeze food for months? So, here is a detailed guide on the safe freezing of food in Ziploc Bags and their durability to solve all your doubts.
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What are Ziploc Bags?
Ziploc bags are made of LDPE and LLDPE, i.e., Low-Density Polyethylene and Linear Low-Density Polyethylene. Ziploc bags/zipper bags are plastic self-sealing bags with a zipper attached to the top.
These bags were made and first tested in the mid-1900s, and after careful testing, they were approved safe for storing foods and craft supplies, etc.
Is it Safe to Freeze Food in Ziploc Bags?
According to USDA, Ziploc bags are considered safe for freezing food. It is because these bags are made from excellent quality plastic. The food frozen in Ziploc bags will retain the optimum flavor for more duration and remains safe for consumption for a longer time.
These bags are less expensive as compared to other freezer-safe bags. So, you can save some pennies without compromising on the quality.
Ziploc bags are generally considered airtight and are used for storing items that can spoil due to exposure to the air. However, it is best to remember that not all plastic bags with a zipper are made from fine quality plastic. The use of poor-quality bags can be harmful to your food and health.
However, if the bag was damaged/not properly sealed, the food inside might have spoiled. In that case, it’s best not to put your health at stake and throw the food away.
Using the same bag for the second time should also be avoided.
How to Freeze Food in Ziploc Bags?
Ziploc bags are very versatile. You can use them to store solid foods and some freezer-friendly liquids too. To ensure safe freezing in Ziploc bags, you can follow the instructions below.
- Place the food you want to freeze on a paper towel and make sure to dry it well.
- Next, place the Ziploc bag you are using on a clean counter and carefully unseal it.
- Place the food in the bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. It is essential to remove the excess air from the bag to lower the risk of freezer burns.
- After that, seal the Ziploc bag carefully. Ensure the edges are entirely intact, or the air might enter the bag.
- After you are sure that the bag has been sealed properly, you can go ahead and place it in the freezer.
Note: Before putting food inside the Ziploc bag, check the bag for any ruptures/tears. Avoid using the bag if it is damaged as the food inside will not freeze properly.
How Long Can You Freeze Food in a Ziploc Bag?
Food frozen in a Ziploc bag can be stored for 8-12 months. However, remember that frozen food will always have a slightly compromised texture no matter how well you keep it. And, it will never taste as good as the fresh food.
However, sometimes the food in the Ziploc bag might start spoiling way before the time limit has crossed. In that case, you should discard the bag and the food.
Can You Reuse the Same Ziploc Bag?
Reusing a Ziploc bag is not recommended. After you have thawed the food in the Ziploc bag, you should immediately discard it. It is recommended to thaw the food frozen in a Ziploc bag either in cold water or in a refrigerator.
It would be best if you avoided placing these bags in a microwave because the heat from the microwave might cause harmful chemicals to leach from the bag into the food. Due to this reason, refreezing the food in the same Ziploc bag is not recommended.
The Difference Between Ziploc and Freezer-Safe Bags
Freezer-safe bags are Ziploc bags with only a few differences. The main differences between the two are the thickness and the price point. Freezer-safe bags are considered to be more sturdy and are thicker. On the other hand, Ziploc bags are not as dense.
Ziploc bags are not as thick and robust, and they might rupture due to being loaded with heavy, sharp/pointed objects. However, Ziploc bags are a good option if you are looking to buy some less costly storage bags.
It depends upon your personal preference when it comes down to choosing between the two. But, it is essential to remember that freezer-safe bags are denser, so they provide better protection against freezer burns. As a result, the food stays in a better state for a longer time.
Freezing food in Ziploc bags is safe and saves you the extra money you might have spent on buying freezer-safe bags/containers. But, you should avoid using low-quality plastic bags.
You can safely store solid as well as liquids in these bags. However, before you pop the bag into the freezer, make sure it is sealed correctly. It is also better to ensure that the Ziploc bag is not damaged before placing the food into the bag.
Food frozen in Ziploc bags can be stored for up to a year, but it is not advised to use the same Ziploc bag more than once.