Reality Check: Ziplock vs. Vacuum Saver Bagging?

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
I'm wondering if I've been making things harder for no good reason by always using a "Food Saver" type bagger instead just using Ziploc freezer bags. I know a chamber sealer can be used for some interesting changes to the food, but aside from food that will be chilled, refrigerated/frozen and used later........ Is there any significant advantage in using a vacuum bag instead of a Ziploc?


2 Replies So Far

Most things that you can do with a vacuum bagger, you can also do with zip-loc bags. In my mind, the trade-off is one of convenience and price. Of course, initial investment with a vacuum bagger is high. You could buy a lot of Ziplocks with that money.

On the other side, using a vacuum bagger, especially a chamber unit is very easy to use, gives consistent results, and gives a visual confirmation that the bag is in fact sealed. And again, the chamber vacuum units have the least expensive bags available. And as you noted, vacuum bags have an advantage if you are planning on putting food into longer term storage.

In summary, if you are happy using ziplocs and you can do what you want, there really isn't a necessity to upgrade, but it might be a choice that some people want.
I do not yet own a vacuum sealer of any kind, though I've been cooking sous vide for nearly 3 years and over 500 meals. I'd say, if you're going to have trouble using the sealer, such as when you want liquids in the bag, by all means switch to the ZipLock freezer bags. If you don't already own a vacuum sealer, don't let that prevent you from using the sous vide technique. Just use ZipLocks. But if you own one, go ahead and use it. We'd be interested in hearing here about any advantages you believe it provides you...


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