Trick for vacuum-sealing food without a vacuum-sealer

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OK. That one really is clever. And given how finicky consumer-grade vacuum sealers can be this is probably faster and as effective


Hah! Poultry slime never hurt me none!


Ahhh somebody has been experimenting with sous vide. :wink:


Do zipper seal bags hold up OK for long Sous Vide cooks? (36 - 72 hours?)

I have a sealer, but I sometimes wonder if I need it.

It’s faster. But it’s not as effective. There’s always some air left in the bag when you use the displacement method. It’s fine for quicker sous vide cooks. And it’ll do a hell of a lot to prevent freezer burn. But the vacuum sealer does a better job.

No. Fine for short cooks. But both the zipper and the seams themselves are prone to fail after a long stay in the meat Jacuzzi. They’re prone to slow leaks too. Short cook a few table spoons of water getting in doesn’t cause much of an issue. But long cooks the bag can fill up entirely. And those concerns about nasty stuff leeching into the food seem a little more valid with zipper bags. So they’re best kept under 4 hours.

The thicker “freezer” bags work better than the thinner “storage” bags. Less leaky with a better zipper. Manufacturers don’t recommend they be used for sous vide the plastics are designed to stay flexible in cold. And apparently don’t deal with heat well. But there are sous vide specific disposable or reusable sous vide bags that are meant to be used this way.

I think it’s ziplock makes disposable bags designed to be vac’d with a small hand pump. Supposed to work better with displacement. But I haven’t seen those around for a while. And there are a lot of silicone bags you evacuate by rolling or displacement. Target has been carrying the small silicone bags from Anova at about 16 bucks. Look about big enough to do a steak.


Or you could do it the Elon Musk’s way:

  1. Create a web-payment site and get rich
  2. Build rockets from scratch that can return to the launch pad.
  3. Use said rockets to seal you foodstuff in the true vacuum of space.

Really easy and simple, really like this tip for sealing food :slight_smile: Thanks i’ve already shared it with my mom. She thinks its neat.


Perhaps, like me, you’ve even sucked out the last air through that gap, then caught your lip in the zipper while trying to close it and keep the suction going. Owww!


What are you doing that requires 72 hours? Once it hits the temperature throughout, the denaturing has happened and the bugs killed.

That said, I have a vacuum sealer and it is rare that I use it unless I’m throwing something in the freezer for a couple of months. I like the doublewalled action and the fact that every last molecule of air…well not every last…most…more than average is gone. But I’ve used these for 8 hours at a time when I drop something in the water and head to work and no problem. And I don’t have to wonder if I just wasted a dollar for a $0.03 piece of plastic that works just as well.

[Edit: first bit is in response to video, my reply to Comedian is only after the quote]

Dang, why didn’t I think of that?
Assuming that a denser liquid would squeeze more air out of the food, it would be cool to see it done in a tub of, say, mercury; of course it would be too hazardous to actually use for food, though. Even if it wasn’t poisonous, it probably wouldn’t make a practical difference to the amount of vacuum, but I wonder all the same. Cooking oil would require washing the oil off the outside of the bags. Super-saturating the water with salt will make it somewhat more dense, but would the saltwater squeeze the food enough to make a practical difference?

As was said, the seams give way. I don’t think I’ve ever even done a cook longer than 24 hrs. Can’t remember the temps we were using, though. When forced to try ziplocks after the real bags ran out, the vacuum-sealer sealed them right up–I wouldn’t have trusted the zipper in there by itself–but the other seams were still too weak. My pastramis were waterlogged the next day.

Come to think of it, if you went over all the seams with the vac-sealer, re-melting them thicker, it might actually work. Even so, the Ziplock plastic felt really flimsy after the cook, so maybe not. And it would encroach somewhat on the interior size.

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I’ve been using this technique for a while, but you’ve all given me a brilliant idea. Since you all contributed, I’ll share.


  • proprietary water tub made of finest polycarbonate resin
  • proprietary water (“raw” water, of course!)
  • proprietary bag with special high-tech sealing mechanism (absolutely NOT a conventional zipper for ziploc-type bags!)
  • expensive subscription service to deliver all of the above to discerning consumers

Ladies and germs, I give you Vacuuero, the All-Natural Vacuum Sealer! How have you been living without this, you pathetic loser?


Careful don’t give the silicon valley dudebros any more ideas :stuck_out_tongue:




you missed IOT enabled. The device should have twitter functionality.


Trick for vacuum-sealing food without a vacuum-sealer

Step 1: Go buy a vacuum-sealer, you cheap b@$^*#d!
Step 2: Use it.



Any tough meat you might slow cook to tenderise by other methods. The same breakdown of collagen and tenderising happens in sous vide. It just takes longer. sometimes much longer. But since your operating at sous vide temps you keep it medium rare or medium through that whole thing.

Usual suspects are chuck and short rib. So super meaty, rich steak. For cheap. Thats both tender and medium rare. It’s a nice trick.

I haven’t found it neccisary to got to 72 hours. And the one time I tried it things were sort of mushy. But at 24 hours you end up with meat that’s nice and tender but still has a pleasant chew. Similar to rib eye or sirloin. 36 is more tender still.

You need to seal the bag really well to guard against bag failure. And you need to keep temps above 131f or your breeding chemical weapons.


I cook beef brisket at low temperature to change the texture while not overcooking it. I sous vide the brisket for 24 to 72 hours depending on temperature. Typically I cook them for 30-40 hours, start it one evening and have it for dinner two days later.

I also pretty routinely cook pork shoulder for 18-24 hours for the same reason, it gives the meat a fantastic texture without overcooking it.

Cool off in ice bath, then finish in the oven to form a nice bark.

I’ve been using these recipes as a time/temp/texture guide for a while now. I use different spices, sometimes barbecue rub, sometimes just salt and pepper.




One thing at a time, still working on DRM for the water.


You should use heavy water that has been blessed by mystical shamans so that the food you seal has a special alignment with the forces of the universe.