When it comes to food storage, it’s hard to beat the ease and convenience of plastic zipper bags. Just toss your leftovers inside, seal the bag and you’re good to go.
But there’s just one problem: plastic baggies are toxic to the environment.
Fortunately, there’s a reusable, environmentally-friendly alternative that’s just as convenient (and affordable) as a resealable plastic bag. Enter silicone food bags.
What is a Silicone Food Bag? How Does it Work?
Silicone food bags are made of food-grade silicone, which means it’s free of chemical fillers and by-products, like BPAs, petroleum-based chemicals, and BPS.
Silicone contains silicon, a type of metalloid. Metalloids are unique in that they have properties of both metals and non-metals. Silicon is the second-most abundant element, after oxygen, in the earth’s crust.
Food-grade silicone is sometimes called “soft glass” because it has many of the beneficial properties of glass. It’s sustainable, and it has a non-porous surface. But unlike glass, you don’t have to worry about silicone shattering.
Silicone food bags are flexible, resilient and easy to take on-the-go. They can be put in the microwave, freezer, dishwasher, and even the oven. Some silicone bags can even be used to cook your food sous vide style, and most are self-sealing (how convenient).
The Benefits of a Reusable Silicone Food Bag
Why bother buying silicone food bags? Why not just stick to regular zipper plastic bags that you can just toss in the trash?
Silicone food bags have many benefits. They’re
- Reusable, so you can cut down on your plastic waste
- Resistant to damage and degradation from hot or cold temperatures
- Made from natural resources
- Lightweight, easy to transport and flexible
- 100% recyclable (in most cases)
- Non-toxic and free of chemicals like BPA, phthalates, lead, and latex
- Highly durable and resistant to crumbling, cracking, peeling or rotting
If nothing else, silicone food bags reduce your environmental impact. A single reusable bag can keep hundreds or even thousands of single-use plastic baggies out of landfills and oceans.
Silicone food bags are also really convenient. You can chop up vegetables, put them in a silicone bag, toss it in the freezer, and then take the bag straight to the microwave or pot to cook.
You can cook your food right in the bag.
With some brands, their silicone bags can be baked in the oven up to 400 degrees.
And then when you’re done cooking, you can toss the bag right into the dishwasher for easy clean-up.
For budget-conscious families, the benefits extend far beyond the first use. Yes, you’ll pay more for these bags up front, but you’ll save money in the long run. Think about how often you buy boxes of zipper plastic bags, and how much you spend each time. Now imagine not having to buy another single-use zipper food bag for years.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Silicone Food Bags
Now that you know the benefits of silicone food bags and how they work, you may be wondering what to look for when buying them.
There are several things to consider when weighing your options. We’re going to share our top picks. When making our selections, we kept the following factors in mind:
- Ease of Use: Using a food bag shouldn’t be rocket science. Our top picks are very easy to use – just as easy as their plastic bag counterparts.
- Quality of Seal: Food bags need to have a good seal. Otherwise, you risk spoilage and contamination. The bags on our list seal well and stay sealed.
- Sizes Available: Bag size constraints can make food storage more frustrating than it needs to be. We look for brands that give you more size options for convenience.
- Cleaning: Silicone food bags should be easy to clean. Otherwise, you’ll never reuse them.
- Price: You shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg on food storage solutions. Our list includes bags that offer excellent value for the money.
Silicone Food Bag Reviews
Keeping the above points in mind, here are our top picks for the best silicone food bags.
1. Best for Marinades: Stasher 100% Silicone Food Bag – 1/2 Gallon (10”)
Stasher’s 1/2-gallon food bag is made with 100% food-grade silicone and is self-sealing for convenience.
The bag uses the pinch-lock seal, which is an innovative, air-tight seal that keeps food fresh and flavorful. All you have to do is “burp” your bag to remove any excess air, and just pinch the seal closed.
Stasher bags are free of harmful chemicals, like BPA, PVC, and latex. They can be tossed in the microwave, dishwasher, freezer, oven (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) and even in boiling water.
The only problem with these bags is that they sometimes rip underneath the seal. It’s hard to know whether this is due to a design defect, or people using the bag improperly.
The half-gallon size is 10.25” x 8.25” x 1/5” and can hold up to 64.2 ounces of food. You receive one bag with each purchase.
2. Best for Storage and Cooking: Homelux Reusable Silicone Bags – 2 Large, 2 Medium
Homelux offers a value-packed food storage solution. This package includes 2 large and 2 medium silicone bags that can be used for food storage or cooking.
Pack your lunch, store liquids, and snacks, or freeze foods for later.
Unlike the previous option on our list, you get four bags with your purchase:
- 2 large bags, which hold 50 ounces, or 6 cups, of food
- 2 medium bags, which hold 30 ounces, or 4 cups of food
Homelux’s bags are made of food-grade silicone. They can be placed in the microwave, freezer, refrigerator, oven and dishwasher. They can withstand temperatures as low as –76 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit.
We recommend using a dishwasher to clean and dry these bags because they’re a little difficult to clean by hand.
These bags are easy to seal, easy to fill and have a nice wide opening. Bags also have convenient measurement markers, so you don’t have to guess how much food you’re storing.
3. Best for Prepping: Stasher Stand-Up Bag
Stasher’s stand-up storage bags are great for meal prepping and for storing liquids. You don’t have to worry about the bag falling over or its contents spilling out all over the counters and floors.
These bags are made with 100% platinum silicone. They’re dishwasher-, microwave-, oven- and freezer-safe. The only complaint, like with the other Stasher bag on our list, is that the bag can sometimes rip underneath the seal. Proper care and handling can help prevent this from happening.
The stand-up bags are 7.75” x 7” x 3” and can hold up to 56 ounces of food.
4. Best Value: Home Hero 7-Piece Silicone Food Storage Bags
Home Hero offers the best value with their 7-piece silicone food storage solution. Each package comes with seven reusable bags:
- 4 Medium Bags: 1 liter, or 33.8 ounces
- 3 Large Bags: 1.5 liters, or 50.7 ounces
Plus, Home Hero also includes a bag holder and cleaning sponge. The bag holder is really useful for storing liquids, like soups, and soft foods. It frees up your hands so that you can focus on placing the food in the bag.
Like other silicone bags, you can place these in the dishwasher, microwave, and freezer. You can even use it for sous vide cooking.
The only issue with these bags is that they are not 100% silicone. The sealing mechanism is still made of plastic, which makes them unsafe for use in the oven (they will melt).
Otherwise, these bags are great for prepping, storage, freezing and most forms of cooking.
5. Best for Sandwiches: Planet Wise Sandwich Bags
Planet Wise’s reusable zipper sandwich bags are our favorite choice for sandwiches. But you’ll notice one important thing about these bags: they’re not made of silicone.
While that may be true, these bags are still our top pick for sandwiches.
Made in the U.S., these bags are constructed with FDA food-safe EVA. They’re free of BPA, PVC, latex, phthalate, and lead.
Planet Wise’s bags can be hand-washed or washed in a machine with cold water.
Plus, they come in fun colors and designs, which makes them great for kids – or adults who are kids at heart.
These silicone food storage bags are easy to use, have great seals, come in convenient sizes and are available at affordable prices. They’ll help reduce your environmental impact while making it easier to store your favorite foods.
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