What's the current state of things on best/safest bags to use for Sous Vide?


I’m about to take the sous vide plunge, but want to make sure I’ve covered my bases (minimized my anxiety?) about heating food in plastic bags. As best as I can tell, if you stay below 150 degrees, using high-quality BPA-free bags like Ziploc brand is perfectly fine, and there’s no need to go with fancy reusable/washable silicone bags.

For you sous-viders out there, what are you using for bags, and are you comfortable with them?

('Jackie P') #2

It is possible to do sous vide without plastic.

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #3

My husband uses reusable silicone bags. He got them on Amazon.

(Steve) #4

I use sous vide bags from Amazon and seal the food with my Foodsaver. I had one accident with a ziplock bag, never again. I have a 50’ roll of 8” and a 50’ of 11”, I think it’s the only way to go, cheap and leak proof. You are going to love all the possibilities with the sous vide style of cooking.


Good to know…How hard are they to clean? I tend to be…how do I say this…particular when it comes to dishes/cleanliness, etc. :blush:

(Central Florida Bob ) #6

I use Ziploc bags or the Food Saver bags. Food Saver bags say “BPA free” but you need the heat sealer.

My main reason for the Food Saver bags is I get a better vacuum with that and the meal doesn’t try to float as much as the Ziploc bags.

I looked into the best science I could find on BPA some years ago and came to the conclusion it was overblown and nothing to really worry about. Two cautions at this point: first, it was in 2011 so it’s possible something else came out, and second, I’m not sure they addressed higher temperatures specifically.


Thanks, Steve. I’m leaning going the Foodsaver route, especially as I go more carnivore.

(Steve) #8

Nice, Foodsaver is the way to go for sure. It’s also great for sealing a nice chunk of meat that has already been cooked. Simply drop it into a sous vide bath to heat it up for a quick dinner.
For long cooks like 12 - 48 hours, I cook in various sized coolers that have a hole drilled through the cooler lid. It muffles the sound and is really energy efficient.
It looks like this

I’m not sure which sous vide stick that you are buying but I couldn’t be happier with my Anova bluetooth/wifi. I can even monitor and extend my cook from the beach lol

(The o-chem police are coming) #9

I bought some silicone bags for the sous vide but I find them very difficult to use. I like the concept, but these aren’t ready for prime time. The closure system of sliding a bar clamp across the top is challenging on a good day. The bags are also very stiff and I am unable to get the air out. Couple that with the difficult closure and the usual water emersion technique is out the window. Floating sous vide bags seems a set up for incomplete cooking.

I like the idea of not cooking in plastic and I like the idea of reusable bags. I’m open to ideas. I may try putting the food in the silicone bag then putting that into a food saver vacuum bag. Goal being to limit the food plastic interface. Seems overly complex???


Nice! I am likely going with the the Anova and just was wondering about container. I love your set-up. That’s awesome. Do you recall what sized drill bit to get that perfect fit?


Yep, this is my problem with going straight for the silicone. I worry about the same issues you spotted as well as cleaning them.

(Steve) #12

Here you go, it’s a step by step on the cooler modification. If you type in keto on the Anova website a bunch of my recipes that I have made public should pop up.

(The o-chem police are coming) #13

The cooler trick is the bomb. I’ve got a little one for normal sized meals and a big cooler for larger endeavors. I don’t think the Anova could hold temp on enough water for a whole turkey (dissected and bagged) without insulation.

(KCKO, KCFO) #14

My question is if you don’t want to cook in plastic why would you use a cooler? It is totally plastic.

I never have been attracted to sous vide cooking because of the plastic bags, even if you use conventional metal based pans.

Just want to learn something, others may be foods cooked in plastic if they so choose.


I’m OK with plastic that’s not actually touching my food, especially at the low sous vide temps. Whatever bag I use for the food would be impermeable to the water.

(Failed) #16

I use a vacuum sealer and bags.

I have a Joule and modified a cooler for big cooks, but recently, I just heat the water on saute in my Instant Pot, clamp on the Joule, and run it from my phone. Joule is smaller than the others I’ve seen and keeps the water with .5°F.

I also love the app, as it demonstrates what your food will look like at various temps.

I took videos of the videos of each of the 3 different temperatures for baby back ribs, but I got a message saying that the file type is unauthorized.

If you’re interested, you can download the app and see for yourself. You don’t need a Joule to use the app, and the demos are great for deciding what temperature you want to use, even if you have some other brand of circulator.

Here’s a YouTube link, the part I’m talking about starts at 3:10.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #17

I am more recently concerned about plastics and sousvide cooking. I read an article recently about the way the plastics industry adapts. It’s almost like a designer drug enterprise to my mind, or the pesticide industry.

As studies indicate a problem for our health certain chemicals are made illegal to use. The specific thing was concerning BPA. So they can’t use it for food purposes anymore and replaced it with another chemical, BPE. So studies have to be done before BPE is declared unsafe for humans, which will undoubtedly happen in the coming years and BPE will be proved unsafe for humans most likely at which point the plastics industry will undoubtedly have another compound, BP? developed to replace it.

The same crap happens with pesticides and chemicals used in processed foods like food coloring and preservatives. We can’t stay ahead of it without abstaining from modern conveniences. This upset my sense of “okay” as a sousvide user.

I don’t use sea salt because I don’t want to ingest micro plastic beads from toothpastes and shampoos that polute our oceans and are found in the tissues of all seafood now making me think about how healthy that cane be for our bodies on a cellular level. They are in sea salt too. Even if we eat perfectly natural our bodies are polluted with many of the 150,000 different man made chemical compounds which are in the air and water, and our food. Who knows what this will do to humans in future generations. Sorry about the rambling. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #18

I’d say, if you cook food in a plastic bag, you might get cancer. But if you don’t cook food in a plastic bag you might get cancer too.

That whole thing about BPA’s is completely vague, and pointless.

Their are very few things which can be absolutely attributed to causing cancer. Cigarettes for one. Maybe Agent Orange ?

Other than that, when the medical community says these things “might” cause cancer, what they really mean to say is, they have no freaking idea. Remember, this is the same medical community that has been saying for decades, that you should eat 200-300 gms of carbs a day to be healthy too. Evidence is starting to show that eating Keto, might actually starve cancer.

(Dirty Lazy Keto'er, Sucralose freak ;)) #19

Even if we eat perfectly natural our bodies are polluted with many of the 150,000 different man made chemical compounds which are in the air and water, and our food.

Hey David, this ^ is exactly my point. And so many people will get sick and die from cancer, while others will not… “Regardless of how much they worry about it, or how many efforts they make to avoid it”

I personally believe that their is nearly nothing one can do to change the odds of whether or not they end up with cancer… Other than say, smoking.

I spend exactly “zero time each day” worrying about getting cancer… In spite of the fact that 30 years ago I worked with a hard core super toxic garbage closely related to Agent Orange. I’m actually quite surprised I haven’t gotten cancer yet ? But that only further enforces what I’m saying. Cancer is so random, it makes no sense to worry about it.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #20

Until you’re a cancer survivor and don’t want it again maybe, like me. My view point takes an opposite stance, why risk making a bad situation worse? With a history of lots of carcinogen exposure, why throw more in the stew than you need to while being exposed to the ones you can’t control?

I worked with carcinogenic chemicals when I was younger too (not agent orange level but carcinogenic for sure), smoked tobacco, ate junky processed foods and grew up earlier than you did exposed to chemicals that were banned years before you were born. But I am trying to limit what goes in now and not have a helpless apathy about my future health. True that something will get us all eventually though, maybe something from long ago but I am hopefully avoiding new toxins as best that I can. :cowboy_hat_face: