How To Vacuum Seal Foods Without A Vacuum Sealer

avata By | February 18, 2017 11:07 pm | Updated December 30, 2020 |
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If you are wondering how to vacuum seal food without a vacuum sealer, you are in the right place.

Vacuuming food has become a trend lately. Vacuuming food is usually done with a vacuum sealer, a special tool that allows you to suck the air out of the food container. It can come as a countertop or a handheld model.

A vacuum sealer is handy and easy to use if you want to prepare your meals in advance. In addition, it also allows you to store fruits and veggies out of season. Moreover, the food lasts longer and it’s much easier to store in the pantries and freezers.

In the event that you want a whole week (or more) of healthy, homemade foods but don’t own a food vacuum sealer there’s a solution.

We’ve decided to share with you a very simple way to vacuum your food at home. This technique is called “the water displacement method” and it’s pretty straight forward. When kitchen appliances are unavailable, we can always rely on physics!

Step By Step Guide

Step 1: Choose The Right Bag

First things first, you will need a plastic bag – but not just any bag. For the best results, choose a bag that has a zipper lock. This will allow you to seal your food airtight with ease.

You might want to opt for a see-through bag for easier storage. Also, don’t forget to mark your bag with the proper date after you sealed it in.

Correspondingly, choose the right size of the bag that suits the amount of food you are vacuum sealing. In my experience, smaller portions freeze and unfreeze more efficiently than large ones.

how to vacuum seal food

Our recommendation is to use medium-sized bags that fit a meal for one person.

Step 2: Insert Food Properly

The next step is filling up the bag with food, which must be done properly. Before putting the food in the bag, the food must be completely cooled.

Placing warm or hot food in the bag and sealing it can lead to condensation. One of the side effects of condensation is the creation of small water drops that can damage food when frozen.

When it comes to sharp-edged food, consider cutting it into smaller pieces. By cutting food in manageable pieces, your bag won’t be in any danger of unwanted ruptures. Ruptured bags lead to oxygen and bacterial contamination that can damage your food and your health.

One useful hint is to seal your food horizontally. This way, the food will take up way less space than usual, and it’s a dream solution for storage. In addition, it will unfreeze much faster due to the even spread.

You can check a tutorial video here:

After the food is placed neatly in the zip lock bag, make sure you press the air slowly out. You can achieve this by leaving an inch of the bag unzipped. Then proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Place The Bag In The Water

Immediately after, fill up a large pot with water. You can do it also in a sink, which is a method I prefer. As you lower the bag of food in the water, hold carefully the unzipped edge.

This corner is where the excess air will come out from. You need to place the bag in the water until only this corner is above the surface.

It’s very important to lower your bag slowly, to make sure all the air is out. The air is pushed out by water pressure, and it’s a neat demonstration of the laws of physics.

When the whole bag is underwater, zip the bag completely.

Step 4: Freeze & Store

After vacuum sealing your food, pat it with a towel until it’s completely dry. You can choose to either freeze your food or just keep it in the fridge.

Of course, by freezing your food, you’ll extend its preservation time by a lot. However, if you opt for plain ol’ fridge – you’ll still get the benefits.

One of the benefits of freezing vacuum-sealed food is that there won’t be any freezer burns.

vacuum sealers food

In other words, your food won’t be dehydrated and it will keep its taste and texture.

Other benefit includes the ability to pre-prepare a whole week of meals. By taking some time during the weekend to prepare several meals for the next week, you’ll avoid fast solutions.

You have to admit – having homemade mashed potatoes instead of fast food sounds pretty neat.

Safety Measures

Always remember the most important rule: “Don’t mess with food”. When it comes to vacuum sealing, there are some rules you should follow to avoid the downsides.

The most important thing to remember is that not all foods have the same expiration period. This is also true for vacuum sealing foods.

For example, you can store foods such as nuts, cheese, chips, and cereals for a longer period. On the other hand, foods like fruits, vegetables, and liquids (such as soup) can be store only briefly.

Finally, meat is the trickiest to store because it depends on whether it has seasoning, marinade, or something similar. It goes from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

If you are unsure in which category your meal fits in, here’s a cheat sheet. If your food is moist, then it’s short-lived. If it’s dry, it can last longer.

The expiration date depends mostly on how bacteria-prone the food is. To make sure your food is as safe as possible, always remember to wash your hands, food, and utensils beforehand. In this manner, you will avoid transferring any harmful bacteria.


All things considered, vacuum sealing is a handy way to look after your diet and save money. By preserving homemade food, you have a healthy meal at your disposal at any time.

Additionally, for people with a fast-paced life and large families – it can be a life savior. Vacuum sealing food makes meal planning extremely easy and saves you unnecessary stress.

This method is great if you’re a working parent, and you want to provide a healthy diet for your kids.

Let us know if you have tried this method before and what were the results. Also, let me know if you vacuum seal your food in a different manner.

What was your experience with vacuum-sealed food and what are the best meals to vacuum seal and freeze? Let us know ! And if you didn’t know before, we hope now you know how to vacuum seal food.



Since always, I am passionate about food; I enjoy writing and want to share my passion and offer quality articles to my readers. I have lived nine years in France, where I learned all about culinary arts.

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