Freezer vs. Regular Zip-Top Bags: Ziploc Explains the Difference

This year, I made a New Year's resolution to develop healthier eating habits, which meant cooking more. Tired of eating unhealthy food when I didn't have time to cook or didn't prepare meals earlier in the week, I embarked on a journey of large batches of soups, beans, steamed vegetables and the like. But then I found myself facing another problem: sometimes these batches were too big to go through before they went bad.

So, determined to keep my meals simple, healthy and quick, I decided to freeze some of my leftovers. That meant I had to find a helpful freezer container to store said portions, so I turned to a storage solution I often use elsewhere in my kitchen: the trusty ol' Ziploc bag

While I didn't find an easy storage solution, I found myself having a few questions about which bags to use and how to use them, so I consulted some of the experts at Ziploc. Get the 411 on which bags are in the freezer and why

The difference between freezer-specific and regular Ziplocs

Although technically a regular Ziploc bag (you know, the kind we use in lunch boxes or to store half an avocado), it has all the design features and functions to keep food safe and sound in a variety of climates. Standard manufacturing techniques are in place, the brand's freezer bags are specially equipped. To keep the freezer warm and fresh.

The experts at Ziploc told me that their freezer bags are “designed to protect against punctures and tears in very low temperatures and harsh environments.” So, in other words, while you can do Use a regular Ziploc bag to freeze food, it likely won't survive the clutches of freezer burn and is prone to more rips and tears.

Just Recipes / Lori Chawl

What makes Ziploc freezer bags better at keeping frozen food fresh?

According to Ziploc, what makes freezer bags perfect for storing food in the freezer are the following nine tried and true features:

  • Durability and thickness to prevent tears and punctures
  • Freezer Hardness (aka Anti-Freezer Burn)
  • Its “open design” keeps food out of the zipper while filling for a mess-free seal.
  • One-click closure (ie a secure and locked zipper)
  • Correct sizing
  • Strong side seams
  • Double zipper strength (ie two sealing lines prevent tearing)
  • Non-slip grip
  • Easy open tabs. Both of these facilitate easy opening and sealing.

Can I Reuse Freezer Ziploc Bags?

Yes! ZIPloc says its bags are “made from high-quality materials that are strong enough to be used over and over again” — which means the bags are safe to reuse multiple times.

The brand cautions against reusing bags that contain raw meat, fish, eggs, or any other potentially allergenic foods. That sounds like a smart and safe choice to me! Before reuse, bags should be hand washed with warm soapy water, rinsed thoroughly, and left to air dry.

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