Cuisine Technology
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The 7 Best Sous Vide Bags in 2020 (Plus One We DON’T Recommend)

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Before we begin, if you just want our top picks, we recommend:

With the increasing popularity of sous vide cooking comes a sometimes-overwhelming increase in the number of available options, too. Long gone are the days of “just use a Ziploc.” While you absolutely still can, there are many more options that have a wide array of features and benefits. 

Do you want reusable or single-use bags? Do you use a vacuum sealer or the water displacement method? And do you need special gimmicks like “snorkels” and QR codes, or do you prefer simplicity? Whatever your answers, we’ve sorted through the myriad available options and personally done some hands-on testing of various bags to narrow down the list. One of these options should be the ideal fit for your needs and cooking style!

Our pick!
FoodSaver 8" and 11" Vacuum Seal Rolls Multipack | Make Custom-Sized BPA-Free Vacuum...
Top quality
Platinum Pure - Large Reusable Sous Vide Bags - Set of 2 BPA Free Bags for Sous Vide...
Budget option
Ziploc Storage Bags with New Grip 'n Seal Technology, For Food, Sandwich, Organization and...
FoodSaver 8" and 11" Vacuum Seal Rolls Multipack | Make Custom-Sized BPA-Free Vacuum...
Platinum Pure - Large Reusable Sous Vide Bags - Set of 2 BPA Free Bags for Sous Vide...
Ziploc Storage Bags with New Grip 'n Seal Technology, For Food, Sandwich, Organization and...
-
Our pick!
FoodSaver 8" and 11" Vacuum Seal Rolls Multipack | Make Custom-Sized BPA-Free Vacuum...
FoodSaver 8" and 11" Vacuum Seal Rolls Multipack | Make Custom-Sized BPA-Free Vacuum...
-
Top quality
Platinum Pure - Large Reusable Sous Vide Bags - Set of 2 BPA Free Bags for Sous Vide...
Platinum Pure - Large Reusable Sous Vide Bags - Set of 2 BPA Free Bags for Sous Vide...
Budget option
Ziploc Storage Bags with New Grip 'n Seal Technology, For Food, Sandwich, Organization and...
Ziploc Storage Bags with New Grip 'n Seal Technology, For Food, Sandwich, Organization and...

The Top 7 Sous Vide Bags


#1. FoodSaver 8″ and 11″ Vacuum Seal Rolls Multipack

Best for: Versatility with multiple bag sizes

When you use vacuum seal rolls, you’re not limited to a specific bag length. (The width, of course, is defined by the width of the roll.) You can simply cut the bag to whatever length you want! This versatility is why we love the FoodSaver 8″ and 11″ Vacuum Seal Rolls Multipack. With a total of five rolls in two different sizes, you’ll be ready to sous vide just about anything you can imagine, no matter how long or short it is.

This multipack contains three bag rolls of 11 inches (28cm) wide by 16 feet (4.9 meters) long, plus two bag rolls of 8 inches (20cm) by 20 feet (6.1 meters) long. We love the option of being able to select both your width and length with just one product, which gives you ultimate versatility in packaging your sous vide foods.

Before you buy this option, though, make sure the seal bar on your vacuum sealer is long enough to handle the wider bags. We wouldn’t want you to waste your money on a multipack if your vacuum sealer is only compatible with narrower vacuum bags!

Specs and Features

  • BPA free? Yes
  • Reusable? No
  • Vacuum sealer required? Yes
Pros
  • Comes with a total of 5 rolls in 2 different sizes
  • Cut bags of your desired length
Cons
  • Single-use bags
  • Requires a vacuum sealer

#2. FoodVacBags 2-Pack 11″ X 50′ Vacuum Sealer Rolls

Best for: Bang for your buck

With most sous vide vacuum sealer bags performing more or less the same way, one of the deciding factors in which ones to get ends up being price. We usually prefer to go for quality over value, but bags are one of the cases where you can save to allow you to splurge elsewhere. (Of course, this assumes that you’re still getting decent-quality, food-grade bags that are capable of handling sous vide cooking!)

And their low price is what we particularly love about these FoodVacBags. Each pack includes two rolls of 50’ (15.2 meters) each, for a total of 100’ (30.5 meters). While prices may vary, we find that these bags sometimes cost as little as half the price of other options per foot.

We also love roll-style bags like these, since they allow you to cut bags to your preferred length. If you value convenience over versatility, though, you may want to look for pre-cut bags instead.

Specs and Features

  • BPA free? Yes
  • Reusable? No
  • Vacuum sealer required? Yes
Pros
  • Comes with a total of 100 feet of rolls
  • Custom length bags
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Single-use bags
  • Requires a vacuum sealer

#3. O2frepak 200 Vacuum Sealer Freezer Bags

Best for: Fast and straightforward use

We just mentioned that anyone who prefers convenience over flexibility might want pre-cut bags, and that’s exactly what O2frepak offers with this package! You’ll get 200 bags, each measuring 8” by 12” (20.3cm by 30.5cm), for a very fair price. Since the bags are precut, you can just grab one and start cooking!

We recommend this size, since it’s appropriate for most sous vide needs. If you prefer smaller or larger, though, you’re in luck! At the same link, you’ll find options for 6” by 10” (15.2cm by 25.4cm) and 11” by 16” (27.9cm by 40.6cm) bags. 

While the larger bags may sound appealing (why not err on the side of caution, right?) please double-check to make sure that they’re compatible with your vacuum sealer first. Many vacuum sealers have a sealing bar length of less than 11”, meaning you wouldn’t be able to use these bags. This is part of why we recommend the 8” by 12” (20.3cm by 30.5cm) option; it should be compatible with the vast majority of sealing bars.

Specs and Features

  • BPA free? Yes
  • Reusable? No
  • Vacuum sealer required? Yes
Pros
  • Pre-cut bags are practical and faster to set up than rolls
  • Comes with 200 bags
Cons
  • Single-use bags
  • Requires a vacuum sealer
  • Pre-cut bags mean less control over the size of each bag

#4. Platinum Pure Large Reusable Sous Vide Bags

Best for: Environmentally conscious cooks

Several of us here at Cuisine Technology struggle with the dilemma of sous vide cooking. It makes amazing food just about every time, but it generally comes at the cost of using a lot of single-use plastic, which then just ends up in the landfill. And, sadly, many of the reusable bags have serious issues (see our “Not Recommended” listing below!). 

Luckily, Platinum Pure is here to save the day! Their high-quality silicone bags are reusable and designed to minimize plastic waste in sous vide cooking. And they do so in a clever way that reduces the problems usually present with reusable bags. 

Thanks to their simple and straightforward design, these bags are easy to clean. (No deep, sharply angled grooves for food to get stuck in!) And they’re thin, so using a variation of the water displacement method will remove most of the air.

Be aware that these bags don’t seal, which is what allows them to avoid the issue of deep (potentially dirty) grooves. Instead, they’re simple pouches that you put your food into and then lower into your sous vide bath. The pressure of the water around the pouch effectively removes most of the air. You then drape the top of the bag over the edge of your sous vide container. If necessary, you can clip the bag in place to prevent water from getting in.

If you’re going with this option, we recommend investing in sous vide weights and also some clips. These will help ensure that your food stays submerged while the top of the bag remains safely above the water.

Specs and Features

  • BPA free? Yes
  • Reusable? Yes
  • Vacuum sealer required? No
Pros
  • Does not require a vacuums sealer
  • Environmentally friendly / Reusable
  • High quality material
  • Large bags can fit all kinds of food
Cons
  • Expensive and comes with only two bags
  • Multiple uses mean it might get odors
  • Bag can’t be sealed – open side needs to hang outside water
  • Only one size available

#5. Simple Houseware Precut Food Vacuum Sealer Bags

Best for: Budget option pre-cut bags

We’ve already recommended a FoodVacBags option as a great budget choice. Those bags, though, come in rolls—which means that you need to cut them to your desired length before use. So what if you’re on a budget but want the ease and convenience of pre-cut bags?

In that case, we recommend these Simple Houseware Precut Food Vacuum Sealer Bags. As our top budget choice for pre-cut bags, they’re both affordable and easy to use. They come in multiple sizes, including a smaller and a larger option than our recommended 8” by 12” (20.3cm by 30.5cm) option. If you’re considering the larger size, please double-check first to make sure the sealing bar on your vacuum sealer is long enough!

Specs and Features

  • BPA free? Yes
  • Reusable? No
  • Vacuum sealer required? Yes
Pros
  • Affordable option for those who want pre-cut bags
  • Practical and fast pre-cut bags save time
Cons
  • Single-use bags
  • Requires a vacuum sealer

#6. Savour Sous Vide Cooking Bags

Best for: Multi-function and reusability

We love reusable bags, so we appreciate the creativity that goes into these Savour Sous Vide Cooking Bags! In addition to being dishwasher safe to make it easy to use them repeatedly, they take a distinctive approach to expelling air that we haven’t seen elsewhere. 

Instead of using a vacuum sealer, you use a variation on the water displacement method. You attach a thin tube (which the company calls a snorkel) to the vent on the bag. You then lower the bag underwater, keeping only the snorkel and vent exposed. Once the water pressure has expelled all the air, you remove the snorkel and cap the vent. Just like that, you’re ready to cook!

While we appreciate the innovation, the technique is essentially the same as using the water displacement method on a standard Ziploc bag. It’s just that you have the extra technology of the vent, snorkel, and cap. Depending on your taste, this innovation may tickle your fancy, or it may just seem like an unnecessary extra add-on. Personally, I lean toward “unnecessary yet alluring.” That feature, combined with being reusable, earns these bags a spot on our list.

Specs and Features

  • BPA free? Yes
  • Reusable? Yes
  • Vacuum sealer required? No
Pros
  • Does not require a vacuum sealer
  • Environmentally friendly / reusable
  • Comes with a lot more bags than the silicone competitors
Cons
  • Multiple uses mean it might get odors
  • It still leaves some air in the bag after manually sealing
  • Not as sturdy and high-quality as silicone reusable bags

#7. Ziploc Bags

Best for: Sous vide beginners, or anyone who wants the classic, straightforward option

Does all this talk of vents, caps, QR codes, silicone, vacuum sealers, and snorkels have your head spinning? If you’re starting to think that sous vide sounds like it’s just for technologically advanced gourmet chefs, don’t worry. All you really need as a sous vide bag may already be in your kitchen!

Many resealable plastic bags are suitable for sous vide. We specifically like, recommend, and often personally use Ziploc-brand bags. This is partly because the company is so widely available and easy to find, and partly because they’re very upfront about being BPA-free. In fact, we like these bags enough that we wrote a whole piece about the safety of sous vide cooking in Ziploc bags, which you can read for more details if you’re interested. 

With that said, many other brands are also safe for sous vide cooking. If you’re looking at alternatives, please do your research to make sure they don’t contain potentially harmful chemicals and that they’re built well enough to withstand the prolonged elevated temperatures involved in the sous vide process.

Unless you know that you want the features or functions available in other bags on our list, you can’t go wrong with Ziploc bags. And even if you decide to upgrade your sous vide bags, you can use the leftover Ziplocs for tons of other tasks around the house and kitchen. 

To sous vide in a Ziploc bag, just pop your food inside. Add a weight if necessary for buoyant food, use the water displacement method to remove air, and you’re ready to start cooking! We recommend the gallon size, because these bags are so flexible that it doesn’t matter if it’s too big. Any excess can easily fold around your food in the sous vide container.

Specs and Features

  • BPA free? Yes
  • Reusable? No
  • Vacuum sealer required? No
Pros
  • Does not require a vacuum sealer
  • Easy to find at most grocery stores
  • The classic, simple, straightforward option—this is all you really need!
Cons
  • Not specifically designed for sous vide, and therefore doesn’t have any special features
  • Single-use

BONUS: CASO 50-Piece Vacuum Sealer Bag

Best for: German-speaking users who love technology

We’re including these bags only as a bonus recommendation because let’s be honest: most of the people who find this article don’t speak German. Aber wenn Sie Deutsch sprechen, herzlichen Glückwunsch—you can easily use these high-tech bags! This option is a standout on our list, and we wish that we could wholeheartedly recommend them to English speakers too.

The exciting thing about these bags is that they come with labels with a QR code. You then use the associated app to track and manage your food in storage! While they’re not ideal for actual sous vide cooking (because they go on the outside of the bag), these labels are a fantastic way to keep track of your sous vide food if you’re storing it. For anyone who tends to sous vide in bulk and then reheat and finish it later, this smart tracking system is invaluable.

Pros
  • Comes with labels with QR codes that work with an app for food management
  • Pre-cut bags are practical and faster to set up than rolls
Cons
  • Designed for a German-speaking audience
  • Needs shipping from Germany that adds to final price
  • Comes with less bags for a higher price than competitors
  • Requires a vacuum sealer

NOT RECOMMENDED: Stasher 100% Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag 

(this is NOT an affiliate link, because we do not recommend this product and don’t want to profit off it if you choose to buy it)

You’re probably familiar with Anova as one of the leading sous vide brands, so we were excited to see that they recommend these Stasher storage bags for sous vide cooking. Minimizing plastic use is one of our main concerns with sous vide, so the idea of an Anova-endorsed reusable silicon bag sounded amazing.

Unfortunately, things that sound too good to be true often are. Here’s why we’re not able to recommend these bags.

First, you can’t vacuum seal these bags, and they’re too stiff to work well with the water displacement method. That means that you’re basically stuck leaving some air in your bag, which can lead to cooking/temperature issues or cause your bag to float. In worst-case scenarios, this can even be dangerous; if your bagged food isn’t submerged, the part exposed to air can end up being in the food temperature “danger zone.” Of course, you can fix this by using sous vide weights, but we would prefer bags that are better equipped for sous vide cooking to begin with.

Second, we’ve seen quite a few reports of these bags developing holes or even ripping or coming apart at the seams after use in sous vide baths. It’s not clear whether certain bags themselves had manufacturing flaws or whether the prolonged heat of sous vide led to weaknesses, but we would rather see far fewer reports of these sorts of problems.

Finally, we’ve also seen reports of these bags being difficult to clean. In our own hands-on experience with these bags, we found that the deep grooves in the sealing mechanism at the top are almost impossible to thoroughly clean. Of course it’s spectacularly challenging to make a reusable bag that seals tightly without any tight curves or corners, but the risk of mold, bacteria, or food particles staying in the crevices of these bags is more than we’re interested in dealing with.

We adore the concept of these bags, and wish we could wholeheartedly recommend them! We’ll keep an eye on them for any design and construction changes, and hope to be able to move them from “not recommended” to “recommended” in future years’ lists.

Pros
  • Does not require a vacuum sealer
  • Reusable and environmentally friendly
Cons
  • Difficult (if not impossible) to remove all air
  • May develop holes, rip, or come apart at the seams
  • Difficult to clean thoroughly
  • Expensive
  • May develop odors after multiple uses

What Are Sous Vide Bags? And Why You Need Them

Sous vide cooking relies on water’s ability to conduct heat, so it involves cooking your food fully submerged in water. However, most foods don’t benefit from sitting directly in hot water for hours. They lose flavor, change texture, and otherwise end up bland and unappealing.

The solution is to cook your foods inside an airtight bag. This gets you the best of both worlds: the efficient and thorough conductivity of water, and the quality of flavor and texture that you get when you don’t boil something directly.


Do You Need Special Bags for Sous Vide?

No! And don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.

The various fantastic bags we’ve talked about in this article have distinct benefits, but you don’t need them to get started. All you need are basic Ziploc bags large enough to hold your ingredients. And there’s a good chance you already have these in your kitchen.

We recommend Ziploc brand specifically because they’re BPA-free, but other brands may be as well. Do your research if you prefer a different brand, as your favorite kind may be sous vide appropriate too!

With that said, while you don’t need special bags for sous vide, you’ll probably want to get them eventually. 

A vacuum sealer (which extracts more air than the water displacement method) requires special bags. 

And once you get deeper into sous vide and start doing it more often, you may find yourself looking in horror at the mountain of single-use plastic bags left behind. In this case, we recommend upgrading to reusable silicone bags.


The Different Types of Bags for Sous Vide Cooking

Vacuum vs. Non-Vacuum

The biggest difference between bags is whether they’re designed for vacuum sealers or to be used independently. These two types of bags aren’t interchangeable; you can’t use a Ziploc bag in a standard vacuum sealer, for example. On our list, you’ll be able to quickly check whether each of our recommendations needs a vacuum sealer.

Precut vs. Roll

If you have a vacuum sealer, your next choice about bags is whether you prefer pre-cut bags or rolls. There’s no right or wrong answer here; it’s completely a matter of preference. 

In case you’re not familiar with them, let’s quickly go over what they are. 

  • Pre-cut bags are exactly what they sound like: bags that are pre-cut to a specific size. These are already sealed on three sides, so you just need to put your food in, then vacuum and seal the last side. 
  • Rolls are long rolls of two sheets of plastic attached to each other only on the two sides. You cut the length you want, then seal the bottom to create a bag. From there, you proceed as you would with a pre-cut bag: put in the food, vacuum, and seal the top.

Pre-cut bags are fantastic for their convenience. They save some time, because you can just grab one and start packing it. But rolls offer more flexibility because you can choose the length you want. No more wasting tons of plastic on small foods, or wishing your bag were just a little longer. Be realistic about your cooking habits, and decide whether versatility or convenience is more important to you. (Personally, I like to keep both on hand, so I have the freedom to be either creative or lazy.)

Plastic vs. Silicone (or single-use versus reusable)

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you’ll need to decide whether to opt for plastic or silicone bags. This decision generally overlaps with whether the bags are disposable single-use bags, or reusable.

Plastic bags are generally:

  • Single-use/disposable
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Appropriate for both sous vide cooking and storage

Silicone bags are generally:

  • Reusable and washable
  • More expensive (because you can use them many times)
  • Intended specifically for sous vide cooking, not for storage

We love to promote sustainability and reuse whenever possible, especially since sous vide cooking tends to be so plastic-heavy. With that said, single-use plastic bags definitely have some advantages over most silicone options. Since you throw them away when you’re done, you don’t need to worry about trying to clean tiny remnants of food out of the sealing grooves. And you also don’t need to be concerned about potential lingering odors, which can occur if you cook strong-smelling foods in silicone bags.

But on the other hand, silicone bags are reusable, and that counts for a lot. If you’re going to go for silicone, we recommend the Platinum Pure Large Reusable Sous Vide Bags. These reduce the issue of trying to clean deep grooves by being simple pouches that drape over the top of your sous vide container. Just be aware that you might also need sous vide weights and clips. (It’s worth it, we think, for a more eco-friendly kitchen!)


Are Ziploc Bags Safe for Sous Vide?

Based on the research, yes. I’ve looked into this deeply, and am satisfied enough that they’re safe that I personally use them regularly when I can’t be bothered to get out the vacuum sealer or deal with a reusable bag. Ziploc-brand bags are BPA-free and dioxin-free, and can withstand the temperatures generally used in sous vide cooking. 

If you’re concerned about your cooking temperature being too high, though, simply double-bag. This way, even if one of the bags slightly softens enough to spring a leak, your food will still be dry.

Since this was a subject we were so interested in, we’ve taken a deep dive into the safety of Ziploc bags for sous vide cooking. If you want to know more, check that piece out!


Are Stasher Bags Worth It for Sous Vide?

In our opinion, unfortunately no. Several of us here at Cuisine Technology really wanted to love these bags, but their issues leave us unable to recommend them. In short: they’re difficult to clean, potentially prone to rips and holes, and aren’t ideal for the water displacement method (so you can end up with more air than is ideal in your bag).

With that said, we do absolutely recommend choosing reusable bags if you can! We just have too many hesitations about Stasher bags specifically. Instead, we suggest Platinum Pure Large Reusable Sous Vide Bags. These bags are simple pouches made of thin silicone, which helps them eliminate the issues that we have with Stasher bags. They have no deep grooves to clean, and are more suited to the water displacement method.


Conclusion 

From silicone to snorkels, and from QR labels to vacuum bag rolls, the world of sous vide bags is wide and sometimes overwhelming. And unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Use our list to help you narrow down which bags are the right fit for you. Your perfect bags will depend on whether you use a vacuum sealer, whether you want a reusable bag or single-use options, and how you weight convenience versus flexibility.

If you’re just looking for a quick answer, we recommend: