Whoever thinks of the environment, you will always try to buy items that are reusable so that you don’t harm your surroundings. In modern days, a good number of people are considering sous vide cooking with the aim of preserving the environment. So can sous vide bags be reused?
With environmental protection in mind, homeowners are trying to avoid single-use plastics as much as they can. Our article is therefore here with educational information on whether sous vide cooking plastic bags are reusable with immersion cooking methods or not. You have to be careful when investing in some products because they are single-use.
So by the time you are through reading this article, you should be able to determine whether it’s possible to recycle sous vide bags or not. Besides, we will provide you with other extra information that is useful for you. Let’s explore more!
Benefits of recycling sous vide bags
Since traditional sous vide cooking bags are single-use, there is a need to check on and start using reusable ones. Doing so is beneficial in different ways;
Conserves the environment. It doesn’t matter whether you are an environmentalist or a homeowner, what is so important is to take care of your habitat. This era is all about living in a safe and conducive environment. For this reason, you are advised to buy recyclable sous vide cooking plastics.
Reusable sous vide plastic bags are also beneficial as it may reduce your billings. A cooking method that depends on plastics will therefore be expensive if you opt for single-use plastics. You won’t spend a lot of money buying these plastics regularly.
Additionally, sous vide cooking is associated with less energy, meaning that it can reduce the cost compared to other methods of cooking. Even if it also uses plastic bags, sous vide cooking can be somehow environmentally friendly.
Types of reusable sous vide bags
We have various sous vide plastic bags out there, but we have majored on the reusable and best ones. They include;
1. Vacuum-sealed bags
Give a trial to these types of bags because they are flexible in that you may opt for either reusable or single-use designs. Vacuum-sealed plastic bags are associated with the most leak-free and tightest wrap around.
Another good thing about this bag is that they don’t attract air, meaning that you are sure of full submerged sous vide cooking. You are supposed to buy vacuum sealers, but there’s already one in this type of cooking bag.
2. Reusable silicone bags
Have a look at this type of cooking bag that is loved by many because it is eco-friendly. Besides, it is cost-effective compared to other options; you can use them several times. However, some homeowners complain that their stiffer texture hinders them from removing air smoothly.
But, you are allowed to use either water displacement, or folding or rolling manual methods to remove air. Though, with silicone bags sometimes you may even be forced to use clamps or sous vide magnets to sink your bags.
How to reuse sous vide cooking
Recycling sous vide bags is possible, especially those that you had used for sauces, fruits, and vegetables, but not those that have been used to sous vide eggs, fish, or raw meat. Below are some of the factors that determines whether a person can reuse sous vide bags or not;
Cleaning is one of the best treats that you can offer to your sous vide bags to prolong their lifespan. Sterilization is necessary and you can do this by washing them with hot and soap water. Make a bleach solution and fill your bags with this water.
Give the bags enough time to soak before removing the water for rinsing. However, your sous vide cooker shouldn’t come close to the bleach. However, even after this cleanliness, your bags might not be safe because there might be stubborn pathogens. If you must reuse them, then you should wait for some hours or days.
2. Creative reuse
If you are unsatisfied with the above option, let’s have a look at this option. This method will allow you to safely recycle your sous vide bags. The method is not only about reusing, but repurposing the bags. This implies that it is possible to utilize sealable plastic cooking bags to keep baked foods.
You can carry along with your lunch in these bags for a few days or just reuse them after cooking some items like vegetables or fruits. Therefore, you may start by using the bag to cook safe foodstuffs like vegetables or fruits, before using the bag to prepare meat, fish, or eggs.
Alternatively, you may recycle sous vide plastic bags that have been used to cook fish or meat to substitute non-food single-use plastics for pet waste. This is what we call creative use of the sous vide bags.
3. Cooking temperature
The temperature plays a critical role in eliminating food-borne diseases. It is necessary to kill bacteria, known to emanate from foodstuffs like eggs, vegetables, and meat. These unwanted bacteria are likely to expose you to some chronic health condition.
The rule of the thumb, you should cook your food at 140°F which is equivalent to 60°C. Though you can surpass this limit to ensure all undesirable bacteria are killed. This is a clear indication that the middle part of the food has to reach a desirable cooking temperature and should stick to the same temperature for some minutes.
But, this rule might not be suitable for some foodstuffs; it is therefore advisable to consider the FDA guidelines of whatever you want to cook.
4. Buy reusable bags
Hopefully, you are now capable of pinpoint reusable from single-use sous vide bags. We have various options out there like silicon sous vide bags that are durable and strong to survive heating. They are not associated with risk of leaking and breaking.
Despite being reusable, some of these bags are dishwasher safe; this means that you can recycle them several times. They don’t feature toxic chemicals, allowing you to use them in a freezer, sous vide, or microwaves. Investing in such plastics spares you from regular shop visits to buy single-use options. However, no matter how many times you use these bags, they also have a lifespan; discard or reuse and recycle them after several uses.
Tips on reusing sous vide bags
- Cleaning and sterilization is inevitable and you can do this by washing them with hot and soapy water.
- Use hot and soap water to thoroughly clean your bags before the next use.
- Don’t use the bags immediately after washing. Instead, give them enough time to dry completely.
- After sous vide cooking with silicone bags, it’s advisable to use a soft cloth or paper towel to eliminate available juices and particles from the bag.
- Can I reuse vacuum-sealed bags?
Yes, but you must thoroughly clean the bags to remove pathogens and unwanted bacteria.
- Are sous viding bags dishwashers safer?
Not all of them. But, you can opt for options like silicone sous vide bags from brands like Stasher.
For the sake of protecting your environment, it is always advisable to buy items that are eco-friendly. For this reason, our article has put it clear on the types of reusable bags for sous vide and how to reuse them. Sous vide cooking itself is environmentally safe since it needs less energy.