I never miss vacuum sealed bags in my kitchen; they are perfect for storing leftover meals.
My meals have a prolonged shelf life with vacuum sealed bags, and I am always sure the food will still be in perfect condition the next time I want to serve.
However, is it possible to microwave the stored meals while still parked in vacuum sealed bags?
Can you microwave vacuum sealed bags?
Yes, you can microwave a vacuum sealed bag, but only if the bag is microwavable. Not all sealed bags can be microwaved; others contain BPA, Phthalates, and Plasticizers, which could be extremely harmful when consumed. Again, those vacuum sealed bags that can be microwaved are only limited to reheating meals and not cooking.
This article explains the possibility of microwaving Vacuum Sealed Bags. It also speaks on How to Check if a Vacuum Sealed Bag Is Microwaveable, How to Microwave Vacuum Sealed Food, What Happens When You Microwave a Non-Microwavable Vacuum Sealed Bag and others.
How to Identify a Microwave Safe Vacuum Sealed Bag
I use three ways to identify a microwave safe vacuum sealed bag. They include: looking for a microwave-safe symbol, identifying a BPA-free symbol, or calling the manufacturers.
A microwavable sealed bag should have a microwave-safe symbol on the side. A microwave-safe symbol is a picture of a microwave with wavy lines.
If not, the bag should have a BPA-free symbol. A BPA-free symbol indicates that the vacuum sealed bag has no manufacturing chemicals that can leach into the meal when you microwave the bag.
Also, if the vacuum sealed bag does not have any symbols mentioned, you could consider calling the manufacturer for clarification.
Suppose all the mentioned efforts to identify whether your vacuum sealed bag is microwave safe or not fail; it is safe to let your meal thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave in the morning. You could also transfer the meal to a microwave-safe plate and thaw it in the microwave before reheating.
How to Microwave Vacuum Sealed Food
Remove the vacuum sealed bag from the fridge. Cut the edges, place it on a microwavable plate, and microwave your meal.
Below is a step-to-step procedure for microwaving vacuum sealed food.
- Vacuum sealed food
- A microwavable plate
- scissors or a sharp knife
1. Remove the vacuum sealed food from the fridge
Suppose your vacuum sealed food had been stored in the freezer; it is best to ensure the food has been thawed first before microwaving. Remember, you cannot microwave food in a vacuum sealed bag for longer than a minute. When you microwave a vacuum sealed bag for longer than a minute, it may begin to melt.
You could thaw your food in the fridge overnight, place it on the kitchen counter for a few hours before microwaving, or simply remove the food from the bag, place it on a microwavable bowl, thaw it in the microwave, and heat it.
2. Ensure the bag is microwave safe
Before placing the vacuum sealed bag in the microwave, look for either a microwave-safe symbol or a BPA-free symbol.
3. Chop the edges of the vacuum sealed bags
Use a pair of scissors to chop off the edges of the vacuum sealed bag or a sharp knife to pierce through the bag. The cut edges will allow the steam from the bag to escape as you microwave your meal.
Microwaving the vacuum-sealed bag without chopping off the edges or piecing through it might cause it to burst due to the formation of steam pressure coming from within the bag.
4. Place the Vacuum Sealed Food on a microwavable plate
A microwavable plate is perfect, as the meal may begin to produce some juices that might flow from the bag as you heat it. You wouldn’t want the juices to stain the surface of the microwave; it’s better if they flow to the plate instead.
5. Microwave the Vacuum Sealed Food
Ensure to microwave the food for at least 30 seconds. Do not microwave vacuum sealed food for longer than a minute. The bag might not be strong enough to handle microwave heat for that long.
It could begin to melt. It will also help if you microwave the vacuum sealed food at low power; that way, you may microwave it for longer without damaging the bag too fast.
Things to Keep in Mind when Microwaving Vacuum Sealed Bags
Among the things you might want to look out for when microwaving a vacuum sealed bag are the usage instructions, metal trimmings on the bag, puncturing the bag before using it, and microwaving the bag at low power.
Below is a detailed explanation of why the mentioned items should be kept in mind.
It is important to read the usage instructions of your vacuum sealed bag. The usage instructions also explain whether the bag is microwave safe or not. It also contains details like how long the bag should be microwaved and at what temperature.
Check for metal trimmings
It is important to ensure that your vacuum seal bag has no traces of metal trimmings either on the opening or the sides. Metals are not supposed to be placed in the microwave; they react with microwaves and might ignite.
Puncture some holes or chop off the edges of the vacuum sealed bag
Punctured sealed bags allow the escape of steam and moisture from the bag while microwaving. Without the punctures, the moisture begins to form pressure that will see the sealed bag explode in the microwave.
Microwave the vacuum sealed food on a low setting
If possible, adjust the microwaving power to low; that way, you may microwave the vacuum sealed food for longer without damaging the texture of the vacuum sealed bag with the high heat temperatures.
Can You Microwave Vacuum Sealed Vegetables in a Vacuum sealed bag
Yes, you can microwave vacuum sealed vegetables as long as the vegetables do not need to be microwaved for longer than a minute.
As we have already observed, there are vacuum sealed bags that can be microwaved; however, that does not mean that the heat from the microwave cannot damage the bags. They begin to melt when exposed to too much heat for more than a minute. Therefore, ensure that your vegetables do not need to be microwaved for longer.
If the vegetables need more microwaving time, it is wise to place them on a microwavable plate or bowl and microwave your vegetables however long you want without fear of damaging the container.
What Happens When You Microwave a Non-Microwavable Vacuum Sealed Bag
Two things might happen when you put a non-microwavable vacuum sealed bag in the microwave. It may melt and leach chemicals into your food or burst into flame.
Below is a detailed explanation
The non-microwavable vacuum sealed bag will melt
The heat in the microwave needs tough material that cannot melt when exposed. There are occasions even when those microwavable vacuum sealed bags reach a breaking point in the microwave, Especially when they have been exposed to the heat for too long.
When the bag melts, it leaches its plastic contents into the food in the bag, which may lead to serious health issues for you. Some health issues linked to consuming plastic melted material include cancer, fertility issues, and congenital disabilities.
The non-microwavable vacuum sealed bag may burst into flames
Bursting in flames often happens when the vacuum sealed bag has some metal traces. When metal is exposed to microwaves, the two react and eventually burst into flames. The bursting into flames will cause a mess in the microwave, causing smoke and possibly damaging the microwave.
What Benefits are Linked to Microwaving Vacuum Sealed Foods
The main benefits of microwaving food in their vacuum sealed bags are that it makes work easier, and the food is always fresh.
Those who have to removed their food from the fridge looked for a microwavable plate, scooped the food to the plate to microwave, know just how easy it is to remove a vacuum sealed bag from the fridge, poke some holes into it and throw it in the microwave is. The process just seems easy.
Secondly, the food stored in a vacuum sealed bag is always fresh and can survive longer than the food stored in a container. This is because the vacuum sealed bag has no air or moisture that will contribute to the damage and spoiling of the food.
Can you Thaw Your Frozen Food in a Vacuum Sealed Bag
Yes, you can thaw your frozen food in a vacuum sealed bag; however, it depends on the thawing method and the temperature levels involved. Three methods to thaw frozen food are refrigeration, leaving the food at room temperature, and defrosting.
Refrigeration is when you transfer the frozen food from the freezer to the fridge. You leave the frozen food on the shelf of the fridge overnight, and the following morning the food will be fully thawed. You do not need to remove the vacuum sealed bag for this thawing method.
Leaving your food at room temperature
Place the frozen food on the kitchen counter, not directly in the sunlight. Allow the food to stay at room temperature for almost three hours. It will be fully thawed, even without removing it from its vacuum sealed bag.
Defrosting is when you use your microwave to thaw the food. However, it only works if your microwave has a defrosting option. You can defrost your food in the vacuum sealed bag only if the food is fully thawed within a minute. It is advisable to abstain from microwaving a vacuum sealed bag for longer than a minute.
Can You Cook with a Vacuum Sealed Bag in a Microwave
No, you can not cook in a microwave with a vacuum sealed bag. Cooking might take longer than just a minute. It is only advisable to microwave vacuum sealed food for only a minute.
You can only microwave a vacuum sealed meal when you want to reheat it. Even though the bag might be microwave safe, it can be compromised when placed in the microwave for too long. It will begin to soften, melt and eventually leach chemical substances into your food, making it harmful for your consumption.
Faqs On Can You Microwave Vacuum Sealed Bags
1. Can I defrost vacuum sealed bags in microwave?
Yes, you can defrost vacuum sealed bags in the microwave; however, ensure the bags do not microwave for longer than a minute. They can be compromised even when proven to be microwave safe. If your meal needs more than a minute to thaw, transfer it to a microwavable bowl and defrost it for as long as it needs.
2. Will vacuum seal bags melt in boiling water?
A vacuum seal bag will only melt in water if it reaches a certain boiling point. If the bag is in hot water boiling at 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C, it will definitely begin to melt. However, if you keep the water temperature below the mentioned temperature, then the bag will remain intact in the water.
3. Do vacuum seal bags melt?
Yes, they do melt. They melt when exposed to microwave heat for longer than a minute. They also melt when the bags have been placed in boiling water that is boiling beyond 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C.
4. Are vacuum seal bags heat resistant?
Vacuum seal bags are only heat resistant when exposed to heat that is less than 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C. when exposed to higher heat temperatures, they begin to melt.
5. How do you reheat vacuum sealed meat?
The best way to reheat vacuum sealed meat is to chop off the edges of the vacuum sealed bag and microwave it for less than a minute at low microwaving power. However, if the meat needs to be microwaved for longer than a minute, the safest method is to transfer it to a microwavable plate before microwaving.
Yes, you can microwave Vacuum Sealed Bags; however, the heat should be regulated, and they should not be microwaved for longer than a minute.
There is a possibility of microwave-safe vacuum-sealed bags being compromised when exposed to microwave heat for too long.
Therefore, always ensure that your meal does not need to be microwaved for longer; if it does, it is better to be microwaved in a separate microwavable bowl.
Check out this video