Most of us are not only familiar with Ziploc bags, but they’re also a very important part of our daily food-storage supplies. They’re also very convenient and user-friendly. Not to mention, if you rewash and reuse them right, they can be a lot more eco-friendly in your kitchen.
But Ziploc is only completely convenient when we can freeze and reheat food in the same bags, without having to bother with the hassle of transferring it to a microwave-safe container. The question remains, can you microwave your Ziploc bags?
What Are Ziploc Bags Made Up Of?
The Ziploc brand bags are made with high-quality, recyclable LDPE (Polyethylene Low-Density) plastic. They are BPA-free and therefore safe for food storage. This type of plastic is also dioxin-free, chlorine-free, and as such does not pose any health risks.
BPA (or Bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical that is used in making plastic containers and other types of plastics. Plastic containing BPA, when exposed to heat, leaches the toxic plastic compounds in the food. This can be severely harmful to our well-being and health. It is therefore advised to make sure your freezer/Ziploc bag is BPA and toxin-free.
Note: While we’re talking about BPA, remember to always buy BPA -free plastics. Whether it’s your water bottles, lunch boxes, or storage bowls, look for non-toxic and chemical-free plastics.
Ziploc bags are often microwave safe. But there’s a little more you need to know before you attempt to microwave it. Keep reading to find out.
Can You Microwave Ziploc Bags
The short answer? Yes. However, it depends on the temperature of the microwave, the quality of your Ziploc bags, and the food you’re reheating.
Low-quality storage bags put you at risk of bursting inside the microwave or melting and leaching into the food. These storage bags should be avoided when it comes to using them in the microwave. Use Ziploc, or other well-known brand plastic bags, to ensure good quality products. It is also advised to not heat your plastic bags at very high temperatures.
Should you choose to microwave your Ziploc bag, keep these things in mind:
- Do not completely close the bag when placing it in the microwave. Leave a little gap for the steam to escape.
- It is safe to microwave them. However, it is not safe to cook food using Ziploc bags in your microwave ovens.
- Food in Ziploc bags tends to get very hot very fast. Be careful not to overcook it, and do not expose it to high heat. Use oven mitts or a paper towel when handling them.
- High-fat foods require a higher temperature to reheat food and therefore should not be microwaved in Ziploc bags.
- If you’re going to use Ziploc bags for reheating liquids like spaghetti sauce, marinades, soups, or gravy, place your bags in a microwave-safe dish before popping it in the microwave. This will avoid any spillage.
- As a rule, do not microwave your Ziploc bags for more than 5-6 minutes.
To understand how the microwave affects your Ziploc/plastic bag, you can refer to this video.
Is It Safe To Microwave Ziploc Bags?
Polyethylene plastic (both high and low density) is generally considered safe for food contact. The freezer bag you will find in the market is also made with polyethylene plastic. These types of bags are usually made keeping in mind the guidelines provided by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of United States). They are therefore safe to use.
Microwaving food in a Ziploc bag can be very convenient. And the good news is that it is also completely safe! These bags meet the safety requirements of the Food and Drug Administration FDA and can be used in a multifunctional way.
Should You Microwave Ziploc Bags?
Yes, we know that it is safe. But is it advised?
Well, it depends. Some people are strongly against microwaving Ziploc bags. They think it’s dangerous and do not think it’s a risk worth taking.
On the other hand, others have been reheating the food in them for ages now. After all, the official brand website does claim that they are BPA and chemical-free. Ziploc brand advertises their freezer bags, sandwich bags, bread bags, containers, and other brand products as being microwave safe.
Whether reheating food in a Ziploc bag sounds like a good idea or not is a completely personal choice. You can always try your hand at it and then decide. Remember to keep in mind the safety requirements, and have a close look at your microwave’s user manual to adjust the temperature accordingly!
How Long Can You Microwave Ziploc Bags For?
If you’re looking to defrost your frozen food in the Ziploc bag, you don’t really have to worry about the time. Since a microwave uses its lowest temperature setting when on the defrost mode, you do not run any risks when microwaving your Ziploc bag to defrost it. Not to mention that microwaving them for defrosting provide a means to speeding up the process.
However, if you want to reheat food that is at room temperature, and make it nice and warm, you might want to adhere to a certain time limit. The time will also depend on the heating requirements of your food, and the temperature settings of your microwave.
Do not let the time exceed 8-10 minutes. After this time, your Ziploc freezer bag will begin to melt and slightly lose its texture. It will also become too hot to handle with bare hands.
You may also like: Can You Microwave Glass
Can You Microwave Ziploc Brand Containers?
The Ziploc brand has a specifically designed program to provide its customers with microwave-safe and freezer-friendly bag packets and containers. These containers usually stand up well under freezer temperatures and high heat. If you’re looking to microwave food in them, read the label directions while buying and look for high-quality containers.
One important thing to remember is that you cannot cook in the Ziploc container while in the microwave. Ziploc containers are only meant for reheating food. Exceeding the suggested time limit may put you at risk of unknowingly ingesting harmful chemicals from the plastic. So although they might claim to be microwave-safe, it is better to err on the side of caution.
Additionally, these types of plastic containers do not contain chemicals like BPA, thus reducing the risk of consumption.
Is boiling a Ziploc bag safe?
It is strongly recommended to avoid exposing the Ziploc freezer bags to extremely hot temperatures. The boiling point of water is so high that it will soften the plastic bag and risk melting it.
Can you microwave a Ziploc sandwich bag?
Sandwich bags, or even bread bags, are safe for microwave use if the packaging specifically states it. Ziploc bags are microwave safe, and you can reheat them.
Can you put a Ziploc bag in a water bath?
Yes, you can. But to be on the safer side, use a double layer of Ziploc bag and do not let the temperature exceed 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can you microwave freezer bag/container?
Yes, as long as the freezer bags are BPA-free, you should be able to use them to heat food in the microwave. Ziploc has a specific program designed to provide customers with convenience and ease in their products.
Whether or not you can microwave food in your Ziploc container/bag depends on the quality of the plastic they’re made of and the food you’re planning to reheat. If done right, it is extremely easy and convenient. Ziploc bags are safe, and I can certainly see them as a viable option for when you’re in a hurry!
However, I personally find transferring your food to a glass/ceramic container is far better and easier when you think of the constant attention and patience a Ziploc bag demands in the microwave. In the end, it’s all about what suits you and your needs. If you think Ziploc bags are the best option for you, by all means, go ahead!
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two kids and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen game plan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.