The freezer is the best place to store perishable food for long periods of time. A freezer bag is the best way to do it. The best freezer bags are made of thick plastic and close securely to preserve both cooked and raw foods and protect them from freezer burn.
Disposable bags, like those from Hefty and Ziploc, are mainstays in the freezer bag market. However, reusable silicone and PEVA bags that save money and the environment are becoming increasingly popular, too.
In this guide are factors you should consider when shopping for the best freezer bags. A list of the best freezer bags on the market will follow.
- BEST OVERALL: Stasher 100% Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Xomoo Reusable food container silicone bag
- BEST LARGE: EcoDoor 2 Gallon size reusable freezer storage bags
- BEST DISPOSABLE: Ziploc Freezer Bags with New Grip ‘n Seal Technology
- BEST LARGE DISPOSABLE: Hefty Slider Freezer Storage Bags, Gallon Size
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Freezer Bags
Ahead, learn about the factors you should consider when selecting a freezer bag, including material, capacity, and closing mechanism.
- Silicone: This sturdy, rubber-like material has added to the increasing popularity of reusable freezer bags in recent years. Silicone freezer bags are dishwasher safe, resist odors, and don’t easily stain. Silicone can also withstand high heat in the microwave, the oven, or in a pot of boiling water, so you can freeze, thaw, and cook in the same container.
- PEVA: Polyethylene vinyl acetate (PEVA), a common material in shower curtains, is a nontoxic version of PVC. PEVA is stiffer than silicone or disposable plastic bags. Like silicone, it’s relatively stain- and odor-resistant, too, but it’s harder to clean than silicone. PEVA can’t go in the dishwasher; it needs to be hand washed in soapy water.
- Polyethylene: Most disposable freezer bags contain polyethylene. This nontoxic plastic protects foods against freezer burn quite well. While polyethylene is reusable, the seams and closing mechanism won’t hold up to repeated freezing, thawing, and washing. Polyethylene is also more stain-prone and may retain food odors.
The best freezer bags are thicker and therefore more expensive than sandwich bags. That’s one good reason to reuse them whenever possible. Single-use bags are also no friend of the planet. Americans throw away an estimated 4 million freezer bags every year. Reusable freezer bags contain either PEVA or silicone, both of which can stand up to repeated washing and reuse.
Size and Capacity
Disposable freezer bags generally come in large sizes, including quart, gallon, and 2-gallon sizes. These allow for freezing and storing meat and large quantities of food. Reusable freezer bags come in a wide range of sizes, including small 25-ounce sandwich bags and even tiny 4-ounce snack bags as well as larger 1- and 2-gallon bags.
Some freezer bags have expandable bottoms. These bags can stand upright while you load them with soups, marinades, or other liquids.
Freezer bags close in several different ways. Ziploc has a double-press zipper that uses colors to indicate when it’s closed. Hefty uses a slide zipper lock system. Ziploc’s color system shows you when the bag is sealed–red and blue make purple–and is easy to pull open with a large tab. Hefty’s zipper-lock system gives the reassurance of a manual zipper that clicks into a closed position.
Silicone and PEVA reusable freezer bags have a leak-resistant, pinch-lock seal.
Freezer bags don’t stack as well as rigid containers do, so consider which bag will store best in your freezer. Freezer bags with expandable bottoms may stand up in your freezer, which can make storage more efficient.
Our Top Picks
The best freezer bags include a mix of reusable and disposable bags. Some come from companies that have been making freezer bags for decades, while others are up-and-comers in the reusable storage bag market.
Stasher silicone storage bags feature an airtight pinch-lock seal that’s strong enough to store soups, marinades, and sauces without leaks. They can withstand extreme temperatures on both the high and low end of the spectrum, which means they are safe to toss in the microwave, a pot of boiling water, and the dishwasher.
Stasher bags come in five sizes from 4 ounces to ½ gallon. Three sizes come in stand-up models. They are available in 14 food-inspired colors that include blueberry, citrus, raspberry, and lime.
The Xomoo set offers an affordable way to make the switch to reusable freezer bags. This set includes an 8-ounce snack bag, 20-ounce and 40-ounce dish shapes, 21-ounce and 33-ounce cup shapes, and a 25-ounce sandwich bag.
The silicone can withstand the oven, microwave, stovetop, freezer, and dishwasher. Each bag features an expandable flat bottom so they stand upright and are easy to fill, store, and clean. With double-zipper sealing technology that creates a tight closure, these freezer bags are suitable for liquids and solids.
These reusable 2-gallon PEVA freezer bags are large enough to store big steaks, whole fish, and other large quantities of food. They seal easily with a zipper closure that creates a water-tight seal. Soups, sauces, and marinades are safe in these freezer bags. At 0.5 millimeters thick, they provide a thick barrier against freezer burn.
These PEVA freezer bags are less expensive than silicone bags but lack their versatility and easy maintenance. They can’t go in the microwave or the dishwasher. They’re not suitable for hot food, either. This set comes with four bags: two green and two pink.
Ziploc improves its time-honored “yellow and blue make green” technology with this new line of freezer bags. These updated versions of the Ziploc bag add Grip ‘n Seal technology, which makes it easier to open and close the bag properly using its classic double-zipper closure. These updated freezer bags include extended tabs that make the enclosure easier to manipulate with wet hands.
At 2.7 millimeters, these freezer bags are among the best options for preventing freezer burn. These quart-size bags are the right size for freezing meat, fruits, or vegetables. They are also microwave safe. Ziploc’s 1-quart freezer bags come in packs of 30. This is a set of four packs that includes 120 bags.
Hefty 1-gallon freezer bags are great for large quantities of food or big cuts of meat. These bags feature thick plastic to protect against freezer burn and Hefty’s slide closure system. The slider clicks when the bag is closed. These large bags also feature a convenient expandable bottom so they stand upright for easier filling and storage. The 1-gallon storage bags come in packages of 56.
FAQs About Freezer Bags
Ahead are some of the most common questions about using freezer bags, including safety and reusability, and the answers to those questions.
Q. Are freezer bags safe?
Reusable freezer bags use silicone or PEVA, while disposable bags use polyethylene, all of which are nontoxic. Both disposable and reusable freezer bags are BPA-free, so you can rest assured that you are only eating what you are freezing and not chemicals from the plastic.
Q. Can you put meat in freezer bags?
Not only is it safe to put meat in freezer bags, but they also offer one of the best ways to preserve meat until you’re ready to cook it. That said, meat will only last a couple of months in the freezer, so be sure to mark it with a date when it goes into the freezer.
Q. Are freezer bags reusable?
Disposable freezer bags are reusable for a few uses. Hand-wash and air dry them between uses.
Q. How do you clean reusable freezer bags?
For dishwasher-safe reusable freezer bags, place them on the upper rack inverted with the bag’s mouth as wide open as possible. For bags that are not dishwasher safe, rinse the inside with hot water and use a small brush to remove food particles trapped in the corners or seams.