The 10 Best Reusable Silicone Food Bags
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in January of 2019. While single-use, Ziploc-style bags and plastic wrap are very convenient and commonly found in many kitchens, once they are thrown away, they accumulate in landfills. You can help protect the planet and save money in the long run by investing in a set of reusable silicone food bags. Many of these are leakproof and safe for freezers, microwaves, dishwashers, and boiling water. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 07, 2020:
The Stasher Silicone remains a popular and highly rated choice that comes in a wide range of sizes and designs, as well as fun colors that include both pastels and earth tones. This versatile selection comes in handy for bulk shoppers, those who use a pressure cooker or a food steamer, anyone who frequently has leftovers, and those who like to marinade meat. It won’t retain odors or flavors, making it good for use time and time again. Today we replaced several unavailable sets as well as some that were made of PEVA, and not silicone, with a number of versatile and useful selections. In addition to seven bags of varying sizes, the Home Hero Reusable comes with a V-shaped holder to help keep it open when you’re filling it, as well as a cleaning sponge. For another all-inclusive option, we also added the Jolie Storage Set which, in addition to seven bags, also brings you five reusable straws, a cleaning brush, and six stretchy lids that you can use to cover jars, bowls, cups, and so on.
For a three-pack that comes with sizes suitable for holding snacks, sandwiches, and more, we added the Tuilful Lake Blue, which feature pinch-lock closures that are sure to form tight seals and help keep your produce fresh. Each has a handy rotating one-week dial that allows you to indicate the day of the week you filled it with the food. They’re highly heat resistant and safe for the dishwasher and the microwave. Unlike many others, the newly added Jomarto 2 Pack are made with sturdy buckles that help you know for sure whether they’re sealed up correctly, and each has built-in loops on both sides that let you hang them on a hook for storage, if desired. Like the Homelux Upgraded, they can stand upright independently, making them useful for storing liquids. The Xomoo Storage also makes its way into the mix, and this versatile set is nice for storing everything from milk to fruit to crunchy snacks to sandwiches. They’re easy to clean, thanks to rounded interiors, and each one’s capacity is prominently labeled.
January 14, 2019:
Investigated options of varying sizes, including those appropriate for both food storage and cooking. Added the popular Stasher model; although these must be cleaned and dried carefully, they remain one of the most durable choices. Also selected the Chef Smarts Premium, which are useful for sous vide cooking, as well as the BeTasteful Storage Set, an alternative for anyone dipping a toe into the zero-waste lifestyle.
Silicone Lid You can reduce your use of plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and single-use plastic bags with this set of three BPA-free lids that come in eight-, 10- and 12-inch sizes. They’re great for anyone who already owns a sturdy set of bowls but is in need of lids, and can come in handy for storing and transporting food. They can also cover a pot while you’re cooking to prevent splatters and retain steam. They’re also safe for use in the microwave and the dishwasher. williams-sonoma.com
A Brief History Of Silicone
It isn’t likely to leach chemicals into your food, as with plastic, and it doesn’t react or smell.
Silicon — notice there’s no “e” — is a chemical element. You’ll find it under number 14 on the periodic table, and many other places, too, since it’s abundant in the earth’s crust and used to produce semiconductors for electronic devices. Not only that, but it's employed in making a synthetic polymer that is also easy to find: silicone.
This material, which can be liquid or solid, is used for many products, including bakeware, lubricants, breast implants, and much, much more. Most attribute its invention to an American chemist, James Franklin Hyde, who has been called the “Father of Silicones.” This was in the 1930s, and it didn’t take long for the material to find its way into consumer products, including a beloved childhood favorite, Silly Putty.
The first silicone kitchen products were introduced in the 1960s and started on the road to widespread consumer use in the 1980s and 1990s. Inventors and consumers alike appreciated its excellent heat-resistance, non-stick properties, and lightweight yet durable construction. All these benefits are highlighted in the silicone food bag, which went mainstream when Stasher inventor Kat Nouri pitched her nifty line of bags on the popular TV show Shark Tank in 2018.
With the ubiquity of silicone these days, you may find yourself wondering if turning your kitchen into a "silicone valley" is safe. According to both the FDA and the Canadian government, food-grade silicone is not harmful when used for food storage or cooking. It isn’t likely to leach chemicals into your food, as with plastic, and it doesn’t react or smell.
And even though a small number of critics have suggested that silicone can, indeed, leach chemicals, evidence has suggested that this only occurs under circumstances most users won’t experience, such as long-term storage of oily foods and at extremely high temperatures. This data is incomplete, however, and most signs point to the fact that silicone is a far better, safer alternative to plastic food storage options.
Silicone Versus Plastic
Fifty-eight million. That’s the estimated number of disposable zipper-type sandwich/freezer bags thrown away annually in America alone, with each family accounting for an average of 500. Considering the mountain of trash this equals, it’s easy to see why many eco-conscious consumers are switching to reusable silicone food bags. Instead of tossing them, you can use them over and over (and over and over) again, making these bags a simple, affordable way to combat plastic trash in your lunch box. But there are plenty of other benefits these storage bags offer that make them worth the switch, especially when compared to zipper-seal plastic bags.
But there are plenty of other benefits these storage bags offer that make them worth the switch, especially when compared to zipper-seal plastic bags.
One of the biggest advantages is general food storage, where they outshine boxy, bulky plastic containers as well as the aforementioned disposable bags. For one thing, they don’t take up as much space as these clunky nuisances, whether in your fridge, cabinets, or backpack, and for another, you can chow down confidently, since they don’t leach BPA and other harmful chemicals into your grub.
But they go one step beyond food storage and act as cooking aids, too. You can steam veggies in the microwave and even use them for sous vide. Try that with a disposable plastic bag, and you’ll have a melted, unappetizing mess. They’re perfectly safe for the freezer and some food prep; in fact, you could mix up some fresh salsa or guacamole in one of these handy bags, then throw it in your lunch box for a deliciously fresh snack with less mess.
Then, when you’re finished with them, cleanup is a breeze, since most pop right in the dishwasher. No dishwasher? You can wash them by hand, of course, and expect no sticky or oily residue left behind. This reusability saves you money, making a set of silicone food bags a win-win-win-win: convenience, health, budget, and the environment.
Ways To Fight Waste
Switching from single-use plastic bags to reusable silicone versions is one simple way to cut down harmful environmental impacts, but it’s not the only one. Nowadays, there are eco-friendly versions of a huge range of necessary items, from cotton swabs to drinking straws. Investing in these products is a great way to start an eco-friendly journey, but there are plenty of other ways you can be earth-conscious.
Investing in these products is a great way to start an eco-friendly journey, but there are plenty of other ways you can be earth-conscious.
Perhaps you could make a difference by composting, which is a sort of magic trick where you turn unappealing table scraps into nutrient-rich food for plants. This keeps organic matter, including both food and yard waste, out of landfills where it would otherwise produce methane, a gas that contributes to climate change. There are several methods to try, and you won’t even need a ton of room to get started, thanks to space-saving options like the Bokashi bucket. You can then use the composted product to grow yummy herbs and vegetables in your backyard or on a windowsill.
You might also consider visiting a zero-waste store or, if there are none in your area, buying products that have less packaging. For example, instead of selecting pre-cut veggies in a bag, buy fresh local produce and transport it home in reusable produce bags. Or, you might buy dried beans in bulk instead of grabbing cans of pre-cooked beans.
You’ll need to invest a little more time into preparing some of these options, but your effort will go toward reducing the estimated two billion tons of waste produced worldwide every year. And, luckily, there are plenty of handy reusable storage solutions and kitchen gadgets that make this easier, including meal prep containers, beeswax food wraps, and much, much more.
Finally, think about the resources you use on a day-to-day basis. You don’t have to live an ascetic or ultra-minimalist lifestyle, but even simple actions help. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, take public transportation when you can, and consider switching to energy-saving appliances and lightbulbs. Every little bit helps to reduce your carbon footprint.