The Ziploc bag is among the most available product in the kitchen. Most people use the bags to store food in fridges and freezers.
The best thing about these bags is that they are reusable as they are made from a strong material.
Apart from storing food in the freezer, some people have experimented with boiling food in Ziploc bags, which has attracted different reactions.
It worked for some people, and it didn’t work for others.
The real question is not whether it works or not…
…but is it safe to boil food in a Ziploc bag?
3 Dangers of Boiling Food in a Ziploc Bag
While it is an interesting and quick method to warm your food and liquids, you need to be warned of the risks. In this section, I will explore the risks you may face when boiling food in a Ziploc bag.
1. The Bag is at Risk of Melting
Ziploc bags come in different quality materials. Some are made from thinner plastic than others, which is a huge consideration when boiling your food.
If the plastic is too thin, it may melt and contaminate your food. Some have a softening point of 150 degrees, while others are at 195 degrees.
Before putting in the bag to boil your food, you should consider the softening point and the risk of melting.
2. It May Cause Chemical Leaching
What happens when you boil plastic?
There is a likelihood of chemicals (from the plastic bag) leaching into the food being prepared.
This comes as a result of exposing the temperature to very high temperatures.
Usually, polycarbonate plastics give off Bisphenol A (BPA – see BPA free steamers), and this could adversely affect you in the future.
Bags with polyethylene do not leach the chemical and are a little safer for human usage. In most cases, the cheap bags will release the BPA and are not safe.
Nevertheless, while the other bags do not emit BPA, they will release non-BPA chemicals, exposing you to a huge risk. You must first check the manufacturer’s labels to determine their suitability; don’t risk.
3. You Risk Burning the Bag
Boiling water in a bag causes bubbles to form.
This, in turn, could burst the bag open, and this may burn the items around as the temperatures are high.
Your hands and face could suffer huge burns, and this can be detrimental in the long run.
Adding spices and salt into the food may distort the boiling point and cause an eruption of the bubbles.
Besides bursting open, the bag may also ignite and cause a fire.
How to safely use Ziploc bags to boil food
The air in the Ziploc bags also plays a huge role in influencing the risks.
In this last segment, we will quickly cover how to get rid of the air (using the water displacement method) from a Ziploc bag before boiling your foods…
• Fill a big bowl with water
• Fill your Ziploc bag with the ingredients( leave at least 2.5cm from the opening empty)
• Close the zip close to the edge
• Put the bag in water and watch as the pressure from the water forces the air out
• Zip the bag before removing it from the water
Is It Safe To Boil Food In A Ziploc Bag?
While all these risks are involved, your best bet lies in finding high-quality bags, those that can withstand the temperatures and are FDA approved.
So, yes high quality FDA approved bags are typically safe and will not cause any detrimental effects.