When you put your leftovers in a vacuum seal bag, you extract air and moisture from the food for better storage and extended fridge time. Although you cannot cook raw food in these bags, it is quite easy to reheat pre-cooked food.
You can reheat cooked food, such as leftovers in vacuum bags or foodsaver bags, by microwaving them or putting them on the stove.
But there are some important do’s and don’ts to reheat your vacuum sealed food safely and get the best results. Read on for our detailed instructions.
Reheating Vacuum Sealed Food in the Microwave
Popping your leftovers in the microwave is by far the best way to reheat food. When reheating vacuum-sealed bags, it is advised to do so with caution to avoid tainting the food’s aroma/taste or melting the plastic.
But there are some dos and don’ts on how to reheat vacuum sealed food safely for maximum results.
The following steps will help you reheat vacuum-sealed food safely in the microwave, in a way that maintains its flavor and physical appearance:
- Take the bag out from the fridge 5 minutes before you wish to reheat it. Cut off one of the corners when putting it in the microwave, as it lets out the steam during the reheating process.
- The bag should be put in the microwave on its flat side. Set the timer and function according to the food you are reheating.
- You can begin reheating for 2 to 4 minutes and check the food after each minute. If you want it more heated, microwave it again. Make sure you don’t recook your leftovers!
If you want to reheat other foods such as chili or soups, you will have to remove the bag and use the microwave function on low until the ice crystals melt. When it can be easily stirred, you can cook it on high until the chili is heated through. The internal temperature of your bowl should be 160 degrees F.
Reheating Vacuum Sealed Food on the Stove
Foods such as chicken, pasta, and pork are better reheated on the stove. These vacuum-sealed dishes should be put to simmer in a pot of water. The bag should never touch the bottom of the pot, and the corners should not be cut when using this method. Otherwise your food will turn into a watery mess!
How to properly use the stove to reheat your foodsaver meal:
- Use a pot that is big enough to fit your bag of food. Fill this pot with water about halfway or until it covers the bag.
- Put the pot on the stove and heat the water until it simmers. Do not boil the water as it may melt the plastic.
- When the water starts simmering, place your bag in the pot and wait a few minutes. Do not increase the heat of the stove.
- You can check your meal after 15 minutes to see if there are any cold spots.
When reheating your cryovac meals, you should not reheat at a higher temperature than what you would cook. You can reheat using the warm function if you use a crockpot or a ninja oven. Don’t forget seasoning!
How to Reheat Foodsaver Frozen Food
In this day and age, where container storage is being retired, the foodsaver bag method is a common go-to practice. Most individuals place pre-cooked, raw meals or food items in foodsaver bags and toss them in the freezer for easy storage.
While this is easy to do, you have to thaw and reheat it properly in order to maintain its taste and quality. Pre-cooked foods high in moisture and containing dairy or egg items should be left in the refrigerator before reheating.
However, if you do not have time to thaw your leftovers, that’s okay! You can simply reheat at a higher temperature. To reheat frozen food straight from the freezer, you must remove it from the plastic bag and then bake at 300 to 350 degrees F for double the original cooking time.
This can also be done with veggies, such as broccoli kept frozen in a vacuum-sealed bag. When using the microwave on high heat, it is best to constantly check the temperature or physical appearance of the food in short intervals.
When opening reheated foodsaver bags, always wear mitts as steam can build up and cause burns. Air-tight bags, correct temperatures, and smart reheating will always ensure your leftovers still taste like freshly cooked foods. Perfect for picky eaters and no more food waste!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long would it take to reheat my food from the vacuum-sealed bag?
How long it takes to completely reheat your leftovers will depend on how long you had it in the fridge, the amount and type of food. However, it would usually take 15 to 20 minutes.
Can I put my vac seal bags in the oven?
Not all vacuum seal bags can be used in the oven, as some can melt at typical oven temperatures. However, there are oven-safe vacuum bags, such as cryovac available.
Should I be concerned if my meat turns brown in the bag?
The interior of your meat may turn a brownish color due to the lack of oxygen in the bag. It is still safe to eat and does not indicate spoilage.
How long does vacuum sealed food last?
If you vacuum-seal your meals and put them straight in the fridge, your food can last up to a few months to years (using a deep freezer).