Boiling ziploc bags has become popular these days when you want to make a quick meal. The main benefit of boiling food in Ziploc bags is that there is no clean-up needed after cooking.
Ziploc bags are popular because of their wide use in the kitchen. There is a lot of debate, though, on whether they can be safely used for boiling.
What are Ziploc Bags Made of?
Ziploc bags are made from different materials - plastics, dyes, and inks. The ingredients vary between different products, especially when comparing storage Ziploc bags and freezer-type Ziploc bags.
- Polyethylene-Linear low density
- Polyethylene-Low density
- Polyethylene- High Density
These are the important materials freezer Ziploc bags are made of to ensure they can be used for boiling.
Can you Boil in a Ziploc Bag?
The better question should be - what plastic bags are safe for boiling? The safest plastic bags for boiling are those made of low-density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, and polypropylene. These are what Ziploc bags are made of.
Ziploc bags can withstand heat up to 195 degrees. Above this temperature, they will melt. Polyethylene plastic, the material these bags are made of will start to melt above 195°F.
The boiling point of water is 212°F, so if you pour boiling water into the bag or put it in boiling water, it will melt. If you are heating food inside a Ziploc bag, heat it below its softening point.
At 195°F and above, the Ziploc bag will fail, your food will get ruined together with the plastic, and along with all the plastic's chemicals.
If you are heating food close to the softening temperature, the heat can make the Ziploc bag open up allowing water into your food. It is recommended that you use two Ziploc bags to protect your food should the bag with your food open up.
Chemicals that can leach out of heating plastic are a huge concern. Bisphenol A. (BPA) is the most worrisome chemical in the plastic. Experts assert that BPA contains synthetic estrogen which can disrupt the natural hormone balance of your body, thus making it harmful to your body.
Ziploc bags are BPA-free. The materials these bags are made of are listed on the packaging. Avoid using bags that are made with polyvinyl chloride (PVC), instead go with bags that are made using low and high-density polyethylene and polypropylene.
These bags are safe for boiling as long as you follow the correct cooking temperatures.
When boiled, Bisphenol A (BPA) can leach out from plastic bags made from Polycarbonate plastic because of the high temperature. It is best to stick with plastic bags, such as Ziploc bags, made from high-density polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and polypropylene, because they will not leach Bisphenol A (BPA).
How to Boil Food in a Ziploc Bag
Some people may find it crazy but boiling ziploc bags can safely prepare simple meals in boiling water.
The process of boiling food in a Ziploc bag is simple. It allows you to have a quick meal minus the clean-up after. There is quite a lot of food you can cook in this manner.
- Fill a cook pot with water and allow it to boil.
- Place eggs into a Ziploc bag.
- Press out as much of the air as possible.
- Seal the bag.
- Squeeze or shake the bag to beat the eggs.
- Open the Ziploc bag and place your add-ins (e.g.ham, cheese, green pepper, onion, tomato, mushrooms, salsa.
- Seal the bag.
- Carefully place the Ziploc bag into the pot with boiling water.
- Allow your omelet to cook. It should be done when the omelet takes shape in the bag.
- Carefully remove the Ziploc bag from the pot. Use a tong to grab the top of the Ziploc. Be careful not to puncture the bag.
- Cut the bag open with scissors and pour your omelet into a plate.
Place two eggs in a Ziploc bag and boil the bag for 13 minutes.
You can boil chicken in a Ziploc bag, well poach actually.
- Boil water in a cooking pot.
- Place chicken breast (butterfried) in a Ziploc bag.
- Submerge Ziploc bag with chicken breast into the water.
- The chicken will cook, if it is thin, in about 5 or 10 minutes.
Make sure water in the pot is not 195°F or over.
It is safe to boil Ziploc bags as long as they are made from polyethylene and do contain harmful chemicals such as Dioxin or Bisphenol A (BPA) which can leach out when water reaches boiling temperature.
Ziploc bags made with these materials are FDA-approved, so you have the peace of mind that they are safe for boiling.
Remember boiling ziploc bags should not be done in temperatures 1950F or above because they may melt.
Have you tried boiling in Ziploc bags? Share with us some of your experiences in the comments section.