Can You Microwave Vacuum Sealed Bags? The Answer

Categorized as Microwave Safety
microwave vacuum sealed bags

You’ve just finished a delicious meal, but there are still leftovers. And what’s the best way to reheat those leftovers? In the microwave, of course. But then you remember that your food is sealed in a vacuum bag.

Can you microwave vacuum sealed bags? Surely there must be a way, but you don’t want to risk ruining your food or damaging your microwave. Let’s take a closer look at whether or not you can microwave vacuum-sealed bags.

Can You Microwave Vacuum Sealed Bags?

Most vacuum-sealed bags can be microwaved, but not all of them are created equal. Some materials are not microwave safe and can leach chemicals into food.

If you’re unsure about whether or not your bag is microwave safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not microwave it. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or visit their website for more information.

Although some manufacturers say you can use their bags for cooking, most chefs seem to agree that vacuum-sealed bags should only be used to reheat food in the microwave and not to cook food from scratch.

If you want to cook raw foods using vacuum-sealed bags, it’s best to use the sous vide cooking method than to try and cook the food in the microwave.

The former will ensure that the food is cooked evenly and safely, while the latter could result in uneven cooking and potentially dangerous hot spots, particularly if the food is too thick such as a steak.

Also, if your food is very oily, it’s not a good idea to cook it in a vacuum-sealed bag in the microwave, as the oil can get hot very quickly and cause the bag to melt.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when microwaving vacuum-sealed bags:

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if the bag is microwave safe.
  • Be sure the bag does not have any metal trimmed or stitched into it.
  • Do not microwave the bag if it has been damaged in any way.
  • Puncture a few small holes in the bag to allow steam to escape.
  • Microwave the food on a low setting.

What Are the Risks of Microwaving Non-Microwave-Safe Bags?

To illustrate the importance of only microwaving bags that are safe to put in the microwave, consider what happens when you use a non-microwave-safe bag.

One risk is that the bag may leach chemicals into the food, increasing your risk of health problems. Some of the risks associated with consuming chemically-tainted food include cancer, fertility issues, and birth defects.

Another risk is that the bag may catch on fire. If this happens, you’ll have to deal with the mess, the smoke, and the possible damage to your microwave. Not to mention, you could put yourself and others in danger if the fire gets out of control.

How To Check if a Vacuum Sealed Bag Is Microwaveable and Safe

The easiest way to check is to look for a microwave-safe symbol on the bag. If the bag doesn’t have that symbol, it’s best to err on the side of caution and choose another method of cooking.

This symbol is usually a small picture of a microwave with wavy lines above it. If you see this symbol on a bag, it means the material has been tested and approved for microwave use.

You should also look for a BPA-free symbol. BPA is a chemical that can leach into food during the cooking process, so it’s best to avoid using any containers that contain it.

How To Microwave Foods Using Vacuum Sealed Bags

To use a vacuum-sealed bag in the microwave, simply remove the bag from the freezer and place it in the microwave. Cut a small slit in the corner to allow steam to escape and microwave the food on a low setting.

It is recommended that you cook the food for no more than 10 minutes to keep the bag from over-heating. Once the food is cooked, carefully remove the bag from the microwave and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

If you’re not sure how long to heat the food, it’s best to err on the side of caution and cook it for a shorter amount of time. You can always put the food back in the microwave for a few more minutes if it’s not heated through.

What Is the Benefit of Using Vacuum Sealed Bags To Cook In The Microwave?

One of the greatest benefits of using vacuum-sealed bags is that they allow you to take them from the freezer or fridge and cook them right away in the bag. This is extremely convenient as you don’t have to prepare another dish.

Another benefit is that the bags preserve the quality of the food better than if you store it in other containers. This is because the bags prevent oxygen and moisture from damaging or spoiling the food.

This means that your food will taste fresher and last longer when you store it in a vacuum-sealed bag.

Why Are Some Other Uses for Vacuum Sealed Bags?

Aside from cooking, vacuum-sealed bags can be used for a variety of other purposes. Here’re a few other ways you can use them:

  • For storing food: Vacuum-sealed bags are great for storing food in the fridge or freezer. They keep food fresh and prevent freezer burn.
  • For storing clothes: Vacuum-sealed bags are also great for storing clothes. They protect clothes from dust, moisture, and insects.
  • For traveling: Vacuum-sealed bags are perfect for packing clothes and other items when you’re traveling. They save space and keep your belongings clean and organized.

As you can see, there are many uses for vacuum-sealed bags.

Can You Defrost Frozen Food in a Vacuum Sealed Bag Using the Microwave?

You can defrost frozen food in a vacuum-sealed bag using the microwave but this is not mandatory. You can cook your food from frozen without any problem, the only thing you need to do is to increase the cooking time.

There are a few different ways to defrost food quickly and safely. One popular method is to place the food in a bowl of cold water.

Another option is to use your microwave oven. Most microwaves have a “defrost” setting that will gently thaw food without cooking it.

Finally, if you have some time to spare, you can simply set the food out on the counter and let it defrost slowly at room temperature.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to follow food safety guidelines to avoid bacteria growth.

What Is the Most Popular Way To Cook With Vacuum Sealed Bags?

The most popular way to cook with vacuum-sealed bags is to use the sous vide method.

Sous vide is a type of cooking that involves sealing food in a vacuum-sealed bag and then cooking it in water that is maintained at a very precise temperature.

This cooking method is prized by chefs for its ability to produce extremely consistent results.

Because the food is sealed in a bag, there is no opportunity for heat to escape, ensuring that each piece of the food cooks evenly.

In addition, because the water temperature is carefully controlled, sous vide cooking eliminates the need to constantly check on the food, making it much less labor-intensive than other methods.


Vacuum-sealed bags are a convenient way to heat food in the microwave. They are also a safe way to cook food, as long as you use bags that are specifically designed for microwaving.

But reheating is not the only use for these bags. They are also great for storing food and clothes and traveling. You can even defrost frozen food in a vacuum-sealed bag using the microwave.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you have found it helpful and informative.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!