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How to Vacuum Seal Food Without a Machine


52 Unique Techniques for Stocking Food for Prepper
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I like being able to vacuum seal my food storage, but I don’t like having to rely on electricity to do it.

Trying to solve the problem of food storage without electricity led me to the earlier mason jar adapter and tomorrows Thrifty Vac posts  However, both of those posts use equipment – today I am going to show how I use air pressure to remove excess air from food bags to make an improvised vacuum seal.

That is right, this post will show how I go about Vacuum Sealing without Equipment…

This is something I used to play with as a child, but had no practical purpose until I came home with another package of my zaycon bulk chicken.

My foodsaver does not work well with liquids.  Obviously, I did not want to suck up any chicken juice into my machine. Normally I pack my bags, and then freeze them before I vacuum seal.  However, I did not want to go through the hassle.

Also, I was also in the doghouse for too many kitchen messes and wanted to get done and get it cleaned before the wife came home…

Here is how I used ziplock bags to vacuum seal my chicken without any special equipment


  • Ziplock bags
  • Bowl (or just the plugged sink)
  • Water (warm works better, but it does not matter)


  • Fill bag with item to be stored
  • Partially close bag
  • Immerse (but do not fully submerge) into the water – the weight of the water outside the bag is greater than the weight of the air inside the bag, so it will press in and force the air out of the bag. You may have to adjust the contents and press a little to get all the air out
  • Once the air removed, close the bag and remove from the water.

If done correctly the bag will press against itself – if the two sides of the bag are not pressed tightly together you did not remove all the air.

Published inKitchen & Farm


  1. Pecker Dunne Pecker Dunne

    Great tip! I really don’t want to use the straw method, particularly with chicken.
    Making some soup later today, I’ll give it a whirl.

  2. Mensa141 Mensa141

    Ziploc also has Vacuum Seal bags that can be manually vacuum sealed. The manual pump, also sold by Ziploc, runs about $4 while the bags are somewhat more. Bags we found come in Quart and Gallon sizes. We use it for vacuum packing all sorts of meat bought in bulk.

  3. John R John R

    I guess as we get older our minds don’t come up with solutions to problems, and I know I should have thought of that, but I didn’t. Thank you very much for this post. I have read of others inserting a straw in the edge of the bag and zip it up to the straw and suck our the air and then put the finial zip to it. I enjoy receiving you knowledge.

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