I hate to give a hint to take the place of the vacuum sealer, but what I do is put whatever I want to save in a re-sealable plastic bag, seal all but about 1/2 inch, put in a straw, then suck out the air and quickly close the last half inch. Gives you a completely airless package.
I too love ziplock bags! I use them for so many things besides putting food in them! They're great when you travel. Put toiletries that might leak in one. I sort and store so many things in them! The Ziplock brand also makes 2 1/4 gallon and 12 (Yes 12) gallon bags. Hefty has a 2 1/2 gallon. I usually find them in the camping department of stores like Wal Mart and Target. You can STUFF these big bags with clothing or fabric household items like sheets, tablecloths etc. Close the zipper except for an inch or two, place the full bag on a chair or bed and SIT on it to expel the air! While still sitting on it zip the bag closed! You will be amazed! You don't need those expensive vacuum storage kits. I discovered this by accident....trying to put a puffy childs coat in a too small box so I could mail it to a grandchild!
I just seal the bag except for the last inch or so, put my mouth on the bag and suck out the air, then close, I suppose a straw would be more sanitary, but I'm the one eating the food, so who cares.
Can you do this when freezing raw chicken breast as long as you careful NOT to come in contact with the juices?
Your method cannot compare to a vacuum sealer. I can use your method for short term freezer storage but I use my vacuum sealer for long term. You can freeze some foods up to two years without a problem. That may sound impossible but it does work. A vacuum sealer isn't only for food storage. Certain household items will last forever if vacuum sealed. I vacuum seal some expensive glues in a jar and they never dry up. There are many other uses for vacuum seal systems.
We like to get the 2 gallon bags for travel. They are great for so many things.
I also use the gallon and 2 gallon zipper bags for my crafts. When I have a knitting project going (you can use it for crocheting, too) I put the work in progress and the yarn, plus the pattern in the zipper bag. That way I have everything together to work on that project.
I sure wish this person who posted as a Guest was around because I'd love to find out where she found the 2-1/4 and 12 gallon Ziplock bags! Oh, the uses I could find for those! Especially if they are the vacuum seal type!
The 12gal ziploc' might be the big storage ziploc bags with handle cut-outs. I think they come in 2 sizes. I got them at walmart. They weren't in the area where all the sandwich & misc bags are.
I fill a bowl or basin with water, seal the bag almost completely up and submerge it, allowing the water to push in the sides of the bag, pushing the air out of the tiny space left open in the seal. You will actually see bubbles coming up if you let the top dip under the water. Then quickly seal the last little bit. You can do this trick without submerging the very top of the bag if it's something you cannot risk getting a little water in.
Can you do this when freezing raw chicken breast as long as you careful NOT to come in contact with the juices? No. I would not take the chance of using the "straw" method for any type of raw meat. You have no idea where the bacteria is going to be on the bag. Remember even one drop of juice from raw chicken meat can infect a person and that is not a fun trip.
When freezing foods in the zip lock bags, there's NO need to 'suck' out the air. I zip it almost closed then I push all the air with my hands and close the zipper. What ever little amount of air that's is left goes away, because as the food freezes it expands.
I found that I can use the Reynolds battery vacuum pump on the ZipLock bags. Take the top of a prescription bottle (not the child proof kind). Put a small hole in the middle of it. I used my meat thermometer probe. I heated it and it went right through. Put the top right on the circle on the bag. They are exactly the same size. Hold down the cap and use the pump on top. Works great!
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