Sous vide cooking provides quite a few impressive benefits, whether it be flavor, tenderness, or ease of use. As costs continue to decrease, sous vide adoption is skyrocketing across the world at rates that resemble microwave adoption between the 1970s and 1980s. However, one aspect of sous vide is lacking: sustainability due to plastic bags. Since sous vide cooking is placed into a plastic bag before cooking, every meal that is cooked results in plastic waste. I once cooked salmon with asparagus and hollandaise sauce (recipe here on Anova) – all of which were cooked sous vide at the same time. This resulted in THREE plastic bags going into the trash from a single meal, let alone any packaging the food was in from the grocery store. Now, if you’re not one to place much care into sustainability, you may be rolling your eyes by now. But you may want to keep reading, as these bags will also save you a ton of money.
Stasher bags comes in two sizes: Large (10.25 x 8.25 in) and Small (7.0 x 7.6 in). The small is about the size of a sandwich bag; I personally recommend everyone buy the large. The bag is quite heavy duty, since it’s made from “100% pure platinum food grade silicone” (whatever pure platinum silicone is), which is also of course a great option for BPA-free sous vide bags.
Stasher Bag Performance
I cooked two boneless pork chops for my first test, using the large-sized bag (which fit the two chops quite nicely). After placing the pork inside the bag, I folded the top portion in half and slowly squeezed as much air out as possible before sealing the bag. I dropped the bag into a pre-heated water bath and, to my surprise, the bag didn’t float. Even though there was still quite a bit of air in the bag, the silicone was heavy enough so that the food not only stayed below water, but the top of the bag essentially stayed upright by itself.
After two hours of cooking, I removed the bag, unzipped the seal (beware: opening the bag can be a bit tough sometimes, as it creates a bit of suction), and seared the pork. Now, onto the second most important (or worst?) part: cleaning.
Cleaning the Stasher Bag
The company markets the bag as being dishwasher safe – my tests disprove this. Now, it could very well be my dishwasher; the instructions state to only use it on the top shelf by opening the base of the bag and placing it over a few rows of your dishwasher. This didn’t work to well in mine as there wasn’t enough head room. This would likely work fine for the small bag, but definitely not the large. I ran a clean cycle a few times anyways, but it really didn’t clean the pork juices enough for my liking. Again, this could be my dishwasher, but if you’re cooking any meats in the bag, I highly recommend you hand wash it.