There are so many options that can be used for storing foods in the freezer, so much so that people often make ill-informed choices that result in the spoilage of food items.
And in this article, we will be comparing two methods, Freezer Paper and Vacuum Packing. Now both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages so there is no clear winner and that is why we will be exploring both of these options to determine which one is the right method for you.
What is Freezer Paper and Vacuum Packing?
Freezer Paper is a thick paper that has a paper coating on one side and a wax or plastic coating on the other side. It is used mainly in the meat sections of grocery stores and for craft projects.
While Vacuum Packing is a process that removes air from the package prior to sealing. This method involves (manually or automatically) placing items in a plastic film package, then removing air from inside the package before sealing it.
Freezer Paper vs Vacuum Packing
- Which one can make your meat last longer in the Freezer? – (Vaccum Packing)
- The best at preventing freezer burns? – (Vaccum Packing)
- Easier to use – (Varies with each individual user)
- Which is more environmentally friendly? – (Freezer Paper)
- Which is more affordable? – (Freezer Paper)
1. Which option can make food last longer in the Freezer?
Vacuum Packing your food is the way to go if you want your meat or food to last for a long time.
However, if you are planning to consume the food in the short term, freezer paper can be used once the paper is wrapped securely around the food item.
There are mainly two reasons why vacuum packing your food lasts longer than freezer paper:
1. It removes the air that causes food to spoil.
The reason why I would recommend Vacuum Packing for long term storage is that Vacuum sealers deprive your meat or food of air (oxygen).
Mold and bacteria cannot grow without a supply of air. So vacuum packing preserves food by preventing the growth of mold or bacteria which causes food to go bad.
The shelf life of your food can be greatly extended when you use a vacuum-sealed as compared with freezer paper. Vacuum sealing preserves food 3 to 5 times longer than food stored in plastic containers or bags or Freezer Paper.
Vacuum sealing also keeps the moisture in your food which preserves certain foods as well so much so that they will be safe to eat even after 2- 3 years in the freezer. While other methods like freezer paper can only last up to 6 months in the freezer.
Freezer paper would keep foods in the refrigerator for 2-3 days while vacuum sealing would extend the lifespan to up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
However, the ultimate time that a food product will last in the refrigerator with vacuum sealing will vary depending on what type of food you are storing. And whether you are storing in the refrigerator or freezer plus the condition of the atmosphere and temperature.
2. The bags used For Vacuum Packing are very study compared to freezer paper
Vacuum bags are often confused with standard poly bags or any plastic bag. Vacuum bags are specially made to keep air from seeping into or out of the bag.
The thicker the material the less likely it will be to puncture or tear in the freezer and most Vacuum bags are made from made of polyethylene and nylon for added strength and rigidity while freezer paper is made from paper and a layer of either wax or plastic making it highly likely to tear in the freezer and becoming exposed to air.
Freezing edible items extends storage time by stopping the growth of microorganisms that cause spoilage. Storing edible products in temperatures below 35 degrees Fahrenheit can increase storage times tenfold and by removing all the air from the package you are freezing the food in it, increases the shelf life greatly.
2. Which one Prevents Freezer Burns Better?
One of the best options to prevent freezer burn is to use vacuum packing. Vacuum Packing removes all the air from the package and keeps the food or meat in an air-tight environment thus preventing the crystals that cause freezer burn from forming on your food.
The thick vacuum bag keeps your food from contact with the air, so moisture cannot evaporate, making it an excellent barrier from the elements.
Freezer paper can also prevent freezer burn but the paper must be wrapped tightly against the food and secured with freezer tape. Any exposure to air will cause the food to suffer freezer burn, so if the freezer paper rips or tears the food will likely to suffer freezer burn.
3. Which one is Easier to use?
Which method is easier to use depends on the preference of the user. Some people prefer just using freezer paper and wrapping their food and securing it with some freezer tape. This takes minutes. However, others prefer using a Vacuum Packing machine to store their food more securely.
There are many different types of machines that vacuum pack food. Some are:
1. External vacuum sealers involve a bag being attached to the vacuum-sealing machine externally. The machine will remove the air and seal the bag, which is all done outside the machine. A heat sealer is often used to seal the pack.
2. Single chamber sealers require the entire product to be placed within the machine. Like external sealers, a plastic bag is typically used for packaging.
3. Double chamber sealers require the entire product to be placed in a plastic bag within the machine.
4. Which is more Environmentally friendly?
We also need to think of the environmental impact of the materials that we use to store our food.
Freezer paper is more environmentally friendly than Vacuum packing. Freezer paper is made mostly paper and a thin layer of wax or plastic, and paper is generally more environmentally friendly.
On the other hand, vacuum packing involves using vacuum bags made entirely of polyethylene (a type of plastic) and nylon.
You see polyethylene is a type of highly resilient plastic that will takes years to break down. Citation.
Nylon too is not biodegradable and will persist in the environment indefinitely.
5. Which one is more affordable?
If you are buying meat at a butcher, wapping your meat in freezer paper is cheaper when compared to vacuum sealing.
Now if you are storing your meat at home a box of freezer paper costs around $7- $13 depending on the brand and size. While Vacuum Sealers, the counter-top versions start at around $50 and rise into the hundreds depending on the features, brand, etc. And then you also got to also factor in the cost for individual vacuum bags too.
A Counter-top Vacuum Food Sealer is basically about the size of two boxes of aluminum foil side by side, that literally sucks the air out of the bag of food you’re trying to save.
But a Vacuum Packing Machine will pay for itself in the long run because it allows food to be stored safely for a longer period of time, thus preventing food waste.
Also, a Vacuum Packers allows you to buy food and meat in bulk especially when they are on sale since it will allow you to preserve them for a long time.
I also did an article comparing Freezer Bags and Freezer Paper, you can click here to read it.