Can’t decide whether to store your food in a mylar or vacuum-sealed bag? When it comes to long-term food storage, you want to make sure that the food is stored and sealed tight for later use.
But did you know a mylar bag could be a better option for storing certain foods?
Thats right. Some rookies make the mistake of thinking that mylar bags and vacuum sealing all work the same. That is not true! Some foods, such as beans, are better stored in a mylar bag vs vacuum sealing.
If you are an amateur who needs to know the key differences between a mylar bag and a sealed bag, then stay tuned! We will cover the basics of each method and go over some benefits each bag offers.
Let’s dive in.
Mylar Bags vs Vacuum
Some people think that mylar backs and vacuum-sealed bags are the same. The truth is, the only similarity that both share is the ability to store food by keeping air and moisture out of them.
Both products are designed differently and are supposed to be used differently.
Thats right. If you think mylar and vacuum-sealed bags work the same, you are setting yourself up for disaster.
Knowing the differences between the two can help you plan accordingly and how to use them properly.
We will compare each bag’s differences based on storage period, food quality, and pricing.
The most important thing you should know is that both bags have different storage periods.
The main reason for this is the materials of how the bags are made and the methods of sealing the oxygen out.
Myar bags are designed to store food long term. They are made of a thin and flexible foil material designed to food protected from environmental harms, such as sunlight and moisture.
These bags are also very straightforward to use. Simply place the food inside and seal it shut. Most mylar bags also come with oxygen absorbers, a small packet of iron powder that removes the oxygen inside when sealed.
Mylar bags were primarily designed for storing dried foods. Below is a list of foods that are commonly stored;
- Dry grains
- Dried fruits and vegetables
- Powdered foods
- Dehydrated meals
- Dehydrated meats
- Spices and seasonings
Mylar bags excel in storing dried foods. Beans and rice can stay stored for up to thirty years, while everything else listed can stay good for a maximum of five.
However, the shelf life of stored food ultimately depends on its stored conditions. Mylar bags with dried food should be stored in a dry environment away from sunlight exposure.
Vacuum Sealed Bags
Vacuum-sealed bags are meant for short to medium-term storage. The bags themselves are usually thin and see-through. Unlike mylar bags, they offer little to no protection from sunlight exposure.
Vacuum-sealed bags require a vacuum sealer. It is a powerful suction tool that removes all the oxygen from the storage bag and seals it, keeping food fresh and preserved longer than normal.
While they aren’t as durable as mylar bags, they are better at storing foods containing a lot of moisture. Below is a list of common foods people store in vacuum-sealed bags and the duration of how they stay well sealed.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Liquid foods
Most foods that are vacuum sealed must be refrigerated or frozen unless if you are sealing dehydrated food. If possible, store vacuum-sealed foods in the freezer, as it will more than triple the shelf life of the food.
For example, vacuum-sealed meat can stay refrigerated for 4-6 months but stay good for 1-3 years in the freezer.
Mylar bags are more durable and offer more protection from the elements than vacuum-sealed bags. They are best used for dried or dehydrated foods stored in cabinets or shelves. They can be refrigerated, but usually, it is not necessary.
Vacuum-sealed bags, on the other hand, are more fragile and less protected due to their thin plastic. It is better to use vacuum-sealed foods for foods that contain a lot of moisture in them. You must also plan to store them in the fridge or freezer long-term
You may be wondering if there is a difference in food quality. The answer is yes. There is a noticeable difference in the quality of flavor and texture preservation.
Since mylar bags are limited to primarily dehydrated foods, the original quality of that food loses much of its quality.
If you are creative and have the tools, you could learn to dehydrate certain meals, such as stews, soups, and even meats, through the process of freeze-drying. You could store them in a mylar bag and add warm water to eat a hearty meal in minutes.
While some meals can be dehydrated and rehydrated with water, they lose the original texture and flavor that they once had and don’t taste as good.
While it may not be the least of someone’s concerns in a survival situation, having a good-tasting meal can boost your psychological well-being and make you feel better and refreshed instead of eating something bland and boring.
Vacuum Sealed Bags
The benefit of vacuum sealing is that it does a much better job of preserving the original textures and taste of food.
A piece of meat that has been seasoned and marinated will still contain most of its flavor. That is because vacuum-sealed bags are much tighter and have less oxygen than mylar bags.
The benefits extended to other foods besides meats. Fruits can remain sweet and juicy, and vegetables can remain fresh and crisp.
Freshness does come with a price. All these foods need to be refrigerated, and most of these foods cannot be stored as long as dehydrated options.
If flavor and good-tasting food are a bigger priority, then vacuum-sealed bags are the better option. However, if you are more concerned with storing food for the longer term and do not want to worry about refrigeration, then mylar bags are better.
Price of Bags
Investing in long-term food bags can be pricey. Both can be expensive, especially if you plan on storing a lot of food. If you are on a budget, then you might want to know which one is the most affordable.
The unfortunate thing about mylar bags is that they can not be reused. The bag must be disposed of once they have been sealed and opened.
Quality mylar bags can range from $0.50 to $1.50 a bag. It could be somewhat pricy if you are looking to invest in hundreds of bags However, if you are storing dried foods, they should last for decades as long as they are stored properly
Vacuum Sealed Bags
Vacuum-sealed bags are considered to be slightly more affordable They are also reusable if you want to be extra resourceful
The average cost range is between $0.20 to $1.20 per bag. You will need the vacuum sealing tool, which could cost between $40 to $200 on the brand.
In terms of least cost-effectiveness, the vacuum-sealed bags offer the cheapest long-term food storage option. However, as mentioned, the foods stored in vacuum-sealed bags generally do not last long and must be refrigerated.
Becoming a prepper means learning the best methods for everything. Knowing how to store your food long-term in the correct container will help you achieve your prepper goals.
By now, you should know the key differences in each storage method. Mylar bags are simple and great for storing lots of dried foods, and vacuum-sealed bags are great for most wet foods but must be refrigerated.
Knowing these key packaging methods will help you to make the best decisions for planning on your long-term food supply. Use each method to the best of your knowledge to help ensure your long-term success!