Using a sealing machine you can seal Mylar bags for your food storage. You can also reseal some store bought bags of food such as potato chip bags. Sealing Mylar bags helps with long term food storage because it prevents oxygen from getting into the bag. You will still need to add an O2 absorber to the bag before you seal it.
Watch this short tutorial video to see how easy it is to seal Mylar bags.
Personally, I like the Mylar bags that come with the tear off tabs, but you don’t have to have those. Some people purchase Mylar in a roll and using their sealing machine they fold and make their own bags in whatever size they need as they need them.
Our Harvest Right freeze dryer came with a sealing machine (shown in the video). Food Saver machines are also supposed to work with both vacuuming and sealing Mylar bags. However, I have heard that sometimes Food Saver machines struggle sealing the 7ml bags. Vacuuming the bags isn’t necessary, but it doesn’t hurt either. If you were to purchase a new sealing machine or Food Saver these are the ones I’d recommend-
Different Types of Mylar:
Mylar comes in different thicknesses. The most common are: 3ml, 3.5ml, 4ml, 4.5ml, 5ml, and 7ml. The bigger the number the thicker the Mylar is. 7ml is the thickness of the bags that come with the Harvest Right freeze drying machine. The thicker the Mylar, the better for long term storage. Ideally you want to have 5-7ml for long term storage.
Some Mylar bags have a clear window to show what’s inside. Although these are nice to see what’s inside, it reduces the long term life. These bags are great for snacks or small amounts of food to be used within a couple years. For long term storage you don’t want any light to be on the contents. Remember, when it comes to food storage- Heat, Light & Oxygen are the enemy.
Bags come in different sizes. The common ones for food storage would be quart, gallon, 2 gallon or 5 gallon. We mostly use quart and gallon sizes. Bags also come with options such as Ziploc closure after opening to keep items fresh, and gusset bottoms. Gusset bottom bags allow the bags to stand and hold more inside.
These are the Mylar bags I purchase & use:
You will want to include an oxygen absorber in your long term Mylar bags. (for the ones with the see through window it’s optional since those are not meant for long term) Oxygen absorbers come in what is called “cc”. 300cc is the best one to get for quart & gallon size bags. 1 x 300cc is sufficient for a quart size bag. For gallon size bags you can use 1-2 x 300cc oxygen absorbers. Mostly you want to use 2 of them when you have items that may have a lot of air in them such as pasta. Again, it’s always better to error on the side of caution and use 2 if you have any doubts.
Here is a chart of recommended oxygen absorbers- this chart is from Pack Fresh USA- they are one of the ones I order my bags from.
These are the ones I’ve purchased. Sometimes you can get Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, but it’s also a good idea to have some extras.