Replacing My Ziplocs: Stasher & Blue Avocado Review

The Wishlist

I have been trialling the food storage bags from Stasher and Blue Avocado in an effort to find bags which are as close to freezer Ziplocs as possible but are reusable.

How the Stasher and Blue Avocado Bags compare to my wishlist:

The WishlistStasherBlue Avocado  
TransparentYesYes
Dishwasher safeYes? (see details below)
Freezer safeYesYes
Leak proofTo an extent (see below)Yes

 

Unboxing: First Impressions

Stasher and Blue Avocado Reusable Storage Bag

The Stasher bags and Blue Avocado bags are available in a variety of colours and sizes. The ones I selected for purchase are pictured above.  The Blue Avocado bag (right) has almost the same capacity as the Stasher (left) but looks smaller as it is gusseted. The Blue Avocado bags are available in a similar format (flat) to the Stasher but I chose the gusseted version because I like that the the bag can stand up on its own.

Basic StatsStasherBlue Avocado
Dimensions7.5" x 7.5" x 1"7.75” x 5” x 2"
Capacity450 ml437 ml
MaterialFDA and European food-grade silicone. Does not contain fillers, byproducts, pvc/latex, or petroleumPVC-free, BPA-free, lead-free, food-safe, FDA-grade PEVA material

Both products appear to be well made and durable.  The silicone of the Stasher is quite a bit thicker than the PEVA used for the Blue Avocado.

 

The Test Drive

1) Cleaning

Cleaning is very easy with the Stasher bag. I have run it though the dishwasher at least 10 times and it cleans very well (even after cooking eggs in it). It is wet inside when it comes out of the dishwasher so it has to be wiped dry or tented upside down to drip dry.

It is unclear if the Blue Avocado bags are dishwasher safe. Per the packaging (pictured below on the left), they are hand wash only. According to the website (see below right), they are only dishwasher safe at low heat but hand washing is recommended. One Amazon reviewer reported that their bag melted in the dishwasher. I did not test how it holds up to the dishwasher as I always run my dishwasher on hot and will hand wash these bags to preserve them.

Blue Avocado Reusable Storage Bag

2) The Seals (opening, closing, leaking)

The Stasher bag has a pinch press seal which is easy to use but it does not lock as securely as the Blue Avocado bag.

Blue Avocado has a “(re)-zip” closure which is very similar to the Ziploc’s and feels even more secure.  I feel confident about the seal on these.

If you plan to store items in the bags in the freezer and take out a portion at a time and will need to re-seal the bags, make sure that the seals are dried properly before freezing or ice forms between the seals and can make opening and re-sealing properly more difficult.

To test for leakage, I filled both bags just over half-way full with water, pressed out the extra air, sealed them, and laid them down. Neither of them leaked. I then lifted up the Stasher and turned it upside down and it opened immediately. If you decide to test it, I suggest you be smarter than I was and do it over the sink.  I re-tested 2 more times just to confirm that it did not open due to inadequate sealing on my part.  The second time the seal opened immediately again.  In the third test, it remained closed but this was because I filled it only a quarter of the way with water. When up-ended, the Blue Avocado bag did not leak. I had to squeeze quite firmly to break the seal open.

 3) Cooking

The Blue Avocado bags cannot be used to cook in.

The Stasher bags are microwave-safe and can be used for sous-vide cooking (cooking in a bag using a water bath or steam).  I made a microwaved omelette to test it out and it worked well (recipe for Minute Omelette included below). While it is not as good an omelette prepared stove-top, it is hard to beat in terms of convenience and if you need your omelette STAT.  If time is tight in the mornings, you could prep everything the night before and simply pull it out of the fridge and pop it in the microwave for a quick breakfast.


Minute Omelette:

  1. In a measuring jug or mug, use a fork to whisk together 2 eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper until well blended.
  2. Add 1 slice of ham (diced) and 3 T grated cheddar.  Stir to combine and evenly distribute.  
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the Stasher bag.  Place the bag in a microwave-safe container that will hold the Stasher up in a standing position (the instructions on the packaging indicate that the bag should be left open during microwaving).
  4. Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Slide the omelette out of the bag.

Note: The omelette tastes best if eaten right away.  If you prefer your omelette more well done, wait a minute after the initial microwaving before determining if it needs to be microwaved again as the omelette will continue to cook a little longer after it has been taken out of the microwave.  I would suggest cooking it further in very short intervals (~15 seconds) as over-cooking will have rubbery results.


 

Some things to consider

  • The initial investment may seem a bit more but the cost per use makes the reusable bags much more affordable in the long run:
  Number of BagsNumber of UsesCost Per Use
Ziploc medium freezer bags
(Costco)
$13.99 CAD120111c CAD
Stasher 450 ml bag
(well.ca)
$16.97 CAD13000
(number of uses per packaging)
<1c CAD
Blue Avocado 500 ml bag
(fenigo.com)
$8.97 CAD1300 (number of uses per website)3c CAD
  • The Stasher bags are available in 3 sizes (snack = 4.5” x 7.5” x 1”; sandwich = 4.5” x 7.5” x 1”; and gallon = 10.25” x 8.25” x 1.5”). The sandwich and gallon sizes are pictured below. They are easy to clean, good quality, and have many uses.  I am also curious to cook with them more.

DSC_0768.JPG

  • The Stasher bag is leak proof as long as the seal is pinched very well and no pressure is applied. I would be wary of storing liquids because of the risk of spillage but they are good for storing dry or wet-ish items.
  • Because of the thickness and durability of the Stashers’ silicone material, they are good for crushing or flattening indredients as the bag does not tear the way a Ziploc might.
  • Although I would prefer to clean them in the dishwasher without a second thought for the convenience, I purchased more Blue Avocado bags because of the great quality, (re)-zip seal, functionality and versatility. A note regarding the (re)-zip seal: After about 2 months of use, I noted that some of the Blue Avocado bags would not seal properly. After some research, it seems that dish detergent can dry out the seal, preventing it from closing as it should, and that a little olive oil applied to the seal with paper towel would resolve the issue. I did this and it worked very well.
  • Blue Avocado’s options of gusseted and flat bags and the range of sizes is impressive. Variety packs are available if you want to try out a few different sizes. Because the gusseted bags stand up on their own, this makes for really neat and organised storage in the pantry and freezer. It is great to not have to have storage bins to keep bags of food tidy.
  • Sizes of the Blue Avocado bags pictured in left-most photograph above: 4 cups, 2 cups, 1 cup, 1/2 cup. I used a dry a dry erase whiteboard marker to label the bags. After the bags have been frozen, the marker rubs off very easily so I may rethink the placement of the labeling or use masking tape to do the labeling.

Blue Avocado

Stockists

Canada: I purchased my Stasher bags from  well.ca and the Blue Avocado bags through fenigo.com. They are also available through amazon.ca*. Prices vary so shop around before you buy.

USA: StasherBlue Avocado, amazon.com*

 

Looking to replace some of your other everyday disposable items. See The Replacements: Swapping Out Disposable Baking Cups, Parchment Paper, Plastic bags, and Plastic Bottles for suggestions.

 

Have you tried these? What did you think? Do you have other options to recommend? If you know where else to get them (especially outside of Canada and the US), please share below.

 


*Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. This means that I will earn a small commission on products purchased via these links at no extra cost to you.  The affiliate links have been marked with an asterisk (*). Thank you for the support!

3 comments

  1. I buy a box of heavy duty freezer zip lock bags and re-use them over and over- wash them in hot soapy water and air dry. A lot less expensive and the ziplock bags are reusable probably as much as these. I am not replacing plastic but I guarantee I am using a LOT LESS of it.

What do you think?