How to Vacuum Seal Without a Vacuum Sealer [Air-Free HACK]

By Eric Mitchell •  Updated: Nov 18, 2022 •  4 min read

There is a good reason why it is important to leave no air when we store food in plastic bags. The air causes oxidation which can lead to the food developing off-flavors, drying out, losing color, texture, and to some extent even spoiling.

Nobody wants to eat food that is soggy, too dry or discolored. When excess air is left in a bag with food, it can exacerbate freezer burn due to moisture loss. Packing the food in airtight bags will help slow down or completely eliminate the oxidation process.

How to Vacuum Seal Without a Vacuum Sealer Overview

The best and easiest way to do this is by use of a vacuum sealer. But what about those of us who do not yet own a vacuum sealer?

How do we remove excess air from storage bags before putting them in the freezer? The answer is simple: by using a simple and inexpensive method known as water displacement method. Let us take a look at it and how it is done.

How to Vacuum Seal Without a Vacuum Sealer [Hack]

What You Will Need

How Does It Work?

Step One

Put all the food you need to freeze in separate bags.

Step Two

Fill a tub or pot halfway with water. You can also choose to use the sink by blocking and filling it with water.

Step Three

Seal the Ziploc bag almost all the way leaving a section – half an inch to an inch – open.

Step Four

Lower or dip the bag in the water. As you do this, the pressure will push the air out of the bag through the open section.

Step Five

Keep lowering the bag and just before the open section is submerged into the water, seal off the opening and pull out the bag. The bag will be mostly air free and you can go ahead and store your food in the freezer.

Repeat steps three, four and five with each bag at a time until all your food is safely stored in the freezer. Remember to mark the date when you freeze the food so you can know which foods to use first.

Instructional Video For Sealing Your Food Without A Vacuum Sealer

When freezing something like ground beef, you can decide to use this method or simply put the meat in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to flatten it. The trick is to use bags that can store at least half a pound to a pound of ground beef and flatten it to a ½ inch thickness for easier thawing. For more details on how to freeze and defrost ground beef click here and for Sous Vide cooking, read it here

When freezing strawberries, or any other berries, you will need to, first of all, freeze them on a flat surface so they can freeze individually before transferring them to a Ziploc bag.

Frozen strawberries

This will help them not to stick together when in the bag and when you defrost them, they will be whole. You will then follow the steps above and store them in the freezer.

This will help them not to stick together when in the bag and when you defrost them, they will be whole. You will then follow the steps above and store them in the freezer.

This process can also be used when marinating. The marinades will better distribute around the food in an air-free bag. Place your marinated meat or vegetables in a bag, follow the process above and store the bag in the freezer for at least half an hour. If possible, leave it longer so that your vegetables or meat can soak and absorb the marinade.


We hope you will enjoy this quick and inexpensive way of sealing food airtight without a vacuum sealer.

You can seal and freeze almost all types of food including fruits, vegetables, cooked or uncooked beef, and poultry and many more using this method.

Eric Mitchell

Eric is the owner, author, content director and founder of He is the lead architect and the main man in matters concerning dehydrators, their accessories, guides, reviews and all the accompaniments.Whenever he is not figuring out simple solutions (hacks) involving cookery and their eventual storage, you will find him testing out the different types of dehydrators, to bring us the juicy details regarding these devices.He is a foodie enthusiast, pasionate about making jerky has a knack for healthy and tasty food and won't hesitate to share out any ideas that might be of value around this subject.

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