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Why Stasher bags are my go-to eco-friendly storage product

Stasher bags are my new favorite way to cook and store food.
Stasher Bags aren't just for stashing leftovers — why one Select writer uses them to store everything from pet supplies to makeup.
Stasher Bags aren't just for stashing leftovers — why one Select writer uses them to store everything from pet supplies to makeup.Courtesy of Zoe Malin

There’s no denying that Instagram influenced me to buy my first Stasher bag. Between food publications, chefs and lifestyle bloggers, I saw the multi-colored reusable bags pop up in posts every day. While I was always intrigued by Stasher bags, I didn't invest in them at first: I wasn't convinced that they would completely eliminate single-use plastic bags from my home. It turns out I was wrong.

I now dedicate an entire drawer in my kitchen to Stasher bags. I own all shapes, sizes and colors, and turn to them to bring food on the go and store it in the fridge and in the freezer. I also store makeup and pet supplies in Stasher bags, and I’ve learned how to use them to cook. Recently, I’ve relied on Stasher bags for meal prepping, portioning out ingredients to make smoothies or salads for lunch.

If you’re thinking about investing in Stasher bags, we broke down everything you need to know about the brand and its offerings.

Stasher Bags 101

Stasher bags lured me in because they’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe. I store leftovers in the bags and put them in the microwave the next day to reheat their contents. And after I use a bag, I’ve found that I don’t need to scrub the inside or soak it overnight to remove remnants of tomato sauce — I rinse it out and place it in the dishwasher, then let it air dry by storing the bag with the seal open (this prevents moisture from getting trapped inside). Stasher bags can also withstand the chill of the freezer, and they can be used in the oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit or for sous vide cooking, the brand says. You can write on them with dry erase markers to label what’s inside, too.

Stasher bags come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes, allowing you to choose what works best for your needs and style. In addition to purchasing bags individually, you can also buy them in bundles.

Half Gallon Stasher Bag

The Half-Gallon Bag lays flat and is one of the brand’s longer options. I use it to store and freeze bananas for smoothies, preserve green onions and celery and marinate meat and fish filets. You can stack multiple bags on top of each other, too. The bag comes in over a dozen colors, ranging from Black and Clear to Hibiscus and Pineapple.

Quart Stasher Bag

The Quart Stasher Bag is one of the brand’s newer sizes. It’s similar in shape to the Half-Gallon Stasher Bag but a bit smaller, like the name suggests. I find it useful for storing toiletries while traveling, like mini bottles of skin care products and razors. The bag is available in Pink, Green and Clear.

Stand-Up Mega Stasher Bag

The Stand-Up Mega Bag has a flat bottom that allows it to sit upright. It can fit almost a gallon of liquid, according to the brand, and it’s deep so you can store bulkier items like apples or avocados. You can also fit a few soda cans or mini water bottles in this bag, which I’ve found works well for picnics, camping and hikes. The Stand-Up Mega Bag is available in four colors: Pink, Green, Clear and Aqua. Stasher also sells two smaller bags that sit upright: the Stand-Up Mid Bag and the Stand-Up Mini Bag.

Sandwich Stasher Bag

If you were to open my freezer, you would find a rainbow of Sandwich Stasher Bags lined up like folders in a filing cabinet. These bags are my key to meal prepping: I fill them with pre-made meals (and desserts and pastries), which I defrost during the week. The Sandwich bag also comes in handy for packing lunch for school or work. This bag is available in over 20 colors.

Snack Stasher Bag

According to Stasher, the Snack Bag is designed for taking food with you on the go, but it can also serve another purpose: protecting your phone from getting wet. The bag is large enough to fit most iPhones or similarly sized smartphones, the brand says, and the touchscreen works through the bag. I’ve found that it can be helpful to put your phone in the bag if you’re commuting in the rain, using your tech at the beach or texting while poolside. The bag comes in colors like Honey, Amethyst, Sky and more.

Go Bag Stasher Bag

The Go Bag features a carabiner clip that you can hook onto your bag. I’ve found that its rectangular shape can fit a pair of sunglasses, a passport or travel-sized hand sanitizer. I store dog treats and a roll of waste bags in the Go Bag and attach it to my dog’s leash when we go for a walk.

Pocket Stasher Bag

The Pocket Stasher Bag is the smallest in the brand’s collection. I originally bought it to store chapstick, hair ties and vitamins while traveling, but I’ve found that it’s also useful for organizing paper clips, push pins and rubber bands at home. The bag comes in colors ranging from Rose Quartz to Lavender. I opted for bright colors that are easy to spot in the dark depths of my bag.

What are Stasher Bags and how can they benefit the environment

Stasher bags are designed to help people cut back or completely eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags in their homes, the brand says. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plastics are estimated to comprise 60 to 80 percent of the world’s marine litter. Coupled with recognizing how many plastic bags I used in my home, these facts motivated me to find an alternative. I was wary about seeking out Stasher bags because I wasn't sure if they would provide me with all of the size options I needed, especially in the kitchen. But the bags have been able to accommodate all of my needs, and I’ve found uses for all Stasher bag styles in my home.

Stasher bags are constructed from platinum silicone, a material that degrades slowly over time, allowing you to reuse the bags again and again, according to the brand. Stasher says platinum silicone is safe for food, as are the colorants used to give the bags their vibrant hues. The brand also says its products meet all U.S. and Canadian food safety standards.

Additionally, Stasher says its bags are non-toxic and can be safely subjected to heat. The brand says that toxic chemicals won't leak into the bag’s contents when heated (to a limit of 425 degrees Fahrenheit), which is why you can cook with Stasher bags in the oven, microwave or even in boiling water over the stovetop, according to the brand.

Stasher bags have an airtight seal at the top. The opening is wide, which makes it easy to put contents inside. The seal easily closes when you pinch it together — I’ve never had any trouble closing my bags. There’s also no zipper to worry about breaking, which was one of my biggest complaints when I tried other reusable silicone bags.

Cooking with Stasher Bags

Once I bought some Stasher bags, it only made sense to follow the brand on Instagram. I stumbled upon a video detailing how to make popcorn in a Stasher Bag and immediately tried it. I began to wonder how else you can cook with the bags beyond heating up leftovers and became an avid reader of Stasher Bag’s blog. I learned how to bake fish and steam vegetables in a Stasher Bag, and how the bags lend themselves to sous vide cooking. Admittedly, popcorn is still my go-to, but cooking with Stasher bags has simplified and streamlined my weeknight meals.

How to store Stasher Bags

While you can throw Stasher bags in a drawer, I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to organize them is by using a drying rack. I bought a small, low-profile drying rack that fits in my kitchen drawers and use it to line up my Stasher bags according to size. If you don’t want Stasher bags floating around your refrigerator or freezer, you can also buy a storage container and stand the bags up inside of it.

Other reusable silicone bags to consider

Beyond Stasher, other brands offer reusable silicone bags for storing and reheating food. Here are some highly rated options that are microwave-, dishwasher- and freezer-safe.

W&P Porter Storage Bags

W&P offers reusable silicone bags in a variety of sizes, colors and styles, including Sandwich, Snack and Stand-Up options. They're designed with a clear front so you can see the contents inside, as well as curved corners, which the brand says helps prevents grime from building up in the crevices. The bags also offer a leak-proof seal, according to Porter.

Zip Top Sandwich Bag

Zip Top's reusable silicone bags come in two sizes: Sandwich and Snack. You can purchase them as a set or individually. The brand says the bags are designed with an open rounded interior, helping them stay open while you're filling them and while they're in the dishwasher. The bags also feature a leak-proof seal, according to the brand, and the smaller bag nests into the larger one. They're available in multiple colors.

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