Pros: keeps frozen foods' quality better for longer; bags are durable and re-usable
Cons: seal sometimes separates, allowing air to get in
When you purchase the Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit, you only get three 1-quart bags with the kit. While the bags are reusable, having additional bags is always a good idea. I purchased the 1 quart bags in a box containing 12 bags.
To understand how the Ziploc Vacuum Kit works, read my review on it. The basic understanding is that the bags are designed so you can suck the air out which allows the food to keep its quality for longer in the freezer.
The bags are thick and durable. The press seal at the top is thick, but you must be sure you've gotten the entire seal pressed firmly or air will get into the bag. I always check on my bags from time to time to ensure the seal is still tight and no air has gotten in.
The 1 quart bags are ideal for beef or turkey patties, ground beef, chicken breasts, or veggies. They fit up to a pound of ground beef pretty well. They're a bit small for bread or rolls, unless you only have a small amount.
If you use only some of a bag of frozen fruit or vegetables, place the remaining into one of the Ziploc Vacuum bags. Don't put the original bag inside the freezer bag, it doesn't do as well like that from my experience.
These smaller 1 quart bags fit well in the freezer, but I suggest you don't bend them. I've noticed that if they're bent, they're more likely to have the seal come apart once frozen. Freeze flat for the best results.
You can microwave the bags to thaw food, but you must be careful you don't melt the bag. I never microwave food in plastic, so I've never microwaved these bags. If the food sticks to the inside of the bag (which usually it does not), running it under cold water for just a few seconds dislodges it.
The 1 quart Ziploc Vacuum Bags are re-usable, although I don't re-use them if they've had raw meat in them. Non-meat bags I just rinse out, make sure they're entirely dry, then use next time. Works well.
Cost and Availability
Ziploc Vacuum Bags are more expensive than regular freezer bags, but they perform so well they're worth it. I hate throwing meat away because it's freezer burnt. It's like throwing money away. I think this 12-pack of bags was around $4.00 at Target, so look for sales or coupons. You can also find a 3-pack of the 12 bags on Amazon.com.
I recommend having the additional 1 quart bags in addition to the three that come with the starter kit. It's always nice to have them when you have something to freeze.