How Well Do Ziploc Zip n’ Steam Bags Actually Work?

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Sheela Fiorenzo)

I pretty much grew up on steamed vegetables. Whether it was broccoli, green beans, or carrots, they appeared on my dinner plate nightly, tossed with a little butter, salt, and pepper.

These days I find myself leaning on more flavorful cooking methods for my vegetables, like roasting and sautéing, but there’s still something about clean, crisp steamed vegetables that I enjoy. So microwavable steamer bags were of interest to me for their claim to be easy, mess-free, and most importantly, safe.

The Original Tip

Emma explored the bags awhile ago when they first hit the market. She experimented with them with her vegetable-loving parents, and they all found them to be successful. But I was curious to give them a try myself, as someone who rarely leans on her microwave for much more than reheating a few items now and again. Were they that much easier than using a pot and steamer basket on the stove?

The Testing Method

The bags comes in a pack of 10, and each bag holds two to four servings. Apparently Ziploc also used to make larger bags that held three to five servings, but they aren’t selling them at this time.

I chose to test the bags on fresh vegetables only. Ziploc claims that they can also be used to steam frozen vegetables as well as seafood and poultry, but I stuck with vegetables for the test.

I filled the bag with broccoli florets and followed the cooking instructions listed on the bag. For a full bag of broccoli, it recommended adding a tablespoon of water and cooking it on high for three minutes.

(Image credit: Sheela Fiorenzo)

The Results

The three minutes went by in a flash! Once the microwave beeped, I let the bag sit for the recommended one minute before carefully opening it. The broccoli was bright green and perfectly tender — exactly how I like it. I tossed it with a little butter, salt, and pepper (just like my dad always did for me) and enjoyed its simple flavor.

Verdict: These bags did exactly what they claim to do.

(Image credit: Sheela Fiorenzo)

Final Notes

It should be noted that yes, these bags are plastic, but they are BPA-free and microwave-safe. Also, Ziploc does not recommend reusing bags, which feels like a bit of a waste to me. They are, however, a noteworthy time-saver when you’re in a pinch and want one less pot to clean.

Have you ever used these steamer bags? Would you?