Keep bags from floating

Any tips on how to weigh down vacuum bags so they don’t float, especially for long cook times?

Someone (Chef steps?) suggests putting a knife in the bag. I’m not so sure about that, though I guess it’d work.

I’ve thought about adding a binder clip or two at the bottom. Maybe slide a knife in the open area of the clip?

Fishing weights…
…hold the bobber.

Another from chefsteps - clip the bag to the side, open. All the gas escapes out the top of the bag.

I leave the bag open with two binder clips on each side of the bag, with the little clip flap (is that a thing?) down. Check out the video of how they prep the gnocchi here:

i managed to use a heavy metal spoon and lay it on top of the bag (contains turkey breast) to submerge it a bit…but remember the more air you manage to get out of the bag, the more submerged it shall be.

Please be very careful using fishing weights. Historically, they are made with lead (or lead bearing alloy). If you want to use something like it. Get stainless steel balls, mcmaster-carr carries ones made of SS304.


I use a small heavy ceramic plate like a saucer or even a coffee mug filled with water.

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Just got mine - floating bags are an issue? I have a vac-pack machine and I figured the lack of air would let almost everything sink.

Are ‘binder clips’ like bulldog clips?

@Stephen Svajian - video finally loaded - they are what we call bulldog clips. Not sure why they wouldn’t have spread the gnocchi a bit flatter and just dunked it in water to squeeze out the air… :wink:

Couple of thoughts: one - you can use Ziploc or similar bags. Use the immersion method to get as much air out as possible, then clip to the top of the container. You can either open periodically to release accumulated air, or just leave a small opening in the seal.

Vacuum sealing should work for proteins, but veggies tend to give off gases as they cook so even vacuum sealing will not prevent bubbles affecting cooking and making the package float. If you see that happen, again clip the bag to the side of the container, make a small hole above the water level, and the air should escape. Ensure the food stays below the water level of course.

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I’ve used small neodymium magnets with some success. If your container is not magnetic you could put one magnet on the outside of the container and one on the inside… provided your container’s walls are thin enough.

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Magnets are a great idea. I have a bunch of those really high power ones. Stick some on the bottom of the pot and then some in the bags.

Some people have mentioned using glass beads or marbles before, I haven’t yet but I have used whiskey stones. I still don’t like whiskey but the stones are great!

@danearle said:
Magnets are a great idea. I have a bunch of those really high power ones. Stick some on the bottom of the pot and then some in the bags.

now that’s a timely tip! i just tried (and failed) to cook my first item–two eggs. but they floated and i’m wondering if that’s why they didn’t cook.

but coincidentally enough i just got a batch of those super-strong (rare earth) magnets from china. they are fragile to a fault though–i’ve already chipped and broken a half dozen of them in just casual handling.


Neodymium magnets: I’m a keen user of magnets, but given the toxicity of rare earth metals, however slight, I would not include them inside the cooking bag. Perhaps a magnet tied/bolted to the spine of a binder clip will hold the bag to the bottom of an iron pot when clipped to the bottom of your baggie.

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I was worried about rare earth metal toxicity too, so I vacuum sealed the magnets. Now they’re sealed in plastic so they can go into the food bag!

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I think I will make some ceramic weights for the bottom of the bag. If I glaze them all around they should also be easy to clean.

I tried pie weights, knives, spoons etc. Now I just use money. $2 in pennies will keep most things down. I sealed them in two layers of  Ziploc and can put them in the bag or clip them to the bottom if the bag is already sealed.

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I use a stainless steel strainer / sieve when i’m worried about excessive movement (often with eggs).