The Genius Ziploc Hack For Hands-Free Pouring

Ziploc bag with berries
Ziploc bag with berries - osenka91/Shutterstock

Ziploc bags are the stuff of legends. It's not often that a name-brand product ends up becoming the catch-all name of all its imposters -- except for Post-It Notes and Tupperware -- but Ziploc sets the standard for all plastic storage bags. There are tons of ways to use a Ziploc, from creating a makeshift piping bag to marinating meats to rolling out pie dough. But nothing beats the original design purpose of the bag: storage. Whatever you're looking to store, Ziplocs make food storage tasks easy.

The trouble is keeping the bag open so that you can fill it with whatever you're trying to store. Luckily, you don't need a special gadget to fill your Ziploc bags, you just need to fold the top of the bag over. When you fold the top of the zipper bag around itself temporarily, you tame the flexible plastic enough to keep it open. This will allow you to keep both your hands free to pour stuff into your bag. Once it's full, just flip the cuff back over and you're ready to zip it up.

Read more: The Best Kitchen Gadgets You Can Buy

Roll The Top Over For More Control

Ziploc bag zipper
Ziploc bag zipper - Savelov Maksim/Shutterstock

Ziplocs originated during the 1960s, thanks to a new plastic zipper mechanism developed by Steven Ausnit. While the invention would eventually change the food storage game, it took people a long time to catch on to how they worked. In fact, Ausnit told The New York Times that during an early demonstration with Columbia Records -- one in which he was attempting to persuade the label to use plastic bags as album sleeves -- nobody could figure out how to open the bags. It wasn't until the 1970s that Ziploc bags really started to become popular in American kitchens.

Part of a Ziploc's usefulness is also a frustrating drawback. The bags are ultra-flexible and tightly sealed, so you can fill them with soft or liquid items like soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies. However, that same flexibility keeps them from standing up on their own, meaning it's impossible to keep the top open while you're trying to stuff things inside. But a quick cuff of the top changes the way the bag works. Suddenly, you can make it sit up on a table with the top open. By folding the heaviest part of the bag — the zipper — backward, you can tame the thin plastic.

Fold The Top Halfway Down

folded Ziploc with ingredients
folded Ziploc with ingredients - Candice Bell/Getty Images

The key to making this hack work is to fold the zipper once around the outside of the bag, then fold it about halfway down. The zipper will actually squeeze the creased sides of the bag together, forcing it into a bit of a bowl shape.

To get it to sit up straight on the table, poke your fingers into the cuffed bag and push the bottom out lightly so that it's flat. From there, all that's left to do is fill up the bag. If you have enough stuff to make the bag pretty full, go slow and fill it until it's about a 1/4 inch from the cuffed opening. The liquid will settle on the bottom of the bag and anchor it, so you can stop and roll the cuff back up so that it's almost to the top, then fill it the rest of the way. Once the bag is full, but not too full, zip it up.

The cuffing trick works on any size zipper bag, so don't be afraid to try it with gallon and snack-size bags. Once you see how easy it is to get a Ziploc bag to do your bidding, you'll start using it to store everything. Just don't forget to label and date everything with a Sharpie.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.