I love fresh bread, and when I buy it I store it at home in a plastic bag. After 2-3 days it has probably lost about 60% of its overall quality. I've been using some vacuum storage bags and found that the bread can be great up to a week later!

This made me think about how I'd love to have a box or chamber on the counter that I can just dump my bread in and vacuum most of the air out. It would be stationary and much more practical than bags, which require cutting and subsequent disposal.

What are some of the primary barriers to this being a practical tool? I'd imagine many households would want this!

  • You mean why not such a household appliance exist in the market?
    – Alchimista
    Mar 20 '19 at 13:42
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    Hi Behacad, taken literally, your original question requires us to explain why, from all decisions that cooks, manufacturers, sellers and regulators could have made, they didn't made the ones which would have led to vacuum boxes being commonplace. This is not a cooking question, and even if it were, it would be way too broad. The only aspect we can answer are whether there are obvious cooking-related obstacles for it to happen, and I reduced the question to that part, instead of closing.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 20 '19 at 14:00
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    You can remove most of the air from a plastic bag without a vacuum, and no tools...a vaccum would probably compress your bread in the process, no?
    – moscafj
    Mar 20 '19 at 16:50
  • @moscafj That requires a bag, which is not great for environment and is also typically not reusable.
    – Behacad
    Mar 20 '19 at 18:30
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    More of an aside than anything... if you love fresh bread, why do you go to great lengths to keep it for a long time?
    – Spagirl
    Mar 21 '19 at 10:58

Bread gets dried out and stale through retrogradation which requires moisture. Your vacuum bags are not keeping the bread fresh because of the vacuum, they are keeping it fresh by providing a very tight seal that prevents the bread from absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. A larger vacuum box would provide the same protection from moisture but it might dry the bread out since the moisture in the bread would easily evaporate at the lower pressure. Also keep in mind that neither a vacuum bag nor a vacuum box will prevent mold from eventually growing on the bread.

The biggest competition to a vacuum bread box is the freezer that most people already have in their kitchen. Frozen bread can go for many weeks or even months without going stale and without any mold growing on it. The only real risk to the bread is freezer burn if it is not sealed tightly. Use vacuum bags to seal your bread tight and it can last a very long time in your freezer.

  • This makes sense, but it is also not practical to defrost bread and use bags constantly to have fresh bread. I'm also not convinced about your argument that vacuuming won't work, since I know it does work with vacuuming in bags and I don't see how a chamber would affect pressure differently.
    – Behacad
    Mar 21 '19 at 13:29
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    In a bag humidity and eventually fragrances cannot leave the bread. If you put a glass of water in a vacuum chamber either it boils or evaporates fast. The fragrances aromas etc is actually another drawback of using vacuum chambers for food.
    – Alchimista
    Mar 22 '19 at 9:48
  • @behacad Freezer bags can be used again and again for bread, and it's easy to defrost it by toasting it (slice before freezing) or leaving it out for a few hours.
    – dbmag9
    Apr 20 at 7:11
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    @behacad Regarding the difference between the vacuum bag and vacuum box, it's helpful to think of the volume of vacuum rather than just the pressure. The bag's volume reduces when you vacuum it so that there's almost no space for moisture to go that's not inside the bread. The box has plenty of space for moisture to go, and the low pressure means it leaves the bread quicker.
    – dbmag9
    Apr 20 at 7:14

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