Best Food Storage Containers

Food Storage Containers

In the quest for a clutter-free kitchen and longer-lasting food, the importance of quality food storage containers cannot be overstressed. These indispensable kitchen allies not only help keep your pantry, fridge, and freezer organized but also play a critical role in preserving the freshness, flavor, and nutritional value of your food. From leftovers to lunch prep, and from dry pantry staples to soups and sauces, the right containers can transform your kitchen experience and reduce food waste significantly.

However, with the vast array of options available, choosing the best food storage containers for your needs can be a daunting task. Factors like material, size, seal quality, and ease of cleaning all play pivotal roles in determining the right choice for your kitchen. Whether you’re transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle with glass options, seeking the ultimate convenience of airtight seals, or looking for the best solutions for pantry organization, this guide is designed to help you make an informed decision.

Before we dive into the details, please note that this article contains affiliate links, and we may earn a commission if you purchase through these links. However, rest assured that our reviews and recommendations are based on thorough research and genuine assessments, aiming to provide you with the best options to suit your food storage needs.

Overview of the Best Food Storage Containers

TypeProduct NameMain FeaturesProsCons
Best GlassPyrex Simply StoreVaried sizes, microwave-safe, oven-safe, non-porous glassDurable, doesn’t absorb odors/flavors, versatileLids not oven-safe, can be heavy
Anchor Hocking TrueSealAirtight, leak-proof, freezer-safe, microwave-safeVery durable, excellent seal, versatileHeavier than plastic, premium price
Best AirtightOXO Good Grips POPOne-touch airtight seal, stackable, variety of sizesEasy to use, excellent for dry goods, stackableMore expensive, lids can be complex
Rubbermaid BrillianceAirtight, clear, stackable, BPA-freeVisibility, secure seal, easy stackingSome find lids hard to clean
Best for PantryThe Container Store ProKeeperTailored for baking ingredients, includes terracotta diskSpecialized for baking, maintains freshnessLess versatile, best for dry goods
mDesign Plastic Organizer BinAffordable, clear, stackableGreat for organization, versatile usageNot airtight, more for organization
Simple MadeGlasslock Oven and Microwave SafeSimple design, oven-safe, range of shapes and sizesMultipurpose, easy to store and cleanLids may be cumbersome to clean
Fullstar Food Storage ContainersBPA-free, leakproof, variety of sizesEconomical, range of sizes, versatileNot as durable as glass, may retain odors
Best StackingJoseph Joseph Nest LockNesting design, color-coded, space-savingExcellent for small spaces, easy to match lidsPlastic may scratch, reduce visibility
Rubbermaid Easy FindLids snap to base, vented for microwaving, stackableEasy to store and find, microwave-safe ventsPlastic may stain or retain odors
Table of the best food storage containers by type

Essential Considerations

Food storage containers are more than just boxes for your leftovers; they are an integral part of your kitchen ecosystem, contributing to food safety, waste reduction, and organizational efficiency. Whether you prefer the durability of glass or the versatility of plastic, understanding what makes a good container will guide you to the best choice for your home.

What Are Food Storage Containers?

At their core, food storage containers are receptacles designed to hold food, either for short-term leftovers or long-term pantry goods. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, each suited for different types of food and storage conditions. The primary function of these containers is to keep food sealed from outside contaminants, preserve food quality, and prevent spills and leaks.

General Features to Consider:

  1. Size and Shape: Consider what types of food you typically store and select containers that will accommodate those items. Square or rectangular containers often make better use of shelf space compared to round ones. However, round containers can be easier to stir contents or scoop out of. Having a range of sizes is beneficial for storing different quantities of food.
  2. Material: The two most common materials for food storage containers are glass and plastic. Glass containers are durable, stain-resistant, and microwave-safe but can be heavy and breakable. Plastic containers are lightweight and often cheaper, but they can absorb odors and stains, and lower-quality plastics may warp or crack over time. Consider BPA-free and food-grade materials for health and safety.
  3. Seal Quality: Airtight seals help keep food fresher longer, prevent leaks, and protect against pests in the pantry. Look for containers with secure lids, locking mechanisms, or silicone gaskets to ensure a tight seal.
  4. Ease of Cleaning: Easy-to-clean containers save time and ensure hygiene. Look for dishwasher-safe options or containers with smooth surfaces that don’t harbor food particles and odors.
  5. Stackability: Especially in small kitchens or for those with extensive storage needs, the ability to stack containers safely and securely is a game-changer. Stacking can help maximize space in the fridge, freezer, and pantry.
  6. Microwave and Freezer Safety: If you plan to use containers for reheating or freezing food, check that they are designed for these purposes. Some materials can crack at low temperatures or become hot and potentially hazardous in the microwave.

By keeping these features in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the vast array of food storage containers available and select those that best fit your lifestyle and culinary habits.

Best Food Storage Containers:

In the realm of food storage, one size does not fit all. Different kitchens, diets, and lifestyles demand diverse solutions. Below, we’ve broken down the top food storage container categories based on popular needs and preferences. Each type offers unique benefits tailored to various food storage challenges.

Best Glass Food Storage Containers

Glass containers are lauded for their durability, non-porous surface, and environmental friendliness. They don’t absorb odors or stains and can transition seamlessly from freezer to microwave, making them a versatile choice for many households.

1. Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Glass Food Storage Containers

  • Pros: Sturdy, microwave-safe, oven-safe (without lids), and comes in various sizes. The non-porous glass doesn’t absorb food odors or flavors.
  • Cons: Lids are not oven-safe and can warp in the dishwasher over time.
  • Experience: Ideal for those who prioritize sustainability and food safety. They stack neatly, saving valuable kitchen space.

2. Anchor Hocking TrueSeal Glass Food Storage Containers

  • Pros: Airtight and leak-proof lids, freezer-safe, and microwave-safe. The glass is tempered for extra durability.
  • Cons: Heavier than plastic options, which might not be suitable for all.
  • Experience: Offers peace of mind for transporting meals without leaks, excellent for meal-preppers.

Best Airtight Food Storage Containers

Airtight containers are perfect for pantry staples like flour, sugar, and coffee, keeping them fresh and pest-free.

1. OXO Good Grips POP Container Set

  • Pros: The push-button mechanism creates an airtight seal with just one touch. Modular design for easy stacking and organization.
  • Cons: Pricey compared to other options, but the durability and airtight seal can justify the cost.
  • Experience: Transformative for pantry organization, these containers make it easy to see and access your dry goods.

2. Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry Organization & Food Storage Containers

  • Pros: Airtight, stackable, and crystal-clear design for easy visibility. BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.
  • Cons: Some users report that the lids can be tricky to clean by hand due to the tight seal.
  • Experience: Great for those seeking a clear and consistent look for their pantry with the added benefit of a secure seal.

Best Food Storage Containers for Pantry

Optimizing pantry space requires containers that maximize storage while keeping ingredients accessible and fresh.

1. The Container Store ProKeeper Baker’s Storage Set

  • Pros: Specifically designed for baking ingredients with unique features like a terracotta disk in the brown sugar keeper to prevent hardening.
  • Cons: Specialized containers mean less versatility for non-baking needs.
  • Experience: A baker’s dream, keeping ingredients fresh and handy, while the clear design makes it easy to monitor supply levels.

2. mDesign Plastic Food Storage Organizer Bin

  • Pros: Affordable, stackable, and versatile for various pantry items. Clear bins make contents easily visible.
  • Cons: Not airtight, so best used for items that don’t require a seal.
  • Experience: Ideal for organizing cans, packets, and boxes, these bins can transform a cluttered pantry into a model of efficiency.

Simple Made Food Storage Containers

For those seeking straightforward, no-fuss storage solutions, simplicity is key.

1. Glasslock Oven and Microwave Safe Glass Food Storage Containers

  • Pros: Simple design, oven-safe, and comes with a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • Cons: The lids have multiple parts that can make cleaning a bit cumbersome.
  • Experience: Perfect for those who want an all-in-one solution for storage, reheating, and serving.

2. Fullstar (12 Pack) Food Storage Containers with Lids

  • Pros: BPA-free, leakproof, and comes with a range of sizes for different needs.
  • Cons: Not as durable as glass options and may hold onto odors after multiple uses.
  • Experience: An economical choice for families needing a variety of container sizes and shapes without breaking the bank.

Stacking Food Storage Containers

Maximizing space while maintaining order is a common kitchen challenge. Stacking containers are the solution.

1. Joseph Joseph Nest Lock Plastic Food Storage Container Set

  • Pros: Unique nesting design saves space when not in use. Color-coded for easy pairing of lids and bases.
  • Cons: The plastic can scratch and cloud over time, diminishing visibility.
  • Experience: Ingenious for small kitchens, these containers tuck away neatly and provide a satisfying organizational system.

2. Rubbermaid Easy Find Vented Lids Food Storage Containers

  • Pros: Lids snap together and to base bottoms; space-efficient design. Microwave-safe vents for splatter-free reheating.
  • Cons: Plastic may not hold up as well as glass against stains and odors.
  • Experience: Streamlines food storage with a system that’s easy to keep organized, perfect for family kitchens and leftovers.

In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into what makes these containers stand out, including hands-on testing notes and practical advice to guide your purchasing decisions. But remember, the best container for you depends on your individual needs and kitchen habits.

Selecting the Right Container

Choosing the right food storage container might seem straightforward, but considering the variety of options available, it’s worth taking a moment to assess your specific needs. This section will guide you through key considerations to ensure you make a purchase that suits your lifestyle, food habits, and kitchen space.

Consider Your Storage Needs

First, evaluate what types of foods you commonly store and where you store them. Do you need containers for dry pantry items, leftovers in the fridge, or meals for freezing? Your storage needs will influence the size, material, and type of containers best suited for your household.

Assess Material Pros and Cons

Glass: Ideal for those who prefer non-toxic, sustainable materials. Glass is excellent for visibility, is dishwasher safe, and can go from freezer to microwave, but it is heavier and more breakable.

Plastic: Lightweight, often more affordable, and comes in various designs, including airtight options. However, ensure you choose BPA-free plastics to avoid chemicals leaching into food. Be mindful that plastic can stain and retain odors over time.

Check for Airtight Seals

If keeping food fresh for as long as possible is your goal, prioritize containers with airtight seals. They’re essential for dry goods in the pantry and for maintaining freshness in the fridge. Test the seal if possible, and read reviews to ensure the containers live up to their claims.

Consider Usability and Maintenance

Look for containers that are user-friendly and easy to clean. If you use a dishwasher, check that the containers and lids are dishwasher safe. Consider how easy the containers are to stack and store, as efficient use of space is crucial in most kitchens.

Think About Versatility

Some containers are designed for specific uses, like marinating meat or storing sandwiches, while others are more versatile. Consider whether you prefer specialized containers or more general ones that can serve multiple purposes.

Budget and Quantity

Determine your budget and consider how many containers you need. It might be more economical to buy a set rather than individual pieces. However, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. It’s better to have a few reliable containers than a multitude of poor-quality ones.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can navigate the sea of options and select the food storage containers that best fit your needs and preferences. Whether you’re meal prepping for the week, organizing your pantry, or storing leftovers, the right containers can make all the difference in keeping your food fresh and your kitchen organized.

FAQs

When it comes to food storage containers, several questions often arise. Here, we aim to clear up some of the most common concerns and provide helpful insights to ensure you’re fully informed and can make the best choices for your kitchen and lifestyle.

Can I microwave food in plastic containers?

Not all plastic containers are created equal. While many are microwave-safe, it’s crucial to check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Look for the microwave-safe symbol, usually a microwave with waves, on the bottom of the container. Even microwave-safe plastics should be used with caution, as certain foods can cause plastics to warp or melt. Consider using glass containers for microwaving, especially for high-fat or high-sugar foods.

How do I prevent stains and odors in plastic containers?

To avoid stains, particularly from tomato-based products, apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the container before filling it with food. This can create a barrier that helps prevent staining. For existing stains and odors, soaking the container in a mixture of baking soda and warm water can help eliminate them. Regularly washing your containers immediately after use will also minimize staining and odors.

Are glass containers better than plastic?

Glass and plastic containers each have their advantages and disadvantages. Glass is non-porous, doesn’t absorb odors or colors, and is generally considered safer for microwave use. However, it’s heavier and more prone to breaking. Plastic is lightweight and often more affordable, but it can stain, retain odors, and, if not BPA-free, potentially release harmful chemicals into food. Your choice depends on your priorities, such as safety, convenience, and budget.

How do I choose the right size and shape?

Consider the types of foods you usually store and the space available in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Rectangular or square containers tend to use space more efficiently than round ones. Having a variety of sizes can help accommodate different food types and quantities, from large batches of soup to small servings of nuts or condiments.

How long can I store food in these containers?

The shelf life of food in storage containers varies based on the food type, container material, and whether the food is stored in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. Always follow food safety guidelines for storage times. Generally, an airtight seal can help extend the freshness of dry goods and leftovers but always check for signs of spoilage before consuming stored food.

Is it worth investing in high-end food storage containers?

Investing in high-quality food storage containers can be worth it for those who prioritize longevity, food safety, and sustainability. Higher-end containers often come with better seals, more durable materials, and warranties. However, the “best” containers are those that meet your specific needs, fit your budget, and are used consistently. Evaluate what features are most important to you and make your decision based on that criteria.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, we hope to have clarified any uncertainties and aided in your decision-making process. Proper food storage is crucial for maintaining food quality and kitchen organization, so choosing the right containers is an investment in your culinary health and efficiency.


Discover the Perfect Food Container for Every Need

Our team has meticulously researched and compiled the best food containers on the market, suitable for a variety of uses and preferences. Just select your primary requirement from the list below, and you’ll be directed to the most relevant category.

Containers By Food

To simplify your search, we’ve curated an extensive list of the finest Food Containers available, organized by the type of food they’re best suited for.

Best Container For Freezing Smoothies

Best Container for Marinating Meat

Best Potato And Onion Containers (Draft)

Best Bacon Grease Container

Best Ice Cream Container

Best Container For Cold Brew Coffee (Draft)

Best Containers For Cookies (Draft)

Best Container For Overnight Oats

Best Containers For Sauerkraut (Draft)

Best Container For Hot Food (Draft)

Best Container For Deli Meat (Draft)

Best Containers for Ground Coffee (Draft)

Best Container For Brown Sugar

Best Container For Flour (Draft)

Best Container For Sourdough (Draft)

What is the best container for Salad

Best Container for Freezing Soup


Explore Additional Container Categories

If you haven’t found the specific container you’re looking for, we invite you to explore our other specialized categories:

  • Best Container by Comparisons: Delve into our comprehensive comparisons to find the top-rated containers.
  • Best Container by Brand: Discover the leading containers sorted by renowned brands and their alternatives.
  • Best Container by Task: Find the ideal container tailored for specific uses and tasks.


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