Food storage containers are used to protect food against several potential threats inside the fridge. However, each type of container might have some different features suitable for your usage. The following article will give you the list of best food storage containers for your fridge.
Why do you need the best food containers?
The principal purpose of containers is to protect food from influence or damage so that the food will be safe for later use. The best containers will perform the jobs perfectly and they also provide convenience in storing, handling, and finding the food. Other reasons why you need the best food containers as followings:
- Easy to store food in fridge: You can keep different types of food in fridge safely, separately and move them easily.
- Reusable: As they are reused, you can save money and the environment will be protected as well.
- Convenient: With safe containers, you can bring food to picnics, outside parties or even lunch for office.
- Preventing contamination: Food storage containers prevent food from getting contamination. Most plastic containers are free from PVC, BPA, and Latex that can keep your food fresh and healthy.
- Microwave-safe: Using a microwave-safe containers, you can store and reheat the food quickly.
Common shapes and sizes of food containers
Round or square are the most popular shapes for food storage containers. They both have benefits and limitations but the one that best for you depends on the space available in your fridge and your personal habit and preferences. The square container is a perfect choice for small or limited space for it can maximize the storage room. Meanwhile, with the round shape, a round container allows the air to circulate better and can make the food cool faster as well as minimize food waste.
How about the sizes? Depending on the types of food or ingredients that you want to store in fridge, you can pick the right size available with many options. The common sizes include: 1.2 Oz (36ml), 3 Oz (88 ml), 6 Oz (178ml), 9 Oz (266ml), 10.1 Oz (300ml), 18.6 Oz (550 ml), 28.4 Oz (840 ml), 33.8 Oz (1 liter), 37 Oz (1.2 liter), and 47 Oz (1.4 liter), 63 Oz (1.85 liter) and even bigger.
If you can see the container at the store, it is simple to make the right choice. However, if you are an online shopper, you should read the item’s description carefully to make sure it fits your space, needs and budget.
What are the designs for food container?
Some food storage containers are attached with:
- Extra pieces or trays: for keeping the food even fresher
- Lids: usually attached to the container itself, so you do not worry about losing the lids
- Bins or Ingredient bins: to separate some kinds of ingredients like onions or spicy food
Other containers may have faucets, handles or plastic knives and forks that make the containers more convenient to customers.
What is the best material for food storage containers?
Materials and design of food container play an important role in maintaining the product quality and freshness during storage time in fridge. The most common materials used in food packaging are glass, aluminum, foils, paper and plastics.
Glass is the best materials because it is odorless and waterproof to gases and vapors, so it can maintain product freshness for a long period of time without losing the food’s taste or flavor.
Its transparency allows you to see the inside food to check it regularly. For light-sensitive foods, the variations in glass color can protect these items. Glass packaging is good to the environment as it is reusable and recyclable.
On the other hand, glass has some disadvantages like heavy weight, more cost in shipping and easy to break due to internal pressure, impact or the sudden change of temperature.
The benefits when using plastics to keep food can be listed as: low cost, lightweight and easily move. Plastics also have many outstanding characteristics like resistant to chemicals, heat sealable and easy to pack the foods.
However, the limitation of plastic is its possibility of being affected by gases, light, vapor if it is not kept properly.
Aluminum: People use aluminum to produce cans, foils, and laminated paper. It is a lightweight and silvery white metal that can prevent food from moisture, air, odors, light, and harmful bacteria.
Aluminum foils: They have differences in thickness. The thinner foils will be used to wrap food and the thicker foils are used for making trays. Foils can fold food tightly and they are an excellent container to protect food from moisture, air, odors and microorganisms.
Plastic vs. Glass container: Which one should you buy?
Food containers are diverse in materials, so sometimes it will make you confused when choose a good one for yourself. The material usually determines the safety and durability of your container. Each material has its own pros and cons when you use it.
Plastic food-storage containers
Plastic food-storage containers can hold items such as: rice, vegetables, tubers, fruits,…
Other uses are:
- Store dry goods: coffee, salt, sugar, candy, cakes, nuts…
- Prevent dirt or external impact from sticking to food
- Used to preserve food in the refrigerator, keeping food fresh
- Or can store all kinds of food when you need to bring to work, school or picnic…
- Cheap, diverse designs, easy to find in stores
- Compact, lightweight, easy to use and store food
- Not easy to break when dropped
- User-friendly, especially for children and the elders
- Possessing many outstanding utilities such as: box with lid, lid with lock, lid with steam release valve, can be used in the microwave…
- Smell and stain food easy stick to plastic, difficult to clean
- Not all plastic containers can be used in the microwave
- Heat retention is not good, they cannot be used in the oven
- Effects on health when used for a long time
- They may affect the environment as many types of plastic cannot be recycled
Notes when choosing a plastic food container
- Never buy plastic containers that do not have any symbol or information on them. You are not sure if they are safe for health or not.
- Pure white plastic should be used in food preservation because they are safer than colored plastic.
- Plastic boxes with the notes like For Microwave use, Microwave safe, Microwaveable, Aussi pour Four à Micro Onde .. are used to preserve and reheat food in the microwave because they do not melt when heated.
Glass food-storage containers
Glass is made from one of the most abundant materials on earth, silica which is found in sand. The special feature of glass is that it can be recycled and reused many times. Glass food containers are perfect for:
- Storing dry goods: coffee, candy, cake, spices, nuts, cake powder…
- Food storage such as: rice, fried food, stir-fry, porridge, soup…
- Heat or cook food in the microwave
- Bake food in the oven
- Holds boiling water and hot food
- Store food safely, ensure taste and keep food fresh in refrigerator
- Durable, long lifespan, good heat resistance and heat retention
- Beautiful, luxurious
- Safe for health
- Easy to clean
- Prevent odor and color clinging to food
- Most can be used in the microwave, freezer compartment
- Protect the environment because the glass box is recyclable
- More expensive than other materials
- Heavy and fragile
- Keeping heat for a long time, it can cause burns if you are not careful enough
- Easily cracked when dropped or when the temperature changes from hot to cold suddenly
- Not convenient for children or the seniors
What are your priorities when choosing food containers?
It has three main factors to determine whether a container is greater than the others or not. Here’s the detail for your primary consideration:
Almost all food storage containers are made from glass or plastic. Most current plastic containers are free of BPA which does not cause any leakage of toxic chemicals. Meanwhile, the glass ones tend to be heavier and easy to break but safe for your food.
The most popular shapes for food containers are square, rectangular and round. No matter what shape they are, the containers having the straight edges will help you to save much room.
The round box helps the air to circulate better, cool the food faster. The square box can store more food and save more space. If you have a small refrigerator or pantry, give preference to square boxes. If you have a comfortable space to store food, you can freely choose the shape you like.
A container might come with or without a lid. The container with lid has more advantages than the others because it can protect your food better. It also keeps food fresh and not spilling when moving.
Colorful lids are also helpful. Using lids with different colors when storing food will make it easier for you to find the box you want.
It is recommended to choose the lid with lock and safety seal. This buckle and ring will allow you to transport food comfortably without worrying about spilling, even liquids like soups or porridge.
Further reading: Best Containers for Freezing Food
Best storage containers for refrigerators
Best Reusable Bag: Stasher Silicone Reusable Food Bag
Dimensions: Sandwich size
Capacity: 15 fluid ounces
Stasher Platinum food-grade silicone bags are free from PVC, BPA, and Latex. These bags keep your food safe from contaminants and can be used for freezer, microwave, and oven.
Best Plastic Container: Popit! Plastic Containers
Number of containers: 8
Size: The set consists of 3 Oz, 6 Oz, 9 Oz, 15 Oz, 19 Oz, 28 Oz, 37 Oz, and 47 Oz
The lids are completely leak-proof to avoid any potential spills. With plastic materials, these containers are light but still durable for long-term storage. Nevertheless, it is quite risky to use the plastic containers for a microwave, so you need to be very careful.
Best Airtight Glass Container: Snapware Total Solution Containers
Number of containers: 12
The Snapware product has the leak proof lids which are writable on for any label. They are considered to be the top-rack option for dishwasher, freezer, and microwave. However, when microwaving, you should add waxed paper or plastic wrap to prevent staining.
Best for Dry Food: OXO Good Grips POP containers
Material: BPA-free plastic
Guarantee: Support for repair and replacement
Number: 10 pieces (including one 4.0qt, one 2.5qt, one 2.4qt, one 2.1qt, two 0.9qt, two 0.5qt, and two 0.3qt)
The design of these containers will help you to save lots of room in the fridge. Although the lids are airtight, they are still easy to handle. However, except for the silicone seal, other parts should be cleaned by hand wash instead of dishwasher.
Best for Soup: Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Containers
Material : Plastic
Number of containers: 12 (Set includes: four 0.5 cup, four 1.3 cup, two 3.2 cup, two 4.7 cup)
The containers are made from Triton plastic which is transparent like glass but not heavy to carry. These containers are safe for freezer, dishwasher, and microwave (even with the lids on). But the outstanding features make them quite pricey than other options.
Best for Design: Glasslock Food Storage Containers
Number of containers: 7 (Square: one 3.3 cup, two 1.5 cup, Rectangular: two 1.6 cup, one 3.1 cup, and one 1.6 cup)
The set from Glasslock offers you several containers in different sizes for multiple purposes. These containers are safe enough for microwave, oven, freezer, and dishwasher. The only drawback of this set is that it is hard to snap the lids on and off sometimes.
Best for Produce: iDesign Crisp Plastic Containers
Dimensions: 8.31 x 6.3 x 3.9 inches
Material: BPA-free plastic
The special design with 2 layers would turn these iDesign containers into the best option for various veggies and fruits. The colander basket will help your food to drain before storage.
Besides, the notched lid on top might prevent any vegetable or fruit from excess humidity, thus keeping them fresh longer.
Best Space Efficiency: Joseph Joseph Nest Lock Containers
Dimensions of the nested set: 7.87 x 6.42 x 9.65 inches
Number of containers: 5 (one 230 ml, one 540 ml, one 1.1L, one 1.85L, one 3L)
The container set comes in with both nested lids and nested containers which are designed to save room as much as possible in the fridge. In addition, it does not matter to clean them with a dishwasher or use them in the microwave or freezer. However, it might be quite tricky to assemble the containers together for storage.
You may also like: Best Reusable Freezer Bags for Meat, Vegetables and Liquids
It is a good idea to keep different types of food in the suitable containers for long lasting storage in the fridge. To know if a container is good, you should consider its material, lid as well as shape. Based on your own demand, there are several best options available for you.
- Different Types of Food Storage Containers, homestratosphere.com, Retrieved on Aug. 25, 2021
- Food Packaging—Roles, Materials, and Environmental Issues, onlinelibrary.wiley.com, Mar. 31, 2007