Tired of buying the same food storage containers just to toss them after just a couple of uses? Hate wasting food because of freezer burn? Let me walk you through how to choose the best food storage containers for your meal prep and leftover needs.
Which Material Should You Choose?
When you're trying to choose which kind of food storage containers are right for you, there are several things you need to consider. What is right for one storage purpose might not be right for another. Here are a few things that can impact which one to choose:
- What you're storing
- How much you're storing
- Where you're storing it
- How much money you want to spend
Glass Food Storage Containers
Worried about food safety? With these glass food storage containers, you won't have to worry about chemicals seeping into your food. Long lasting, stackable, and high quality, you'll love this assortment of glass food storage containers.
- Oxo Glass Containers with Snap Seals
- 24-Piece Superior Glass Food Storage Containers Set
- Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Glass Food Storage Containers
Pros and Cons of Glass Food Storage Containers
- No concern about harsh chemicals seeping into your food.
- Easy to clean.
- No staining.
- Great quality.
- Can break easily.
- More expensive than other storage options.
Plastic Food Storage Containers
Plastic is one of the most affordable and easily accessible storage options when you're wanting to store some of your favorite foods. Here are some of my favorite plastic storage options:
- Rubbermaid Brilliance
- Rubbermaid Twist and Seal
- Rubbermaid Easy Find Vented Lids Food Storage Containers
- Chef's Path Airtight Tall Food Storage Container Set
Pros and Cons of Plastic food storage containers
- May stain easily with certain types of foods.
- Some options aren't BPA free.
- Can warp or crack over time.
Silicone Food Storage Containers
- Souper Cubes
- Stasher Stand-Up 100% Silicone Reusable Food Storage Bag
- Vremi Silicone Food Storage Containers with BPA Free Airtight Plastic Lids
Pros and Cons of Silicone food storage containers
- Doesn't Stain Easily
- Doesn't retain Odors
- More likely to allow your food to be susceptible to freezer burn
BPA Free Plastic Bags For Storage
Freeze a lot of food? Are you on a tight budget? Freezer safe bags are the most affordable option for food storage containers. They might have a bad reputation for allowing your food to get freezer burn, but if you choose the right ones, this is an excellent food storage option.
- Amazon Brand - Solimo Freezer Gallon Bags
- Ziploc Freezer Bags with New Grip 'n Seal Technology
- Glad Zipper Food Storage Plastic Bags - Gallon Size
Pros and Cons of BPA Free Food Storage Bags
- Very affordable
- Easy to stock up on
- Takes up little space in your freezer
- Most types aren't BPA free
- Creates more waste
- More prone to freezer burn
Features To Consider For Freezer Food Storage
While finding good food storage options may seem like a simple task, there are several features you will need to consider before investing in the right food storage containers to save your favorite foods and leftovers.
Here are the factors to consider when choosing the best food storage containers for your freezer
- Ease of Closing
- Odor/Stain resistant
- Even Freezing
- Reusable vs. one-time use
- Dishwasher safe
- Microwave safe
1. Best Closures for Freezer Food Storage Containers
There are several different closure options for your food storage. This is an important factor to ensure no additional moisture gets to your food.
There's nothing worse than freezer burn or stale food that you have to toss because of poor storage methods. Here are a few of the different types of food storage closures:
- Twist and Seal
- Click and Seal
- Zip Top
- Easy Seal Top
Each of these offer various levels of protection for the food you're storing. If you're storing food in your pantry, any of these options will keep your food from spoiling.
If you're storing food in your freezer, you'll want to make sure you're using the best type of seal you can find to avoid freezer burn and leakage. For the freezer, I would rank the sealing type from best to worst as:
- Twist and Seal
- Click and Seal
- Easy Seal Top
- Zip Top
2. Odor/Stain Absorption
Different foods can be more forgiving than others when it comes to letting food odors and stains penetrate the food storage containers. The most frequent offenders to these types of stains are:
- Tomato Sauce
- Recipes with onions
- Heavily spiced dishes
If you're trying to store any of these foods, I would recommend choosing one of the storage options I listed earlier in this order:
- BPA Free Bags
Try one of the more resilient options and see how it handles. If there is still staining or residual odors in the glass or silicone food storage containers, opt for one of the BPA free bags so you can toss them after each use.
3. Even Shapes For Better Stacking
For most of us, pantry and freezer space are hard to come by. If you're a fan of meal prep, or just hate wasting food, food storage can be a critical part of how you spend time in your kitchen.
To get the most bang for your buck with food storage, you'll want something that is easily stackable and takes up the least amount of space.
For this reason, I've listed only food storage options that stack and store easily.
Rectangle/Square Make The Best Use of Space vs. Oval/Round.
You'll want flat, non protruding lids so you can stack them to save as much room as possible.
Keep in mind that for the plastic freezer bags to be stackable and take up the least amount of space, you'll need to make sure they are free of any extra air and you put them in the freezer flat so they retain a favorable shape.
4. Even Freezing
Think of your food that you're putting in the freezer as giant ice cubes. The thinner the ice cubes, the faster it melts or defrosts. If you want to save food and reheat it quickly, you'll want it to defrost quickly.
When choosing the right food storage container, you'll want something that freezes evenly and is a thin layer so it's ready to eat quickly. You'll want to opt for something that is square or rectangular over something that is oval or round.
5. Reusable Vs. One Time Use
One of the biggest cost concerns with food storage is how many times you can use it verses how much it costs.
Some food storage containers are very affordable but are not durable. The cheaper options may be prone to staining with certain foods, warping when being heated, or breaking under the extreme temperatures of a freezer.
The more expensive food storage containers might be a stretch for your budget, but will end up saving you money and reducing waste over time.
6. Dishwasher Safe
Hate dishes? Me too. They're even more cumbersome when you have to wash them by hand. For this reason, make sure you select food storage containers that are dishwasher safe so you're more likely to reach for them over and over again.
If you're environmentally conscious, this will be a major consideration for you as well. Something you can use over and over is more environmentally friendly than something that gets tossed in the trash or recycling after each use.
7. Microwave Safe
If a freezer dish isn't microwave safe, it's a waste of time.
Seriously. Who freezes anything and wants to wait a day or two for it to defrost in the fridge? For the best freezer storage container option, you'll want something that you can pop in the microwave and defrost quickly.
That being said, it's even more important that you choose a BPA free freezer bag so that the bag doesn't emit harmful chemicals while it is exposed to the high temperatures of a microwave during the defrost process.
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If you found this post on how to choose the best food storage containers helpful, make sure to share it with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook so they can decide if this is the freezer storage solution for them too.
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Originally Published August 28, 2020
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