Choosing the Best Food Container: A Guide to Keeping Your Food Fresh and Safe
Food containers are an essential part of any kitchen, allowing us to store leftovers, pack lunches, and even meal prep for the week ahead. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best food container for your needs. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the factors to consider when selecting a food container, as well as some top recommendations for keeping your food fresh and safe.
The material of your food container is an important consideration, as it can affect how long your food stays fresh and whether or not it’s safe to microwave or freeze. Here are some of the most common materials and their pros and cons:
- Plastic: Plastic food containers are lightweight and affordable, but they can stain or absorb odors over time. Look for containers labeled as BPA-free and avoid microwaving them unless they’re labeled as microwave-safe.
- Glass: Glass containers are durable and don’t absorb odors or stains, making them a good choice for long-term storage. They’re also safe for use in the microwave and dishwasher, but they can be heavy and may break if dropped.
- Stainless steel: Stainless steel containers are sturdy and won’t break or absorb odors. They’re often used for packing lunches or taking food on the go, but they can’t be microwaved.
- Size and Shape
Consider the size and shape of your food container based on what you’ll be using it for. For example, if you plan to pack a salad for lunch, you’ll want a container that’s deep enough to hold the greens without squishing them. If you’re meal prepping, look for containers that are stackable and can fit easily in your fridge or freezer.
The seal on your food container is crucial for keeping your food fresh and preventing spills. Look for containers with a tight-fitting lid that creates a strong seal. Some containers may also have additional features, such as locking tabs or silicone seals, to provide extra protection.
Consider whether you want a food container that can be used for multiple purposes. For example, some containers are designed to go from the freezer to the microwave, while others can be used as both a container and a serving dish. If you’re looking for versatility, consider investing in a set of containers with various sizes and shapes to meet all your needs.
- Pyrex Simply Store Glass Meal Prep Containers: These glass containers come in a variety of sizes and are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe.
- Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers: Made from durable, stain-resistant plastic, these containers feature airtight seals and are microwave and dishwasher safe.
- U-Konserve Stainless Steel Divided To-Go Containers: These stainless steel containers are perfect for packing customized tiffin boxes and feature separate compartments to keep food organized.
- Ziploc Twist ‘n Loc Containers: These plastic containers are affordable and feature a twist-on lid that provides a strong seal.
- Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bags: These versatile bags can be used for storing leftovers, packing lunches, or even cooking sous vide. They’re made from food-grade silicone and are dishwasher safe.
By considering factors such as material, size and shape, seal, and versatility, you can select the best food container for your needs. With the right container, you can keep your food fresh and safe, reduce food waste, and simplify your meal prep routine.
Consider the durability of your food container, especially if you plan to use it frequently or take it on the go. Some materials, such as glass or stainless steel, are more durable and resistant to breakage than others. Additionally, look for containers with thick walls or reinforcement to prevent cracking or warping.
- Easy to Clean
A food container that’s easy to clean will save you time and effort in the long run. Look for containers with smooth surfaces and minimal crevices where food can get stuck. Containers that are dishwasher safe can also make cleaning a breeze.
If you’re environmentally conscious, consider investing in eco-friendly food containers. Some options include reusable silicone bags, glass or stainless steel containers, or compostable containers made from plant-based materials. Avoid single-use plastic containers whenever possible to reduce waste.
- Special Features
Some food containers may have special features that cater to specific needs or preferences. For example, if you’re meal prepping, you may want containers with compartments to keep food separate. If you’re trying to reduce your use of disposable products, look for containers that come with reusable utensils or straws.
- Glasslock Oven Safe Containers: These glass containers are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe and feature airtight lids for maximum freshness.
- PlanetBox Stainless Steel Lunch Box: This stainless steel lunch box is durable and includes a variety of compartments and accessories, such as a water bottle and utensils.
- ECOlunchbox Three-in-One Stainless Steel Food Container: This versatile container can be used as a plate or bowl and includes two smaller containers for sides or snacks.
- OXO Good Grips Leakproof Glass Storage Containers: These glass containers feature airtight, leakproof lids and are safe for use in the oven, microwave, and dishwasher.
- LunchBots Stainless Steel Food Containers: These compact containers are perfect for packing snacks or small meals and come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
Choosing the best food container can make a big difference in the freshness and safety of your food, as well as your meal prep routine. By considering factors such as material, size and shape, seal, versatility, durability, ease of cleaning, eco-friendliness, and special features, you can find the perfect container for your needs.