The Best Food Storage Containers, According to Our Editors and Test Kitchen Experts
Whether you're a home cook or a well-seasoned professional, containers are a must-have in any kitchen. From storing leftovers of last night's Skillet Chicken Parmesan to saving the other half of a cut avocado, containers can be used in a wide variety of ways in the fridge, freezer or pantry. But with a wide array of uses comes an equally wide range of options when it comes to shopping for containers. Luckily, our editors at EatingWell are well-versed in food storage, so we've pulled together a list of the best food storage containers to make things easy.
Things to Consider When Buying Food Storage Containers
When it comes to food storage containers, there are many different materials, including glass, plastic and silicone. Depending on your needs, any of these materials would be a suitable option for storage, however, there are slight differences that you should keep in mind. For example, both plastic and glass containers might be microwave-safe, but only a glass container is oven-safe. And, plastic and silicone containers can go directly into the freezer for storage, but a glass container's contents need to be cooled first or else you risk the glass shattering due to the temperature change. Be sure to keep in mind a container's capabilities when it comes to storage and reheating.
Size and Shape
In addition to material, you'll also want to consider the container's shape and size. Whether it's round or rectangular, square or sectioned, the shape of a container will directly impact the amount of food that can be stored. Size is another important factor and can range from ounces to gallons and everything in between. We recommend having a variety of containers in different shapes and sizes so you always have the right one for storing food to make the most of the space in your fridge, freezer or pantry.
Best Food Storage Containers
This is our list of the best food storage containers, so you can find the right ones for your kitchen.
Read on for what makes these containers the best— they're all tried-and-true favorites that are in use regularly in our editors' kitchens.
Best Glass Food-Storage Containers
Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Container Set
If you're looking for the best glass food-storage containers, Penelope Wall, EatingWell's digital content director, calls these Glasslock containers her "go-tos." Featuring nine different containers with accompanying lids, these containers of varying shapes and sizes are a great option for any kitchen. The BPA-free plastic lid locks onto the glass container, so you don't have to worry about leaks or air spoiling the contents. Plus, these containers are safe to use in the oven or microwave, and it's easy to see what's inside each container thanks to the see-through material. With these containers in your cabinets, you'll have no issues when it comes to storage.
Buy it: Target, $53
Best Plastic Food-Storage Containers
Snapware Total Solutions Plastic Food Storage Container Set, 20 Pieces
These containers from Snapware are the best BPA-free plastic food-storage containers, according to Carolyn Malcoun, EatingWell's food editor. This 20-piece set features four round containers, four rectangular containers and two square containers, all of which come with an accompanying lid. The lids lock onto the container in four different places, which helps ensure their airtight seal against unwanted odors. Both the containers and the lids are dishwasher-safe, which makes for an easy and quick cleanup (the containers should be placed in the top rack). In addition, the containers can also be used in the freezer or microwave.
Buy it: Target, $30
Best Silicone Food-Storage Containers
Stasher Reusable Food Storage Bag
Stasher bags are the best silicone food-storage containers for a few reasons. First, when they're not in use, the bags fold flat for easy organization. Plus, the malleable material makes them easy to store in the fridge, freezer or even a kid's lunchbox (and if you're looking for other containers, check out the best food storage containers for packing kids' lunchboxes). Second, they come in a wide range of colors and sizes that are perfect for holding snacks like dried fruit and nuts, sandwiches and more. These silicone containers are dishwasher-safe, which makes them a great alternative to single-use plastic bags. Plus, Stasher bags can be used in the freezer and microwave, too. With so many great features, it's easy to see why Wall says these are indispensable in her household.
Best Food Storage Containers for the Freezer
Pyrex 18-Piece Glass Storage Set
While we've written about the best storage containers for freezing food, one item in the guide that's worth a special callout, according to Megan O. Steintrager, EatingWell's senior digital food editor, are these containers from Pyrex. Featuring a glass container and a BPA-free plastic lid, these budget-friendly containers are designed to keep unwanted odors in the freezer from ruining your food. With a variety of circular and rectangular containers, this 18-piece set is perfect for storing any ingredient. Add in the facts of being dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe, and these Pyrex containers would make a great addition to any kitchen. Oh, and did we mention that when you're not using these containers, they can be nested within each other to minimize cabinet space? "I've had my set for years and it's still going strong," says Steintrager. "I love the different sizes and the fact that I can use the containers in the fridge, freezer and microwave." Pro tip: Steintrager recommends not microwaving the lids, as they can warp over time.
Buy it: Target, $26
Best Food Storage Containers for Liquids
For Malcoun, it's easy to store soups, sauces, broth and more with the help of Ball jars. These round glass jars come in a range of sizes, including 8 ounces, 16 ounces and 32 ounces, all of which Malcoun uses in her fridge and freezer (the jars can also be utilized for canning and preserving foods). In particular, Malcoun uses the 8-ounce and 16-ounce jars, she says, "when I want to be able to thaw in smaller quantities," especially when she freezes recipes like Classic Basil Pesto. Pro tip: Malcoun says if you're freezing a thick liquid, put a piece of plastic wrap under the lid before screwing it on to help prevent freezer burn. In addition to holding liquids, Malcoun also uses these jars to hold snacks for her daughter's lunchbox. With these dishwasher-safe jars at your disposal, it'll be a breeze to store any liquids. One safety note: If you are planning to use glass jars in the freezer, be sure to buy ones that are labeled freezer-safe, like the ones we've highlighted here. Most freezer-safe jars will also have a fill line—be sure not to overfill the jars since liquids expand when they freeze and can cause glass containers to break.
Best Leakproof Food-Storage Containers
Rubbermaid 10-Piece Brilliance Leakproof Food Storage Containers with Airtight Lids
EatingWell's test kitchen & editorial operations manager, Breana Killeen, is a fan of these Rubbermaid containers (as am I!). Designed with a ring around the lid, these containers are leakproof without fail (I regularly used these containers when I packed lunches for work and school and never had a single spill). In addition to being leakproof, these BPA-free plastic containers are suitable for the freezer, microwave and dishwasher. Plus, these containers are designed to stack easily in the fridge, so you can maximize precious space. With a range of rectangular sizes, these affordable containers are the perfect choice for any kitchen.
Buy it: Target, $20