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Food storage containers

What containers do chowhounds like for storing leftovers and tomorrow's lunch? Should be spillproof, breakproof, lightweight, and does not retain odors. Is Rubbermaid still the manufacturer of choice? I will not be microwaving in these containers, but would like to wash them in the dishwasher. TIA!

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  1. Love, love, love the Martha Stewart glass food storage containers at K-Mart. (You can order online at the K-Mart website). They are obviously not breakproof since they are glass, but the glass is lightweight and I think they are of much higher quality than Rubbermaid.

    1. I usually vacuum pack leftovers. Easy to reheat in a bag ;)

      1. Since I do not like storing foods, especially hot foods, in plastic, I use stainless steel containers (called "bains marie"), the type used for soups in soup bars in steam tables, purchased at restaurant supply stores. They're available in various sizes, fit nicely in the fridge, and you know that no unsavoury flavours or chemicals will be leaching into your foods. I especially love them for storing soups and stews.
        Photo: http://www.barproducts.com/index.php?...

        1. Check out Click Clack containers made in New Zealand.

          The Accent series is made from polycarbonate and can go from freezer to microwave to dishwasher.

          They have another series which looks the same but the containers are not polycarbonate so be careful.

          These are hard to find. Amazon carries them but seems to be out of most sizes currently.
          The 7"dia by 8" high one is about $14. Su la Table had them on sale a couple of weeks ago.

          2 Replies
          1. re: RichardM

            I believe that I saw these at Bed Bath and Beyond recently.

            1. re: RichardM

              The ones at http://www.kingarthurflour.com (and amazon.com) are the click clack's from NZ but the ones that are in stock are the non-dishwasher safe acrylic rather than the polycarbonate that RichardM recommends.

              I don't worry much about plastic for storage... but I do try to move things to a glass or ceramic microwavable dish before reheating.

            2. I agree with FlavoursGal about storing hot foods in plastic it does become a breeding ground for ickies. What I usually do is transfer the soup out of the hot pot I used to cook it in and into a thin, cool, metal bowl, and dunk the bowl into an ice or cold water bath in the sink. Stiring also helps to get the temperature out of the danger zone fast and helps cool the mixture so that you can put it away into plastic.

              Lately I've been using Ziploc's Twist ’n Loc Containers http://www.ziploc.com . They're relatively inexpensive so you can replace them if you lose them, if the plastic looks like its degrading. Reheats great for lunches and freezes well. I also feel confidant enough in their ability not to leak that I often will take a small container of soup and put it in my purse.

              3 Replies
              1. re: live4food

                Actually, you might want to be wary of storing ANYTHING, hot or cold, in plastic. I'm not so sure that plastics are safe storage vessels; how do acids, such as vinegar and citrus juices, for instance, react with the plasticizers in platic containers?

                Plastics have become possible culprits in a lot of today's ailments. Not to mention the increasingly early ages at which some girls are entering puberty.

                Along with non-stick pans, plastic containers have become a no-no in my kitchen.

                1. re: FlavoursGal

                  I'm not sure you'll see this message because this post was a year ago that you taliked about using Bain Marries containers for storing left overs in your Fridge.
                  I do not like putting chilli or tomotoe sauce or soups in plastic containers in the freezer. So I bought Pyrex to freeze my soups but the lids end up popping off, even if I leave an inch of room. Have you used the Bain Marries for freezing soups and sauces in the freezer? Are the lids loose or do they fit snuggly enough to prevent freezer burn? In the picture they look like they just sit on top? I'm afraid of air getting in and my food getting freezer burn. I freeze things for up to a year sometimes.

                2. re: live4food

                  I have also been using the Ziploc Twist'n Loc Containers and I like them a lot. They don't spill at all, I replaced my Rubbermaids with these. As for the plastic not being safe, I am sure it is not as reliable as glass containers, but can we really say anthing when most of us use microwave daily to heat up our food or anything else???

                3. Everybody dies of something, so who knows if death by plastic will speed things up.

                  Anyway, for durability and reliability, Rubbermaid still does it for me. I tested them against some fancy dancy stuff and they were as good for the most part.

                  If durability isn't a big deal then any of the disposables are just as good, but the lids sometimes are not as tight-fitting as the Rubbermaid.

                  Depending on storage space, stackability might be a consideration. I still want to try those new collapsible containers.

                  Also interchangeability of lids is important if you are spending more bucks. That's a big advantage to Rubbermaid, many sizes share the same lids, so if one gets damaged or lost, there's a big backup supply.

                  If just talking about home use, I've really gotten into glass mason jars this year. They keep things longer than any other container I've used, are odor-proof and inexpensive. Yes they are heavier than plastic and can be broken, but they bounce pretty well and if it is just for use within the home, they are great. The lids are always available for separate purchase.

                  While I wouldn't eat them at this point, the sliced strawberries I put in a glass jar a few months back still haven't grown any mold.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rworange

                    I'm with you on Rubbermaid. I also like the French canning jars that Arcoroc produces. They have the hinged lid with the rubber gasket that needs replacing every few years. I don't can in them but like the air tight seal for grains etc.

                    1. re: rworange

                      Thank you all hounds. I bought a set of Rubbermaid containers with 3 different sized containers: Five 1.1 cup, five 2.1 cup and five 3.2 cup. The 2.1 cup and 3.2 cup containers shares the same lids, which avoids the lid-no-top or container-no-lid mismatch. The set also includes an organization stand. Total price was $19.99 from Target.

                      So is it true that we should put these containers only in the top rack of the dishwasher because the heating element is on the bottom?

                    2. For leftovers or lunches, I get the deli-style plastic round pint and half pint containers from Smart & Final. Started using them when my mom lived with me and she didn't have the strength to use Rubblermaid, tupperware etc. they are great, wash up fine in the top rack of hte dw. i buy them in sleeves of 25 each tubs and lids. Very inexpensive, and very reusable.

                      I still use Rubbermaid and Tupperware for grains, pasta cereals. Glass jars for flours, beans, etc. Amber glass for spices.

                      1. I use the cheap disposable Ziploc containers for leftovers; they tend to last a little longer than the Glad versions. Whatever you choose, pick one brand so you don't have to deal with mixing up lids and bottoms. Microwave safe and last about a year-18 months of daily usage. I've had Tupperwares that didn't last as long. And it's no big deal if you lose or break them.

                        1. I dont know if you heard of glasslock. I've been using it for a little while now. Being korean, there are a some foods that stain and since its made of tempered glass, it leaves no stains. Works for me. I'd rather not store any food in anything plastic. I'm kind of a health freak. You might want to check it out. I got it at onelifemall.com.

                          1. I like Lock and Lock. I've seen them at Target, Walmart and KMart. QVC has the full sets at great prices. They also have great pieces such as cupcake holders etc...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Terri C

                              I whole-heartedly second the vote for the Starfrit Lock & Lock storage containers! They are advertised as being "...100% air- and water-tight food containers made of high grade, durable polypropylene plastic and feature a special silicone sealing ring that works to keep your items fresh and secure... Stackable, multi-use containers meeting FDA standards for food storage and are completely odor proof and stain resistant... Dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe." Mine personally have held up to all the above claims in the many months I've owned them, and they get used frequently! I use them for storing leftovers, packing lunches and keeping my baking/ pantry ingredients fresh - we even use them in our lab to keep items from picking up ambient moisture! They come in a wide variety of both shapes and sizes, and smaller units nest inside larger units or easy, space saving storage. The full range is available online at www.amazon.com, www.organize.com, www.starfrit.com (for Canadians), and many discount department stores stock a decent selection, as well!

                            2. pyrex makes containers with lids that are great for this purpose... the lids have a vent that pops out, so that you can cook things covered, which is nice for things that spatter.

                              i personally don't like to nuke plastic, so these are generally what i use for leftovers...

                              1. Actually this was a thread not too long ago. Put it in search and you should get a lot of information. Through that last thread I found out about Camsquaes. Their web site is WWW.cambo.com, which I found in a store here, and I really like them. They come in round and square, are dishwasher safe, you can see through and identify the contents, and they are stain resistant. Plus, they stack, along with the lids.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Mother of four

                                  Agree completely. Cambros are a superb product. I believe however there is a typo above - try www.cambro.com. The storage product page is at - http://cool.cambro.com/resource/image....

                                  Cambros are pretty standard in commercial kitchens, come in many sizes, and are available at restaurant supply stores as well as instawares, bigtray, and other online vendors. The polycarbonate containers are good from -40F to 210F. Others in the line have a reduced temp range.