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saran wrap "plastic wrap" [moved from General Chowhounding Topics]

Does any one love it? Try as I might -even just to cover a dish for microwaving-I cannot get it to tear and cover properlly! It seems like a great idea-any thoughts.It always sticks to itself before the use that I am trying for!

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  1. Perhaps not the prettiest suggestion, but -- after many years of struggling! -- we bought the 3000 mile roll (sq.ft. actually) at Costco. There is nothing magic about this particular Kirkland wrap (you can buy these super-sized rolls at any super box store). It has, however, solved several problems.

    First, it has lasted us about a year...and we use it for everything! Second, the weight of the box keeps it down on the counter to free both hands. Finally, the slicing bar has remained very sharp and we almost have finished this roll.

    The ugly of it is: it's ugly on the counter and it does take up some valuable space. Perhaps you can knit a cover for it! Seriously, I am glad to give up the space for the ease of use.

    Ideally, I would love to put it on a rolling cart (with a flat-top surface for both the wrap and the about-to-be-wrapped) and just roll it to wherever I am in the kitchen...have it come to me. Then, when I am not using it, I might like to roll it into a closet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: liu

      We are installing a new kitchen. Does anyone know who supplies dispensers for the large rolls of saran wrap and foil? We would like to integrate these rolls into our kitchen drawers.

    2. When I saw this post, my blood pressure went ballistic! Plastic wrap is getting crappier and crappier. I waste more of it than ever before, and I never fail to saw my finger half off while struggling with it. Sheeesh!

      2 Replies
      1. re: mnosyne

        mnosyne -- My blood pressure is back to normal! Try the huge Costco Kirkland box with the stick-on bar cutter...You can toss your doctor's phone number!

        1. re: mnosyne

          When I started using cling wrap again, I was outraged at how poorly it behaved. I remembered it seemed to be far better forty years ago. Every brand I tried was worse than the next, Reynolds tended to stick to itself right out of the box, a total waste, Dow's various brands didn't cling at all, others just tore apart. I went looking for restaurant wrap, figuring a professional quality product might give me some success.

          I found a manufacturer in Hong Kong, http://www.finevantage.com, one of whose chemists talked to me about the technology underlying cling wrap. (I learned that PVC has great cling wrap qualities and that's why my childhood memories are that the cling wrap of the 60s was so great. It's poisonous, though, and its poison leeches into foods, so, that's why it's no longer used for food.


          I got some sample rolls from him and I am very happy with their great blend of properties. He told me his company makes cling wrap for Market Basket, Good Sense, Harris Teeters and CVP but none of those are available in my area (northeast USA). Apparently, the American chemical companies have a dominant grip on the cling wrap market in the USA. I'm trying to get my local supermarket, ShopRite, to try it, but I have no significant influence with them. I decided to write here, to bring this great alternative to peoples' attention.

        2. LOL I know what you mean! And I had a BF who could do Saran wrap perfectly. I was in constant awe.

          yeah, I do bulk, Costco stuff, the cutting edge hnestly works on those. And makes a nasty cut if you miss and get yourself! Liquid Bandage for those folks like me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Quine

            No "nasty cuts," Quine, on the bar cutter. The blade is inside/underneath/hidden, and a tab with the cutter slides along to cut the wrap. Even when I am not paying proper attention, I have never cut myself. There is no exposed "zig-zag" metal strip.

            The other nice feature of this bar cutter is that you can cut from either direction: begin on the left and move it to the right, and then cut again from right to left.

          2. It's amazing stuff. Here's the best hint I've ever learned about it. When working to cover something entirely in it, bring the food to the wrap, not the other way around. Stretch out the wrap on a flat surface and put just a very light sprinkling of water on the surface- it will anchor the wrap perectly to it. Ever since learning that trick it has been so much easier to use.

            1. I personally prefer to re-use tupperware or similar as it is a waste of plastic. You can also buy plastic reusable covers in different sizes.
              On microwaving and plastic wrap - how safe is it to use - do the plastics somehow get into our food?

              8 Replies
              1. re: smartie

                I believe on the oven you can get plastic wrap up to 300 or 350 before it melts.

                1. re: smartie

                  According to snopes.com, the claim that microwaving plastic products releases carcinogens is false; go to www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/cookpla...

                  1. re: Stephanie Wong

                    for every article you find that it is good, there is one that says it is bad.

                    would love to see real research by real researchers

                    1. re: jfood

                      I'm thinking jfood failed to read the article or the links provided therein.

                  2. re: smartie

                    I'd advise against putting plastic wrap in the microwave... atleast for more than a couple of minutes on high. Both times I have microwaved things for more than 5 minutes with plastic wrap covering it, I've ended up with plastic shards in my food. Not good!

                    1. re: pollymerase

                      we use glass plates as covers when we heat things in the microwave .....works well and you can see what's happening. not sure if heating saran wrap is good for us but the glass plate is reuseable and easy to wash.

                      1. re: gordon wing

                        This seems like a good idea, gordon wing!
                        Along this same idea, I guess one could use the glass cover that comes with a CorningWare caserole dish -- the one with the glass knob handle.

                  3. They make individual saran wrap-like covers now, too. They look like shower caps and you just stretch them over whatever it is you want to cover. I don't know how they work, though. I do know that I bought a roll of that press and seal wrap. It's a little easier to deal with regular Saran wrap. For the most part, though, I use Rubbermaid containers, which I like better for a couple of reasons- they're stackable in the fridge, reusable and you're always sure they'll stay closed. OTOH, they take up a lot of cupboard space, which is at a premium in my kitchen.

                    1. learned this trick from an ex, and have used it with several brands (no name/store; saran wrap; reynolds): store it in the refrigerator! No sticking to itself, and easier tearing too.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: briedemeaux

                        Yeah, my Grandma stores it in the freezer for the same reason. Have you ever tried Glad Press-N-Seal. I've had the same box for at least two years. I use it sparingly b/c, like other posters, I use Rubbermaid, Tupperwear or Corning Wear containers.

                        1. re: amy_rc

                          Love the press and seal! It is so much easier to deal with. The downside is that it is darn expensive! I buy it Costco and it is a little cheaper and I also try to use it sparingly.

                          1. re: amy_rc

                            I keep mine in the freezer, too. it works!

                        2. I love Stretsch Tite plastic wrap. I buy the two box size at BJ's. Sharp edge. I don't use it for microwaving, but do use it to individually wrap items before freezing.- then I put the itme in a zip lock bag, and label each bag. Have never had freezer burn. I would imagine it would work just as well for the microwave

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: macca

                            I love Stretch Tite. Costco had it but I don't know if they still carry it. I saw it in the King Arthur catalog. I can't imagine using any other brand.

                            1. re: Candy

                              Love it. they carry it at supermarkets in my area, and BJ's sells it in two packs. The only plastic wrap I use.

                            2. re: macca

                              Add me to the list of Stretch Tite fans. I used to get it in Trader Joes and Costco... found it the other day at Smart & Final. It's great!

                              1. re: macca

                                I hate plastic wrap for the same reasons as the OP mentions, but I love Stetch Tite. It's what plastic wrap was meant to be!

                                1. re: macca

                                  I adore Stretch Tite and Freeze Tite. You can get both in bulk at Amazon... they're very hard to find in our local stores. We use both for everything.

                                2. why doesn't someone make a "rack" for the stuff like they do for paper towels?

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    I've actually seen those - for foil, saran wrap, etc., but no idea where at this point.

                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                      my mum had one on her wall when we were kids, it was metal and could hold foil and cling wrap but only the small sizes, both had the cutting edges and I seem to remember it worked well.

                                      1. re: smartie

                                        the jfoods had one that was built into the wall in their last renov. it came from a company in PA. Maybe Renov8tor knows the name.

                                    2. re: KaimukiMan

                                      Stretch-tite (see macca's post, above) does make a dispenser. Not sure if only sold in BJ's, but I have never seen it elsewhere. Really good, if you use plastic wrap. Maybe they have a website...

                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                        There was a television show this summer and a pair of contestants invented said holder. I bet you could google the show and saran wrap, or something like that. They would probably like to sell one, I think that they had invested their retirements into their company.

                                      2. No issues with saran wrap, or plastic wrap in general, maybe that comes from years of prep work, and breaking down a kitchen for closing. You had to be fast, and share the plastic wrap with other stations in order to get out of the kitchen at a decent hour.

                                        I do find the saran wrap I buy at the typical store a little harder to work with thant the large rolls of wrap in a professional kitchen, I think it is becasue of the smaller packaging, and cutting capability of the home use wrap.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: swsidejim

                                          I've never had a problem with the large Kirkland rolls sold at Costco.

                                          Then again, I have dinosaur era kitchen cabinets that have a pull out drawer that is just right for the Kirkland plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

                                          1. re: dolores

                                            I imagine those are more like the rolls used in a restaurant kitchen as opposed to the small boxes of saran wrap found at the typical grocery store.

                                            1. re: swsidejim

                                              Both Costco and BJ's sell the commercial, giant rolls. However, Costco does sell home-sized rolls under their Kirkland name and BJ's sells the Stretch-tite in home-sized rolls.

                                        2. If you believe the ads some brands are more clingy than others. Perhaps try a different brand? I've used the Reynolds wrap from Sam's Club for years. An 18" wide roll given to me when I moved into a townhouse in 1978 lasted over a decade! I seldom have trouble with it sticking to itself I think because it's heavier which also seems to make it easier to get un-stuck than flimsier brands.

                                          Actually, I prefer the reusable containers for storage, including sandwich baggies for cut vegetables.

                                          My Dad worked for Dow and we got Ziploc products from the company store for pennies - 19c for a box of pint-size or quart-size, as I recall. When Dow went out of the consumer products business about fifteen years ago, everybody stocked up and I still have 2 cases of pints and 2 cases of quarts and even more of gallons!

                                          I never use plastic wrap in the oven or microwave and I've gotten so tired of the disposable containers pitting in the microwave I use them only for storage and transfer to a glass container if I'm heating something in a microwave.

                                          1. Get Reynold's Wrap. Seriously. It's WORLDS better. The little plastic cutter works well, from either side, no cuts, no sticking to itself, sticks well to a bowl. It's amazing to me how much superior it is to Saran.

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: danna

                                              Thanks for the tip, and in response to mnosyne, yes, it certainly is getting "crappier and crappier". First they added that sliding-cutting thing which didn't work, then a few months later, they went back to the serrated blade, but with a product that no longer clings.

                                              Reynolds wrap here I come!

                                              1. re: danna

                                                useability issues aside .... Harold Mc Gee ( the science guy) says that Saran Wrap has the lowest air permeability of all the supermarket brands. Which explains why it doesn't cling so well but if you want to keep your fridge from smelling like an onion or you want to keep your guacamole from turning brown ..... it will do the job better.

                                                1. re: gordon wing

                                                  all the favorable lit about "SARAN" is about a product that is not made any longer. The product and name was bought from Dow, I think by SJ Johnson which at that time made one of the crappy, thin and clingier wraps. They then went and changed the formulation (ostensibly because about concerns about flourine which was somehow used in the process) - the current products under the SARAN name have nothing to do with the old, great stuff that McGee wrote about. Ive adjusted (switched to the Costco stuff) but I am still peeved by the way they killed the class product in this market category.

                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                    invest in some glad press-n-seal instead. the stuff is magic.

                                              2. I'm pretty sure it's all in the type of container you are trying to affix the plastic wrap to. I've found that it works much better with a ceramic bowl, and if you stretch it a bit when covering.

                                                1. I've had a small roll in the cupboard for about two years. There are a couple of things it's useful for: when I freeze a bunch of burgers it works well to keep them apart; good for wrapping cheese. That's about it.

                                                  For leftovers, if they're in a bowl, just put a plate on top. On a plate, cover with an inverted bowl. Straight to microwave that way too.

                                                  I have no idea whether there really is a continent-sized sea of plastic waste swirling in the mid-pacific killing off all life on earth or not. But just to be safe I try to use reusable containers whenever I can.

                                                  1. Oh GOSH yes by all means try the Reynold's plasic wrap. I tend not to go all chirpy about plastic wrap (although I do swear at it when it wads up in itself), but I noticed right away that the Reynolds behaved much better and sealed much better, too. I think itgot a bum ap because they were putting it out in goofy colors for crafts projects, but it's the best in my book.

                                                    Gonna have to check out the Costco wrap, too, I guess.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                      After searching out these wrap dispensers, (because i had the same gripe) my husband made some that hang under my cabinets, he actually used the cutters like the ones on the neat costco wrap dispensers. He is going to make more and will be selling them, they are made of wood and are quite simple to use. You never have to hold the roll again while zipping that cutter along. Works slick. He could probably make them to specifications if you have unusual sizes.

                                                      IF interested he will make some for selling so please feel free to contact us, otherwise he will probably sell some on ebay. Our ebay id is maepartner and the email is jd29mm at aol.com.

                                                    2. I once bought a cheap and nasty pack of generic No Name 10 meters of wrap, and as I was undoing the pack, (you know, pulling off the little zip thingie to expose the blade), I cut myself. Badly. Almost to the bone. Bled for hours and realistically, I probably should have had a stitch or two, but being a Nurse, I put on my brave face and whacked a couple of Steri Strips on it.

                                                      Anyhoo, eventually we came to realise that we owned Zombie Glad Wrap From Outer Space.

                                                      And it had tasted blood.

                                                      And it wanted more.

                                                      The damn roll NEVER finished. It was like that Celine Dion song.. it went on and on and on and on and on and on.... and never once did it wrap anything properly.

                                                      Damn Spawn of Satan, I tells ya.

                                                      The frugal WASP in me couldn't bear to throw it out, until Mr Goddess got bit by it, and turfed it. I am sure there were an infinite number of meters left on it... it just needed blood to rejuvenate itself.

                                                      Now I use caterers grade wrap. Very. Carefully.

                                                      1. I think Stretch-Tite may make the Kirkland Brand plastic wrap, and I would be curious if anyone who has used both can verify if they have similar characteristics. They used to carry ST @Costco and I was bummed when it disappeared (They had it @TJ's too, though I haven't checked lately) Then Costco's own Kirkland Signature brand wrap began appearing--I've seen them do this before with other products. I looked at the place of manufacture, and I believe they are the same. When Costco sells enough units of a product, they often seem to make it a Kirkland brand. When you're buying in mass quantities, I imagine you can leverage price and marketing into your orders.

                                                        Anyway, when my final roll of ST runs out, I'm checking the Costco stuff.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: The Loaf

                                                          I bought a double box of ST at Samsclub several years ago. While it is my favorite wrap, I'm still on first box, so I can't say if they still carry it.