Glass food storage: Luminarc vs Pyrex vs GlassLock?
Thinking about getting rid of the Rubbermaid Serve'n'Saver food storage containers we now have, and switching to glass. We also have a bunch of the Ziploc two-cup round containers with the screw-on lids that I use to freeze portions of stock and soup in. Although they are all either #5 or #2 plastic, I'd just feel better about using glass.
The 3 main choices seem to be Luminarc (Arc International), Pyrex, and Snapware's GlassLock. I do have 2 of the Glasslock containers (one is to store fresh vanilla beans, the other for feta cheese) but of course the downside is that they're not stackable like the plastic ones are. Also we have one of the plastic Snapware bowls that gets opened daily and I see after a couple years of use that one of the lid "tabs" is starting to split away from where it attaches to the lid top so maybe they all do that?
I like that the Luminarc line is made in the USA (glass in USA, lids in France) so that's a plus. Likewise Pyrex is USA-made. Not sure about the GlassLock although interestingly I see on the Glasslock website that the parent company is called Eco Housewares dba Dooit USA. If you read the "About us" page it's clear that this was not written by someone fluent in English, LOL. So I do wonder. Also if you read the small print on the main page, GlassLockUSA is not the manufacturer; they are only the USA distributor of the product. So my guess is that these are probably made in China.
I know the lids on the GlassLock are the easiest to operate (IMHO) and have the tightest seal BUT I have read user reviews that say the tabs don't hold up well to freezer storage so am wondering about that.
What has been your experience with these 3 brands for glass food storage re: these specfic factors:
(1) Ease of closing and opening lids
(2) Airtightness of lids, particularly with liquids
(3) Stackability/space saving storage of the empties
(4) Going from refrigerator directly to microwave (since freezer-to-micro is definitely a no-no)
(5) Materials issues (lids cracking or splitting, glass cracking or shattering, etc)
(6) Whether the plastic lid tends to hold any odors from prior foods
I would never use any plastic lid in the microwave (I put a piece of waxed paper over the container top instead) so that performance is irrevelant, btw.
Thanks in advance!
Forgot to add to Item #5 in the above list ("materials issues") whether you've had any problems with the plastic lids tending to crack or split as a result of freezer use, or whether they are a particular PITA to open after the container has been frozen.
I'm also trying to switch gradually to more glass storage, although not doing as careful research as you. No personal experience with them, but in case you hadn't seen the Pyrex that come with both plastic and glass lids, the glass lids apparently vent for use in microwave and oven. Found them on amazon (and not with the other Pyrex at local Bed Bath and Beyond, the only other place I've looked): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002... If they work well, might save some wax paper....
Those look interesting and I like the idea of the glass lids BUT the fact that you need to change lids in order to use them in the microwave means that there's always an piece to wash (and we handwash all pots, pans, and containers) which IMHO makes no sense. The glass lids fit very loosely and aren't intended for food storage, just for oven or microwave use. Thus you need to use the plastic lid to store the food and then replace that with the glass lid for heating up. Might has well just replace the plastic lid with a piece of waxed paper then (which can be just thrown away afterward) and have only 2 pieces to wash instead of 3.
Yes, I agree don't see the point in having two sets of lids. I've got a couple old glass containers I got from my grandmother, with glass lids, don't know how old seems like she had them as long as I can remember -- I'd never actually checked the brand so turned them over the other day and sure enough they're Pyrex ovenware (never occurred to me I could put them in the oven, guess I will now, and I wouldn't use in microwave or dishwasher). No, you couldn't put them on their side or something, it's not like the lids seal, but I love them -- pretty colors too.
I actually got a set of these because I liked the idea of having the glass lid for microwave use. For the most part, I really like them. All 3 pieces are dishwasher safe, so that hasn't been an issue, but it does make it a pain to store. The containers themselves stack, the issue is what to do with all those lids. The lid is glass with a small silicone band around the lower edge. The band is absent in one very small spot, which acts as the vent. This part of the container is very well designed. It vents beautifully, no splattering, no messy plastic wrap or wax paper to remove, and for some reason, things actually seem to heat more evenly in these containers. Not sure why, but I don't have the same issue with hot spots or cold spots when I use these. I haven't used them in the freezer, but use them in the fridge. I DO NOT think that the plastic lids seal quite tightly enough for me to be comfortable with long term freezing storage. I use these exclusively for storing leftovers that I know I will want to eat rewarmed within the next few days. As I said, I like them, but the shortcomings have prevented me from getting more. At the same time, I don't think I have seen something else that I like any better. I just don't like the idea of putting plastic lids in the microwave (or messing around with paper/plastic coverings) so I am still searching for the perfect solution.
About a year ago, I bought a set of the Glasslock from Costco. The lids were very difficult to close and open and in fact, one time, the glass chipped off and flew into my hand, giving me a small cut. Same thing happened with another Glasslock that I had purchased outside the set. Between the glass chipping issue and the fact that the bowls didn't stack and took up a lot of room, I ended up returning the set to Costco.
That said, I've heard that other people love their Glasslocks. And I do like the fact that they come in so many shapes and sizes (big variety can be found at some Asian markets in the SF Bay Area). I still have a few, including a large rectangular one that is perfect to store my flour in.
There is one other brand that I've been hearing about recently - Duralex. http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2.... It's the same French company that makes the Picardie glasses that are very popular. They are made from tempered glass. I don't know if it's the same kind of glass as Pyrex and Luminarc. But there have been a lot of stories about exploding and shattering glass bakeware made by Pyrex in the U.S. (soda lime vs. the European Pyrex which is made out of borosilicate). So if I were in the market for new glass storage, I would probably go for the Duralex.
That's interesting, I had never heard of that brand. Btw, your link didn't work but this one does:
However that link doesn't have the food storage items on it, so I googled the name and on the DuralexUSA site under the "Food Service" section there are indeed some food storage items (glass containers with plastic lids, called the Lys range):
The lids look almost identical in design to the ones used on the Rubbermaid ServeNSaver plastic line.
I found these 3 sources online:
(chefstools via Amazon for set) http://www.amazon.com/Duralex-Square-...
(other vendor, individual pieces) http://www.amazon.com/Duralex-Square-...
I love my GlassLock storage! I bought some of it especially to store gelato and baked goods, but I use it to transport soups and leftovers, too.
I have a giant canister that snaps with ease. Out of maybe 6 containers, only one has a single challenging tab that appears to be uniquely MY challenge. My mom--who is 76--can close it without issue. Embarrassing, huh? ;P
The ones I bought most recently (TJ Maxx) are a nested set of three, which is handy for space-saving in the cupboard. If I had to start over again, I'd buy sets like this rather than single pieces for sure.
I don't usually go from fridge to microwave, but haven't had any troubles when I've done it.
No lids splitting or glass shattering. I do have old Pyrex with a lid that looks similar to the Duralex you posted--NOT airtight and the lid split a long time ago. I definitely prefer the snappy seal of my GlassLocks. My only wish is that I had more of it!
Unfortunately, I think ANY plastic lid will retain odors from other foods. Not much you can do about that. If there is, I wouldn't mind a tip as I have one lid that needs some help! I tried making a paste of baking soda and letting it sit, but no dice.
I think the GlassLock lids are probably the closest to glass in terms of thickness of the plastic which made me wonder if they contain BPA. So I did some research and discovered this late 2010 review that mentions that there are apparantly TWO kinds of "GlassLock" brands out there: Snapware GlassLock and also the "Kinetic Go Green GlassLock" line. The Go Green GlassLock is NOT manufactured by Snapware. The Snapware GlassLock lids are silicone and do not contain BPA.
The other day I made a list of the sizes and capacities of the plastic food storage containers we use, and compared them to the various glass brands. I was surprised to see that only one of the Duralex containers comes close to the sizes we use ... the others were all smaller. So unless they expand their line, they wouldn't be able to replace what we have size-for-size.
Probably will go with Pyrex or GlassLock. I see from some Amazon reviews that people who have bought the GlassLock set at Costco are having problems with the glass splintering along the edges. This may be a case of the "big box" product not being made as well as the standard fullprice version (what I call the "Home Depot Syndrome") -- don't know.
I may look again at the Pyrex No Leak, although I was going to stay away from the "vented" lids; one reviewer who was otherwise happy with them tested it be microwaving pea soup (which we do constantly) with the lid on tight and vent open, and soup got spewed all over her microwave from the open vent. She tried again with vent closed and lid not snapped on tight, and it was fine (which is frankly no different than my piece-of-waxed-paper method). I'll have to hunt the different brands/models down and see how all the lids actually work.
Checked our tab-splitting container for brown sugar and discovered that it is made by Sterilite, not Snapware. It's also a round container, and it occurs to me that the curved edge may contribute to the tendency of the tab-closure lid "hinges" to split, since the tabs are straight but the edge it locks onto is slightly curved. Thus there is only a very small actual contact/locking point on the tab. Whereas the Snapware tabs on the straight sided containers have a contact/locking edge along almost the entire width of the tab. Not sure how their round containers are constructed. One would assume that the more locking surface on the tab, the better the seal.
Out of curiosity I checked the warranty info on the major glass storage brands:
Snapware GlassLock: "World Kitchen, LLC. will replace any Glasslock product that chips, cracks or breaks from microwave heat and any non-glass accessory item with a manufacturing defect within three years from the date of purchase."
Pyrex: On one part of their site it says: "World Kitchen, LLC promises to replace any PYREX® brand glass item that breaks from oven heat within two years from date of purchase. " and "Any non-glass part/accessory with a manufacturing defect will be replaced without charge within one year from date of purchase. " Yet on another part of the site it says "World Kitchen, LLC promises to replace any Pyrex glass product that breaks from oven heat, and any Pyrex non-glass accessory item with a manufacturing defect, within TWO YEARS from the date of purchase." Not sure which warranty term applies currently to the lids (one year or two).
Luminarc: Has 2 product lines with glass containers, the Keep N Box (green plastic pressure-type lid) and the Pure Box (clear plastic tabbed lid). I can't seem to find the warranty info anywhere for either one though. Or for the Working Glass line either for that matter. Anyone know??
EDITED TO ADD: I didn't bother with the Rubbermaid Glass/EasyFind Lid series after I read the user reviews saying that the lid needs to be disassembled for proper washing. That's more work that I don't need, LOL.
Another brand you may or may not know is Frigoverre (I think I spelled that right) which is made in Italy -- we picked one up at a local home goods place the other day, my partner's been taking his lunch in it, don't think it's leaked. I've barely touched it since he's the one using it, so just FYI....
Good question, actually I did start out using paper towl but quickly discovered that it holds so much moisture from the cooking process that it often ended up "sagging" down into the soup (literally). The wax paper at least stays horizontal because it doesn't absorb any moisture.
We don't use the microwave for much. Basically just 5 things (most frequent first):
(1) thawing and/or heating up individual 1.5 to 2-cup portions of frozen homemade soup (since they are frozen in plastic, they need to go into a glass bowl for the nuking process)
(2) cooking steam-in-bag veggies (Steamfresh, etc)
(3) warming a small amount of mineral oil prior to applying to cutting boards after use and washing
(4) melting butter if I am too rushed or don't have a spare burner to do it on the cooktop
(5) the occasional 17-minute baked potato (10 mins in micro + 7 mins in toaster oven)
The #1 use covers about 80% of the total usage, to be honest.
I actually thought about those but I see that the lids are only supposed to be used once -- doesn't sound like a very cost-effective solution.
I've also seen preserve/canning glass jars by Bormioli .... very pretty with embossed exterior designs. Those have a one-piece screw top but those also say that the lids should be replaced after each use.
Why is that required, by the way? I'm not familiar with preserving/canning but why would it be okay to re-use a plastic lid for freezing things but not a metal lid? For "normal" foods to be frozen, that is, such as cooked soups, stocks, sauces, and also small containers of ice cream, sherbet, or gelato.
For that matter, why don't any freezer-safe containers have metal lids? They are all, from what I have seen, some kind of plastic and/or silicone. Would a metal lid be impossible to remove because it has no flexibility?
Good page discussing non-toxic frezer safe containers: http://www.brighthub.com/environment/...
I do the same thing; I freeze all my stocks and soups in wide-mouth Ball pint and quart jars, because they are the perfect portion sizes and the jars are absolutely cheaper than any glass storage containers I've seen. Since they are not going through the canning process, I reuse the bands and lids multiple times - basically as long as they still look fine (no rust, etc.) they're fine to use for freezing. Replacement lids are also really cheap.
You can buy white plastic screw-on lids for the wide mouth Ball jars. I have the pint size that I often use for storage, including freezing. The lids are meant to be used after the canning lids are removed. I don't know whether the lids are BPA-free. They come in a box of 8 (I think) and are not very expensive. You can see them on the Ball web site.
+1 Ball (and other brands of canning jars) jars are the *best* for food storage. The lids are (now) BPA free, and can be used over and over for pantry and freezer storage. They can only be used once for canning, because, as others have said, the rubber seal may not seal completely on the second use. (There are reusable canning jar seals, but I have never tried them.) Many, but not all, canning jars are made in the US. Easy to find if you look.
Ball jars come in all sizes and are _very_ sturdy.
(1) Ease of closing and opening lids ++ very easy
(2) Airtightness of lids, particularly with liquids ++ 100%
(3) Stackability/space saving storage of the empties -- not at all stackable (except for the plastic kind, link beow)
(4) Going from refrigerator directly to microwave ++ practically made for it
(5) Materials issues (lids cracking or splitting, glass cracking or shattering, etc) ++ no issue; lids and jars are rugged. Also, they are a simple screw-on/off lid; not a lid that has breakable locking mechanisms.
(6) Whether the plastic lid tends to hold any odors from prior foods ++ I do not think this is an issue either. I do not have a lot of experience with the new BPA-free lids, though.
A couple more good points -- you can get the jars anywhere, and more important, you can get more LIDS! I hate having a perfectly good container but being unable to replace the lid! You can get lids with pouring spouts, or shaker lids, plastic one-piece lids, or you can use the traditional lid and ring combination. And, you can actually can in them :)
For refrigerator storage, any canning jar will do, from 4 oz. to 16 oz.
For freezer storage, a straight-sided jar (without shoulders), looks like this: http://www.rootsimple.com/2013/02/how....
You might also want to look at these plastic "Ball jars." They stack well and hold up very well -- I have used them but I really prefer to use glass. http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store...
Crate and barrel has a nice glass storage container similar to the old style Pyrex. Wouldn't work for freezing, but I like that it is all glass, without the annoying lip that the current glass Pyrex lid has.
I bought 2 Pyrex bowl sets to replace plastics about 4 years ago and I'm happy with them. During the fall & winter I make large pots of soup, stew and bolognese and freeze them in the Pyrex covered w/ plastic wrap and then the lid. No complaints.
I should mention, however, that I don't microwave and I only wash them by hand so I can't speak to the effects that those appliances might have on their longevity.
As an aside - lately, when I make a pot of bolognese, I have been filling a 6 cup muffin pan with the sauce, freezing overnight and then popping the sauce muffins out and storing in freezer bags - each muffin is about one serving.
I purchased the Kinetic GlassLock 10-pc set from BBB around 6 months ago.
1) I'd say it's easy to open and close but requires a little force because of the locking mechanisms.
2) I have not had anything leak (sauces). I have not put soup in the containser; therefore, I cannot comment.
3) Very easy storage and cleaning!
4) No problem from fridge to microwave. I do not put the lid in the microwave.
5) No material issues to date.
6) I have not experience any leaching odors with the glassware. Keep in mind that I have not kept food in in the containers for greater than two days. I also cover my food with a thin layer of wax paper before covering. I wash the glassware and lids immediately after use. BTW, the lids are BPA free.
Verdict: I love them. Will buy another set and pick up a few round pieces too!
Today in my local supermarket I noticed that Ziplock has also come out with a line of glass storage, with a flexible BPA-free lid:
I do like the round container but only wish it was smaller (2 cup instead of 3 cup). Supermarket is selling that one for $9.99, versus Amazon at $7.61.
The only issue I have with any of this type of flexible plastic lid is that IMHO they are not always the easiest for someone with hand or wrist issues to comfortably use, depending on how much pressure is required to properly close them. In that respect the locking-tabs style or the screw-on lids are easier, IMHO.
I really like the Ziplock glass containers. I have a few of them. I like that they stack well. What I don't like is the price. I freeze a lot of food and I don't think I can afford enough of them. So every so often I just pick another one up. My favorite are the square ones. But I have some of both.
Skyline, I don't know if you're still looking for glass containers, but I found a new option tonight. Cost Plus World Market had Libbey Save 'n Store containers that have a tapered bottom so that the same size container will nest in another one. They were sold individually rather than in a set as shown on this link: http://www.target.com/p/Libbey-Glass-.... The lids seemed to fit pretty tightly but of course, I can't speak from experience as to whether liquids would spill. :-)
Yes I actually am still keeping my eyes open for something that I might like better than (read: not quite as pricey as, LOL!) the Snapware Glasslock. I do like the look of these!!
I see that Target stores don't carry those (page says "Not SOld in Stores") and that Amazon used to have the set but now says No Longer Available. This 8[pc (aka 3-container) set looks interesting because even the smallest one is a decent size:
Certainly inexpensive enough and good grief they are actually NOT made in China, LOL! (made in Mexico but hey at least it's in the same hemisphere, right?)
The weird thing is, the Libbey site has NO detailed information on these except for their size, price, and where it's made. No indication of whether the lids are BPA free, whether the glass is microwave safe, nothing. Very strange. I'll try emailing Libbey directly and ask. Sure wish I could see one in person and "test drive" opening and closing those lids. Do you recall if they were flexible or were fairly stiff? We don't have Cost Plus in any of the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic states, unfortunately.
I'll see if Libbey can direct me to any brick & mortar retailers anywhere in our area, and also answer the freezer, micro, and BPA questions as well. Thanks!
Oh, that's too bad there isn't a Cost Plus nearby. I checked last night before I posted about this and the containers weren't being sold online. I always check storage containers at Cost Plus and this was the first time I've seen them (I'm always looking at nesting containers). So I'm "assuming" they're new, even though Amazon says No Longer Available. To give you an idea of price, a square one, somewhat bigger than a sandwich size, was $4.99. But I imagine individual pieces are more expensive.
I didn't read the fine print, so I don't recall if they mentioned BPA. But the containers were thick - like Anchor or Pyrex or even Snapware Glasslock. So I would think they could be used similarly, i.e., in the microwave. As for the lids - I would say they were somewhere between somewhat flexible and stiff. The seal seemed fairly tight, but it wasn't too difficult to peel the lid off.
Hope that helps! And I hope Libbey responds to you.
Your lid description does help a lot, thank you! :-) It sounds much like the ones on the older Rubbermaid (plastic) ones I've been using. Snug but not a struggle to either peel off or securely close.
No answer from Libbey yet but I'll definitely report on what they may say. So far, these sound good. They are available online directly from Libbey but only as a set. Also, when I tried to see what the shipping cost might be (since it depends on price and weight) I saw that they use only Google Checkout that requires establishing a Google Checkout account (which I don't want to do). Also their return policy is extremely vague: "We will consider accepting returns. Please contact us and state the reason for a return." WTH is up with that??! That's not the kind of wording I expect to see on a reputable vendor site -- not clearly stating their return policy. So I don't have a good feeling at all about ordering direct from Libbey's online store...
Have you looked at Lock&Lock? It's all I use now, and have been adding their glass and porcelain pieces to my collection. My porcelain pieces are new so I can't talk about long term usage, but they've been just as good as the glass so far (except they're not clear, so you can't see at a glance what/how much is in them). I only found the brand because I was looking for something that was easy to open, and haven't found anything yet that is easier on my hands.
They fit all you criteria. I buy mine from QVC, it's easy to return if there's a problem, and there's a lifetime warranty. Dropped a piece once and cracked the lid, and they sent a new lid out. They offer a good variety of sizes, though they don't have a full selection right now since they recently had a big show on them (just wait til they get more stock in).
I totally recommend the Lock & Lock glass. They are air and water tight, you can use them in your microwave if that's the way you roll, or take the lid off and warm the food up in your oven. I have mostly plastic L & L for my left overs, but when storing curries or highly acidic foods I prefer my glass L & L.
Wow, I had never heard of the Lock&Lock brand before this (but I must confess that I never look at any of the shopping channels either, LOL). So I just did a web search and found the brand website. I am impressed that they are borosilicate glass AND that they claim things can go directly from freezer to microwave ... HOWEVER.... the same info page also contains this, under the "In Freezer" heading: "Freezing the food could cause expansion in the volume and could cause damage. Please avoid storing frozen items. (Porridge, soup, stock, milk, juice, curry, sauce, etc.)" Huh?????? I totally don't understand this, because how can they say that the glass "can go from freezer to microwave" and at the same time make the statement I just quoted? Either they are freezer safe or they are not... can't be both ways, right?
In addition their FAQ page contains this:
"Question : Besides (the) Freezer Lock (products) may I store left overs in the freezer?
Answer : When storing food items for freezer use, do not fill to the container to maximum capacity. When removing from freezer, allow the container to sit at room temperature prior to opening. "
Let stand a while prior to even OPENING? Sounds like the lids are prone to cracking if opened right after removing from the freezer. Or maybe the glass edges are? Hm.
On a different note, I got a reply from Libbey about their Save 'n' Store line. As far as where to buy in stores: "Macys is carrying some of the sets" (I'll check tomorrow!). In answer to my other questions:
Q. Do the lids contain BPA? and what is the plastics code number on the lids?
A. they are all BPA free
Q. Is the entire container microwave safe (glass AND lid)?
A. the glass part is microwave safe. I would recommend hand washing the lids to keep them longer. We do not have replacement lids available.
Q. Is the entire container freezer safe (glass AND lid)?
A. yes,but I would not recommend you taking it from the freezer to the microwave.
Q. Are the containers tempered glass?
A. No they are not tempered glass.
FYI, it does seem that the only glass storage container brands that aren't made in China are the Libbey Save N Store, the Pyrex, and the Luminarc. I've tried out the Pyrex lids in person and don't like them at all. Haven't found the Luminarc ones anywhere in stores to do a "lid test-drive" with. Hopefully my local Macys will have the Libbey ones to check out.
Well, I went to TWO local Macys stores (of the 4 that are in a 30-mile radius) and neither of them carry the Libbey Save N Store line; in fact, they never even heard of it! The second store called the other two locations and came up empty on those as well. Perhaps they are only selling them to Macys in specific parts of the country. Macys doesn't carry them online either.
What Macys does carry is the Martha Stewart brand of locking-tab glass storage, so I tried those. NOT impressed. Out of five containers of varying shapes and sizes, they all opened easily but FOUR of them had problems re-locking at least one of the four tabs. The plastic of the tabs felt brittle and I suspect would not fare well at all in use over time.
Macys did have the 10-piece (5-container) Pyrex set on sale for $15.99 so I decided that for $3/container I might as well give them a whirl. The sizes were close enough to what I need (especially the 2-cup, of which there are a pair) to make them worth a try. If one does end up breaking, I'll only be out $3 plus tax.
I found this interesting breakdown of the different types of glass used in food storage containers and the characteristics of each:
I have been using Lock & Lock rectangular glass containers (various sizes) to store foods in the fridge, to transport - children & my lunches (3 years). The plastic lids are tight. I have not had any spill/leak accidents. I put pyrex glass lid on top of them (not of same size) in the microwave. I don't have dishwasher - lids are still very good.
I have not used them for freezing.
I have faith in WMF products: quality, durability. I have pots, pans, etc. They also offer glass container but with metal lid. I have not tried this product line as they're pricey.
"Let stand a while prior to even OPENING? Sounds like the lids are prone to cracking if opened right after removing from the freezer. Or maybe the glass edges are? Hm."
I really think it's just so the plastic lid isn't so rigid. If you try and open any plastic lid out of the freezer it's very stiff and hard to open. I've never had one crack (either piece) trying to open straight out of the freezer, but it's definitely got a different and tighter feel than if you wait a couple minutes.
"Freezing the food could cause expansion in the volume and could cause damage.
True with any storage container in the freezer. Perhaps something got lost in translation from Korean to English there? If you filled to capacity with liquid any container with a locking lid and freeze it, your liquid is going to expand beyond the confines of the container and break it somewhere, be it the lid or the container itself. With any container you must leave headspace.
Target used to carry a couple pieces of Lock&Lock, I've seen it in Lucky's grocery store ad, Asian stores that sell a lot of bento box items sell it, reusit.com and amazon.com, but it's really best if a guy in a brown outfit drops a huge box of it on your doorstep ;)
Yep, my plastic lock & lock containers say not to open it straight from the freezer, as it may break the tabs. I'm not fussed about that at all, as the fact that the container is air and water tight means I'm happy to wait a minute before opening the lid from the freezer. Each to our own. But a non spilling container is my priority.
You are confusing the notion of whether it is safe to freeze the glass vs. whether it is safe to freeze food inside of the glass: these are actually different, as the glass may handle the extreme temperature change without issue, but if it is filled with water that water will expand in volume as it turns to ice and destroy the glass that is trying to constrict it. This is why that FAQ specifically said "do not fill to the container to maximum capacity" and why the info page would have discussed expansion in volume of the stored food. (edit: I will point out that while mlou72 answered somewhat similarly, I wanted to specifically point out why this is unrelated to the glass's ability to withstand temperature change: it isn't a case of "either they are freezer safe or they are not".)
I was looking for an alternative to rubbermaid and found these two to be interesting, although maybe not as useful in size as pyrex, etc.
Weck Canning Jars http://www.crateandbarrel.com/kitchen...
Not sure why they are so much less expensive than the ones here https://secure.concentric.com/weckjar...
And Stainless Steel
Although these will not really save space the way the others can.
Quick update on the Pyrex: While doing the pre-use washup last night I discovered that two of the five containers had visible defects in the glass and another one had a distinct opaque white cloudy area. All isses were on the bottoms of the containers. Also the lids for the smallest (2-cup round) containers, while easy to remove, were much harder to put on (and that's a size I would use a lot). So the whole kit 'n' caboodle is being returned to Macys on Monday.
Actually I was looking at the Life Without Plastics site earlier! Those stainless containers do look interesting although I'd like to see them in person and try out the latches. I wash strictly by hand and if the latches have any sharp parts whatsoever, I can see a lot of dishwashing gloves being shredded,LOL.
I also looked at canning jars. Bormioli Quattro Stagioni has metal one-piece lids that do NOT have the BPA lining (not that it matters as long as nothing is being heated in it, but I just feel better overall knowing that there's no BPA anywhere in the container.... and no plastic of any kind either). Apparantly they are the only brand that comes with a non-BPA lid, although there is a company (Tattler) that makes BPA-free replacement lids. Info for those who may be interested in the details: http://eatclosetohome.wordpress.com/2...
I remember seeing these Bormioli jars at Sur la Table about a month or so ago and thinking how pretty they were. Currently they are a little bit cheaper there than on Amazon (how rarely does THAT happen?! LOL) and since I have to drive to that general area on Monday anyhow, I'll stop in (it's about a 45 minute drive each way, so I don't get to their store regularly)
I seem to recall they also had the Anchor Hocking round ones, so I may "test drive" those lids as well, as long as I'm there.
Plastics in freezer: Oh I definitely know to leave plenty of room for expansion. You may be right, perhaps it's a case of lost-in-translation-to-English but it sure did sound as if they're saying "don't freeze stuff in these AT ALL". As for plastic lids, ironically I have had no issues at all with instantly removing the lids from these (which I've been using for stocks and soups for a few years) .... of course they are plastic, albeit BPA-free.
What I do with frozen stock (which I NEVER remember to take out in time to thaw in the fridge before I need to use it, LOL) is to remove container from freezer -> unscrew lid -> place container of frozen stock into a bowl of warm water for a few minutes so that the very edges of the frozen stock loosen from the inside of the plastic container -> dump frozen block of stock into a Pyrex bowl -> then defrost in microwave. (yes I know the plastic container is microwave safe but I don't like nuking or heating plastic....ANY plastic...period)
The only thing I don't like about the Ziplock containers is that I need to cool my pot of soup or stock to close to room temp before portioning it out into the individual containers. Again, because I don't do the combo of hot food + any plastic. I'd love to be able to portion out hot or semi-hot stock into glass storage containers, cool them rapidly in the fridge, and then transfer them to the freezer. Also would love to be able to take them from freezer, remove lid, and thaw or heat in the microwave without having to transfer it to an additional bowl or other container.
Hey so what's the best option to go with? I'm pretty much looking for the same thing as you, oven, microwave, dishwasher, freezer safe, glass.
Rubbermaid glass easy find lid seem to do it all but some reviews make it look like the lids are a PITA to clean and also they dont always form a good seal, so probably not good for soups... i may buy some of these and some glasslocks for soup...
let me know what you think
I ended up going with a bunch of these from Canadian tire, as the price was too good .... ~7$ for a set of 3 (on sale price, regularly $20 for the set). The lids also were advertised as BPA free.
Anchor Hocking Round Glass Storage, 4-Cup
•4-cup round glass storage container with red lid
•Convenient size for glass food storage
•Microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator/freezer and oven-safe
I did also buy a few glasslock containers at full price for storing portable liquids/soups etc. since the ancor ones dont have any snap/lockable lids (just a plain old lid). At least both types I bought are easy to clean.
I know this thread is kind of old, but I just found it and no really definitive answers. I have not used Luminarc, but we have both Pyrex and Glasslock containers. We use Glasslocks nearly exclusively, using the Pyrex, Lock & Locks, and various others (Gladware, etc.) ONLY if there are no free Glasslocks available.
Answers to your questions:
1. Ease of closing: Pyrex can be stiff to put lids on, Glasslocks vary from one to the next in difficulty, with some snaps being very challenging indeed. I find compressing the lid downward (there's some give in the silicone gasket) helps. If you force it, you can break off the snaps. But the firm snaps are reassuring for seal strength. Glasslocks plastic lids feel much thicker and higher quality than the Lock & Lock lids, and are more transparent rather than cloudy like L&L.
2. Airtightness: Pyrex leaks VERY easily with the slightest tilt if the container is full. No leakage with Glasslock. Food in Pyrex containers also dehydrate quickly in the fridge due to the lack of airtightness, while Glasslock contents do not.
3. Nesting: Glasslock containers do NOT nest, their biggest disadvantage. Pyrex containers do nest, but not tightly. But for stable stacking when in use (with contents), Glasslocks get a 10/10; you can stack 5-6 high and it's completely stable. Pyrex, because the rubber lids have some give, are only a 8/10 in stability.
4. We go from fridge to MW all the time with both Pyrex and Glasslock. I put the lid over the container at an angle to kind of keep the steam in. No issues with either brand.
5. We have had snaps break rarely on the Glasslocks, not on the Pyrex.
6. The plastic lids for both containers are prone to staining from yellow or red foods, much less noticeable with the colored lids of the Pyrex. But even stained Glasslock lids seem to come clean after a couple of dishwasher cycles. I can't think of any lids that currently have a color tinge.
One other tip. With Glasslock, when storing hot food, if it's not completely full, I would wait to snap the lid on until after the food has cooled significantly, because since the lid is airtight, it will warp as the air above the food cools and contracts, sucking the lid downward.
New Glasslock containers DO nest. A few months ago (Dec 2012) I decided to augment my existing Glasslocks, found a good price at Sams or Costco and was so surprised to see that the sides are now flared and nest perfectly, even inside the old straight-sided units. They're narrowed the base to accomplish it. The lids are the same construction, but the color is different, a clear green. Old lids fit new, new lids fit old.
The new units are slightly taller than the old, to make up the space that would otherwise be lost by narrowing the base in the new design. Color me happy!
I've recently bought the new Pyrex Glass Lids items, they are made only of glass and silicone.
I wanted something without plastic that I can use to store and reheat leftovers. It's not bad, but not perfect.
The round shape makes it harder to store than a rectangular one - both in the fridge and in the cabinet. They are designed to store together as a mixed size set, but that set was not available at my store. I have 2 of the smallest and they don't fit together well and lid storage is a bit of a pain.
The silicone rim on the lid can get pushed down into the bowl. This happens if too much pressure or weight is placed on the lid, and also if you forget to unseal the lid before heating in the microwave. I think this is the greatest flaw in the design. The lid has to be completely removed then gently laid across the bowl for reheating.
I have not used them in the freezer or oven, but don't think it would be a problem. The lid does prevent the leaking of liquids when placed properly, which isn't difficult to do, there is a little tab to help you pull the lid off. I have had no issues with cracking or breaking of any parts. I regularly use it directly from fridge to microwave, since this is primarily what I bought them for. Since there is no plastic, nothing holds on to odors.
We use Weck jars with glass lids that are secured with rubber rings and metal clips. It took a bit to get used to the clips, but I wouldn't use anything else now.