How to Choose the Right Food Storage Containers for Your Kitchen

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Are you looking for food storage containers that are attractive as well as functional? You’re in luck! There are plenty of options on the market today, all of which address every food storage need imaginable. Some come in glass, with screw top lids. Others are square-shaped and have plastic tops that snap on. Thanks to advances in food storage technology, you are guaranteed freshness because of vacuum seal lids or silicone ring lids. One recent advancement is called PLA. PLA is a kind of polyester that’s made from fermented plant sources, including corn, sugarcane, and maize, to name just a few. Storing food properly so it keeps well but is also kind to the planet, has become a major preoccupation of households all around the globe.

In this article, we do a deep dive into the variety of food storage containers now available to you, and the factors you should consider before buying some. Read on to discover which food storage container is right for your family’s needs, then head out to your kitchen equipment store or start browsing online. You’ll be amazed by the array of food storage containers available for sale these days!

Understand the different materials they are made of

The first thing you should factor in when buying food storage containers is the material they’re made of. Lots of people wonder whether the material a container is made of affects the flavors stored within it – a very good question! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets out guidelines that ensure food storage containers made of silicone or plastic don’t contain chemicals that seep into the food they hold. These containers are so rigorously tested you can rest easy, knowing that they aren’t toxic. There are three popular materials containers are made of – glass, stainless steel, and acrylic. We’re going to discuss each one here.


Glass is ideal for storing lots of different foods. However, one drawback to it is that glass can’t withstand really high heat. No temperature higher than about 70℃ is suitable for glass (Soda-lime glass not included). And because glass is clear, sunlight may penetrate it, depending on where you store the container. But it’s great for lots of food storage, in spite of that limitation. For example, you can use a glass jar to hold homemade salad dressing, and just pop it onto the door of the fridge to stay fresh. There are other foods that are suited to glass, too, such as jam and Kimche. And some glass food storage containers are pretty enough to go from the fridge straight to the dinner table.

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Acrylic – also known as “plexiglass” – is a transparent plastic material with great strength, stiffness, and optical clarity. It has something terrific going for it: it’s virtually indestructible. That means that you can place an acrylic food storage container almost anywhere – on top of the fridge, or on the counter if you’re keeping your coffee near the stove, for example – and even if you accidentally knock it over, it won’t shatter. How great is that? If you have small children running around the kitchen while you’re cooking, you needn’t worry that one of them will hit the food storage container and break it. Acrylic isn’t right for hot food, but it works beautifully for storing dry foods, like beans or ground coffee, cookies, or pasta.

Acrylic is also ideal for products you need to store but may not use when prepping every meal, like sugar and flour. And these containers come in plenty of attractive options, so you’ll be happy keeping them visible to guests and family.

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Stainless Steel

Containers made of stainless steel are well-suited to many of your storage needs. Whether you’re storing something really hot – like soup, for example –or you want to freeze leftovers, stainless steel is an appropriate choice. It can take really high temperatures and really low ones. Furthermore, because stainless steel isn’t see-through, no sunlight can penetrate it. Sunlight can, potentially, spoil food by overheating it. However, there’s one potential drawback to stainless steel food storage containers – you can’t use them for storing fresh food. That’s because, since you can’t see into the container, it’s easy to let time slip by, and then the food within it starts rotting. Yucky, right? So don’t use a stainless steel food storage container for something like fresh produce, but it’s a great choice for other products, like coffee, flour, or salt.

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PLA (Polylactic Acid)

This is the content material we mentioned earlier, the one that’s made from environmentally friendly, renewable resources like sugarcane and corn starch. So many folks today are concerned about the environment that PLA is becoming increasingly popular as a go-to choice for storing food. PLA is somewhat like silicone, but it is completely biodegradable, which means you can toss it into the garbage and not feel one whit of guilt! But like other types of food storage containers, PLA does have one drawback – it cannot withstand high heat. Because of that, you should stick to using it for foods that can go in the fridge, or cold drinks, like soda or lemonade.


Why airtight container lids are so important

Most people prefer food storage containers that come with a vacuum seal lid or a silicone ring. There are some containers that come with a lid that utilizes both. Below we take a look at each type of lid, and the three types of containers that are popular and easy to find.

The silicone ring cap

Most silicone food storage containers or jars come with a silicone ring that keeps the air out, which protects the food inside. Whenever moisture gets into a food storage container, the food is bound to spoil. A silicone ring does prevent most of the air and vapor from penetrating the container, but not 100 percent. The ring just isn’t strong enough to completely keep air and moisture at bay. Still, it’s effective enough for storing foods like peppercorns, salt, rice, and other foods that are used regularly.

If you need to store food that lingers on your pantry shelf for a while because you use it only occasionally – flour is a good example – you’re better off choosing a container with a different lid. For example, if you live in a region that’s extremely humid, you are better off choosing a food storage container with a locking clamp or vacuum seal. This option keeps any food in the container fresher than a silicone ring does because it creates a more effective barrier against air and moisture.

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A silicone ring and a locking clamp

This is a more effective seal than a silicone lid alone. The pressure created by the lock intensifies the tightness of the ring, yet it doesn’t crack the canister or lid. Think of it as offering double the protection and barrier against air and vapor. A ring of silicone with a locking clamp is so effective you can even turn the container upside down and nothing will leak. This is a win-win solution for food storage, particularly if you want to keep something like tomato sauce fresh. These containers are also great for your child’s lunchbox – the milk won’t escape no matter how often they turn the container upside down or toss it around.

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Vacuum seal

This kind of food storage container consists of old-school know-how and 21st-century tech, which works together to create the vacuum seal. Some require only your hands to get rid of air in the container, while others utilize a little machine that removes the air. This type of canister fully blocks out air and moisture. Although a bit more of a nuisance to use, it’s definitely a good option for foods you’re storing for a long time – like jams and jellies you make from fruit in the summer that last all autumn and winter. One trick to keep in mind when using this kind of container is this: tuck a napkin or small paper towel onto the bottom of the container. Then put your veggies or fruit on top, and voila! Any moisture from the produce that collects inside will be soaked up by the napkin. And the vacuum seal lid ensures that no air or moisture seeps into the container.

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Be aware of heat resistance levels

Potential uses for food storage containers are almost limitless – but there is one thing you should always keep in mind. How heat-resistant is the canister you’ve chosen? Be sure to keep this important feature uppermost in mind when you’re buying yours. It’s called “thermal endurance” in scientific circles, but for our purposes (and your convenience!) let’s just call it heat resistance. Every material used to make food storage containers copes with heat differently, so think of its purpose before you buy.

For instance, are you making a batch of tomato sauce to freeze for the winter, so every time you serve pasta it tastes fresh like the ingredients just came off the vine? Then glass or acrylic are fine choices. Plastic can be frozen too, of course, but you can’t tuck it into the oven to reheat. However, you can put plastic into the microwave to thaw and then reheat it. Our point is simple: think about how you’re using these food storage containers before you buy them.

Glass is an excellent option for food storage containers, as its heat endurance is approximately 150℃, depending on its silica level. Soda lime glass is terrific, as it’s inexpensive and withstands high heat very well.

Silicone is a great option too because the thermal endurance of silicone can be very high – up to 200℃, in some cases. Some silicone products can withstand heat as high as 350℃ for brief periods. Remember: if you focus on how you’re using the container, you can’t go wrong. If you want a container that can go from the freezer to the oven to the dinner table, choose a canister that can cope with all three environments.

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Different containers for different uses

Although we’ve focused mostly on containers you use for food storage in the kitchen, these canisters can be used in lots of other spots in your home as well. When it comes to food storage, having a tight-fitting lid that keeps out air and moisture is crucial. But an attractive canister offers lots of possibilities for storage in other rooms in your house too, not just the kitchen. Here’s a quick roundup of all the places in your home you can use containers – they aren’t just for food storage anymore!

In the kitchen

As we said, food storage containers with tight-fitting lids are key. You don’t want air or moisture seeping in and spoiling the food, right? Whether you use a canister for storing coffee beans that you use every day, or you use one for rice that you serve only once a week, the tightest lid possible is what keeps the food fresh.

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In the bathroom

Using canisters is a great way to separate and sort your different cosmetics and nail polishes, cotton balls, or utensils for doing your manicures and pedicures. Bathrooms are small spaces that demand organization, so keeping items allotted to different containers helps the bathroom stay neat and tidy. Select a lightweight, unbreakable canister for use in the bathroom – after all, the space isn’t large, and you don’t want a glass canister shattering into pieces in the tub, right?

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For outdoors

The right canister can look very pretty on a shelf in the garden, or on the ground by patio stones, perhaps with a small plant inside. In this instance, obviously, sunlight isn’t an issue. A stainless steel canister or acrylic is ideal, as it resists breaking, is durable and looks great. This material also resists damage from rain and other weather events, so if you want a canister in your garden, opt for acrylic, stainless steel, or another type of metal.



Choosing the correct food storage container or canister for your bathroom or patio isn’t difficult – as long as you keep its ultimate purpose in mind. There isn’t just one, right solution; it all depends on the function you need the container to fulfill. When it comes to food storage, remember heat resistance and how well the lid seals shut are vital. If you need a canister to hold cotton balls in the bathroom, choose a pretty, stainless steel one. Every container has its assets, but some are better suited to certain uses than others. Just keep those uses in mind, and no doubt you’ll select exactly the right container.

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