Storage of food using conventional options such as glassware, or plastic is really a personal preference. There are so many options that I’ll point out a few links of reviews of many of them. The end-of-story for storage is we need to store our leftovers, our prep-ahead food, our overnight marinating food, Christmas cookies, cookie cutters, dry pasta, freeze our soups, store our seasonal decor, or you just name it storage in containers. In the end, we only have so much room to store our storage containers. That’s why I only have so much and no more. Therefore, I’ve chosen only a select few to keep and they all perform specific jobs.
Cooks Illustrated did tests on several different brands of plastic food storage containers in May of 2010. More brands have come forward since then and one of the brands that has been considered a standout is the Snapware brand. I do not own it and cannot testify to it. The Sweethome.com performed a recent two year test on containers. Both studies have much more information than I have space to write about. Please feel free to read.
In the back of my mind I have always been slightly concerned regarding plastic. Harvard Health Publications from the Harvard Medical School recently updated a report on Microwaving food in plastic: Dangerous or not? Bottom line, I microwave in Anchor Hocking, Corningware, or Pyrex glass and use paper towels to cover the food when I microwave it. The information is very interesting and provides you with enough knowledge to make an informed decision.
Cassandra’s Kitchen Containers: I was HOOKED when I saw Ina Garten store her stock in the fridge and freezer in her plastic conainers. I found Cassandra on Ina’s site #66. I’m very particular about these containers. I’ll tell my kids that they HAVE to return them. When I make soup, this is where I store it to freeze it. When you make a big pot of soup and there’s only 2 of you, you need a place to store it. These are so inexpensive and last a long time. They come in three sizes. Please don’t limit yourself to just the containers. She has a wide variety of inexpensive but quality merchandise on her site.
I made the Panera Tomato Soup the other evening and had some left over. It’s in the fridge right now. It is so close to the real thing – not kidding. Be sure to use San Marzano crushed tomatoes. Makes a huge difference in taste.
Tupperware: Who doesn’t remember Tupperware? That’s where contemporary plastic food storage started in the late 1940’s by Earl Tupper. Brownie Wise was the creative genius behind the “home party” to help women earn their own income. I still have pieces of Tupperware that are still functional. I’ve never had anything go wrong. The big yellow bowl has been everywhere for over 20 years. I make salads for large events and this is the perfect bowl for that. I’ve used it to make dough for 5 loaves of bread dough. I’ve used it to store curing sausage meat in the fridge. Plus, it holds a lot of my miscellaneous things in the cupboard. Bad news, it’s a shelf hog in the fridge and cupboard.
Glass containers: Years ago, during football season when kids were in high school, we had pasta parties. I would make pots and pots of sauce and store them in Glass containers. I use to call it Red October in my house. Now I store my dry pasta in two of them. If I’m getting ready to make sauce ahead of time, I’ll store all that sauce in a glass jar. I found mine at Target way back then. They now have Anchor Hocking glass jars.
There’s also a retro group of glass containers that back in the 40’s and 50’s they were popular.
Cookies: I make cut out cookies and over the years I have accumulated a LOT. I had to put them somewhere because it was becoming unbearable to store them. I found these see-through plastic shoe boxes with lids which makes storage of them SO MUCH EASIER. Notice the snap top green container on the left. That holds all my icing tips.
Speaking of cookies, when I make cookies for Christmas, I have to have something to hold them in. I use the Rubbermaid Take Alongs. They have so many sizes and shapes for what ever you need. I liked these because they were deep. The top one, however, is an old Tupperware container that I use often.
Gladware/Ziploc storage: I also have a drawer full of Gladware and Ziploc storage. I’m sort of a lazy cook and do not like to peel garlic. Caputo’s has peeled garlic in small plastic container that they sell. I always place it in one of the square plastic lidded containers because garlic can smell up the whole fridge.
Containers can help you to dispel unpleasant odors.
Mason jars fall in the category of storage. That was their original purpose on earth, to can food. When I was teenager and living on the farm, the first two weeks of August were canning season. We didn’t have air conditioning and the steam from the water baths was unbearable by today’s standards. At that time, we never thought to drink out of the jars.
Ree Drummond has romanticized the jar in her post Beauty of a Mason Jar. Paula Rhodes, Salad-in-a-Jar lady, one of the first people I saw on the internet using Mason Jars. She’s been using wide mouth jars to pack a weeks worth of salads. She also has a wide variety of recipes that are fantabulous.
Spice containers: Caputo’s has spices and dried herbs in bulk. They are so economical. You purchase their little $.99 container and put a label on it and you’re good to go. However, spices and dried herbs last about 6 months. I know, because we’ve made Italian sausage with these spices and you can tell that the spice has lost it’s verve.
Storage bags: I do use storage bags for various things, especially marinating meats. I love Target’s freezer bags for everything. I find ANY brand of sandwich bags just useless because a sandwich will not fit into it, it’s flimsy, and difficult to seal.
So that about seals it. Did I miss any?