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The key to organization is merging what's vital for your home's regular routines within your kitchen's storage space. Once you ascertain your dream organized kitchen, you can determine what kind of glass containers will fit your food storage needs. Di Ter Avest, a professional home and lifestyle organizer, and owner of Di is Organized, says that choosing glass containers helps better preserve the quality of food since glass is nonabsorbent, which reduces issues with germs and smells.
While plastic containers can offer what Coffeeble’s Health & Wellness Advisor Nadia Charif says is "superficial convenience in terms of storage, they are hardly as versatile as glass containers." Glass can be easily warmed up in a microwave (and most times, the oven) since it can deal with heat better than plastic. If you're using tempered glass, it can also store your favorite no-churn ice cream or frozen meals. Plus, glass is definitely more environmentally friendly.
But does glass protect your food from unwanted pests? Ed Spicer, CEO of Pest Strategies, says yes. According to Spicer, unwanted pests love the smell of food and can get to it easily if your containers are not airtight. Glass containers are great to use for storage, he says, because nothing can chew through to the contents.
When exploring glass food containers, you should consider lid material, set variety, features, and cleaning and maintenance. Researching each aspect will help you decide the best storage for your home. If you're ready to live your most organized life, here are the best glass food storage containers to have in your kitchen.
Best Overall: Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set
What We Love: Comes in a large set, durable
What We Don't Love: Plastic lids may warp
This Glasslock 18-piece oven-safe container set is made of recyclable tempered glass that delivers on its promise to be odor-free, stainproof, airtight, and liquid-resistant, so nothing will be able to spoil your food. The set includes multiple sizes making it ideal for storing small items in your cupboards and for your week's meal prep goals.
Made from environmentally safe silica, soda, ash, limestone, and other natural components, its clear design allows for an easy view of contents and can easily go from the microwave, freezer, dishwasher, and oven. A minor issue with this container set is that the BPA-free plastic lids don’t always fit well, so washing the lids by hand is recommended to avoid any warping.
Type of Glass: Tempered | Lid: Plastic | What's Included: (1) 0.7-cup round, (1) 1.5-cup square, (1) 1.6-cup round, (1) 1.6-cup rectangular, (1) 3.1-cup round, (1) 3.3-cup square, (2) 3.5-cup rectangular, (1) 6.3-cup rectangular
Best Budget: Essos Square Glass Jars with Wood Lids
What We Love: Inexpensive per piece, different sizes available
What We Don't Love: Lids are hard to take off
These glass food storage containers from Essos are great for dry storage in your pantry, like cereal or grains. The sleek design of this set means food stays fresh and dry due to a silicone seal on the wood lids. Essos storage containers are made from borosilicate glass that ensures it’s strong and long-lasting. They are also very affordable, so these work perfectly for people looking for something to fit a modest budget.
A major issue that some will find with these sets is that the silicone seal can be so strong that it is difficult to open the wood lid. They're also not leakproof. The glass containers are safe to put in the dishwasher, but the lids will need to be hand-washed.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Lid: Wood | Sizes: 24 ounces, 36 ounces, 52 ounces, 64 ounces, 80 ounces
Best Nesting: Joseph Joseph 8-Piece Nest Glass Storage Set
What We Love: Affordable, colorful, set nests for storage
What We Don't Love: Isn’t leakproof
Joseph Joseph is known for its polychromatic kitchen tools that can easily be stored away without taking up too much space. For this set, it's the multicolor plastic lids that sit on top of the borosilicate glass containers that give it the Joseph Joseph feel.
When not storing your leftovers for tomorrow's lunch, the entire set comes with the ability to maximize your kitchen space by easily nesting. The lids also lock into each other in a pyramid shape so they’ll stay together, but do come apart with easy-pull tabs. They do offer an airtight seal when storing food, and the lids are safe in the freezer and microwave. They aren't leakproof, though.
Type of Glass: Borosilicate | Lid: Plastic | Sizes: 0.55 cup, 2.7 cups, 5.4 cups, 10.5 cups
Related: The Best Food Storage Container Sets
Best with Glass Lids: Bormioli Rocco Hermetic Glass Storage Fido Jars
What We Love: Various sizes, airtight seal, durable
What We Don't Love: Can't handle extreme temperature changes
Want the upscale look of glass containers with glass lids? Then Bormioli Glass Storage Jars are perfect. These wide-mouth jars can hold almost anything you can think of, and they have matching labels so you won't forget what's inside whether it's your favorite specialty flour or local dried bay leaves. Being made from soda-lime glass you might want to stick with dry or refrigerated foods as these cannot handle extreme temperature changes.
The lid itself holds a rubber gasket and a metal latch, which together keep your contents sealed tightly. A downside of this glass container is that the metal handle will corrode quickly if put into the dishwasher. While the glass can be placed on the top rack, you'll need to wash the metal latch by hand.
Type of Glass: Soda-lime | Lid: Glass | Sizes: 6.75 ounces, 17 ounces, 25.25 ounces, 33.75 ounces (1 liter), 50.75 ounces (1.5 liters), 67.75 ounces (2 liters), 101.5 ounces (3 liters), 135.25 ounces (4 liters)
Related: The Best Gluten-Free Flours
Best for Small Kitchens: Anchor Hocking TrueSeal 10-Piece Round Glass Food Storage Set
What We Love: Comes in a set, small, can write on lids
What We Don't Love: Isn’t leakproof
These containers are made from tempered glass, making them strong enough to bake, freeze, and reheat food. But since these are a bit on the smaller side, these containers are perfect to store salads, fruit, grains, and other small food items or ingredients. The lids have an easy pull tab and are dry-erase compatible so you can write your name or the contents on the lid.
The only issue is that these aren’t as leakproof as one may think. They do reduce some leaking, but definitely don't store soup on its side in your lunch bag.
Type of Glass: Tempered | Lid: Plastic | What's Included: (1) 1-cup, (2) 2-cup, (1) 4-cup, (1) 7-cup
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Do you want a tempered glass food container with a lot of set variety? Then the Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set (view at Amazon). If you are looking for something that stacks easily so you can save storage space, then check out Joseph Joseph 8-Piece Nest Glass Storage Set (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying Glass Food Storage Containers
When choosing the right glass food storage container, you’ll want to make sure you pay attention to the lid. You’ll come across plastic, metal, wood, and glass lids and each has its pros and cons. If you want to be able to heat up a container in a microwave, make sure the lids are compatible. As Spicer noted, glass containers keep out unwanted pests, this is also the case for the lid material. While the lid may add to a container's aesthetic, if there’s even a possibility for pests, you'll want to go with an airtight option.
Having a variety of glass food storage can make all the difference for space and organization. So you’ll want to choose sets with different sizes for easier maintenance and different needs. "Decanting dry goods to airtight glass containers [can] help us easily see when supplies are running low, use the space more efficiently, and it motivates us to stay organized," says Ter Avest. So incorporating set variety in your home helps keep your life on track.
When you’re narrowing down choices, think about some of its features. Do you need tempered or borosilicate glass? Is leakproof necessary? What about an oven-safe, microwave-safe, and freezer-safe container? Depending on your needs you’ll find that one that works better than the others. Just remember that if the goal is to store your food safely in the freezer, then tempered or borosilicate glass is the answer.
All glass food containers should have some ease when you’re cleaning them and using them for your food. When debating whether glass food containers are great for storage and reheating, "Storage glass casseroles or glass bowls are great for storing leftovers in the fridge as they can just easily be transferred into the microwave to heat up," says Charif. "Glass also manages to deal with heat much better than plastic, making it perfect to heat up and eat out of." The nonporous nature of glass just makes your life easier for cooking and longevity.
Are glass food storage containers safe in the freezer?
Yes, glass containers are safe in the freezer, but only certain kinds. When searching for the perfect glass containers, they should be made of tempered glass if possible. While non-tempered glass can freeze well, it is much more brittle and has an opportunity to crack under extreme temperatures. When storing food, you’ll want to leave some space in your jars so your food has room to expand. Also, make sure your contents are cooled down before placing them in the jar.
What lids should you use with dry food storage?
This depends on what you are doing. Most people will find that plastic lids will work just fine as a multipurpose option. These lids can store your dry food in the freezer and outside of it. Plastic lids also are leakproof and are simply easier to open.
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