What To Look For In A Quality Kitchen Container

Foods & DrinksFood

  • Author Marcus Bay
  • Published January 22, 2011
  • Word count 614

There's nothing like a fresh, homemade meal, and there's nothing to rival that first delicious taste on the day you make it. Or is there?

Keeping food fresh isn't just about buying fresh ingredients all the time. It's also about the quality of kitchen storage containers you have in your kitchen. Keeping your pantry staples fresh enhances your meal, and having quality kitchen storage containers on hand helps your cooking not to taste like murky "leftovers" when reheated.

Kitchen containers often serve multiple functions in the kitchen, since they're always rotating between the pantry, fridge, microwave, and freezer. They are useful tools for kitchen organization, since they can be labelled ahead of time. Imagine coming home from a long day at work and having to rifle through bags of pantry ingredients, relentlessly searching for classic comfort-food staples like spaghetti to help you wind down, only to realize you're out of spaghetti noodles. Using a storage container system will help you remember what's going on in your kitchen.

Pantry containers:

Storing food on countertops or in pantry cupboards can be a bit of a risky move if they're not sealed tightly. In a non-refrigerated setting, many foods will appear to stay fresh but will slowly be turning rancid. You won't know until the day you go to take it out of the pantry and realize you can't use it in your recipe. Not only does a quality kitchen container keep pantry food organized, but it also keeps it fresh and safe from going bad too quickly.

Freezer containers:

One of the worst things -- if not the worst thing -- that can happen to stored foods in the freezer is freezer burn. It's a buildup that occurs when thousands of tiny water molecules find their way into the packaging and turn into ice crystals on the food. Ironically, this causes food to lose moisture and dry out, so when it's finally taken out of the freezer, it looks extremely parched. When freezer burn is occurring, not only does water escape from the food itself and freeze on top, but oxygen molecules enter into the pores of the food, causing bright colors to fade and bold flavors to dissipate. Investing in quality containers that are meant for long-lasting freezer use will not only save your sanity for freezer organization but will also keep your food fresh longer, saving your budget since that means less food to throw out.

Here are three essential things to keep in mind when shopping for a great kitchen container:

  • Air Tight -- Make sure the container is able to maintain a seal that will lock out air and moisture. This slows the spoiling process of the contents inside.

  • Different Sizes -- Customization is key. Choose a set that can hold many different sizes of leftovers or ingredients. When filling a container, fill to the top and leave as little room for air as possible, because air aids the breakdown process. It's also much easier to nest and stack containers of multiple sizes when they're not being used.

  • Easy Marking Surface -- Look for areas on the container or lid where the contents can be marked or labelled. Think about the organization process you want to use, and make sure the containers will accommodate that. This is especially important to consider if the containers are not translucent.

Good quality kitchen containers make a world of difference when storing your food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer -- and they don't have to be super-expensive in order to meet the criteria listed above. You'll likely be able to find the kind of containers you need during your next trip to the grocery store.

Marcus Bay writes about food and kitchen gear for TheCooksDen. See his latest, favorite omelette pan here.

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