What you need to know about storing food
Many home cooks find the wide range of food storage containers puzzling because each type of container promises to keep food fresher than others. So what should you choose to ensure food freshness and safety?
Types of Food Storage Containers
Most popular storage containers on the market are made of a durable, food-grade plastic. These containers are available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors. You can also choose additional features, such as a collapsible structure, which makes them easy to stack and saves kitchen cupboard space. Produce savers are also available, which claim to protect fruits and vegetables so that they last longer than they would if stored in ordinary containers.
Other handy food storage possibilities include disposable or several-use storage containers. These inexpensive receptacles are made from a thin plastic, and because of their reasonable price, you are free to use once and discard – or if you prefer, use them over and over again. It's easy to build up a great collection of storage containers in all shapes and sizes with these "semi-disposable" containers, because they're available at any grocery store and can last for a year or longer with careful use. They're even dishwasher safe in most cases.
Alternative Food Storage Solutions
If you're not interested in using traditional containers, there are a few additional options to consider. First, some brands of storage containers are made from Pyrex, which is a hard, completely impermeable, synthetic material. Pyrex has the hardness of glass with the durability of plastic; it doesn't crack or shatter like glass. You might also consider metal or ceramic storage containers.
Finally, don't fail to consider storing food using aluminum foil, plastic wrap, zipper bags or vacuum-sealed bags. These inexpensive storage materials are great for sealing up almost any food, but be careful when using them in the freezer, because for safe food storage, you will want to use at least two layers of plastic or aluminum foil to protect against freezer burn. Vacuum-sealed bags and other containers tend to keep food fresh in the freezer for a longer period of time than any other method, because they remove all the air that causes freezer burn.