The Best Food Storage Containers for Maintaining Freshness
We rounded up all our favorite storage containers for keeping food fresh in the fridge, freezer or pantry!
There's nothing worse than wilted greens or mushy fruits and vegetables shortly after your big trip to the store — but it doesn't have to be that way. Whether you're trying to incorporate more produce into your diet and are looking for ways to keep your fruit fresh, or just want to ensure your pantry staples reach their maximum shelf life, the proper storage is necessary (and available). We've tested many food storage containers that claim to maximize the life of your foods and have rounded some of our favorites that we trust to keep food fresh as long as possible. The variety of shapes and sizes of these products should have you covered, all the way from pantry to freezer!
Things to Know About Food Storage Containers
- Pantry staples need to be vacuum sealed. Dried pasta, grains and cereal should be vaccum sealed to keep pests out and maintain optimal freshness. You'll also want a vacuum seal for odorous foods like coffee and spices that can taint the flavor of other foods if they mingle.
- Produce needs air circulation. You'll notice that many food storage containers for fruits and vegetables maintain a layer of breathability. These foods need to stay dry to maintain optimal freshness and air circulation helps with that.
- Size matters. A large OXO pop container can hold an entire 5-pound bag of flour without overflow. And you want to be able to store an entire pint of strawberries in one go. Look for properly sized containers that allow you to store seamlessly.
- Go for clear options. Being able to see what's in your storage containers can help keep you from overbuying and save you money in the long run.
How We Picked
We've tested out tons of storage containers over the years. In choosing the best ones for the pantry, fridge and freezer we considered the size, weight and variety of offerings for each model. We also took into serious consideration how long our food stayed fresh. Price and availability also played a role in our picks.
Meals become a lot messier when that pesky bag of flour starts to tear or grains escape from their boxes. These airtight OXO containers are here to help, available in a variety of sizes to accustom a variety of foods. These stackable, space-efficient containers will make your pantry look effortlessly clean and decluttered while keeping your dry foods fresh. Plus, the transparency ensures you'll grab what you're looking for at a glance, and the buttons ensure an airtight seal.
We recently tested out these Rubbermaid Freshworks containers and were impressed by how well they kept our greens fresh and fruit plump. Unlike typical storage containers, these containers are vented, which the company suggests helps maintain freshness. They also come equipped with a trademarked CrispTray, which keeps your food from sitting directly on the bottom of the container and promotes air circulation. The company says the product works best if you store the produce as it is after purchase, washing and cutting once you're ready to consume (for both greens and fruits). If you’re looking for a consistent way to keep your produce looking just as delicious at home as it does in the store, these are worth adding to your cart.
Food savers have started to creep up as a popular way to store frozen food, and we understand why! And while vacuum sealing is great for preventing freezer burn and preserving nutrients, it's also helpful for more short-term storage, like leftovers and produce. Along with reusable bags for vacuuming sealing, this Zwilling machine also comes with containers that you can seal to store just about anything in the refrigerator. The company claims these will keep your food save up to five times longer than other methods, and we can attest that your food will feel fresher, longer — meaning tonight's dinner will taste just as good as tomorrow's lunch.
One Food Network staffer raves about these containers as her go-to option for just about everything, especially meal prep. Pro-tip for salad lovers and snackers: The mini-size containers may seem small, but they’re exactly what you need for homemade dressings, salsa, portioned snacks or your own little mise en place for cooking at home.
They are great for storing everything from hot and cold items to leftovers in the freezer and on-the-go lunch. When it comes to cooking, the staffer also loves to use these during everyday tasks like whisking eggs, stating that they come together mess-free in the tall container. (No more raw eggs flying out of my cereal bowl!) Plus, when they're not in use, these containers stack perfectly.
Don't want to part with your other half? These nifty little food savers are ideal for storing halves of fruit that's left over from a recipe. Whether you used half of a lime for a homemade margarita or only used half of an onion to serve with fajitas, these savers present a great solution for maximizing usage of produce that isn't typically eaten all at once. Although this set is designed for specific fruits and veggies, they'll work for any item that fits in the container. (This was our top pick for an avocado saver!) The stretchy silicon covering hugs the produce tightly and snaps shut to keep your leftovers tasty and fresh.
This set thought of just about everything you need to transport a home-worthy meal just about anywhere. If you're unsure how you're going to recreate your favorite meals at the office or school, this set is for you. You'll have a containers for dressings, separate compartments for keeping your food fresh and even one container with a built-in colander for fruit. Plus, all the containers have leakproof lids, so you can transport your meal without worry.
The biggest benefit of using glass storage containers is not having to transfer your food to another vessel for warming up and eating. These containers from Pyrex are made from tempered glass, so they are safe to use in the oven, microwave, freezer, refrigerator and dishwasher. Plus, this 18-piece set includes containers in a variety of sizes. Whether you're storing a small amount of food or bringing it on-the-go, there is a size for it all.
Stasher bags are so versatile, we think they should be a staple in every kitchen. Whether you're storing leftovers, marinating meats, freezing fruits for smoothies or sous vide cooking, these containers, which come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, can do it all.
When storing food, the key to maintaining freshness is having a strong seal, which is something we love about these Rubbermaid storage containers. These are also great for lunches, since they also have separate compartments for keeping your foods separate and fresh.