If you’re like me, you have a cabinet in your kitchen stuffed with a scratched and stained mess of Gladware, Ziploc, or Tupperware food containers and an even larger stack of lids that never seem to fit. I even remember telling myself to stick with one brand and three sizes, but after years of dinner parties, brown-bag lunches, and outdoor potlucks, entropy has kicked my butt. Add in the baby on the way, and I wanted to reset and replace with BPA-free (linked to cancer and hormonal disorders) containers and perhaps buy additional ones for storing baby food.
The creators of America’s Test Kitchen ran another test (like with the knives) of the major brands of plastic food containers including Gladware, Ziploc, Rubbermaid, Sterilite, OXO, and more. All were BPA-free and they used the rectangular/square 8-cup sizes. They froze them, put stinky food in them, microwaved them with chili, washed them repeatedly, submerged them in water to test for leaks, and more. Being frugal doesn’t mean just buying the cheapest thing out there, it’s about finding the best value for the price.
The winner? For plastic food containers, the winner was Snapware MODS (update: now “Snapware Airtight”) which featured good performance across all categories. However, the reviews on this 38-piece set of Snapware Airtight for $40 shipped at Amazon.com seem to be worsening over time, and look at the pictures the constructions does look slightly less “beefy”. I did find a cheaper 20-piece set for $15 shipped at Wal-mart that may be worth trying out. It may be better to recognize that most of the better performing containers use the kind of seal that Snapware uses with snap-down “wing” flap, silicone gaskets, and a lid with full wraparound ridges.
For glass containers, the winner was Kinetic Go Green Glasslock, which is also sold under Glasslock by Snapware. Made of microwave-safe tempered glass, this type of container seems to be enjoying a comeback due to all the concerns about microwaving plastic. I have to say, it does sound like a great idea as long as you don’t drop things a lot (like me). Freezer safe. Add in that airtight lid, and I’m sold.
The main drawback beside fragility is the additional cost. You can buy their 16-piece set for $70 at Amazon.com including free shipping, although I’d rather buy a six-piece set of a medium-size for about $30-$40. All seem to have overall good reviews, and I also noticed that people seem to really love these cute Wean Green Wean Cubes Baby Food Glass Containers, which are also made by Glasslock (Snapware). Hopefully these can last a long time. Besides, there’s always that baby registry…