Finding the best food storage will help you keep your kitchen tidy and your leftovers pristinely preserved for the next day's lunch.
Ideally, food storage needs to be airtight, easy to clean, and robust in order to class as 'the best'. We've rounded up a range of food storage options from classic plastic containers (always BPA free) to innovative silicone bags that can even be used for cooking.
So, whether you're after a more durable grocery shopping bag, lunchbox or pantry storage solution, we've got you covered. When you've chosen the food storage you like, check out the best microwave for reheating your lunch.
The reason we're such big fans of the Lock & Lock storage containers is because we've used them for a long time and they've always served us well. The efficient locking lids make them airtight – a great way to keep your food fresh. Whether you want to store food in the house, in the freezer or transport a packed lunch, they demonstrate their versatility and work for everything. What's more, they can go in the microwave, the freezer and you can chuck them in the dishwasher when you're done and forget about the hassle of a hand wash. This set comes with six lidded boxes included.
We ditched disposable plastic shopping bags at supermarkets long ago (even before the plastic bag fee put everyone else off). However, sometimes it's hard to avoid the little individual plastic bags for your fruit and veg. That's why we think that grabbing some of these reusable mesh grocery bags is a genius way to enjoy a guilt-free food shop. Plus, don't be deceived by their lightweight look and feel – they're actually super durable and strong. This food storage option is one of our favourites because it encourages a lifestyle change that is insanely small but makes a huge difference.
We're not exaggerating when we say this is probably the nicest food storage we've ever used that's not made from plastic. Silicone is a natural, biodegradable material, and these food storage bags are made from thick, smooth silicone that locks in odours. The bags are airtight when closed and can be stored either upright or on their sides, saving space in the fridge. What's even more amazing is that you can cook in these: try fish sous vide, for example. We've got one in every size imaginable. The only downside is that they take a long time to fully dry after you've washed them.
We have to admit that these air-tight containers are nothing new, but we just can't help but like the fact that they're stackable and mega efficient in the kitchen. If you live with someone guilty of leaving the cereal box open and letting everything go stale, these containers are the perfect solution. They save space and keep your food fresh. When it comes to pimping your pantry, you can't go wrong with this option as they include chalkboard stickers and a chalk pen to label them (and relabel as your needs change). The only drawback is that if you wash them, the lids will take a very long time to fully dry as water gets in the locking mechanism.
They're plastic-free, oven-safe, dishwasher-safe and even keep your food warm. What's more, this storage also comes with a divider, meaning you can create your own little bento meal for lunchtime. Basically, this food storage solution is absolutely a worthwhile investment. It's not microwave safe, but who needs to use the office microwave when your lunchbox has kept its heat from the morning?
Is it OK to store food in plastic containers?
If you're wondering how to organize a pantry, there's no hard or fast rule and both plastic and glass each have their own respective benefits. While glass looks more luxury and less likely to absorb odors, it's not practical in busy family homes where kids might drop and smash the vessels.
'To help save time, money, and food waste, store your sundries in labeled, clear glass or plastic containers in a cool dry place within the kitchen cupboard or a pantry to keep the temperature consistent,' says Kathryn Hall, founder, and chief organizer, of Kath & Kin (opens in new tab).
'This not only keeps the contents fresher for longer, but the clearly labeled storage jars allow you to see when your stock is running low, avoiding overspending on the food shop and leading to less waste, which is better for the environment.'
Is it better to store flour in glass or plastic?
'Store your baking ingredients and tea, coffee, and sugar in labeled, clear glass jars to help you see quickly whether you need to re-stock,' says Hall.
'They also keep the contents fresh and aromas locked in. The clear jars also save you rummaging to find what you are looking for and avoids bags of flour tearing, keeping your pantry storage clean and organized.'
What are the benefits of airtight food storage containers?
Aside from the obvious benefits of sealing food, and being able to transport it, airtight containers can prevent pests from getting access to your favorite cookies and cereals. Mold and rodents are one thing, but prevention is better than cure when wondering how to get rid of pantry moths naturally, so investing in vacuum-tight vessels will stop critters like maggots and larvae from lurking.
What is the best food storage solution?
The best storage solution is the Lock & Lock Storage Containers – versatile, super easy to clean and an established, trusty brand. Lightweight and durable, these storage containers, which come in a set of six, are great value for money and ideal as home or portable storage.
How to choose the best food storage
The price is naturally always important to consider when making any purchase. If your food storage solution champions its recyclable material, consider how many uses you can get out of it before it has to be recycled.
Easy to carry around
If you're looking for a new lunch box, then you need to take into account the size, shape and how lightweight it is. Something that is advertised as being great for the pantry may be too big and cumbersome to carry around.
Food smells, and that's the long and short of it. You need to be regularly washing anything you store food in, and it's up to you to decide whether you're happy to carry that out by hand or would rather chuck it in the dishwasher.
While the majority of food storage containers out there are still made from plastic, if you want to try going plastic-free, there are now strong contenders made from glass or silicone (see the Stasher bags).