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Tupperware. Or something.


paulraphael
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My least favorite part of cooking: reaching up into my cabinet for a storage container, having 12 of them fall onto my head and all over the floor, picking them up, and discovering that none of the lids that fell on me matches any of the containers that fell on me.

My stash is a mix of retro-colored oddities bought at discount stores and supermarkets, left by dinner guests and ex-girlfriends, mixed in with some pieces of unknown origin (including a plastic caramel corn container that has somehow survived two cross-country moves).

Each of the containers is good enough for what I ask of it, but as a collection they're driving me insane.

There must be a better way. Here's what I'd love:

-decent quality. something that will last, and that won't melt in the microwave when reheating leftovers (almost all of them seem up to this)

- rectangular shapes that store easily

- just a few useful sizes. so matching lids is easy. maybe even ones that differ just in height, so lids are interchangeable. smallest ones should be small enough for a bit of leftover sauce; largest ones should be big enough for a roast chicken.

- cheap enough that i won't get mad when i leave them at someone's house.

Any ideas??

Notes from the underbelly

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The disposable types such as Gladware (though there are other vendors) fulfill all your criteria. I no longer use Tupperware of any sort.

The Gladware items stack by nesting (both bottoms and tops) and work well in both the freezer and microwave. Lots of different sizes, and I've found them to be very sturdy.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I've had isues with Rubbermade where the lids just don't fit. I'll muscle that last corner on only to find it lifted off later in the fridge. I have some tupperware that I use to store left overs and am happy with the fit and quality of them. They're not the microwave friendly versions but that's okay for me. I rarely eat out of them anyway. I might get a couple of the microwavable ones just to have on hand.

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These or products like them have been showing in the kitchens I was in over the holidays.

http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages/smart...tml?gid=KITCHEN

It certainly seems alluring that all those containers fit in a compact area. I'd have to say I am tempted. One friend bought a similar version at Big Lots for about $10. I have all my plastic ware in big bins (18X24X12) that fit onto two shelves in my kitchen cupboard. My kitchen is c1960, so pull-out kitchen cupboard drawers were not invented then, but the bins help access the dark interiors of those undercounter cupboards. When I need something I just pull the bin out to where I can see in it and it keeps all that stuff contained. However, it does wastes premium space that could be better used for more serious baking stuff. I have a hard time throwing away perfectly good plastic containers, but those bins and their contents need to go.

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The disposable types such as Gladware (though there are other vendors) fulfill all your criteria. I no longer use Tupperware of any sort.

The Gladware items stack by nesting (both bottoms and tops) and work well in both the freezer and microwave. Lots of different sizes, and I've found them to be very sturdy.

Ditto to this. I will also add that the store brand versions of these are of similar quality for a bit cheaper.

My only caveat is that I've found that they generally don't seal perfectly, so be careful if using them for transportation of liquids, for instance.

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My only caveat is that I've found that they generally don't seal perfectly, so be careful if using them for transportation of liquids, for instance.

Similar experience here with liquids, though only if it's a lot of liquid, like a soup or stew: items like salads with dressing or fruit that gives off a fair amount of juice have not been a problem under pretty stressful conditions (joggling them every which way in my lunch pail on a 20 minute walk to work). No problem with routine kitchen use.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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These or products like them have been showing in the kitchens I was in over the holidays.

http://www.asseenontv.com/prod-pages/smart...tml?gid=KITCHEN

It certainly seems alluring that all those containers fit in a compact area.  I'd have to say I am tempted.  One friend bought a similar version at Big Lots for about $10.

I couldn't wait to get my hands on the Smart Spin storage containers. Now, about a year later, I am going back to my Ziploc brand containers.

The plus side for the Smart Spin containers is the one-lid-fits-all feature. The minus, and a big minus, for me is that the larger size is taller and in general the way I use them I prefer squat to tall and slender; I had to use them, however, to figure this out.

I haven't tried Rubbermaid's line of containers.

I never use Tupperware anymore based on cost when you lose them :sad:.

I have used the Glad and Ziploc brands for several years and have finally rejected the Glad in deference to the better lid design of Ziploc's product.

I long ago gave up on the no-names that are attractively cheap. They never held up to my usage which included freezing and microwaving.

My basic usage of the containers are for freezing lunchs made from leftover dinner bits, and for freezing home-made stocks. When we cook a large meal for entertaining I use commercial kitchen "salad bar" plastic containers from Cambro and Rubbermaid's commercial division for storing leftovers because 1) I already own them for other uses and therefore can stand the cost of buying them and 2) they are easier to deal with in the dishwasher since they weigh enough not to flip upside down and trap water. As an example, yesterday I picked up 4 turkey thighs that had just been marked down by the butcher. I roasted them last night for use in future meals but didn't have time to portion them so they went into one of my commercial plastic pans until tonight. My apologies but I sure seem to have digressed...

Anyway, these are my thoughts and experiences with various storage solutions.

Porthos Potwatcher

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Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
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I like these Snap 'N Serve and these called Snap 'N Lock. Curiously enough both by Snapware. They are square, the lids are very secure, easy to open and close. I usually store my empty plasticware with the lid on. Takes up more room, but it's a fair trade for not having to search for the lid. I do freeze in them, but I don't microwave in them, because it's easy to nuke this kind of plastic but they are probably fine for it.

I also use the big whonking rubbermaid ones for dough and icing.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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One little thing that may be handy for everybody to know, is that with Tupperware and other containers, the round containers tend to be more leakproof than any other shape. It has to do with the uniformity of tension (or something like that) when the lid is on the round shape, whereas with a square or rectangular shape, the sides tend to gap a little, and leaks are more likely to happen.

Or maybe one of the engineer-types on eG can explain it better. :blink:

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I never use Tupperware anymore based on cost when you lose them  :sad:.

This seems like the best criterion to me. I've contributed hundreds of dollars to the cause over the last few decades; my lost lids must be in Brigadoon dancing jigs with missing socks.

Chris Amirault

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Speaking of smelly socks and plastic containers, Chris, :biggrin: did you know that if you want to remove a lingering smell from plastic, you can seal up some crumpled up newspaper in there overnight or change it out over several nights and it will remove the odor. Not practical for feet however. :rolleyes:

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I love these Rubbermaid containers; they're fairly cheap, and the lids are interchangeable with the different sizes. Plus, they actually do resist staining! I've had them for over a year now and they're still free of any leaks or nasty tomato-based stains. I can't speak for their dishwasherability, though; I like to handwash pretty much everything because the dishwasher seems to cut the life of all kitchenware in half.

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...and 2) they are easier to deal with in the dishwasher since they weigh enough not to flip upside down and trap water.

My single serious gripe with the lightweight disposable (except that I use them again and again and again, literally for years) containers is that they flip over easily in the dishwasher. I get around this by laying something on top of them, like cooking rack or pan lid, to keep them from flipping during the wash.

I don't worry too much about whether or not I've got the same numbers of tops as bottoms, as I've got more than enough of both, and because they nest I don't worry about the storage issue.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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i like the fancy- delivery type plastic containers, though, not for microwaving. for me everything either goes in a quart container or pint container (like the kind you get chinese soup in) for flat things I use those round solo plastic things at 25 cents a pop, I use then a few times and then ditch them...

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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i like the fancy- delivery type plastic containers, though, not for microwaving. for me everything either goes in a quart container or pint container (like the kind you get chinese soup in) for  flat things I use those round solo plastic things at 25 cents a pop, I use then a few times and then ditch them...

Yep, Chinese food containers are top notch. For bigger sizes, look for Cambro @ your friendly local foodservice supplier. (betcha you can't escape the store without buying something else, too!)

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A few years ago I bought a bunch of Anchor-Hocking glass rectangle things with glass lids. I think I first found them at Restoration Hardware and later with less interesting packaging at Bed and Bath Superstore, but cheaper and exactly the same thing. They look very 1930s and I love them. Not good for travel but good for the fridge and microwave and you can see through them.

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I like these Snap 'N Serve and these called Snap 'N Lock. Curiously enough both by Snapware. They are square, the lids are very secure, easy to open and close. I usually store my empty plasticware with the lid on. Takes up more room, but it's a fair trade for not having to search for the lid. I do freeze in them, but I don't microwave in them, because it's easy to nuke this kind of plastic but they are probably fine for it.

I also use the big whonking rubbermaid ones for dough and icing.

I use both the Smart Spin and the Snap 'N Serve. I have been pleasantly surprised by the durability of the Smart Spin containers. For the Snap 'N Serve, I also store them with the lids on - for the same reason - it's a fair trade off for the frustration of searching for the right lid.

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I, too, have gotten rid of my mis-matched Tupperware/Rubbermaid products and have gone exclusively over to the Gladware containers. My selection was based on looking at, squeezing and otherwise manipulating several different brands at the local Target. The Gladware seemed to be among the most sturdy, and the interlocking lid feature sold me.

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Mill Creek, Washington USA

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I use tupperware all the time. (naturally, all mine matches :biggrin: ) But usually for things like, sugar, rolled oats, spices etc. I also use the smart spin thing and I love that for storing leftover sauces, gravies salsas, toasted nuts in etc.

Edited to add pictures

gallery_6080_205_22294.jpg

The container on the lower right is a smart spin container.

gallery_6080_205_17389.jpg

gallery_6080_205_40099.jpg

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I've become rather fond of the cheap Rubbermaid "Take Along" containers. The plastic is much more flexible, so they tend to last longer, and I don't mind sending them home with people.

But, for leftovers here at home that I'm going to reheat (actually, leftovers that a child is going to reheat in the microwave), I tend to put them in my dinnerware bowls and use a plate as a lid. No waste, no cost. No worry about which shelf of the dishwasher to stash the dirty item in, and no worry that the lids won't fit after a run through the dishwasher (very common, IMHO).

But, I've always wondered who came up with the idea of round canisters since I can't ever recall seeing a round cupboard...

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 5 weeks later...

Oh holy whatsits, I am suffering from major, major pantry envy, Marlene. I am OCD (no, really - I have a photo somewhere of the spreadsheets on my fridge listing the contents of fridge and freezer) and hoooooo boy. That looks so tidy and orderly and NEAT.

I am thinking of buying a SmartSpin if I don't get one as a present soon (been asking). I use a combination of (I think) Gladware, saved pickle jars and plastic containers (cottage cheese, sour cream, etc), and Mason jars. Also FoodSavered bags of stuff, but these are not uniformly shaped and are difficult to accomodate. I also suffer from a distinct lack of cupboard and pantry space, which is not going to improve much when I move to Michigan.

I really would like to get square Cambros for my flour, sugar, rice, and other dry goods.

Jennie

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Darn, Marlene, that's organized!!! Very nice... appropriately OCD ;)

I have one of those snap spin sets I received as a gift and find it annoyingly useful. I say that because the set is far larger than you need (tons of pieces), but they're all too small for anything but the rest of a diced green pepper, some soup, a lunch portion, etc. However, I can't bring myself to junk them.

I really like Gladware - it's top rack dishwasher safe, seals well against everything but a full container of liquid (you need real rubbermaid or something for that, though I will freeze soup or chili in Gladware), and is cheap and long lasting. I think when we redo the kitchen I'm going to junk everything we have now (random mismatched pieces) and get something uniform and stackable. Thanks for all the ideas in this thread!

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OhMyHoly, Marlene, your highly oganized pantry is giving me heart failure. I don't know if I would enjoy it, or if it would scare me off of cooking completely. Seriously, Marlene, it looks UNREAL. You must be divine, or an extraterrestrial. :unsure:

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:biggrin: It's not that, it's just that I have a lot of stuff, and I needed to make sure I could fit everything in. Oh, Ok, I'm a little anal about organization but don't tell anyone. :biggrin: And this way, I can put my hands on anything I need fairly quickly which truly (Rebecca) makes cooking more enjoyable. Really.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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:biggrin:    Oh, Ok, I'm a little anal about organization but don't tell anyone. :biggrin: 

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