Deli Containers

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Microwavable and freezable food storage

I have always been frustrated with both permanent Tupperware and the specially designed semi-reusable containers developed by companies like Glad. They are expensive and have proprietary lids and stacking strategies that always turned my kitchen drawer into a mess of odd lids.

After my wife opened her bakery, I saw folks in the foodservice industry frequently using and reusing common take out containers, which prompted me to take a closer look at the containers. These “disposable” containers for hot soup or deli items have evolved into robust containers that are microwavable, freezable, and could be run through a dishwasher. I started saving the ones I got from local take out joints and reusing them and after a while they replaced all of my old specialized containers.

The deli containers are made by a couple of companies but the one I have had the most experience are made by Pactiv. The other brands are generally compatible. The containers have a nice feel as they are stiffer than a yogurt container with tight lids that seal well enough to prevent freezer burn and spills. They come in a range of capacities and since they are a common diameter they all share lids making it easy to find a matching top for any sized container. They stack nicely both empty and full which makes for an organized kitchen drawer and refrigerator (especially if you embrace the chef’s obsession with tape). Since they are essentially free for me I keep a ton of them around and use them to prep my veggies for the week, store batches of soup or stews in the freezer, as well as using for paints and stains in the workshop. The only minor issues I have had is that they can stain occasionally with hot curry or tomato sauces and if you open a container right from the freezer the lip at the top of the container can sometimes cold crack.

01/3/17 -- Coryndon Luxmoore