Have you seen people store their dry goods in glass jars? They look pretty, but are glass containers for food storage really the best option? They actually might be and today we’ll be looking at why that is.
Why Use Glass Containers for Your Food Storage
Glass IS fragile, which is why many people don’t immediately think of it for food storage containers. However, it has a number of advantages, including:
1. Glass is inert. It won’t leach nasty chemicals into your food, like many plastics will. That means it is a good, safe material to store your food in, especially if it is hot when put into the container.
2. Glass is environmentally friendly. Not only does this material not leak toxic chemicals everywhere, it is more eco-friendly. Glass containers hold up almost indefinitely to use and if they break, you can recycle them. The recycling process is also cleaner with glass than it is with plastics.
3. Glass is useful in multiple forms. You can microwave glass, put it in the fridge, freezer, or even the oven, in many cases. You can even seal food inside with a vacuum sealer to keep it fresh. While it is fragile and you need to be careful with it, glass containers are very versatile. Just make sure you select glass containers that are sturdy enough for this.
4. Glass is easier to clean. Being non-porous, glass is actually easier and safer to clean than plastic. You can scrub it out and be certain it’s nice and spotless, while plastic will stain and hold odors. If it’s holding odors, what kind of bacteria are still lurking?
5. Glass is transparent. Yes, you can get plastic containers that are transparent, but once you start to wash them, they get scratched and icky looking. That’s not a problem with glass! Unless you’re washing with diamonds, that shiny container is staying that way.
Of course, there are a few downsides to using glass for your food. For example, glass jars and containers are much heavier than plastic alternatives. They’re also more fragile if you drop them, but less likely to break during every day use. And, of course, glass is more expensive than plastic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering how long it will last. In all, the benefits outweight the cons.
What to Look for in Glass Containers for Food Storage
Planning to store your food in glass containers? You’ll need to make sure you find the right glass for the job.
If you plan to save food for long periods of time, you’ll need to have a seal on the jar. This can be done by canning, which will also heat process the food, or you can look for jars that have a rubber seal. Some containers offer plastic lids that snap on. While this isn’t ideal, it is an option that can work if you are storing food in the fridge and keep it low enough in the container to avoid touching the plastic.
Thinner glass containers may be lighter, but they also won’t hold up to the same kind of use as the thicker options. Look for fairly heavy pieces that will withstand some heavy duty use. Canning jar thickness is a good rule of thumb to go by. Drinking glass thickness will tend to be less durable.
Clear glass is the most obvious choice, but if you have something that is light sensitive, such as dried herbs, or something, colored is best. Darker glass will protect the contents of the container against light. Alternatively, you can just store your containers in a dark cupboard or basement.
Where to Get Your Glass Containers
One big plus to using glass containers is that they’re available all over the place. You can find them in your local dollar store, in a cooking supply shop, and even thrift stores often have beautiful containers that have stood the test of time. Ordering online is another option. I like to get my glass items from Amazon, since it’s nice and easy to replace anything that is broken.
If you want to store some leftovers in the fridge, or use your glass storage containers for the oven or microwave, here’s the best option for that:
Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids Glass Food Storage Containers
The best part of this set is that the lids can be snapped onto the bottom of the containers, as well as the top. That means no more losing your lids when you take them off! What a terrific idea. The lids are plastic, but they’re BPA free and dishwasher safe.
You can use these glass containers in the fridge, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher, plus the fridge, so they’re basically the best option out there for versatility. Also, the color is pretty fun for your kitchen.
For those looking to store dry goods, possibly for longer periods of time, you have plenty of choices. There are regular canning jars, of couse, but let’s look at a few other options you can select.
Glass Penny Candy Jar
How cute is this food storage jar? It’s modeled after the candy jars in old general stores and is a good option for storing your dry goods.The scoop is attached right to the lid so you can easily scoop out waht you need.
The metal lid is a better option than plastic, too. It’s magnetic, so it will attach to the metal rim of the jar and keep your food sealed up tight. While it may not be ideal for storing food for years, you can definitely store items for up to a year in this jar.
These jars hold roughly 58 oz. of whatever dry goods you want. The flat sides mean multiple jars can be set side by side to reduce the amount of space necessary.
Another good choice for keeping your beans, rice, and pasta safe and secure is this set:
Klikel Square Glass Kitchen Storage Canister Jars
These might look old fashioned, but it’s a design that really works. The glass lids seal to the jar, thanks to the bail and trigger lock. A silicon sealing ring keeps the jars airtight and they can be used to store dry goods for a very long time.
Even soups and liquids can be kept in these canister jars, though they should be kept in the fridge. Sizes range from 16 oz capacity to 48 oz, so you can fit quite a bit of food into them and select the right size for your needs.
Finally, we have the good old gallon jars.
Teikis Wide-Mouth 1 Gallon Glass Jar
If you want use the jars for long term food storage, I recommend using a vacuum sealer to remove air and seal the tops of these useful jars.
The best part? These are totally reusable, so you can just keep using them for years to come. As long as you’re careful, they shouldn’t break.
Finally, for the smallest fry in your home, these cute little baby food jars are perfect. While meant for baby food, you can actually use them for small amounts of anything, from spices to concentrated soup stocks and freezer jams.
The color coded jars are totally safe for your baby’s food and can be put in the microwave, freezer, fridge, or dishwasher.
What are your favorite glass jars for storing food? Have you made the switch yet?