The Best Glass Food Containers for Meal Prep and More
Glass food storage containers aren't anything new, but there's a reason they've been in kitchen cupboards for generations. And with meal prep becoming increasingly popular, glass food containers are only improving. When it comes to food storage and preservation, glass is a great pick and one that should last a long time (if you take care of it).
James Watts, CEO of Own the Grill, a grilling resource website, has always used glass containers, even when he was a kid. He says, "When we were growing up, my mom always swore by glass storage jars and refused to use any plastic containers of Tupperware. When I asked her why she'd shrug her shoulders and tell me that it was the way her momma did things, and she was always right about everything. It was only toward the end of high school that I discovered that glass is non-porous, which means that if it's sealed properly, nothing, not even air, can get in to spoil whatever it is you're storing."
But not all glass food storage containers are created equally, and there are many things to consider when choosing. Do you care about aesthetics? Multiple sizes? Is it oven safe? Dishwasher safe? Freezer safe? After much research, we landed on the best options that meet the needs of many different glass container purchasers, starting with our favorite, Glasslock 24 Piece Food Storage Containers.
- Best Overall: Glasslock 24 Piece Food Storage Containers
- Best Value: Pyrex 18-Piece Glass Storage Set
- Best Divided: Bayco Glass Meal Prep Containers
- Best For Meal Prep: Rubbermaid 8-Piece Brilliance Glass Food Storage Containers
- Best for Kids: OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks Food Storage Containers
- Best Vacuum Sealing: Zwilling Fresh & Save Glass Starter Set
- Best Nesting: Anchor Hocking Round Food Storage Containers
Best Overall: Glasslock 24 Piece Food Storage Containers
Best Value: Pyrex 18-Piece Glass Storage Set
Best Divided: Bayco Glass Meal Prep Containers
Best For Meal Prep: Rubbermaid 8-Piece Brilliance Glass Food Storage Containers
Best for Kids: OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks Food Storage Containers
Best Vacuum Sealing: Zwilling Fresh & Save Glass Starter Set
Best for Nesting: Anchor Hocking Round Food Storage Containers
For the best all-around set of glass food containers, look no further than the Glasslock 24 Piece Food Storage Containers; they're up to nearly any task and are a great deal. Speaking of deals, be sure to check out the Pyrex 18-Piece Glass Storage Set for the best bang for your buck from one of the most trusted brands in glassware.
How to Pick the Right Glass Food Containers
Perhaps the most significant thing to consider is how you will be using these storage containers. If you are primarily storing leftovers, your needs may be different than if you are meal prepping to-go. If you plan to do a lot of cooking that you'll transfer from oven to freezer, you'll want to consider a set compatible with that use case. If you plan to store small amounts of food, you may not need a big variety pack. Or, perhaps you prefer a bento box-style container to keep food divided.
Most glass food storage containers don't have glass lids but instead use some form of plastic or wood. Many have a rubber gasket that creates an airtight seal to keep food fresher longer. To thoroughly clean the lids, some need to have the rubber gasket removed and cleaned separately. While most glass is freezer, oven, and microwave safe, it's important to note that many plastic lids are not, so it's essential to consider that when shopping.
If you don't have a lot of space in your kitchen, you may want to consider containers that nest together or stack up nicely so as not to take up too much space when not in use.
Ease of Cleaning
Glass containers are much easier to clean than many other materials since they essentially wipe clean. Though, most lids contain various types of plastic and sometimes rubber gaskets. Some can be handwash only, but others can easily be tossed right into the dishwasher.
Is it better to use glass containers?
What material works best for you depends on your needs, but glass containers have many positive attributes. Unlike plastic, glass doesn't absorb flavors or smells, so they stay fresh and looking new as long as you have them. Brian Nagele, CEO of Restaurant Clicks and former owner of Kings Oak restaurant in Philadelphia, loves the longevity of glass, saying, "Plastics have porous structures, which makes them highly absorbent…Glass, on the other hand, doesn't absorb these chemicals and can last decades in your kitchen. The only way to destroy a glass container is to break it!"
What type of glass is best for food storage?
Tempered, borosilicate glass is the safest and most durable type of glass container. These are less prone to chipping or shattering and can withstand the freezer, dishwasher, and microwave temperature ranges. Other glass containers that aren't meant for food storage are fine for, say, storing some dried beans in the cabinet, but if you plan to use them to eat out of or clean them regularly, tempered glass is the way to go.
Can you freeze glass containers?
Most glass containers are safe for the freezer. You run the risk of cracks or shattering when containers are overfilled. Especially with liquids, always make sure to leave some extra room at the top to accommodate the way water in food expands as it freezes. If you're unsure if your glass containers are safe for the freezer, just check the product listing or packaging; it is usually listed.
Why Take Our Word for It?
Nick DeSimone wrote and compiled this list. They have nearly a decade of professional cooking experience and a lifetime of experience in home cooking. Nick has spent years using every type of storage container imaginable to organize their home and professional kitchens. They have also always used glass food containers to pack lunches and snacks for those long days in professional kitchens, so they know firsthand which can stand the test of time and are up to the task.