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There are plenty of great reasons to stock your freezer with good things to eat. For one, it can prevent impulse orders for takeout and delivery, and therefore save you money. That said, to freeze food properly, you need the right containers for the job. An empty sour cream tub, for example, will simply not do.
Think about the type of foods you’ll want to store and whether you prefer glass, plastic, or something else, like silicone. It’s a personal choice—glass is more durable and recyclable, but also more expensive. Plastic is typically budget-friendly and lightweight, but it's not exactly sustainable. To help find a product that's right for you, we researched and compiled a list of the best freezer containers available today.
Available in a variety of useful sizes, these versatile all-purpose freezer containers are what every household needs. They’re made from durable, crystal-clear, BPA-free plastic with secure latches that provide an airtight seal—something Karrie Truman, author of "Seriously Good Freezer Meals" and owner of the blog happymoneysaver.com, notes is a must for keeping food fresh in the freezer, refrigerator, or on the go. Even soups and other liquid-based dishes won’t spill or leak when stored in these solid containers. This goes for reheating, too. The latches release to open vents that allow for splatter-free microwaving.
As for the plastic: It's as transparent as glass, so there's never any mystery about what’s hiding in your freezer. It’s also stain- and odor-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about putting a slice of cake in a container that recently stored onions. Unlike glass, these plastic vessels are light to carry and virtually indestructible. Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers are designed to stack neatly for compact storage.
You can’t beat the price on this 44-item set of deli storage containers, especially if you're someone who likes to send food home to friends. These tubs come in three handy sizes: quart (perfect for freezing soups and stews), pint (the right size for beans and grains), and cup (ideal for sauces). They're excellent for freezing food, even for long periods of time, and are dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
The deli-style container is what I stock my own kitchen with and I’ve yet to find a food I want to freeze that doesn’t work with one of these sizes. Best of all, the lids are interchangeable, so there’s no frustration trying to track down the right one when you’re trying to put leftovers away after dinner.
Keeping a stash of homemade soup in your freezer is easier when you have the right container—and there’s a good reason to do so. Unlike some foods, soup’s flavor actually improves in the freezer. These containers by OXO are an excellent option for all your soup- and stew-freezing needs. The shatter-resistant borosilicate glass guards against thermal shocks, so you can move a quart of chili directly from the freezer to the oven with no worries of breakage.
What you need most in a container for storing soup is a completely leakproof lid, and this one features four locking tabs that ensure the lid is on tight every time. Beyond that, glass containers like these appeal to those who want to move away from plastics for health or environmental reasons. If your soup only partially fills the container, Truman recommends pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the food to prevent freezer burn.
As tempting as it might be, you can’t put everything in the freezer. Freezing affects the texture and flavor of some foods negatively, including raw eggs in the shell, fresh lettuce and cucumbers, and many dairy-containing foods.
These sturdy and classic containers from Rubbermaid are exactly the right size for stashing a homemade meal for one or two in the freezer. Portion lasagna, enchiladas, tuna casserole, pasta dishes, or chicken breast with mashed potatoes in these durable containers, and you’ll never be without a quick dinner when you need one. They snap shut, forming an airtight seal to keep food fresh.
The special easy-find lids snap onto the base of the container for storage, so you’ll never have lidless containers or orphaned lids. This system also makes for neat and easy storage. The base is clear, allowing you to see inside, so you know what you're pulling out of the freezer to microwave for lunch. These are dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe, although they may pick up light food stains from dark-colored foods, like tomatoes or beets.
The prospect of homemade jam becomes much less intimidating when you realize you don't have to can it. These handy freezer jars give you a much simpler option for preservation. The screw-on lids prevent leaks, and the jar shape means it will fit into compact spaces, like the fridge or freezer door.
Just like canned jam, freezer jam will stay fresh for up to a year—and you don't have to take any extra steps, like sterilizing glass jars, ensuring tight temperature control, or buying special equipment. Just pour your jam into these convenient freezer jars and stash them in the icebox until you're ready to enjoy your fruity homemade spread on toast, cookies, and more.
This clever container is the perfect way to freeze sauces in practical portions, making small servings of pesto, marinara, and gravy available for speedy heating. That means your sauces won’t suffer from being repeatedly thawed and refrozen in larger containers—a process that can ruin them. A tight-fitting, transparent lid ensures that your sauces stay fresh when stored, and being able to see through the lid helps you identify the contents without needing to label anything.
Thanks to the BPA-free silicone material—which also happens to be oven safe, excluding the lid—each portion of frozen sauce pops out neatly and easily. The long, slender shape allows it to defrost quickly, too. If you make a lot of different sauces that you want to freeze, you might want more than one of these (they're stackable for easy storage). Each tray makes six 1/2-cup or 125-milliliter bars, and each compartment is marked with fill lines indicating ½ cup, ¼ cup, 50 milliliters, and 125 milliliters.
The eco-conscious among us would rather not use typical disposable freezer bags. These reusable alternatives are Truman’s top choice. “If you don’t have a lot of freezer space, bags can save a lot of room. I use these a ton,” she says. Durable and lead-free, these gallon-sized bags can store almost anything you want to put in your freezer. For maximum space-saving, you’ll want to make sure you freeze them flat.
(re)zip estimates that just one of these can replace 300 disposable bags. They’re made of lightweight PEVA material and are just as flexible as the alternative. The closure has a double locking mechanism, providing an airtight seal and assurance against leakage. You should note that you will want to wash these by hand to ensure that they last as long as possible.
The Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container is our top choice because it comes in multiple sizes, is leak-proof, and prevents microwave messes with splatter-proof vents. If you need a ton of tubs, but are looking for something budget-friendly, we recommend the DuraHome Food Storage Containers with Lids Combo Pack.
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Joy Manning is a food writer and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in many publications including The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Washington Post. She’s the author of "Almost Meatless" and "Stuff Every Cook Should Know."