Think for a moment about how many storage containers you have in your kitchen. Are you using them as efficiently as you can? This is the second part of my series on storage containers. See Introduction: Choosing the Best Material.
- Size: If your storage container is too big, the center will take a long time to cool and your food will spoil more quickly. Food frozen in a large block can take days to defrost. If you are storing large quantities, you’ll want to separate them into smaller containers. The only time you’ll want a bigger container is for storing large, whole items like chicken, fish or cake.
Smaller containers will mean washing more items, but if your needs change you can leave one in the refrigerator or freezer. Every time you open a container you allow bacteria to get in, and your food will spoil faster.
- Shallow containers are good for liquids. They allow the cold air to reach more of the food so it cools faster.
- Maximize storage space by choosing similar sized containers that can stack or be arranged side by side. Do separate them for cooling or defrosting so that the air can reach all sides.
- What size do you need? Buy containers that approximate how much you need for the next meal. If you live alone, you will want containers for a single serving. Since I have a large family I divide the soup for one meal into two containers for safer and easier storage.
- What do you generally store in your containers? If you store cooked whole carrots, you will have less flexibility than with cooked, that can fit in any container.
- Round or square corners? Round containers take up more space, but it’s slightly easier to remove the food because there are no corners. A plastic spatula helps. Rectangular containers often rounded edges.
- Is the container’s mouth wide or narrow? Pouring food into a wide opening is easier, but a narrow one is easier to pour out of into something else. Check that the around on the inside of the upper edge is smooth and reached easily with a spatula.
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