The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

December 21, 2013

My Favorite Airtight Stainless Steel Kitchen Container

Life-Without-Plastic-restangular-gallon-container-01Three years ago, when Jay and Chantal from the online store Life Without Plastic sent me a sample of their new HUGE rectangular airtight stainless steel freezer container to review on this blog, I couldn’t think of anything I would use it for.  They touted the container as useful for freezing large quantities of produce prior to canning because the silicone seal will keep veggies and fruits from getting freezer burn.

Note: I have joined the Life Without Plastic affiliate program, which means that if you purchase from Life Without Plastic via links in this post, you also support My Plastic-Free Life.

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The thing holds over a GALLON (over 4 litres), but since we have year-round farmers markets in the SF Bay Area (reducing the need to preserve large quantities of produce for the winter), I didn’t have (or didn’t think I had) a gallon of anything to put in it.

So the container sat in my never-ending “to do” pile for probably about a year… just staring at me… unused and unloved.  Until  I discovered one perfect use for it.

Storing Bread Without Plastic

Now, I wrote about how to buy and store bread without plastic around the same time as this container was sitting in the pile.  At that time, I suggested using a secondhand popcorn or cookie tin because I’m all about not buying new stuff if you don’t have to.

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What I didn’t realize at the time is that those tins are not rust-proof like stainless steel is.  If subjected to moisture, they will corrode, which is what happened after I forgot about the bread for a couple of weeks.  Mold and water condensation caused massive rust inside the tin and pretty much ruined it.  So I finally dug out my airtight stainless steel container and started using it instead.

Nowadays, when I buy bread (which is less and less because I’m trying to limit my wheat consumption), I put the bread in a cloth produce bag inside the container and store it in the refrigerator.  Kept this way, the bread can last weeks without drying out or growing mold.

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 Other Uses

After I added the container to my regular kitchenware, I started finding other uses for it:

Suddenly, I was in love with this container.

Other Sizes

Life Without Plastic has since added other sizes to their rectangular container offerings.  Here are all the choices:

The Giveaway

The winner of the give-away is Becky L.  She and her kids found yet another use for this awesome container:  MOVIE NIGHT!

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Classic stainless steel bento boxes and cotton lunch bags.

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I use these stainless containers for buying meat and seafood, they are amazing!

Are there glass options for airtight / watertight food storage? I really *really* need square containers and there just aren’t any to be found. There are a lot of families in infertility groups looking to rid their homes / kitchens of plastic and have no resources whatsoever. Glass products like this would be IDEAL

Check out the “KORKEN” and “FRTROLIG” series at IKEA. FRTROLIG are glass containers with plastic “click on” lids.

The “bread” container is sold out. Any chance there will be more before the sale ends?

Hi, Unfortunately no, we will not have more of the 2L size before the sale ends (we won’t have more for a couple of months), but the three other sizes are available: 2L/0.5gal, 7L/1.85gal, 10L/2.6gal. All of them can work perfectly fine for bread as well, depending on the size of the loaf – the 7L and 10L would likely have room for 2 loaves.
Thanks for your interest.
Jay from Life Without Plastic
info@lifewithoutplastic.com

That would be a good mouse-proof container!

I’ve been trying to contact someone on the Life Without Plastic Boutique but I can’t seem to get through. It seems to get stuck. I like to know which size container is good for storing a loaf of bread.

Hi Mae, I don’t see any e-mail or phone messages from you and both systems are working fine on our end 24/7: infolifewithoutplastic.com or 1.888.898.0369. If you call or send us an e-mail with your question, we’ll respond promptly or let us know your phone number and we can call you at a time that works for you. Regarding the size for a loaf of bread, it really depends on the size of the loaf of bread you are considering as it can really vary. The dimensions for each container are indicated in the description. But for a standard sized… Read more »

I’ve been using the glass pyrex containers but the plastic lids have started breaking down. I started making the beeswax food covering to replace them.

I too was thinking of bicycle transport of food. I lost my largest Pyrex and some good soup when my front basket let go at a bump. It was broken glass and teacups and cucumbers all over the sidewalk. I gathered up as much broken stuff as I could.

These look great, I might have to order different sizes!I’ve been using glass pyrex containers, but they always come with the plastic tops. Even though some of them are supposedly BPA free, I want to avoid the plastic anyways.
Our second baby’s greeting the world soon. I’m freezing large amounts of food so we have lesscooking to do post-partum. The containers are probably great for storing garden seeds too, to keep the moisture out.
Vanessa R.

Just found your book, I’m sure NOT by chance, just days after watching a trailer for “Journey to Midway”. Thank you for showing us where to start. I would love to keep produce longer without it going weird! Out of the kitchen, I bet it could keep photos dry. Bulk pet food storage…I doubt my Katie couldn’t pop that open! ;-)

I really appreciate your blog! I would LOVE a large one to use for “freezer cooking” where you prepare all recipe ingredients in advance in a plastic bag (horrors, which is why I haven’t tried it yet!) and then before you go to work you dump it all in the crockpot! I plan to broadcast this solution to that blasted plastic bag idea on my own blog…thanks again!
teresa at weethreads dot com

I think I would use them to store all the bulk organic items I buy at Whole Foods. My Whole Foods in Pasadena, CA doesn’t allow you to bring your own containers. I asked. So I do have to use the plastic film bags they provide. Not ideal, I know. Right now I have piles of flimsy bulk bags sitting on one another with thier wire code label functioning as storage. Haven’t had any blow-outs yet knock-on-wood. I did at the store, and it was absolutely embarassing-they were very polite about it. It wouldn’t have happened if they let me… Read more »

Transfer your bulk to ss/glass at home, reuse the plastic bags for purchasing new bulk at WF. They’ll never know the difference! I also reuse the twisty tags until no space left for bin numbers.

Thanks for the post. I’d like to try your bread & cheese ideas in the fridge, but first I’d likely use it in our freezer. We also try not to eat too many breads & baked goods, but when we have them, we like to savor them. For us that means pre-slicing the rest of the bread while it’s fresh, and storing it in a paper bag inside a plastic bag, in the freezer. We take it out slice by slice & use the toaster oven to bring it back to life. (Same with cookies & muffins). A stainless airtight… Read more »

slduffy [at] optonline [dot] net
I would use them for dough in the fridge or storing steel cut oats.

Those would be great to store the bulk baking items that I use a lot of, like oats and flour. I currently use mason jars that are not nearly big enough!
Lyndseylynxylew

I would use the container to store the glut of beautiful, sweet rosehips that are ripening at a rapid rate! You can only store/freeze/cook them in glass or stainless steel, no other metal, or the vitamin C content is destroyed. The stainless steel is much tougher than glass so it is tne obvious choice.

Hi, Joden here, of jodentooyahoo.com. For years I’ve been a mason jar gal, but there is always the worry of breakage! I’m keen on the idea of stainless steal containers, let’s see, I could use it for my cut up veggies, cheese, mini muffins and breads or quiches…maybe storing up dried citris rinds that I love to throw in the fireplace during the winter time. a good freezer use would be for those ‘ice cubes’ of broth, water bound fresh spices, etc once they are out of their molds, they can get lost. Happy New Year to all the… Read more »

Erika
erika_wazhotmail.com
These containers are fascinating! I would love to see how they do at keeping lettuce fresh and crunchy.

1)Michelle Mahurin 2) michelle[dot]mahurin[at]gmail[dot]com michelle.mahurin@gmail.com 3) I have had my eye on a stainless steel plastic free container for some time now. I am a college student presently and have a difficult time packing my lunch and snacks to eat on campus ( though my school is more considerate about waste, there are still tons of plastic products in their markest and plastic lined containers for salads and beverages). My lunch consists of a large fruit salad ( and I mean HUGE: 6 bananas, 6 kiwis and lots of grapes) and normally I have to pack two glass containers which… Read more »

Definitely fresh produce in the summer to save for winter smoothies!

1) Emily
2) ***removed***
3) I immediately thought about storing our homemade ice cream in big batches. Then thought about my ever struggle with keeping greens fresh, like lettuce or spinach. We keep most of our pantry goods in glass jars, maybe some of the more bulky items like pasta or rice would be good in these containers.

Thanks so much for sharing!

I have a cat, whom would use one of these to hold her kitty food so its fresh. neyabenz(at)gmail.com

If I have a second child I would definitely use one for dirty cloth diapers on the go too!

That is an awesome container! I would totally use it for bread! I would be great for storing lettuce and greens too.

ashleyandpets at yahoo.com

larger one please!

I would use it for large quantities of whole grains :)

It would be great to store my bread in. Helpful to keep bread fresh longer. My email is michele.snowbergergmail.com.
Have a safe and happy New Year.

I would use to store just about anything -Bread storage is perfect for home! There are just the two of us, so we don’t use things up as fast as when our children were young. Sounds like a wonderful way to transport food when visiting our family.

Hi, I’m Kaya and my mail is kaya [at] mundbjerg [dot] com.
If I can choose I would love the 2L one for over-night-refrigerator-dough so I no longer have crazy dough accidents (it’s not a fun clean-up).
The 7L coul function as an extra fridge in the wintertime. Just place it outside and fill it with food/drinks suitable for the given temperature in your area.

I recently shopped for a good bread bin because I’m beginning to try to think of ways to eliminate some plastic food packaging. They just don’t make them air tight the way they used to. Seems they are mostly for show nowadays. Too bad. So, honestly if I won this, I would love to use it as a bread bin for homemade bread. But since you asked for an orginal idea, I will add that I think it could be useful for storing soiled cloth diapers while traveling. Kinda gross, I know, but such a need is a real one.… Read more »

1) Sam
2) sollinger [at] gmail.com
3) I want a wait to carry food to potlucks on my bicycle. Often times I am limited on what I can take and wind up taking only drinks as it seems inelegant to carry things over in mason jars.

Mason Jars rule! Here in Hipster Hell (L.A.) even the rich have Mason Jars-at catered events! I love my mason jars and I have used them to carry foods to family gatherings-potlucks. Sauces, gravy, pints make good single servings, and quarts for 2. If you have a basket, you can even get away with a half-gallon sized for a main pasta dish, salads with dressing, just shake real well.

Lindsay
Townelin at yahoo
I think this would be fantastic for keeping extra bread dough between bakings.t

I have endless uses for this:
– Restaurant takeout container for those really big orders, even soup.
– Storing dry pet food.
– To-go food container for when you want to take an entree over to a friend’s house.
– Flour/Sugar storage.
– A container to take to the butcher’s counter for bigger meat orders: whole chickens (rotisserie or raw) or pork shoulder
Liz
whatliztweets

Popcorn, already popped, that is! We buy bulk kernels at Whole Foods and pop up at least 2 cups of it every week (often more). My husband is a popcorn junkie and we never have a good place to store the leftovers to keep fresh. He’s been whining for me to get a new container for it, but I’ve been resisting, trying to make do with what we already have (the result being multiple containers taking over our counters). This would be a great birthday gift for him in January!
bclongardner (at) me (dot) com
Thanks for introducing this to us!

I would use it for bread, as you said. I tried finding holiday tins for bread before, and it was hard to find a big one, and it rusted very quickly. This would definitely be a better option!

Charlie clabbott [at] wesleyan [dot] edu

Definitely in the freezer. We are looking to replace our freezer full of plastic. Maybe to store berries or bread!

What about the silicon on these containers. Do we know if they off gas as they degrade over time?

I would use it to store either rice, beans or baked goods. Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter.

Cheryl W. dizzybloom (at) gmail (dot) com

Fantastic kitchen container. We have been looking for a plastic free
alternative to our plastic containers to store bread or broth. Here in
the Netherlands it is not easy to find stainless steel containers. We
are now storing chicken broth in glass jars and in order to avoid
plastic containers, plastic bags or mold we are making home made Swedish
knckebrd which contains very little water. I really enjoy reading
your blog. Your ted video inspired to start my own plastic free project
at http://www.plasticminimalism.blogspot.nl. Greetings from the Netherlands! You’ll find me on Twitter @SinoEnvironMiek

I would use it for salads for lunch, when I am out in the field working. It’s been difficult to find a large not-plastic, not-glass container that will hold a nice sized salad and keep it safe until eating time.
I am sure I would find other uses as well, such as food storage in the fridge, but I really want a nice salad bucket for lunches away from home.

gaiajeanyahoo.com
-Jean

I think I would use it to store baked goods.

gtbernstein(at)comcast(d0t)net

Tonya

I’m Gina and my website is http://www.feministstitch.com. I would love a container like this to store baked goods. I teach and I’m always bringing my student baked goodies, but I only have smaller glass containers, so I often have to carry multiple containers, which are annoying to juggle on my commute on the train. A large container like this would make transporting cookies and such so much easier! I also like to store cereal in airtight containers and I’m currently using some plastic ones that I’ve had for years. I think this container would hold a lot more cereal and… Read more »

We buy cereal in bulk, so this would be great to store it in.

I think something like this might be a good plastic free option for getting meat for my family – I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I try to do some of the shopping for them without plastic. I also might use it for coffee, bread, greens storage in the fridge (we don’t have anything big enough really), grains, homemade treats…

I’m Natalie S nsicroff [at] gmail.com

Hi,
I like to go camping, so I would use the container to heat my meals. I could also use it for bulking, since I need a big container to could pasta, dried fruit, bread and kimichi.
1. Kristal C
2. kcaidoy [at] live [dot] com

I would use it to store frozen beans. We usually buy our beans dry, in bulk, and then boil alot- some we use right away and the rest we store for later.

uttama
utsiesharma at gmail dot com

I”m stillfiguring outa plastic freebreadoption for my hooked-on-wonder family.How do you get slices from a fresh baked loaf thin enough for sandwiches?
Would love a box like thisto store bread and delicate berries.
unarucachula at yahoo dot com

If you slice it yourself it’s really hard but all the bakeries I know offer sliced loafs. Is it still too thick? You should ask for the thin setting, there is normally two settings.
Anyway, I agree with your family and I can’t eat sandwiches with sliced loafs. My solution is pita. It’s harder to find without plastic though. I hope I helped!

thank u! Yes that helped! I do have a pita source but will try having the loaf sliced at the bakery first.

One thing — I haven’t used this storage method with sliced bread because I slice as I use it. I don’t know if it will stay as fresh if it is sliced, but you could try it and see. I haven’t had problems slicing bread for sandwiches because the bread I buy is pretty sturdy. I guess if the bread is really soft, you might have a problem slicing with a knife.

Cookies! I don’t bake often, but that size and shape would be ideal for storing the two dozen I would make at a time when I do bake. And would be ideal for transporting to parties, as you mentioned!
lisa blesseday at gmail dot com

Baked goods! I always need tins to store extra cookies, muffins and bread. I like to bake but I need to freeze half or I’ll eat it all at once!

I’ve been looking for a bread storing solution– that’s perfect! I’d also use it to freeze soup. I alway double or triple the recipe and freeze half for an easy dinner down the road. melynda at melyndacoble dot com

I’d use it to store chopped vegetables. I like to cut up veggies ahead of time and store them in the fridge so that when it’s time for dinner, cooking is easy. The airtight containers would keep the veggies from drying out. (and as others have said, it would make a great way to store extra soup!).
Alison Jones
forsquared at yahoo dot com

Smaller versions would work well for freezing spices, storing coffee, etc. I’d love to use them to store whole grains and dried beans.
-Emily R. (emily [at] fishbulb [dot] us)

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