Buying food in bulk seems like a great way to save money and prepare for the future, but what happens when that bulk food gets home to the pantry? Improper food storage can lead to spoilage, waste and money down the drain. The best large food storage containers can handle bulk quantities of pantry staples like flour, sugar, rice and other grains, keeping them fresh and tasty for months (or even years).
If you are looking to purchase a set of large food storage containers with locking lids and labels, the Vtopmart Extra Large Tall Airtight Food Storage Containers is a good choice.
How much will you need to store? Many large food storage containers aren’t actually as big as you will need to store large amounts of food. Consider that a 25-pound bag of flour needs a large food storage container that is at least 6 quarts and choose your capacity accordingly. Look for containers with openings that can also accommodate a scoop to remove the quantity of food you need without moving the container.
The number of large food storage containers you use depends on what you're storing and the size of your family. If you routinely stock up on dry goods like flour, sugar, rice and oats, you'll need food storage containers for each of those. If you are a serious baker who only needs large quantities of flour, you'll need fewer than the family looking to stock up for long-term emergencies.
Most large food storage containers are used for storing Dry Goods, but what if you need to store large amounts of wet food? First, you'll need a refrigerator or freezer space large enough to accommodate your food container, but you'll also need a large food storage container that can be used with wet food. This means the lid should seal against leaking, and the container itself should be made only of BPA-free plastic or glass.
Oxygen is the enemy of long-term food storage. Airtight lids on large food storage containers are critical. Some of these lids use clips or sealed plastic locking clamps. Others have a pop-up feature on the lid that also creates a vacuum seal. Lids that seal properly also keep moisture out of dry goods. This prolongs the shelf life of your food as well.
Large food storage containers come in a variety of materials, but the most economical and common one is plastic. Opaque plastic blocks sunlight and can prevent spoilage for long-term food storage, but most households find that clear plastic works best for their needs. Clear plastic also makes it easier to see what's in your large food storage container.
While glass containers are also clear, they are very heavy and don't make sense in households with children where broken glass might be an issue. Metal large food storage containers are also an option, but again you cannot see what's inside quickly.
If you do choose plastic large food storage containers, make sure that lids and the container itself are all BPA-free.
No matter if you choose clear or opaque plastic, metal or glass, labels are a convenient way to tell sugar from salt at a distance. Look for reusable labels.
The most affordable way to acquire a collection of large food storage containers is to buy them in a set. High-quality sets start at around $40. If you purchase one large food storage container at a time, they will range in price from $20-$40 each.
A. Large food storage containers used to store dry food only have an incredibly long shelf-life. You'll only need to replace them if you see scratches in the container or cracks in the rubber seal of the lid.
If you are storing wet food, look for any discoloration or odor coming from the container. This is a sign that it is time to replace it.
A. Look for a large food storage container that fits what you're storing with very little space at the top. You want as little oxygen as possible in the container itself.
What you need to know: These premium large food storage containers seal tightly to keep food fresh.
What you’ll love: They are stackable and can be used in the freezer. The largest of these holds almost 6 quarts. The lids and containers are made of BPA-free silicone and plastic. These also come with reusable labels.
What you should consider: The lids can be difficult to snap on.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This is a high-quality, airtight container from a trusted kitchen brand.
What you’ll love: The pop-top feature seals the container completely and creates a vacuum to prevent oxygen from getting in. These containers are BPA-free and dishwasher-safe.
What you should consider: This is the most expensive option, but it is a rock-solid choice if you can buy one at a time.
What you need to know: With almost 6,500 5-star ratings on Amazon, these large dry food storage containers are hard to beat.
What you’ll love: These containers have the largest capacity of any on our list, and they come with 20 reusable labels and a marker. The four-sided locking lid is lined with silicone for an airtight seal.
What you should consider: These lids can also be challenging to snap on completely.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.