Plastic Containers versus Stainless Steel for Kitchen Storage

Plastic and stainless steel containers have a lot to offer. Stainless steel’s premium BPA-free material makes it robust and lightweight. You can use it to store both hot and cold food. Because of how strong the lid is and how well it seals with silicone, your food will stay fresh, safe, and secure inside the containers without leaking.

Stainless steel is great for entertaining. Thanks to its brilliant stainless steel appearance, it will make an attractive storage feature in your kitchen. Even though stainless steel cannot be used in microwaves, you can use it in conventional ovens. You can stack them neatly in the freezer or cabinet; they are dishwasher-safe.

The least environmentally friendly food storage containers in today’s modern kitchens are typically found in plenty, including plastic food containers, wraps, and bags. Plastic makes up the majority of food storage containers. We need food storage containers without phthalates. This is because recent research has shown plastic is terrible for the environment and your health. It’s time to purge your kitchen of plastic, find the safest food storage options, and say goodbye to plastic.

Choosing the Best Container for Food Storage

Plastic Containers versus Stainless Steel for Kitchen Storage

There are seven factors to think about while choosing the appropriate food storage container.

  • A wide range of sizes

If you purchase a food storage container, one will never be enough. Sets of storage containers are available in a variety of sizes. There are square and rectangular containers. Some are big enough for herbs, while others are smaller, and you can use them to store cosmetics like tablets or moisturizers. Another helpful storage suggestion is to find a set that offers a variety of sizes to pick from.

  • Easy to open and close

The fact that the lid on some food storage containers might be challenging to open is one of the most irritating features. Look for products with lids that are simple to open and close and ergonomically sound. Heavy-duty latches are on some containers, although some may find it difficult to open them.

  • Safe for the dishwasher, freezer, and microwave

Make sure the container, made of glass or plastic, can go into the dishwasher, be stored in the freezer, and be used in the microwave.

  • Leak-proof and air-tight                                   

Food products that stay airtight will last longer and remain fresh while being stored. Additionally, if you’re storing liquids, search for a product that won’t leak. Lids on containers made of silicone-based material are more likely to prevent leaks.

  • Colored lids

In particular, the lids of food storage containers have a strange tendency to vanish into the cupboard. Can you remember how many times you have misplaced a lid or had to find an appropriate container? Is it because all transparent plastic containers and lids have the same appearance? Choosing food containers with vibrantly colored lids is an excellent storage idea.

  • BPA Free

Apart from the common issues with BPA chemicals, it would be best not to heat plastic containers containing BPA toxins in the microwave. Also, do not keep them for an extended period of time in the refrigerator.

  • Stain-proof

One drawback of using plastic and some glass products is that ugly stains can appear that are impossible to get rid of. Therefore, before making a purchase, always study the product’s specifications. A helpful reminder is that stainless steel is excellent at resisting stains.

Plastic for kitchen storage

Plastic has always been the perfect material for food storage containers. But more people are turning to BPA-free products, especially if you plan to cook or reheat in a microwave. This is a result of growing worries about dangerous chemicals (BPA). This toxin is present in the lining of drinking bottles, plastic containers, and cans.

Most plastic containers that line the shelves in our favorite malls and shopping centers do not have BPA, which is fantastic news. Plastic is not necessarily the best material for food storage, even though it is now considered safe.

You can store dry goods and wet foods, including takeout meals, in plastic containers for short periods of time. But they aren’t the best for high-temperature cooking. In addition, light plastic is unsuitable for low temperatures, such as prolonged freezing. Plastic containers are more difficult to clean. This is because they are more likely to become soiled. Also, oily products create a residue that is notoriously challenging to get rid of.

Is it safe to use plastic containers for food storage?

It is difficult to avoid using plastic completely. The reason is that a lot of the food we eat is packaged in plastic, marketed in plastic packaging, and stored in plastic containers. But using plastic to keep food poses a very minor but real issue if dangerous chemicals are employed in the production of the material or throughout the manufacturing process. Anyone who consumes the contaminated food may suffer harm if exposed to these chemicals.

Finding plastics that you can use safely is a crucial first step. For instance, it is best to stay away from materials like polystyrene (PS), polycarbonate (PC), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This is because they are produced using hazardous chemicals. It’s best to stay away from these chemicals even though it’s not certain they will directly contaminate the food you store in a container made of this material.

You should be able to use plastic containers to store food, even if they weren’t made for it, as long as they weren’t made from any of these substances.

You may always use a plastic container designed for food storage to be on the safe side. It would still be wise to avoid microwaving food in a container even if you decide to do this. Although many of these plastics advertise that they are safe in the microwave or oven, overheating a container could cause the plastic to melt. This results in the release of potentially dangerous chemicals into your food.

The same is true when you store food in a plastic container after you wash it in hot water. It is advisable to hand wash plastic containers rather than putting them in the dishwasher. This is because doing so could cause a similar reaction, even if this may not always be true.

Some experts would go so far as to advise against storing any cooked or hot food in plastic containers. However, if the food has cooled before placing it in the container, it should be safe.

What Food Containers Made of Plastic Are Safe?

Most plastic beverage and food containers feature standardized markings to aid consumers in making informed decisions. By turning them over, you can locate a number printed on the bottom of your baby bottles, cups, and plastic cups. Items labeled with a #2, #4, or #5 are considered safe for food and beverages. They are regarded as high-risk plastics and are not ideal for consumables if they feature a #3, #6, or #7. Reusing plastic food storage containers from stores, single-use disposables, and other containers not made for this purpose should all be avoided.

How Long Do Plastic Containers Last?

Despite the lack of a set expiration date, plastic containers typically don’t last as long as stainless steel or glass ones. Of course, several things, like the foods you put in them, how frequently you microwave them, and whether you put them in the dishwasher, affect how long your plastic containers endure.

Plastic storage containers often only last ten years. A musty odor, visible cracks, or warps are telltale signs that the plastic container has worn out.

Can I freeze food in plastic containers?

Yes, plastic containers can be frozen. However, there is often a chance that remnants of chemicals may contaminate your food. Additionally, there is a greater likelihood that some of your food will stick to the plastic containers’ sides. This will leave stains that are difficult to clean.

Plastic containers often leak when kept in the refrigerator. This is another problem many people experience. It is the situation, particularly if the container warps after several dishwasher cycles.

So, even though plastic containers are great for frozen food, many people strongly recommend using freezer-approved glass containers instead.

Stainless steel for kitchen storage

Stainless Steel

Because it is so environmentally friendly, stainless steel is becoming more and more common for food storage containers. The drawback of stainless steel containers is that you can’t see what’s inside because they aren’t transparent. Another drawback is that you cannot use stainless steel containers in the oven or microwave, whereas glass and some types of plastic can. They are odor-resistant, so strong food odors and flavors won’t penetrate the metal. They are also dishwasher safe, extremely resilient, and environmentally friendly. This makes cleanup simple. They might ultimately develop scratches or scuffs. But this is purely ornamental and will not impact the container’s functionality. Stainless steel containers can last long if you maintain them properly.

Reasons and hygienic advantages why storing food in stainless steel containers are safe.

  • Safe

Another good reason to use stainless steel for safety is its corrosion and rust resistance. The best feature is the coating on the stainless steel itself.

  • Locks freshness

Want a food storage container that will be able to keep food fresh? Pick up stainless steel and an airtight lid!

Due to stainless steel’s high thermal inertia, it even holds heat. As a result, you can anticipate it is providing your meals with long-lasting coolness and hotness. Your food lasts longer as a result. Additionally, stainless steel can stop food decay, which reduces wastage.

  • Cleans up easy

In terms of cleaning, stainless steel containers are simple to maintain. Cleaning plastic containers can be a time-consuming process. Plastic bottles and containers can have a distinct stain and odor that persists even after numerous washings. While washing, it is best to use additional caution while handling glass bottles or containers. The majority of them fall to the ground, broken into bits. The best food containers feature stainless steel since they are the easiest to clean. With some soap and simple tap water, it can take you about two minutes to clean. Despite multiple washings, the sparkling appearance remains.

  • Durable and biodegradable

Unlike ceramic or glass, stainless steel containers don’t crack, break, or warp. On the other hand, plastic materials degrade every time you wash them. So, food storage made of stainless steel is low-maintenance.

Stainless steel can be used for many years, while aluminum tends to get holes quickly, saving money in the long run.

Like aluminum, stainless steel is reusable as well as recyclable. In comparison, most kitchens still have 75% of the stainless steel and aluminum tin cans made years ago.

  • Preserves the food’s temperature longer

Nothing is more depressing than realizing halfway through a bottle of water that it has become as hot as the air around you. Glass or plastic bottles frequently experience this. When transporting food in plastic food containers, the same thing occurs. The drink or food cannot become hot or cold in stainless steel food and drink containers. Stainless steel has an impermeable body to temperature. As a result, the beverages and food maintain their temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

  • No reaction or leaching with food

To start with, the material is inert and neutral. In other words, unlike plastic, stainless steel does not leech chemicals into your meals.

Additionally, stainless steel eliminates stains and odors from your life. Why? This is due to the non-porous alloy nature of stainless steel. As a result, it is frequently popular in hospitals and professional kitchens.

Stainless steel containers are also unaffected by the acids and alkalis that some vegetables and foods can sometimes make.

You don’t need to worry about storing tomato sauce in these containers. This is because stainless steel is inert to the alkalis and acids in cooked foods, milk, meat, and raw vegetables. Plastic containers leach 55 times faster in comparison!

Which stainless steel container types are safe?

There are various grades of stainless steel—150 to be exact. Most of the time, these grades show the stainless steel’s overall quality, resistance to heat, and durability.

Even though many of these types of stainless steel look the same, they are very different, especially in how well they can stand up to everyday use. As a result, not all stainless steel grades on the market are durable or safe.

Since there are so many different stainless steel grades, choosing a finish that does not meet FDA requirements is simple. Food-grade stainless steel meets all requirements and is ideal for food preparation, storage, and consumption.


One of the most popular metals in modern kitchens is stainless steel. They are in nearly everything, including food storage containers and small kitchen appliances.

The extensive use of stainless steel as food-contact material demonstrates the material’s suitability for the beverage and food sectors. Professionals likewise regard stainless steel as a secure solution for food storage.

However, not all stainless steel grades are safe for handling and storing food. The most popular type of stainless steel ideal for making food-grade containers is 304.

Choose stainless steel food storage containers to reduce your use of plastic. So stop using inexpensive plastic containers. This is because they are unhealthy, prone to warping, and fill our landfills with useless plastic. Therefore, if you’re wondering whether stainless steel food storage containers are safe, they are safe, that’s for sure.