This chef-approved storage solution is about to change your life.

By Maddy Sweitzer-Lammé
August 09, 2019
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Look in the walk-in refrigerator and dry-storage pantry in almost any professional kitchen and you’ll see deli containers of multiple sizes, neatly stacked and labelled with their contents and the date they were packed. These containers are popular in restaurant kitchens for their durability, versatility and affordability – all of which make them perfect for home use, too. At only $17 for a 44-piece set, they’re the answer to all your food storage needs – from leftovers to baking ingredients and everything in between.  Here’s why we love them.

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They’re always the right size. 

Somehow the three sizes are the right size for everything. Leftover pasta salad to take for lunch tomorrow? Reach for a pint. Freezing stock from that roast chicken you made last night? A couple of quarts will stack nicely in the back of your freezer. Have half a chopped onion left over from tonight’s dinner? Pack it in an 8-ounce container for easy use tomorrow.

To buy: Durahome Food Storage Containers, $17 at amazon.com

No more searching for lids.

The best thing about switching to deli containers for all your storage needs? All three sizes of these containers use the same lid, so there’s no more hunting through a messy cabinet to find the right size. Toss your Tupperware and never look back.

They can be measuring cups, too.

A quart container is 4 cups of liquid. A pint container is 2 cups. 8 ounces is 1 cup. Congratulations, you just got several new liquid measuring cups. This is particularly useful for portioning leftovers and storing ingredients. Freezing stock? Freeze some in each size so you don’t have to re-measure when defrosting for soups, stews, and braises.

They’re dishwasher safe.

No fussy handwashing, don’t worry.

RELATED: The 10 Smartest Kitchen Organizers and Storage Solutions on Amazon, According to Thousands of Reviews

They’ll help you create the spice cabinet of your dreams.

Well-labelled and neatly stacked, the smallest sized deli containers make for utilitarian spice containers, big enough to easily scoop out a tablespoon of cinnamon or hold entire sticks, but still compact enough to fit easily into a corner of your kitchen. For labeling, chefs (and the F&W test kitchen) favor this tape, which is strong but comes off clean. 

They’re spill-proof. 

The lids on deli containers fit tightly, so they’re spill-proof even when dropped and jostled. Toss a pint container of coffee into your bag and enjoy when you get to work without worry that it will leak or spill all over your laptop.

They’ll help you be prep-perfect. 

As any chef will tell you, the key to successful cooking is mise-en-place, which is French for ‘everything in its place’. Buying and using a million tiny bowls feels unpractical for the home cook, but prepping everything into these containers makes cooking flow better and helps dishes come together faster. Leftover onion or chopped garlic? Just put on a lid and its ready for storage.

They’ll keep your herbs fresh.

The best way to store fresh herbs is in a cup like fresh flowers, with a little water - bonus points for loosely wrapping in a damp paper towel. Quart-sized deli containers are the perfect size for a few bunches of cilantro, parsley or basil, and because of their wide base, they won’t tip over and create a mess.

You can mix-and-match. 

We recommend starting out with a mixed size set of deli containers, like this one for maximum versatility, but if you find yourself using one size more than the others, you can also buy single-size sets.  We love the quart containers for storing rice, pasta, farro, beans and other dry goods in the pantry, while the pint sized is our favorite for storing and transporting leftovers. Don’t be afraid to stock up.

For more inspiration, seven chefs recommend flavor-boosting toppings and sauces that are always in quart containers nearby.

To buy: Durahome Food Storage Containers, $17 at amazon.com

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