Dry food storage for dummies
June 17, 2017 6:53 AM   Subscribe

We've recently moved to open shelves. They look great, but now I need to figure out how to store things on them without clutter. What's your favorite airtight food storage solution that is attractive, NOT transparent, and big enough to store a bag of flour?
posted by snickerdoodle to Shopping (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We have these in white. They're expensive, but it's nice to be able to label them and get different sizes. Crate and Barrel canisters.
posted by mercredi at 7:28 AM on June 17

You have so many options! A friend of mine took a bunch of differently sized bale jars, dissaseembled them and carefully primed and spray painted (with food grade paint) them a deep brown, almost black color. It turned out really nice and looked great in their kitchen, YMMV.

Anything ceramic, with an actual seal. Crate and Barrel has some good ones. Remodelista has a good spread in their archives too (but those are usually more expensive options). Even amazon has some attractive ones if you search for "Ceramic airtight canister"

Depending on the vibe of your kitchen, there are some cool stainless steel containers over here that might be appropriate (while I don't agree with their ethos as to why they should be eliminating plastic, in instances when you don't want a plastic thing, this is a great place to check out).
posted by furnace.heart at 7:33 AM on June 17

Thrift store, yo. You can find all the best sorage bins from 'mid century modern' to 70s avocado to classic clean ceramics, stainless steel flip-tops, etc.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:36 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]

I'm not sure if you're looking for just a set for flour and sugar or more general storage. It sounds like probably the former but in case you're also looking for more general storage, here is the Sweethome page on food storage (alas, all transparent)

I ended up with Snapware containers e.g. these (approx one quart) and these (approx 2 quart)
You can see the contents but they are translucent rather than transparent, if that helps.
This is the size I bought for flour and sugar.
This is a decent image of what they look like with food in them.

Relatively inexpensive
Available in different sizes, and not just in mixed-size sets
Stack well if you buy the right sizes. You have to poke around a bit to find what sits on what.

They smell at first and you should let them air out for a day or so before using them. The manufacture advises to take the gasket out and wash top, bottom, and gasket, but I haven't done that.
They are not super solid and one of them arrived with one of the latch thingies broken off. However, they are relatively durable, and I have smaller sized ones that I've used for years.
Sometimes they are a little finicky about sealing.

Over all I have been really happy with them but they will not be for everyone so I am trying to give the full picture.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 7:38 AM on June 17

It depends on the aesthetic of your kitchen, but I re-use half-gallon milk jugs and food-grade buckets. A lot of things are too dense to store in 5 gallon buckets (water would be 40 lbs), but I live near a sushi place that buys preserved ginger in 20lb square buckets, which is just about right. For the milk jugs, make sure you get the kind with screw-on lids. Mine are actually fruit juice jugs.
posted by d. z. wang at 8:11 AM on June 17

The ones I have don't ship to the US, but they are very similar to those in furnace.heart's amazon link. I like them a lot because they are simple without being plain, and most importantly: they go in the dishwasher. Mostly I just fill up with more flour/sugar/oats/pasta or whatever else I store in them, but I really like to run them in the machine once in a while.
I also some have some antique ceramic pots that I have inherited. They were already expensive when they were bought, and they are not less so now, and that has made me think that if you can afford the lay out now, it's worth investing in quality - they are also dishwasher safe and serve their purpose excellently (they have handpainted images of the food they contain).
An option in between contemporary plastic and handpainted antiques could be stuff like this. Find them here. Which reminds me that le Creuset has very nice stoneware storage. I don't like that the brand is on the lid, but you can turn it around to the back.
posted by mumimor at 8:36 AM on June 17

Along with what SaltySalticid says about thrift stores--try dollar or odd-lot stores. Sometimes they'll get, well, odd lots of canisters, and you can find one you like and buy 10 of them.
posted by 8603 at 11:00 AM on June 17

Do you have a Daiso near you? It's like a Japanese dollar store, but it's more like a $1.99 store. A few things are a couple of dollars more. They have tons of kitchen and storage items and I think they're mostly better quality than what I see at my local 99ยข store. (There are exceptions to that, of course, which is part of the fun of searching.$
posted by Room 641-A at 11:56 AM on June 17

« Older YANMD: Stuck Poop, Upper Colon Edition   |   Moving my Etsy shop Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments