Not so much cookware, but leftover-ware?!

loriafopianoJanuary 11, 2005

I'm looking for glass storage containers that can be used to store leftovers, then reheat in the microwave. Since those studies came out a while back about heating in plastic or with plastic wrap, I've been transferring things I want to nuke to a plate and covering with a paper napkin. But I would like the convenience of heating right in the leftover dish.

Which brings me to the problem: does anyone know of small, square glass containers with fitted lids? I've seen pyrex in large rectangle, casserole-sized containers, or in small round nesting bowls with covers. I'd love nesting SQUARE containers. I find that round containers waste so much space in the fridge, so that's why I'm on a mission to find square; just don't know if they actually exist!

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"Since those studies came out a while back about heating in plastic or with plastic wrap, "

What studies? All the ones I am aware of have been thoroughly debunked - plastic is safe to use in microwaves.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 8:36PM
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Even if you don't want to cook in Gladware, it still makes sense to store food in the refrigerator in it. You can't stack glass, it's breakable and the lids aren't air tight.

I often transfer stuff from my plastic containers to my Corningware to be nuked. I don't care about the plastic issue as I do believe it's been found to be safe -- at least the kinds that state they are microwave safe. Some stuff just doesn't nuke well in plastic I've found or leaves giant stains.

My understanding is that it was styrofoam containers that shouldn't be nuked with the food since they do disintegrate under heat and release certain chemicals.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 10:05PM
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Go to the container store. I have the frigoverre stuff. I have included a link to the containerstore website if you don't have one in the area.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Frigoverre at Container Store

    Bookmark   January 11, 2005 at 10:06PM
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Okay, maybe I've taken the plastics thing to the extreme but I just feel more comfortable with using a known stable product like glass. Here is a quote from an article from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health: "If you want to minimize exposure to chemicals from plastics as much as possible when cooking, use inert containers, such as heat-resistant glass, ceramics and stainless steel."

Thanks for the helpful suggestions; I hadn't found the frigoverre, and that looks great!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 6:58AM
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I have several vintage glass refrigerator storage containers. They came in several sizes...stackable, Square with indentations in the lids so they would stack....
Depression era for sure....wish I could find more!
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 12:48PM
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Like Linda, I use old vintage pieces as well. If you can find Fire King or Pyrex from the '50's, a lot of these pieces will stack, especially if you turn the lids up-side-down. I'm currently using Blue Sapphire Fire King, which goes from the fridge/freezer to the microwave for me. In my area, you can find the "almost square" pieces with lids for $10-12.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Sapphire Fire King

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 1:08PM
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I knew I had seen these somewhere! Here's an option you should love. The big square dishes are great for salads, main dishes, or anything else.

Here is a link that might be useful: Microwavable, stacking refrigerator style dishes

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 1:15PM
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Oh, those do look great! I think what I have found at Crate and Barrel look quite similar, too (see link below).

Claire and Linda, I know you have the vintage pieces, so this may not be the same: do you find the covers fit well enough to keep in odors, keep things from drying out, etc.?

Here is a link that might be useful: Crate and Barrel refrigerator dishes

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 1:29PM
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Wow Am I glad to find these!
The old ones I have are great...stuff doesn't dry out..nor swap odors....
Thanks Lori and Claire!
Linda C

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 2:43PM
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Lori, Yes the lids fit well enough not to worry about anything. I say this because whatever I put in there is usually on its way to being eaten! These are virtually the same as the old pieces, and it looks like Crate and Barrel has the best price. The oblong piece that the Kitchens site has out of stock right now is also very useful. I love the large square dishes for cantelope/watermelon, salads, cookies, cupcakes, etc. (They are perfect for potlucks.) The small ones are much more useful than you'd think, and we've used them for everything from breakfast cereal to leftovers. I can almost guarantee you'll like them so much, you'll want to order a few multiples.

I'm excited for you...These are some of my favorite dishes!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 2:45PM
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Lori - thanks for posting this. I've also been looking for glass refrigerater dishes. I try to avoid plastics due to the estrogen problems mentioned in your article "phthalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptors in humans and animals. These "synthetic hormones" may pose a special risk..."

All the plastics we use contribute to the pms, estrogen dominant symptoms, etc that plague middle aged women. I'm trying to avoid synthetic hormones. Yeah, it won't kill ya right away, so it's "safe", but it sure isn't good either!

I've found some at KMart but they're round. Guess I'll be making a trip to Crate & Barrel this weekend! Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 2:46PM
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Rosieo, I agree that the avoidance of plastic is one simple, little thing we can do to help avoid potential health problems.

Well, I just placed my order with Crate and Barrel; there is the "special" price for the 1 large/4 small dishes, so I decided to start there. I'll keep my eye out for the rectangle size, because that does look useful, too. Thanks everyone for answering my questions!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 3:08PM
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Restoration Hardware has just about the same retro refrigerator dishes as the Crate & Barrel site, but they have a rectangular one as well, just like my grandmother always used to store her homemade mayonaisse and those awful congealed salads.

Alas, they are only in the stores, not on the website.

FWIW, swallowing glass is no better for you than ingesting plastic. Don't eat from these glass containers if they have shattered.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 4:34PM
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If you don't mind plastic fitted lids, pyrex does have different size square glass dishes. My daughter received hers as a gift but says they are pyrex.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 7:57PM
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I love pyrex, and fitted lids would be great. I've been looking around online off and on today, but haven't found them except mixed with round bowls as a set.

If they're out there, I'll keep looking!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 8:29PM
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Not sure how long it has been since she received them, within the last 4 1/2 yrs, but she thought they came from Bon/Macy's.
Hope they are still making them. I've liked them when I have used them at her place, in fact I usually reached for them first. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2005 at 9:52PM
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I just saw the Crate and Barrel ones in their catalogue last night and was thinking of getting some. I guess their price is good based on this thread! I really like that store!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 1:47PM
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Funny to find this thread - I just started looking for glass and plan to toss my old plastic junk. Altho it's not my favorite place to shop, the prices are good - sigh - and WalMart has the Pyrex, plastic-topped pieces. I saw 2 and 3-cup rounds, and some various rectangular pieces.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 10:26AM
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I just received my order from Crate and Barrel this morning, and I LOVE these dishes; there were 4 of the 3-cup size, and 1 of the 12-cup size. They're made by Anchor Hocking, and seem really durable. Also, 2 days ago at Target I found rectangular, covered Pyrex. I bought a three-pack of the 6 cup size for $9.99.

So now I've got a pretty good assortment of sizes, and I suspect storage in the fridge will be a whole lot easier. And I'll feel better microwaving in the glass, even if I am a bit paranoid.

Thanks to all for your help!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2005 at 11:33AM
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Loriafopiano, just wondering which set of storage dishes you've been happier with? Or whether you found something else? Do the glass lids really seal tightly enough to keep the food fresh and not transmit odors? I'm also wondering whether anyone has seen/used the Ikea stackable glass storage containers, and how those compare to the Crate and Barrel or Pyrex ones? I'm ready to replace my motley assortment of plastic containers, and I'm interested in both glass and the rectangular shape, so any tips would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 6:19AM
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Courcelles, I'm still loving the glass dishes... both kinds. I think on a day-to-day basis, I use the 3 cup glass top ones the most, and certainly the 12 cup the least (hardly ever that much leftovers!). The covers are a little loose, but that doesn't seem to affect the ability to contain odors; I don't know why, or maybe I haven't put too many "smelly" things in them. I have to say I get the feeling they are more "doomed to destruction" than the pyrex, as the shape is more awkward to hold/carry and I've got teenagers who aren't too careful. But so far, so good.

I love the pyrex (size and shape and covers), and would love if they made more sizes in the rectangle. A smaller but higher would be great (4 cup?). Perhaps I should just write to them to give them some ideas! I really do love the rectangles for storage, and the glass cleans so easily (no stains, no odors) compared to plastic.

I just went on the Ikea site to look for the containers you mention. Are they the Koloni jars with lids? They look interesting, but I can't find any info as to whether they are microwaveable? They do say dishwasher safe, so that's good. I just know I like to microwave in the containers, so I'd be curious as to whether that's okay.

I know I'll eventually buy more containers; just waiting and hoping I find some other, useful sizes.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 7:01AM
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Lori, thanks for your reply and glad to hear you are happy with everything! I've got three-year-olds who love to help unload the dishwasher, so perhaps I'll start with the Pyrex ones... Yes, the Ikea ones are the Koloni. Lots of shapes and sizes, and the lids are dimpled in a grid format, so that it's easy to stack different sizes securely. But you're right, there's no info on microwaveability, which would be important for me too. I'm also not sure whether the glass lid has any kind of plastic or rubber around the inside that would help seal the container, or whether it's all just glass like the Crate and Barrel ones. I'm heading to Ikea next weekend, so I'll check then.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2005 at 2:30PM
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Martha Stewart Everyday brand at KMart. They are similar to the old-fashioned glass refrigerator containers and the lids fit snugly. The glass containers come in a variety of shapes (round, square, oblong, oval, etc.), are the same type of glass as Pyrex. The lids are a nice, thick plastic (MS green) and fit very well. The lids can also be used in teh microwave.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 10:23AM
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Mrsmarv, thanks for the info! Have looked on the kmart website, but can't find it there; have you seen it online? Otherwise, it looks like I'll be heading to the nearest kmart to check it out...

    Bookmark   March 21, 2005 at 12:15PM
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OK, I think I see what the problem is with the Ikea glass storage containers. It looks to me like there is a silicone band that helps to seal the lid and the main part of the container -- but the band is on the main part, not on the lid. Would that make it non-microwaveable? Though I thought silicone could go in the microwave...Too bad; the design is nice, and they come in more shapes and sizes than most seem to.

Anyway, I looked at the Pyrex rectangular containers and they seem very good. I'm anxious to check out the ones at KMart and then make a decision!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2005 at 4:47PM
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The plastics issue was touched on earlier. I got this email today about it:

Here is a link that might be useful: article about plastic food containers

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 5:00PM
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Pyrex makes some round glass containers that come with plastic lids. They come in several different sizes.Walmart carries them and so does Kohls.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2005 at 7:01PM
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I have some of those Anchor Hocking dishes and, if I have something I don't want to "migrate," it's easy to put a sheet of plastic wrap between the dish and the cover.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 12:20PM
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