The Gorgeous, Useful Storage Containers Every Cook Needs
My long-term relationship with quart-sized deli containers started in 2013, courtesy of my then-boyfriend. Of course, I knew what they were before then: They were the containers that held wonton soup and fried rice from my favorite Chinese food takeout place. But I hadn’t considered their full potential until I dated a chef, for whom these were a true kitchen essential — really the only storage container he ever used.
Cheap, stackable, freezable, and virtually unbreakable, I made the switch to deli containers and stayed strictly loyal to them for many, many years. Even after said chef-boyfriend was no longer in the picture, I stayed true to this restaurant staple.
And then I discovered Mepal’s Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls.
At first glance, these storage containers could not be more different from deli containers. Where the latter are unapologetically utilitarian, these Dutch-designed beauties have table-worthy good looks. What really won me over, though, wasn’t the gorgeous jewel and pastel tones, but how practical they are.
For starters, because these bowls nest, they’re easy to store — a requirement for me. (I can’t stand a messy storage container drawer!) They’re also freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe, so you can freeze your leftovers, reheat them in the microwave, eat straight out of the container, and then throw them in the dishwasher.
Each set comes with four bowls and you can opt for “shallow” or “deep”; I have one of each. I love the biggest of the deep bowls for making salads (because you can never really have a big enough salad bowl) and for storing flour in the freezer. As a bonus, the lid for that bowl also fits perfectly on the bowl for my KitchenAid mixer. That means I can make cookie dough, put a lid on it, and let it rest overnight before baking, or make one batch and save the rest for a couple days later.
The larger of the shallow bowls is perfect for not-sad-desk lunches (it’s airtight and leakproof) and I find, even now that we’re all working from home and I don’t need to pack them in my tote bag, I still reach for these bowls. The medium deep bowl is my go-to “garbage bowl,” and the smaller bowls — shallow and deep — I use for leftovers, salad dressings and pestos, and storing nuts and other snacks.
Honestly, I love these storage bowls so much that, when I decided to shelter in place in Vermont, they were the single kitchen item I took with me from my apartment in Brooklyn. And I’m not alone in my love for these smart bowls: Kitchn editors are so, ahem, bowled over by them, they made our Kitchn Essentials list of must-have kitchen tools.
Do you have any containers that you love as much as we love these? Tell us in the comments below!