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Glass Food Storage Containers

Published May 2010
Update: July 2017
Kinetic, maker of our favorite glass food storage container, has made some changes to the product. It's now made of ovensafe (to 495 degrees) borosilicate glass and is only sold in sets of three. Called the Kinetic GoGreen Glassworks Series 64-oz Rectangular Container, it also has a new model number: 01328. We are in the process of updating our testings of both glass and plastic food storage containers.

How we tested

Many consumers have decided to avoid plastic storage containers after learning about the possible ill effects of microwaving in plastic, leading to the resurgence of glass food storage. We chose three and ran them through the same tests as our plastic containers (with the exception of dropping them onto the floor). Two were oven-safe, but other design flaws knocked them out of the running. A third aced all our tests, and was equal to the top-ranked plastic containers. If it weren’t considerably heavier and more prone to breakage, we’d consider choosing glass as our favorite storage container.

Methodology

We tested eight BPA-free plastic (according to manufacturers) food storage containers, choosing square or rectangular sizes as close as possible to 8-cup capacity. All were purchased online or in Boston-area retail stores.

Leaks

We filled the containers with chicken noodle soup and shook them vigorously for 15 seconds, then filled them with sugar and pie weights and submerged them in water for two minutes. Containers that didn’t leak in the soup test and that kept their contents dry when submerged received high marks.

Odors

We refrigerated oil-packed tuna in each container for three days, then ran containers through a home dishwasher and checked for odors.

Microwave

We filled containers with chili, froze them, and reheated them in the microwave, checking for warping, staining, and plastic flavors or odors.

Durability

After testing, including 50 cycles in a home dishwasher, we observed stains, warping, and wear and tear; then we froze water in the containers.

Design

We considered features that made the containers easier to use, including simple, intuitive seals or efficient shapes.

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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little.

$248.64*
Recommended

Schmidt Brothers Downtown Block

This roomy block completely sheathed our entire winning knife set using just one of its two sides—and quite securely, thanks to long, medium-strength magnet bars. Heavy, with a grippy base, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard made this model extra-safe but also made it a little trickier to insert knives and to clean; the wood block itself showed some minor cosmetic scratching during use.

$141.90*

Schmidt Brothers Midtown Block

This smaller version of the Downtown Block secured all our knives nicely, though the blade of the slicing knife stuck out a bit. With a base lined with grippy material, this block was very stable. An acrylic guard afforded extra protection against contact with blades but made it a little harder to insert knives and to clean; the wood itself got a little scratched during use.

$67.99*
Recommended with Reservations

Swissmar Bamboo Magnetic Knife Block

This small, scratch-resistant model had a stable, rubber-lined base and could hold all our knives, though the blade of the 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a bit. But inch-long gaps between its small magnets made coverage uneven and forced us to find the magnetic hot spots in order to secure the knives. Its acrylic guard made it safer to use but harder to insert knives and to clean.

$49.93*
Not Recommended

Messermeister Walnut Magnet Block

This handsome block was done in by its shape—a tippy, top-heavy quarter-circle that wasn’t tall or broad enough to keep the blades of three knives from poking out. It lacked a nonslip base, and its extra-strong magnets made it unnerving to attach or remove our heavy cleaver. Finally, it got a bit scratched after extensive use.

$129.95*

Epicurean Standing Knife Rack 12"

This magnetic block sheathed all our knives completely, though with a bit of crowding. But it was hard to insert each knife without hitting the block’s decorative slats on way down, and because the block was light and narrow, it wobbled when bumped. Worse, we couldn’t take it apart, so splatters that hit the interior were there to stay. Additionally, the outside stained easily, and when we wiped it down, the unit smelled like wet dog.

$99.95*

Kapoosh Rondelle Knife Block

This model stabilized knives with a mass of stiff, spaghetti-like bristles that shed and nicked easily after extensive use, covering our knives with plastic debris. While all our knives fit securely, several of the blades stuck out, making this unit feel less safe overall. Finally, though the bristles could be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher, their nooks and crannies made this block hard to wash by hand.

$24.99*

Kuhn Rikon Vision Knife Block, Clear

This plastic block required us to aim each knife into the folds of an accordion-pleated insert that was removable for easy cleaning but got nicked easily with repeated use. Because we could only insert the knives vertically, longer knife blades stuck out; a cleaver was too wide to fit. The lightest model in our lineup, this block was dangerously top-heavy when loaded with knives.

$35.88*