If you recently got into meal prepping, then you need some meal prep containers. Not only that, as you need the best meal prep containers if you want your food to be stored and preserved properly!
But if you’re new to meal prepping, here’s a crash course!
Meal prepping is regarded as one of the easiest ways to save money and time on cooking food. How? Well, simply by preparing meals ahead of time and having portion control. The result is consistent nutrition and less time spent cooking or in the kitchen.
Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it and learn everything there’s to know about the best meal prep containers on the market – as well as how to buy the ideal ones!
Best Meal Prep Containers
The first entry on our list is a pack of 10 reusable meal prep containers, each with one single compartment, ideal for single dishes, so to say.
The storage containers themselves are of premium quality and come equipped with air tight lids that seal the food inside them, to keep it fresh for longer. Naturally, they are made of good plastic that is free of BPA that is stronger and more durable than regular plastic.
Each meal prep container can store 28oz of food and is designed as a stackable bento lunch box. On top of that, every one of them is also safe to place in the microwave, dishwasher, and even freezer. Every piece of the 10-pack is reusable and highly durable, ideal for taking your meals anywhere with you!
For our second entry, we’re taking a look at a pack of five cheap meal prep containers made out of glass. Let’s see how they fare against plastic ones!
These meal containers can fit up to 1000ml of food each and come equipped with lids as well. Thanks to the high-quality glass used to make the containers and to the SmartestLock lid-locking system, your food will be airtight-safe while the containers will be leak-free.
Naturally, since they’re made of glass, these containers are safe to use in a freezer and a dishwasher – as well as in the oven and microwave. In short, you can cook something in them from start to finish and then also use them to store that certain dish. Meal prep containers can’t get more convenient than that!
Next up, we have another pack of stackable bent-style meal containers – this time one with 20 containers of 750ml each.
As all meal prep containers should be, the ones in this pack are leak-resistant, highly-convenient, and made of the highest quality plastic. Moreover, they are also microwave and dishwasher safe, for even more convenience.
The containers are made of 100% BPA-free materials that are also food-safe. They are tested by the SGS and are certified by the FDA as well. These characteristics make for some of the safest and best meal prep containers available on the market at the moment.
For this particular entry, we have a simpler pack of ten meal prep containers, this time with coloured lids so that you can identify your food and fruits easier. Each food storage container comes with its lid and can store up to 750ml of food.
The containers are stackable, which is a highly-desired feature for sets of meal prep boxes. They are also freezer, dishwasher, and microwave free. Naturally, only BPA-free materials were used in the making of this product.
Last but not least, if you’re not satisfied with the containers, you can return them for up to 3 years after the purchase, with proof of purchase. However, given the number of positive reviews, you shouldn’t feel the need for a return.
If you don’t like square/rectangular containers, then this next entry might be ideal for you. Namely, we’re now taking a look at the so-called salad bowls. This particular product comes with 10 of them, each with a capacity of 280z.
As the previous Igluu entry, these containers feature an airtight lid seal that helps keep the food fresh for more than usual. The plastic used to make them is BPA-free and food-grade, as well as thicker and more durable than regular plastic.
The microwavable meal prep containers are also dishwasher and freezer safe – as they’re made of safe plastic, they don’t contain any chemicals that may find their way in your food.
Now, let’s move on to more complex meal prep. What do we mean by that? Well, we mean 3 compartment meal prep containers that store multiple types of food. As such, let’s take a look at this pack of 10 containers, each benefitting from a 3 compartment design.
The plastic used in the making of these containers is reportedly stronger and thicker than usual plastic, as well as with increased flexibility. It is BPA-free and food-safe, as you can’t have a meal prep container without these characteristics.
The three compartments allow for easy complex meal preparation – one compartment takes half of the containers, while the other two occupy the remaining half. Ideal for all kinds of meal prep with space for a main dish, salad, dressing, and so on. Each meal prep container has a capacity of 1000ml.
For the following entry, we have compartmented meal prep food containers as well, but this time with 2 compartments only. This particular set contains 14 meal prep containers, ready for comprehensive meal planning!
The containers are reportedly stronger than other products on the market and come equipped with lids as well – they keep your food healthy and fresh for longer.
As with most meal prep containers, these are freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe as well. Since they’re made of BPA-free plastic, they don’t release any chemicals, no matter the circumstances.
Last but not least, the food containers have a leak-proof design with the help of an airtight seal lid.
Simple meal prep containers often don’t satisfy the needs of big families, especially if we’re talking about more than two children. In such cases, you need more than just a couple of rectangular boxes – you need this particular pack!
This entry comes equipped with 20 meal prep containers in total, each of them with a 3 compartment design. The catch is that ten of them are rectangular, great for a lunch box and 10 of them are round, ideal as salad or fruit bowls. In short, they are ready to satisfy any preference/need and can even be used as bodybuilding meal prep containers.
They are made from PP plastic which is very tough and sturdy. You can also place them in refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves with no worries as they are made of food-grade materials.
In terms of sealing, they feature a buckle design that can seal any containers completely shut, preventing leaks and odours.
Towards the end of our top list, we have these beautiful glass meal prep containers with bamboo lids that can make any kitchen or fridge a tad more stylish. Each of the five containers has a capacity of 860ml, making them ideal to keep food of almost any kind.
The main advantage of these containers is that they don’t contain any plastic whatsoever. This means that they won’t get stained by oily foods and that you won’t taste food with hints of plastic smell.
Moreover, the containers are not made of simple glass – they are made of heat-resistant and ultra-resilient borosilicate glass. This makes them safe for the dishwasher as well.
Moving on to the lid, it is made of bamboo and features a rubber seal to favour airtight closure!
The final entry on our top list is a pack of ten meal prep containers, each with one container. You really can’t go wrong with these, even if they are so simple!
Every meal prep container is safe to put in the dishwasher, in the microwave, or the freezer (top shelf for the dishwasher). They come in a standard size so that you have a much easier time storing them. Naturally, they are stackable as well.
Each food storage container has a capacity of 950ml, ideal for portion control if you follow a certain diet and have weight loss goals, or simply to reduce your household food waste. The manufacturer has available containers with 3 compartments as well, in case you love these too much but want a bit of diversity.
Best Meal Prep Containers – Buying Guide
Meal prep containers are essential for big families and especially for people that follow strict diets, go to the gym, or want to make sure that they eat consistently and don’t skip any meal.
Naturally, they are also great for people that are always on the run and need a fresh batch, so to speak, of food to fill their bellies.
However, given that such containers can store any type of food, it is essential that we buy the right ones. By the right ones, we mean meal prep containers that are safe, hygienic, and reliable. The last thing you want to happen is delicious food leaking in your backpack, right!
As such, here’s how to buy the best meal prep containers UK!
Plastic vs. Glass Meal Prep Containers
Quite a lot of people believe that plastic containers are overall not safe for food storage – especially for microwaves or freezers. This makes glass containers a lot more popular.
However, the popularity of glass containers is the fact that they can also be used in the oven or as simple hot bowls, whereas plastic containers cannot. But which one should you choose?
These are made usually from BPA-free materials that prevent chemicals from getting into our food. What is BPA?
Also known as Bisphenol A, BPA is a chemical used to make certain types of plastic, including the one used in food containers. This increases the chances we get exposed to BPA via storing food in such containers. BPA is known to be potentially related to heart diseases, fertility, and male impotence.
This is why so many brand and manufacturers tend to specify, multiple times, that their products are BPA- and chemical-free.
Glass is the perfect material for storing food because, first of all, it is impermeable and it is chemically inert as well. This means that there are no chances that your food gets contaminated via a glass container.
On top of that, such containers are microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and oven safe too. The only downside of glass containers is that they’re not very portable, can break easily and are a bit more expensive.
Ideally, you’ll buy plastic containers that have multiple compartments as well. If you do, make sure the materials used are BPA-free and food-grade – and, if possible, FDA certified, as one of the products mentioned above.
Capacity is very important because, naturally, the larger the container the more space it takes. If you want to pack some snacks for your gym session, then a 1L container is definitely too much and you should look for smaller variations.
Overall, meal prep containers come in 24oz to 30oz – this is a common capacity. Small ones can go as low as 12oz, whereas the largest available go beyond 35oz capacity.
Buy the ones that fit your needs and requirements best and, if you don’t plan to use them regularly, don’t get a 10- or 20-pack.
Number of Compartments
This is another very important characteristic. If you make homemade sushi, for example, and want to keep the ginger or soy sauce away from the main dish, then you definitely need compartmented meal prep containers.
Most products on the market are 2 compartment meal prep containers, while more comprehensive models are designed to be bento-style lunch boxes, with around 4 to 5 compartments.
In this case, it depends on what you really need. If you need containers just for food storage, then 1-3 compartments are enough. But if you want them to be used as lunchboxes as well and have a knack for complex dishes, then search for containers with more compartments.
Naturally, it’s important how temperature-resistant the containers are. You don’t want them to come cracked out of the fridge or melted out of the microwave.
Most plastic containers are safe to use in the dishwasher, microwave, fridge and freezer. However, make sure they are indeed safe before letting them rest for a couple of days in the freezer. On top of that, keep in mind to avoid sudden temperature changes as this will definitely crack the plastic.
Glass containers, on the other hand, are safe almost everywhere – dishwasher, microwave, fridge, freezer, oven, and so on. Some of them may not be ideal for the freezer and, just like plastic containers, don’t take sudden temperature changes too well.
Obviously, lids of almost any kind should be kept away from microwaves, freezers, and ovens!
Lid and Seal Design
We mentioned above that the last thing you want to happen is soup leaking in your backpack. Well, the bad news is that not all meal prep containers are leak-free/proof.
Most containers on the market feature press-on lids that are really not that great at keeping liquids contents in. They are, however, safe enough to keep the container from unlocking and spreading food all over your bag.
If you want leak proof meal prep containers, then we recommend you look for lids that come with more comprehensive designs, like those with silicone strips mechanisms besides the usual press-on system. Such a system is enough to airtight the container and keeps it shut.
If you want more from your meal prep containers, there are models on the market that come with steam vents as well!
If you buy containers in bulk, you’d like them to be stackable. A 20-container pack will be a dread to store when you’re using only one of them. However, there is one benefit that tops everything else and makes stackable containers so popular – referring strictly to plastic ones here.
When they are stackable, the chances of them breaking or cracking decrease drastically as there will be almost no pressure put on them while in storage in a cabinet or shelf. They can be easily forgotten there, whereas non-stackable containers have to be carefully handled and manoeuvred in order to avoid damaging them.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What containers are best for extremely busy people?
For extremely busy people, we’d recommend you to stay away from glass containers and small sets (like 5 or fewer containers). If you’re busy and go through the kitchen like a tornado when cooking, then glass containers won’t resist much.
Plastic containers, on the other hand, come in sets as big as 20 and allow and are easy to use and store. If you’re always on the run, a plastic airtight container is the best!
Q: Should my meal prep containers be dishwasher safe?
It is highly recommended that the containers you buy are dishwasher safe, at least on the top shelf. Busy people that don’t have time to wash dishes right after emptying a container will soon find that food stored in a container, in the fridge/freezer, for several days tends to stick to the walls of the container.
If you want to avoid some scrubbing sessions, it is best that the containers – if not the lids as well – are dishwasher safe.
Meal prepping can give extremely busy parents a couple more hours every day to spend with their children or relax watching a movie. Given how much pressure some of today’s jobs put on us, it goes without saying why meal prep containers are so popular.
After all, they allow for easy meal storage and, on top of that, they can keep our favourite dishes fresh and tasty for longer than usual. Depending on our mood, a fresh batch of strawberries or soup is just the thing we need Sunday in the morning when cooking is the last thing we’d do.
As such, read our top list, follow our comprehensive buying guide, and get ready to buy yourself the best meal prep containers UK and forget the struggle of everyday cooking!