Stainless steel is one of the safest food storage containers and a great alternative to plastic. Reduce your plastic use and choose a stainless steel food storage container. So get rid of cheap plastic containers that are bad for your health, easily warp and clutter our land fills with plastic waste. So if you are wondering are stainless steel containers safe for food storage? Yes, they are indeed safe.
Discover why is plastic bad for your health and the environment in the Ultimate Guide to the Safest Food Storage containers.
What is Stainless Steel?
Wikipedia describes stainless steel as a family of iron based alloys that contain a minimum of approximately 11% chromium. This composition prevents iron from rusting, and also provides heat-resistant properties. Specific types of stainless steel are often designated by a three digit number, like 304 stainless steel.
Resistance to corrosion can be increased by:
- increasing the chromium level to above 11%,
- Addition of 8% or more of nickel, and
- the addition of molybdenum.
Types of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel comes in different grades
- Type 304: The best known grade of stainless steel is type 304, which is also known as 18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel.
- 18/8 stainless steel has a composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
- 18/10 stainless steel, which is also known as surgical steel, has a composition of 18% chromium and 10% nickel.
- Type 316: The second most common stainless steel is Type 316., which has an addition of 2% molybdenum. This provides greater resistance to acids and localized corrosion caused by chloride ions.
- 410 stainless steel has chromium content of 11.5% – 13.5% and 0.75% nickel.
Advantages and Properties of Stainless Steel
- Stainless steel is durable and aesthetically pleasing
- It has heat-resistant properties
- Can be steam cleaned and sterilized, making it ideal in infant feeding and medical equipment.
- It is resistant to staining and corrosion.
- Stainless steel is low maintenance.
Let’s explore some options of a stainless steel food storage container. From kitchen counter canister sets, to bento lunch boxes to stainless steel reusable water bottles, they are all some safest food storage containers.
4-Piece Stainless Steel Airtight Canister Set
Four different sizes are included in this air tight canister set with transparent lids. It contains no dangerous chemicals and are waterproof and easy to clean and use. Perfect for kitchen counter storage of tea, coffee, sugar, flour etc. and comes with a clear acrylic lid with a clamping locking.
- The airtight design has a rubber seal that will stay in place and connect to the edge of the canister. This would prevent air to enter, protecting the hermetic seal of the jar.
- The 4-Piece canister set includes these sizes:
- 4.7 inch x 3.54 inch ( 28 fl oz)
- 4.7 inch x 4.72 inch ( 32 fl oz)
- 4.7 inch x 5.9 inch ( 38 fl oz)
- 4.7 inch x 7.48 inch ( 65 fl oz)
- Airtight canister protects the contents from insects and moisture and also ensure they remain fresh for a long time.
- Easy to use and the stainless steel kitchen canisters are made with a wide 4.7 inch opening, making it easy to fill them and use a full size 1 cup measuring scoops.
- The canisters are dishwasher-safe, however it is recommended to hand wash them to protect the finish.
- One piece design will not hide any dirt and a quick wipe with a damp cloth is sufficient for a light cleaning.
- Airtight canisters are made of good quality 410 stainless steel with excellent rubber seals and clasps, making them safe for everyday use.
- The silicone gasket contains no BPA, have no smelly odor, and no toxic chemicals will be released during use.
- Clear lid allows for easy viewing of canister contents, saving you more time.
- They are great for storing cookies, coffee, flour, sugar, nuts, coarse cereals and more.
- This practical canisters set is perfect for various applications like kitchen counter top, restaurants, bistros, pubs, cafe, pantry and so on.
Get Amazon’s choice for kitchen sugar containers set here if you are in the USA. If you are in the UK or EU, look at the equivalent product below. If you are in Italy, explore your options here.
4-Piece Stainless Steel Food Storage Container Set with Glass Lids
Four sizes are included in this set that is perfect for use in the kitchen, restaurants, pantry, cafe or office. Safely store your dry ingredients without moisture or insects getting to it.
- A functional and durable solution to keep your tea, coffee, sugar, pasta, rice, biscuits and oats fresh for longer
- Satin finish stainless steel with hinged lids and top spring clips.
- Canister sizes: 1.85 liters, 1.5 liters, 1.1 liters and 0.7 liters.
- Electroplated gaskets have clear airtight lids to help preserve stored food items, keeping your food fresh and protected.
- Ideal for organizing your kitchen cupboards as well as looking stylish on display.
- Manufacturer 2 Year warranty included.
If you are in the UK or EU, visit Amazon here to order your stainless steel food storage containers.
Stainless Steel Bento Box Lunch Box with Stainless Steel Lid
The stainless steel 3 tiered food storage container is perfect for using as a lunch box, taking snacks on a picnic or storing food in the fridge. Suitable for boys, girls, teenagers and adults. The eco friendly food storage containers can be taken to school or work.
- 100% Stainless steel lunch box have 3 tiers to keep food separate and tasty.
- The perfect size to carry your lunch to school or work with a total capacity of six and a quarter cups of food.
- Size: 6 and 1/2 inches long x 5 inches wide and 3 and an eighth inch high.
- Environmentally friendly with not a touch of plastic, so no BPA, PVC, BPS or phthalates go into making this food container.
- Easy to clean, simply put it in the dishwasher or cleans easily with soap and water.
- Buy with confidence as you will get a warranty. If you are not a hundred percent happy, simply return it for a full refund by contacting Bklyn Bento via the company’s online Warranty Page.
- The only drawback is that they are not leak proof, so it is not good for holding liquids like soups. To overcome that, choose a reusable water bottle that will also keep your soup warm. Or select a bento box with a leak proof bamboo lid.
Shop Amazon’s Choice for stainless steel lunch boxes here if you are in the USA.
If you are in the UK or EU, order your bento stainless steel lunch boxes here.
Stainless Steel Bento Box with Silicone Lids
These metal food storage boxes come with leak proof silicone lids and are perfect to be used for lunch or picnics. They are great for portion control, snacks, condiments, dressings or separate portions for meals. Use it for baby and kids meals, teenagers or adults, or store food and leftovers at home.
Perfect for use when ordering a take-away meal, your lunch at the office or school, or for your “doggie bag” from a restaurant.
- This set comes with four pieces:
- The largest holds 21oz, so perfect for your main. 5 and an eighth inches x 2 and a half inches.
- The 2nd largest holds 13oz, great to use with the 21oz container for a side dish. 4 and three eighths inches x 2 and a quarter inches.
- Next, the 3rd holds 7oz and is perfect for snacks. 3 and a half inches x 1 and seven eighths inches.
- The smallest holds 1.5oz. It’s perfect for condiments and salad dressing. 2 and a quarter inches x 1 and a quarter inch.
- Surgical grade stainless steel is used.
- Easy to open, even for kids.
- Totally free of any harmful chemicals like Phthalates, BPA, PVC and BPS.
- Silicone lids are made from 100% pure LFGB* Silicone, which is the highest quality available. Unfortunately, a lot of silicone has “filler” mixed in with the silicone, because it is a lot cheaper to make. These silicone lids do not contain any “fillers”.
- 100% leak proof lids, so you can pack liquids, even upside down.
- Stacking – when the containers are in use, they can be stacked for easy transport and storage.
- Nesting – the four pieces will fit inside one another for space-saving storage when not in use.
- Warranty means you can buy with confidence. Love it, or return it for a full refund. No hassles with processing and forms to print and mail, simply contact Bklyn Bento via the company’s online Warranty Page.
* LFGB = Lebensmittel Und Futtermittelgesetzbuch. There are two main silicone standards that are used for food, namely LFGB food grade and FDA food grade. They are both safe for human use. LFGB is a German standard and test that are conducted are more extensive than FDA tests. LFGB is more expensive, which means FDA is more widely used.
Pinch test for silicone: simply pinch and twist the silicone, if it turns white when pinched and twisted, it means it is not a 100% silicone and fillers are being used.
Get Amazon’s Choice for bento stainless steel food storage box with silicone lids in the USA here.
If you are in the UK or EU, order your bento food storage containers with silicone lids here.
Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers with BPA Free Lids
304 Stainless steel, also known as 18/8 stainless steel, is used to make the JaceBox containers, with BPA free plastic snap-on lids. This set consists of five sizes, but they are also available in other variations and sizes. The leak proof stainless steel food storage container is perfect as a lunch box and great for meal prepping.
- Containers are made from the toughest 304 grade (18 / 8) stainless steel.
- Virtually indestructible, is earth friendly and can be recycled.
- This set consists of 5 sizes:
- XXlarge 95oz / 2800ml,
- Xlarge 56oz / 1650ml,
- Large 28oz / 850ml,
- Medium 18oz / 550ml and
- Small 12oz / 350ml
- Lids are made from BPA free plastic with a silicone ring, for a watertight seal that is leak proof and spill proof.
- Snap-on lids lock out air, keeping food fresh for longer.
- Stackable containers easily fit into each other when empty to save storage space.
- Reusable stainless steel lunch containers save you money and space while making it easy for kids to access snacks, lunch, and meals on the go.
- The smaller Bento Boxes are great as a lunch box or taking to a picnic party. Easily fit into your lunch bag or backpack.
- Lightweight and strong making them convenient to carry around.
- JaceBox food containers easily pop into the top rack of your dishwashers.
- Has odor and taste repelling technology, meaning your food storage containers always smell as fresh and clean as the day you got them.
- Safe to be used in the fridge and freezer and the stainless steel containers can be used in the oven without the lids.
- This super set with 5 compartments is perfect for family and friends gatherings. Perfect for leftovers, picnics and as travel containers too.
- Money back guarantee so you can buy with the reassurance that if anything is faulty or you are not happy with the product, you will get a full refund.
The stainless steel snap seal containers with lids are also available in other sizes. The transparent lids make it easy to see the content.
Perfect and durable for year round use and easy enough that kids can open the lids themselves when they take them to school.
If you are in the USA, get Amazon’s Choice for stainless steel containers with lids here.
If you are in the UK or EU, get your equivalent Amazon’s Choice for stainless steel lunchbox here.
Stainless Steel Reusable Water Bottle
Stainless steel is one of the safest food storage containers for keeping your water fresh and without contamination. Chilly’s stainless steel reusable water bottle has a leak proof lid and is free of BPA. It will keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours.
- Double walled vacuum insulated water bottle.
- The vacuum insulation maintains the temperature inside the bottle, regardless of the temperature outside. Will keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours.
- High grade 304 food grade stainless steel is resistant to rust.
- Metal construction inside and outside provides a long-lasting and fresh tasting flavor.
- Leak proof screw top lid has an airtight seal, thereby eliminating accidental spills and leaks.
- BPA-free, phthalate-free and free of harmful chemicals and toxins, making these reusable water bottles a healthy choice.
- Available in three sizes:
- 260 ml (9.15 ounces): 20.6 cm x 6.4 cm (8.11 inches x 2.25 inches) and weighs 0.27 kg
- 500 ml (17 ounces): 26 cm x 7 cm (11.24 inches x 2.76 inches) and weighs 0.36 kg
- 750 ml (26.4 ounces): 30 cm x 7.6 cm (11.81 inches x 3 inches) and weighs 0.50 kg
- The two-ply construction eliminates condensation and water build-up on the outside of the bottle. It means no water rings or slipping out of your hands, so easy to take them traveling or on the go.
- The revolutionary design is lightweight, stylish and easy to handle featuring a narrow mouth for spill-free drinking.
- Fits most cup holders and makes a perfect travel companion
Get your Amazon Bestseller stainless steel reusable water bottle here if you are in the UK or EU and this is where you can get your Chilly’s reusable water bottle if you are in the USA.
How to take Care of Stainless Steel
Caring for a stainless steel food storage container is very straightforward:
- Wash with a neutral soap or cleaner and dry them after washing.
- Do not scratch the surface with hard material such as steel scrubber.
- Store your containers in a cool dry place and avoid direct sunlight.
- Avoid storing foods that are high in acid, alkali or salt for a long period of time.
How to avoid Stainless Steel Rust
- In humid conditions, humidity or water can build up between the stainless steel container and any other material, causing damage to the surface of the stainless steel.
- Acid can corrode the stainless steel, so foods that are high in acids, like tomatoes and lemons, can damage the surface of the stainless steel if it is stored in it for a long period of time. Acidic foods should be stored in glass containers instead.
- Salt can also cause corrosion of the stainless steel surface, so once again store salt in glass or ceramic containers.
- Chemicals like sulphuric acid, carbon dioxide and other pollutants in the environment, will cause chemical corrosion of the stainless steel, so be aware of that if you live in an area with very high air pollution.
- Don’t use abrasive materials or products when you clean your stainless steel, as it will scratch and damage the surface and rust can them get in.
Final Thoughts About Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers
It’s scary how many food containers still contain chemicals like BPA, BPS and Phthalates. We believe eventually this stuff will be regulated and all food containers will be made with “clean material”. Until them, best to stay away from plastic. When you buy food storage containers, steer clear of chemicals that are used in plastic.
Best to keep your plastic in your wallet, not in your food. The best reason why you want to use a stainless steel reusable water bottle and not plastic, is that no harmful chemicals will leach into your water. So if you are still wondering are stainless steel containers safe for food storage? The answer is yes, they are indeed safe.
Discover more choices in the Best Glass Food Containers with Lids. If you have any questions or suggestions about a stainless steel food storage container, them please leave your comments below, and I will get back to you.
26 thoughts on “Guide to Stainless Steel Food Storage Container”
A major eco concern is the lifecycle impact of the various alternatives (SS, glass, etc). This is missing from this analysis, which mostly focuses on home use from what I can tell.
Stainless steel can be recycled at the end of its life, in case you missed it in the post. If you like to read about glass storage containers, then please visit this post Best Glass Food Containers with Lids.
Among different kinds of airtight containers, the best choice would be a stainless steel one. Because stainless steel is durable and it keeps your food hot or cold for a longer duration. When you are buying a stainless-steel container, you will surely check the quality of the stainless steel.
Stainless steel food storage containers are some of the best choices to store your food, and as with all products and materials, it is important to check the quality.
I’ve heard many times that plastic is harmful to health, but I’ve never really paid attention to this. I use ice cream boxes to store my food, I guess it became a habit. But now I am going to throw these boxes and replace them with stainless steel food storages.
I love the colors of the bottles. I will check for some water bottles too. Thank you for the tips on how to clean them!
Plastic can leach into the food and water, specially if the content is warm or the plastic container is left in the sun. So plastic is not only bad for your health, it is also bad for the environment. A stainless steel reusable water bottle will keep water cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. I’ve been reusing the same bottle for more than 4 years now and will not touch water that has been in plastic. Hope this helps.
It was a great pleasure to find an article like yours. I am always a great supporter of sustainability and I always look for products that can fit my lifestyle. Using reusable containers is always the easiest thing we can do to be more sustainable and protect the environment. And, especially when it comes to food and beverage, containers cannot be harmful to our health. It looks like these products have these characteristics! So, thank you for this review!
Stainless steel food storage containers are certainly one of the safest materials when it comes to storing food. And at the end of their working lives, they can be recycled, so certainly a material that I would recommend for storing and also cooking food.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of stainless steel. Simply love that stuff. I have been moving away from all the other materials when it comes to food-related containers. I mean, I do already have a set of cutlery, water bottle, and containers for my spices. Which brings me to – you sure did present some very tempting options.
I mean, I have been on the lookout for a decent set of airtight canisters in my local shops but it seems they won’t be selling any anytime soon. But these by Enloy look marvelous. And that Bento Box looks very awesome as well. Also, didn’t know there were food containers that mixed stainless steel with BPA-Free lids. I bet my wife would love those.
Other than that, I had no idea that this steel can rust. Thank you for making me aware of that. Lastly, couldn’t agree more about the plastic when it comes to food storage. A must avoid stuff. Cheers.
Stainless steel can start rusting if the surface is scratched and it is the lower grade stainless steel that might rust. But this would be after many years. The bento boxes are great for storage at home, but also as a lunch box or taking on a picnic.
Hey there,that is a great article right there indeed stainless steel should be a number one priority for every household as it has so many advantages one of the advantage being that it is very strong unlike the plastic one your research was really thorough I did and I like it I really did not know they are types of steel on the food containers thanks for sharing
A stainless steel food storage container is a safe option and also looks good in the kitchen and when you take it to lunch or on a picnic.
Great research and the marketing information for each of the stainless steel products is among the best. Some of the stainless steel products have either hard or soft plastic covers. In addition, you pointed out very carefully that stainless steel containers requires
careful handling and a lot of to do’s and not to do’s to keep it in almost perfect condition.
In summary the pros for stainless steel out weigh the cons if there are any cons for these type products.
I agree with you that the pros of using stainless steel food storage containers are awesome. The only con of stainless steel is that it might dent if you drop it. For me the safety and health aspects of using stainless steel is very important, together with the fact that it is versatile and lasts for decades if you look after it.
I learned a lot from your Guide to Stainless Steel Food Storage Container article. I am an avid believer in stainless steel after a doctor who is into natural stuff recommended stainless as good for cooking food as it does not give toxins to the food. He recommends glass and stainless steel cookware.
I never thought of extending the stainless steel to storage containers till now, thanks to this to you for this article. I will definitely replace my containers with stainless steel ones.
Stainless steel water bottles! That will be a treat for my kids as they always complain about how their juice tastes horrible after a few hours. The good thing is that those stainless steel water bottles are colorful and so they will do for my kids. This article has really been an eye opener for me.
Thank you for that pinch test to test for 100% silicone. I will definitely keep this in mind when I go shopping but better still I will just follow your links to buy authentic stuff.
Thank you for such an informative post.
Hi there, stainless steel reusable water bottles are one of my favorite products. I love the fact that I know it is safe and even if I have it in the car with me, the water stays cold and tastes great. I am sure your kids will enjoy the taste of their juice when they drink it from a reusable stainless steel bottle. All the best, Liné
Would you say then that stainless steel containers would be better than glass containers? I know that cooking in “plastic” or reheating food in styrofoam is not a good idea health wise. I have been looking into a glass container set. So just curious if I should be shopping for the stainless steel instead.
Glass and stainless steel both are some of the safest food storage containers and they fulfill a different role in the kitchen and home. Glass is breakable, but clear so you can see the content, whereas stainless steel is not breakable, but not see-through. You can explore glass food storage containers in this post.
Chemicals from plastic will leach into food and water when it is heated, so I will never heat food in styrofoam or other plastics.
I hope this will help you, Liné
What an amazing review! I am blown away by the level of detail you have provided on stainless steel, the composition of the different grades, etc, and the amount of information on each product you’re reviewing. And I must admit I had never thought of buying steel containers. I have so many plastic ones! It makes me want to throw them out instantly and switch to stainless steel … One thought: in cupboards and fridge, a square or rectangular shape is probably easier to accommodate and stack than cylindrical containers, so for that reason I would be more interested in something like the Jacebox containers, although I take your point that the cylindrical containers would look nice on display on a worktop. A thought on the steel water bottles – I got one for my daughter and she dropped it, so now it’s got a nice big dent in the bottom. A plastic one would have bounced!
Hi Terri, Square and rectangular food storage containers do make better use of the available space in the fridge and cupboards while the cylindrical containers have a different place and role in the kitchen and house.
And yes a plastic bottle might have bounced, but will most probably leach chemicals into her drink, specially if it has been left in the car or elsewhere where it can be exposed to heat or sunlight.
So the choice is between a healthy and safe stainless steel reusable water bottle, or plastic that is harmful to your health and the environment.
I know I will choose the safe option. Hope this helps you, Liné
That is a great article! I’m a Chef and I have been using stainless steel container for years now but I learned so much today reading your post. I never thought about all the advantages that a stainless steel container gives, and all the benefits even the environment can get. I will definitely keep using stainless steel container for food now knowing all the benefits as well. Thanks for sharing all those information
Stainless steel is great for use in the kitchen and to take out when travelling, picnics and lunch at the office or school. And no worries that if kids drop it, it will break, so even they can use it to take snacks and lunch with them. Good to hear that you benefit from using it.
Thanks for sharing a complete guide to the stainless steel food storage container. You have really done good research to compare all the best available in this category. The section of taking care of stainless steel and how to avoid the rust on it is very useful. I personally liked the food storage containers with BPA free lids because it can contain 26 cups of material and also very comfortable to use.
Hi Gaurav, It is very useful to be able to store that amount of food with one set of containers. And the fact that they can stack and save space when not in use, makes it easy to see why they are so popular.
It is very easy to care for stainless steel and they will look good for many years if you do not use harsh abrasives that would scratch them. I am sure you will benefit from using them.
All the best, Liné
I have always liked using stainless steel in my kitchen. I use it mainly for preparation and cooking. Your article is showing me some interesting uses for stainless steel which I am looking into. I like that lunch box set, the food storage group and those water bottles are beautiful and will be useful for me who is always walking around with water to sip. Thank you for the introduction.
Stainless steel is very easy to clean and can be sterilized as well, so makes it ideal for use in the kitchen. I started using a stainless steel reusable water bottle about three years ago, and simply love it. In summer I put cold water into the bottle and the water is always nice and cold, even if I’ve had it in the car with me. In the winter I put hot water in that I don’t have to continually boil the kettle, and it stays hot for hours.
I also use it when I am travelling. I just make sure that it is empty when I go through security and then fill it up again on the other side or on the plane.
So I can certainly recommend a stainless steel reusable water bottle.