Buying meat in bulk is the best way to save money while eating well — but if you don’t have a meat storage container solution, chances are those savings will go to waste.
Here’s the catch, though: The same containers you might use for general kitchen storage aren’t always the best meat storage containers.
Whether you’re freezing, refrigerating, or dehydrating your meat, choosing the right type of storage container will allow you to get the absolute most use out of it.
That’s why we’ve put together this: Our complete guide to meat storage containers. In the following sections, we’ll be covering the main types of meat storage containers, considerations that you should take into account before buying a storage solution for your kitchen, and examples of where to buy the right types of storage containers for meat.
By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll know exactly what sort of food containers are right for your meat storage needs — so let’s get started!
Types of Meat Storage Containers
There are three main varieties of meat storage containers that you’ll want to familiarize yourself with: Hard plastic containers, plastic bags and vacuum sealed bags, and glass containers with locking lids. Let’s take a closer look at each category:
Stiffened plastic storage containers are the restaurant industry standard for storing meats, marinades, sauces, and vegetables. They come in a huge range of sizes, from tiny 2-quart flat containers to massive 22-quart containers suitable for bulk storage.
You’ll want to stick with name brand and reputable sources for hard plastic storage containers, as there are plenty of inferior quality products on the market that are prone to chipping and cracking.
The Webstaurant store should be your first stop for buying hard plastic food storage containers — just be sure to keep the dimensions of your fridge and freezer in mind when ordering. You can also search Amazon for similar products here.
Silicone or Plastic Bags
Popularized worldwide by the Zip-Loc brand, plastic bags are a quick and painless way to store small to medium quantities of any type of meat. They’re great for marinades, too, since they will naturally take the shape of the meat and liquid used for marinating.
On the down side, plastic bags aren’t infallible — and when leaks develop, your meat can quickly make a mess and be more prone to spoilage. Some folks check out new silicone bags, which are strong, reusable, but expensive.
However, there is a long-term solution to this: Vacuum sealers. If you’re looking to freeze and store meat for anything over a month, vacuum sealing will preserve the freshness and flavor of meat better than any other storage option.
We love vacuum sealing bags for meat storage, and have written a handy guide to vacuum sealers for meat along with a roundup of the best vacuum sealer for every use that will answer any questions you might have about the process and products.
Brought into vogue by the meal prepping phenomenon, glass food storage containers are a small and attractive option for storing individual portions of meat, vegetables, grains — really, any food you can imagine.
They’re ideal for home chefs that are cooking meals for 4 or fewer people, and usually come in large sets that will give you plenty of storage capacity.
If you’re looking to store cooked meats for use later in the week, there’s no shortage of glass container sets available on Amazon right now. Look for something with a locking lid that forms an airtight seal and that’s made of BPA-free plastic, like this 24-piece glass food storage container kit.
- 24-PIECE SET: 12 Containers with 12 lids with various sizes and shapes for meal prep, storage leftovers, and all food storage needs. Set includes: 2 (12 oz), 1 (21.5 oz) 1 (35oz ) 2 (11 oz) 1 (17.5 oz) 1 (27 oz) 2 (13.5 oz) 1 (21.5 oz) 1 (32 oz) lids included
- PREMIUM GLASS: Crafted of borosilicate transparent glass, containers tolerate rapid temperature changes, never warping or cracking. Entirely safe to transfer from freezer to oven in instants. Glass containers won’t absorb stains or smells, making it the perfect choice for acidic foods. Glossy surface maintains the tastiness of food for long periods of time
- SAFE AND FRIENDLY: As opposed to plastic, glass is friendly to the environment and free of chemicals. Hot foods can be transferred directly to the containers, as no chemicals will leech into the food. Lids are crafted of BPA-free plastic, making them a safe choice
- AIRTIGHT SEAL: A locking lid creates an airtight seal for food freshness. Newly innovated hinged-lids technology enables the lid to flip open and shut quickly and lasts longer than those crafted of one piece. Containers are leakproof and perfect for the gym, pool, or work
- EASY TO CLEAN AND STORE: Containers are dishwasher safe, making cleaning them a breeze. (please note lids are not dishwasher safe.) Containers and lids are stackable and nest inside each other
Before You Buy: Considerations for Choosing A Meat Storage Container
To narrow down your choices of meat storage containers, we find it helpful to ask three big questions:
Raw or Cooked Meat?
What sort of meat do you plan on storing? The right containers for raw meat and cooked meat (i.e., leftovers) can be quite different.
For example: Ground beef is much easier to store in a small, hard-sided glass or plastic container than it is to store in a plastic bag.
But if you’re marinating a large cut of beef, a plastic bag is a more effective choice for evenly distributing the marinade liquid. For cooked meat, you can use any storage option to good effect.
How Much Meat Do You Need to Store?
What quantity or volume of meat are you trying to store? Small portions of lunch meat can easily be tossed into a multipurpose glass container, while larger cuts of meat will almost always need to be vacuum sealed in a plastic bag.
If you’re storing large amounts of meat in a marinade, though, a large hard plastic container is the only solution that will do the trick.
Either way, be sure to measure the area where you plan to store your meat and purchase containers that fit accordingly.
Refrigerating or Freezing?
Are you planning on keeping your meat in the refrigerator, or wanting to freeze larger portions that you’ve bought or caught in bulk?
Refrigerating meat can be done with any of the types of storage containers listed above, while freezing meat is always better left to vacuum sealing before using freezer storage.
Eliminating the air in your meat storage container will prevent oxidation and freezer burn, extending the life of your largest cuts.
Where to Buy Meat Storage Containers
Now that you know which type of storage containers you’ll need for your meat, here are our suggestions for the best places to buy each type of container:
- The Webstaurant Store has the best selection of hard plastic storage containers for meat. Check out their page for matching lid and container combos to get the best price in any size you need.
- Amazon has a great selection of vacuum sealers, complete with the bags you’ll need to use to operate them. Our favorite for home use is the Mueller vacuum sealer machine.
- Glass food storage containers are popular and widespread enough that you’ll likely be able to find a good set at your local grocery store. Just make sure that they have airtight sealing lids to keep your meat as fresh as possible.
Bestselling Meat Storage Containers on Amazon
- FRESH FOOD: Keep deli favorites fresh and delicious longer in this air-tight sealed food storage container
- SILICONE SEAL: Features silicone insulation seal to keep meats, cheeses, and more fresh
- GROOVED BOTTOM: Grooved bottom keeps excess juices and moisture away from stored items
- DRY ERASE COMPATIBLE: Clear lid is dry erase compatible so you can note expiration dates directly on container
- LARGE CAPACITY: Measures 11.75 inches long for large capacity food storage space
- Plastic Bacon Containers GOOD VALUE - 3 Pack 1.3 Gallon Meat Container with vibrant color lids.
- TIGHT LIDS - The Lids are designed very tight. Ideal for storing meat, fridge use or solid food. Note: This is not entirely leakage-proof.
- PORTABLE & STURDY & KIDS SAFE - Made of DURABLE plastic material. Microwavable, stackable, freezer & dishwasher safe(Top rack). NO BPA, NO LEAD.
- USAGE - Bacon saver keeps out moisture and seals in freshness to extend the life of your meat without wasteful foil or plastic wrap.
- SIZE - Capacity: 1.3 gallon. 13.5 x 10.5 x 3 inches.
- What's Included in the Package: you will receive 4 pieces of deli meat containers overall, enough quantities to allow you to place different food, or you can share them with your neighbors
- Considerate Material Adopted: the bacon storage container for fridge is mainly made of plastic, solid and hard, with a smooth surface, no bad smell, which can be safely applied to refrigerators and dishwashers, serving you for a long time
- Applicable Occasions: the bacon keeper can be applied to store bacon, meat, cold cuts, cheese, vegetables, spices, etc., keep food well organized in the refrigerator or freezer, not occupying much space
- Keep Food Fresh: each bacon saver is equipped with a sealed lid, which can keep your meat inside without being exposed to the external environment, avoiding the loss of the original taste to some extent
- Detailed Size Information: the bacon holder for refrigerator measures approx. 24.5 x 18.5 x 3.5 cm/ 9.65 x 7.28 x 1.38 inches, the proper size is easy for you to hold, store and carry
- Multiple Uses: Food storage containers with removable drain plate and lids to lock food fresh and stay hydrated while meeting your daily food storage needs, suitable for storing fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, tableware, etc.
- Space Saving: 11.18 x 7.91 x 2.77 inches (28.4 x 20.1 x 7.04 cm), 3-Pack, easy to store; can be used in most refrigerators, freezers, cabinets, drawers; stackable design can effectively use every inch of the home kitchen, easy and fast access to the food or items you want, save your space.
- Eco-friendly Material: made of PP plastic, transparent design makes it easy for you to identify content or food.
- When not in use can be nested and stored with each other, effectively save storage space.
- Attention: Please do not use food storage containers in the microwave or oven, and this is NOT airtight lid.
- THOUGHTFULLY SIZED -CottonColors refrigator food container comes with a 4-sided lock and a silicone fit all around, which provide excellent seal protection to keep food safe and fresh. Store neatly and safely, isolate odors, and make the refrigerator space more clean and simple.Measurements (S)12 x 6.2 x 2.4 inches,(L)12 x 6.2 x 4.3inches.
- SAFETY MATERIALS - The refrigerator storage bins are made of transparent food-grade material(PET), BPA free, freezer safe and durable.
- FRESHNESS TIMER LID - There is a dial design on the top to record the storage date of the food and clearly see the time to ensure the freshness of the food.
- LARGE CAPACITY AND EASY TO CLEAN - CottonColors food container upgraded its capacity space to store food well. Super easy to clean, You just need to wipe the water dry with a rag after washing.
- WIDE RANGE OF USES - Our food storage container is suitable for kitchen, pantry. Works in refrigerator and freezer, to ensure the freshness of the fruits and vegetables and eat anytime.
- Space Saving: 11x 8.2x 2inches, 4-Packs, easy to store; can be used in most refrigerators, freezers, cabinets, drawers; stackable design can effectively use every inch of the home kitchen, easy and fast access to the food or items you want, save your space.
- Eco-friendly Material: made of PP plastic, transparent design makes it easy for you to identify content or food. With the protective lid.
- Multiple Uses:Fridge Organizer Case with Removable Drain Plate, Tray to Keep Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Fish etc. Out of The Drippings
- Keep Your Fridge Organized:Our refrigerator plastic bins with lids are made to provide you with a convenient, hygienic and cost-friendly way to add more structure to the way you store your meats and groceries while helping reduce the clutter to organize all your fridge essentials the easy way
- Attention: Please do not use food storage containers in the microwave or oven.
- BACON KEEPER SET: 2 pcs bacon keeper, measures approximately 9.6 x 7.2 x 1.3 inch.
- BPA-FREE MATERIALS: Bacon keeper made from 100% pp5 food grade plastics, the fridge containers are dishwasher, microwave,and freezer safe. Don’t shatter or splinter when dropped like glass containers.
- SIMPLE STORAGE: Bacon keeper for refrigerator it has good sealing, just the right size is very suitable for storing meat, cooked food, cold dishes, fresh vegetable slices, and keeping them fresh in the refrigerator.
- STACKABLE: Food storage containers to keep meats and cheeses separated and organized. not easy to slide, placed firmly, effectively saving space.
- EASY TO USE: Reusable food storage containers for work, travel, picnics and storing or freezing food. Stackable food containers that are airtight and leakproof, an essential for every home.
- ✔ 2 Pack - Rectangular plastic food storage containers helps food fresh.
- ✔ It has good sealing, Just the right size is very suitable for storing meat, Cooked food, Cold dishes, Fresh vegetable slices, And keeping them fresh in the refrigerator.
- ✔ Take your favorite snacks, cold dishes, and cheese slices to offices, parties, and picnics with ease!
- ✔ These containers are BPA-free and safe to use in the freezer, dishwasher, and microwave.
- ✔ Please check the size before purchasing. These airtight containers measure 8.39 inches x 5.3 inches x 1.3 inches and are suitable for storing bacon up to 7.3 inches long.
- 【EXTRA LARGE CAPACITY】: KITHELP 28 pieces food storage containers capacity is much larger than its competitors.Include 14 containers with 14 lids.11 sizes fulfill all your needs. (2) 6 rectangular containers (2x54oz , 2x34oz , 2x17oz); (3) 4 square containers(71oz ,44oz,27oz,14oz); (2) 4 round containers(54oz , 37oz , 22oz , 11.8oz).
- 【BPA FREE & FOOD GRADE MATERIALS】： Our BPA free freezer containers for food are made of food-grade PP and silicone materials, PVC-free, lead-free, chloride-free & BPA free, safe and healthy!
- 【FREEZER, MICROWAVE & DISHWASHER SAFE】：Easy snap lock containers for food are freezer safe and dishwasher safe. This airtight storage containers are microwave safe.[Tips]Please do not put the lid in the dishwasher & microwave.Temperature resistant -20℃ to 120℃.
- 【AIRTIGHT & LEAKPROF】With 4 sides locking lids and silicone sealing, our kitchen containers storage set are super airtight and leak-proof. Each box has a corresponding size lid. Make sure the lid is aligned with the edges of the box when closing the lid.
- 【STACKABLE DESIGN & PORTABLE】： With the stackable design, our plastic storage containers can maximize the use of your kitchen and pantry. Your kitchen and pantry will be more organized and clean. It is portable that you can take it with you to office or outdoors or anywhere you like.
- ????【Functional & Versatile】Perfect for creating a clean and neatly refrigerator or pantry. Great for storage cookies, cakes, yogurts, cold cuts, sliced cheese, meat, fruit, veggies, bacon, pizza dough and more without wasteful foil or plastic wrap. Take it to school, office, parties and for picnics! Maximize storage space in freezer, cabinets, cupboards, or shelves.
- ????【Stackable & Easy-pull Handle】vacane refrigerator organizer drawer can use stackable on the refrigerator or countertop to maximize storage space. Easily move your items from place to place with the integrated handle. Make it simple to grasp and transport goods.
- ????【Transparent Box & Lids】Transparent durable plastic partitions with rigid bottom can help you effortlessly view bin contents. The heavy duty lid can effectively prevent odor, keep food dry and original.
- ????【BPA-Free & Food Grade】Premium PET food grade material makes this refrigerator organizer bins more durable and clear. Easy to clean without absorbing stains or smells. Perfect for refrigerator storage, also for picnic, party and more. NOTE: CANNOT BE USED IN DISHWASHER.
- ????【Ideal Size】2 Pack included. 14" x 10" x 2.3" to fit in any space. Fit for most of fridges, Keep your refrigerator neatly organized. If you are not satisfied with our products or receive cracked products, please feel free to contact us. We will provide the best solution to refund or resend within 24 hours.
FAQs About Meat Storage Containers
Here are a few FAQs about Meat Storage Containers.
Can you store meat in plastic containers?
Yes, you can store meat in plastic containers as long as they are food grade and BPA free. Make sure to tightly seal the container to avoid bacteria growth.
Can you put plastic containers in the fridge?
Using plastic containers in the fridge is a matter of preference. Some people think that they can handle cold temperatures better, while others think they retain more bacteria from meat juices and give food a different flavor.
If you go with plastic, try to avoid putting them on the door since the temperature fluctuates a lot there out of necessity for food safety.
Can you store cooked food in plastic containers?
Cooked food can be stored in plastic containers, but the containers must be microwave-safe. Plastic containers not labeled as microwave-safe may melt when microwaved.
How do you keep meat fresh for a long time?
To keep meat fresh for a long time, you should store it in a meat storage container. These containers are designed to keep meat at the correct temperature and humidity to keep it fresh. They come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the one that is best for your needs.
Does meat need to be vacuum sealed to freeze?
No, meat does not need to be vacuum sealed in order to freeze. However, it is important to note that freezing meat in an unsealed container can cause bacteria to grow and affect the quality of the meat. It is best to freeze meat in a sealed container or bag in order to prevent this from happening.
Is the plastic under meat toxic?
The plastic under meat really has no effect, as the line of defense starts with your refrigerator and ends at your stove.
The FDA recommends that the only ways to hinder bacteria growth in food is through methods involving cooking, proper chilling and storage or destroying it first (such as using a bleach solution).
Plastic wrap will not protect you against harmful bacteria. The plastic does its job by preventing moisture loss – but make sure your fridge temperature is set right around 40 degrees, 65 if possible for optimal safety.