When it comes to food storage containers, a little knowledge on the types of commercial food containers out there can go a long way. At Tundra Restaurant Supply we feature a variety of food storage solutions to meet the needs of your business from the industry's leading manufacturers like Cambro, San Jamar, Rubbermaid and more. Maximize your food storage (and keep the health inspector happy) by stocking up on a variety of food storage boxes for your restaurant.
Common Food Storage Containers
Most commercial food storage containers are made out of plastic, but not all plastics are created equal. Polycarbonate is a popular, clear plastic that works better with cold foods. Resistant to food stains and highly durable, this type of plastic is the priciest on the market and may not be BPA free. Polyethylene and Polypropylene on the other hand, are both more economical plastics that have a lower price point and is BPA free.
Dough boxes are a great way to store dough for dinner rolls, pizzas, and more. They increase storage life by helping to prevent crusting on your dough. Keep in mind that if you use dough boxes specifically for proofing, your dough might rise more quickly than you'd like since plastic is a poor conductor of temperature. In addition to proofing, chefs use dough boxes to meet their portion control needs by storing pre-portioned rolls ahead of service.
Food Storage Boxes, Pails and Pans
Don't be confused by these seemingly interchangeable terms. Food boxes make it easy to stack and store foods due to their uniform design. Some food boxes even come with an added colander to make it easier to drain water from rinsed produce, or liquid from thawing protein. You'll find that food pails are similar to food boxes, but with one distinct design change: easy-to-carry handles. Another benefit of food pails? Multi-color options help you prevent cross-contamination when you follow these HACCP guidelines: red for raw meat (not fish or poultry), yellow for raw chicken, blue for raw fish, green for produce and white for dairy.
Food pans are a different animal altogether. Food pans come in plastic or stainless steel options, and are also referred to as "steam pans." These food pans are often used in prep areas, catering lines, salad bars and more due to their variety in sizes.
Round Versus Square Food Storage Containers
You may already be familiar with square food storage containers made popular by Cambro. Popular with chefs due to their ease in stacking, square containers are ideal for maximize storage space. That said, when it comes for better food preservation, round food containers slightly edge out their square competitors. Air can circulate more easily around circular containers, which leads to faster cooling times. Also if you intend to store liquids (like broths, sauces and more) you may prefer a round food container to reduce product waste that becomes trapped in the corners of square food storage containers.
For larger, bulk storage, consider investing in an ingredient bin. Ideal for ingredients like flour and sugar, ingredient bins range from 40-cup bins all the way up to 500-cup bins (that move easily on casters). Ingredient bins can also be used to store bulk vegetables and grains.