As you browse this selection of wares, you'll encounter the three types of plastics used to make these containers: polyethylene, polypropylene, and polycarbonate. These materials differ in their strength, rigidity, color, and the temperature of foods that they can safely contain. Polycarbonate is one of the most break-resistant plastics available, and can stand up to repeated abuse. The other two are much more flexible, and they typically come at a lower cost. Polycarbonate containers are safe between temperatures of -40 and 212 degrees F, while polyethylene and polypropylene are safe to use at temperatures between -20 and 150 degrees F.
Space Saving Squares
Rubbermaid's multi-purpose square containers are designed for holding room-temperature or refrigerated prepared food for short-term storage. They can be stacked, and their square design means they take up less space on shelves than round containers. The available snap-on, airtight lids come in two sizes to fit all containers, saving time spent searching for the right lid. These also have capacity markings printed in blue for metric and red for US customary units, so you'll never have to guess how much you have on hand.
The company also offers a line of rugged, utilitarian food boxes that are especially useful for storing dry items in bulk or fresh ingredients in the refrigerator. These are available in break-resistant, crystal-clear polycarbonate or white polyethylene. The clear boxes can be fitted with Rubbermaid's own ProSave® dual action lids that can be opened by flipping them up or sliding them back for quick, one-handed access to ingredients. Both types are available in sizes from 2 to 21-1/2 gallons.
Premier Small-Capacity Containers
If it's smaller quantities you need to store, like spices and toppings, Rubbermaid's rugged polycarbonate Premier containers are available in quantities between 3 and 14 cups. These each include a lid that snaps to the base of the container for convenient use and nesting storage. Both the containers and lids are dishwasher safe.
Round Storage Containers
For the value-minded operator, Rubbermaid has the simple and economical round storage containers. These come in two styles: opaque white polyethylene and translucent polypropylene. These all-purpose containers are dishwasher safe and appropriate for temperatures between 35- and 150-degrees Fahrenheit. These can be fitted with easy-to-identify, yellow, double-wall sealing lids. The 22-quart container, the largest in the series, includes a metal handle for easy transport. The round design of these containers helps promote air circulation when food must be cooled or refrigerated.
Building a Cook-and-Chill Program with Rubbermaid Food Storage Containers
Aside from holding common ingredients and perishable items, Rubbermaid food storage containers can come in handy if you're looking to start or support a cook-and-chill program. This enables you to prepare several servings of a dish in a single large batch, then store those batches in the refrigerator, often in portion-controlled containers, and reheat them individually as they are ordered.
Food that is held at high heat for extended time will inevitably degrade in quality and need to be thrown out. A cook-and-chill program can cut down on this waste, since food is reheated a portion at a time instead. These programs can also reduce labor costs at serving time or during rushes, since the prep and cooking for several servings is done at once, and the retherm process is much quicker and less labor intensive than cooking each individually.