How Mason Jars Compare To Takeout Containers For Leftovers

To the design-oriented eye, mason jars are it. Their aesthetic screams clean, crisp, sleek, and modern. Plus, their transparent material makes it super easy to see how much or how little you have left of something, and don't you just feel so boujee reaching for your mason jar of almond milk in the morning?

While perfect for liquids — cold brew, water, iced tea, or homemade kombucha, for example — mason jars aren't exactly the most ideal for dry goods. Don't let their sleek appearance fool you, mason jars can also be a safety hazard, per The Kitchn. One wrong move and before you know it, there's glass shards all over your hand and kitchen. That said, if you're someone who doesn't keep a lot of dry pantry ingredients stocked, mason jars might better suit your space. However, if you're a baker or a cook who typically has multiple boxes of pasta, rice, nuts, or crackers always on hand, then you might be better off with something more stack-friendly.

Environmentalists don't love plastic takeout tubs

If you're someone who needs to be able to do stacks on stacks on stacks with their storage canisters, then make the switch to plastic takeout containers, also known as deli tubs, ASAP. Unlike glass mason jars, plastic takeout tubs won't break upon collision, whether that be with the counter, floor, shelf, or even another human being. Similarly, they're freezer-friendly, stackable, lighter (you can't carry an armful of glass like you can with plastic), and as The Kitchn notes, they're available in a plethora of sizes that actually make sense. You can also get most takeout containers for free because they're used so often for packaged takeaway deli foods like soup, pasta, and potato salad.

Here's the downside of using takeout containers: they're plastic. This means they can have a percentage of additives, pigments, UV blockers, and chemicals, Food52 points out. Not to mention, the plastic used to make these tubs, called polypropylene, is not great for the environment, though Food52 found that it's better than some other takeout containers.

Big picture speaking, green thumbs may want to stick with mason jars; however, if the perks of plastic takeout containers piques your interest, read up on their recycling needs to help make a well-informed decision. And remember, plastic never belongs in the microwave.