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What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Canister Sets?

By Amanda Livingstone
Updated May 16, 2024
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Kitchen canister sets can be categorized by material construction, lid type and shape. Materials commonly used for canisters include acrylic plastic, ceramic, glass or stainless steel. Canister materials can be molded to form rounded, rectangular or organically-shaped bodies. Lids for the canister body can come in different forms, including but not limited to screw-on, snap-on or a locking clamp gasket cap.

A wide variety of kitchen canister sets can be used to organize, beautify and store food. These containers can vary in price depending on various factors including the number of canisters and material type. Each type of container has varying strengths and weaknesses that should be assessed before purchasing.

Canisters made from acrylic plastic are generally the least expensive and usually weigh less than other storage materials. Acrylic canisters are usually transparent, which helps to blend with a wide range of interior décor. The plastic’s transparency also makes it easy to identify foods without having to open the containers.

In recent years, plastic containers have come under fire for containing toxic monomers, such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. Unlike polycarbonate and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastics, however, acrylic is relatively safe. The combination of affordability, aesthetics and safety has made acrylic canisters a popular choice for many.

Some of the drawbacks of acrylic plastic are less durability and lower impact strength compared to other types of materials. Tempered glass is one type of canister material that offers increased strength and durability. Considering glass is not porous, the canisters can also be used to store wet foods such as sauces, mixes and solutions without absorbing food odors or staining the material. Like acrylic plastic, glass is transparent, and so will always display the food contents.

Ceramic canisters are another popular option for kitchen canister sets. Unfortunately, like some thinner types of glass, they can be easily broken and even chipped. Ceramic containers are not transparent. Also, they are not recommended for long term storage of wet foods due to some of the surface glazes used to coat the material.

Stainless steel canister sets are more durable than acrylic plastic and less prone to break compared to glass. Similar to glass canisters, stainless steel can hold wet or dry foods fairly well without staining or retaining odors. The steel kitchen canister sets are also fairly easy to clean. Many buyers choose stainless steel for its modern and stylish look.

A large portion of kitchen canister sets come in rounded or rectangular shapes. Either shape can be used to store wet or dry food. The decision will ultimately depend on the person’s preference and perhaps the kitchen’s style. Usually rounded canisters will have the most lid selections, such as the screw-on types, while square ones will usually only come in snap-on variations.

Snap-on lids are available on just about any type of material or shape including glass and ceramic containers. The locking clamp gasket and some types of snap-on lids lock to form an airtight seal to prevent air from getting in and turning food stale. Clamp gasket types are usually only found in rounded canisters.

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