Our winner had the largest capacity in the lineup, with two 4-ounce containers that could be used together or separately—the latter option allowing us to pack different foods or prep two meals at once. Both containers were more than 2 inches deep, so it was easy to stir in and eat from them without spilling. The airtight lids sometimes required a bit of strength to remove, but we didn't mind because it was the only container that never leaked. This plastic model retained a barely noticeable sardine smell after one wash, but that faded after a second wash. This model is available in a variety of colors.
The Best Gear for Meal Prep
To meal prep successfully, you need the right gear.
With one 7-cup, one 4-cup, one 2-cup, and one 1-cup round glass containers and one 8-cup, one 3.5-cup, one 1.6-cup, and one 4-ounce rectangular glass container (and their lids), this set has as an array of sizes that accommodates most of your meal prep needs, whether that’s enough grilled chicken or roasted tofu for lunches all week long or the small amount of vinaigrette you need for tomorrow’s salad. The empty containers can be nested, making for easy storage.
With two 1.3-cup containers, two 3.2-cup containers, and one 9.6-cup container, this set offers a bit more size variety, which makes it great for those who pack lunches for two people or those looking to make a good amount of food for the week ahead. The 9.6-cup container is about the size of a textbook, meaning it’s too big for lunch, but it's a good choice for storing leftovers or large batches of grains or meat.
Coming in a variety of useful sizes that nest for compact storage, our winning set performed ably on almost every test. Its wide, shallow bowls were easy to hold, fill, empty, and clean. They can be used in the microwave and the oven. While the bowls in this set were the only ones to break when dropped, the heaviness of the glass with which they’re made makes it unlikely that they’ll easily fly off the counter.
Accurate and extremely durable, this set snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.
The cooking surface was slick, both when new and after extensive use, and food never stuck. It’s one of the lightest models we tested, so it was easy to lift and maneuver, but it was also sturdy and resisted denting. All of our testers liked its wide, comfortable handle. Like every other model, its surface became scratched when we used a knife as if to cut a frittata, but it otherwise held up well.
Everything prepared in this sturdy, warp-resistant sheet cooked appropriately and evenly. Best of all, our new favorite is a few bucks cheaper than our old winner.
Comfortable from any angle, this spatula boasts a thin front edge and moderately flexible head with a slight upward tilt that kept food secure. It melted slightly at 380 degrees, despite the manufacturers' claims that it was heat resistant to 430 degrees.
This product looks like the classic blue sponge we've all used, but its plastic-based scrubbing side has ripples. These ripples added texture, which helped nudge off cooked-on food. This sponge was absorbent and durable, and it looked surprisingly clean at the end of testing. It was also our preferred size: thick enough to hold comfortably but small enough to maneuver in tight spaces.
These fully clad pans brown beautifully and feel balanced, the handles stay cool, and they’re tough as nails. The set offers essential pieces in practical sizes that will last a lifetime. The set price is a bargain: The 8-quart stockpot alone usually retails for nearly $340.
These mats were some of the thickest and sturdiest in our lineup but were still flexible enough to funnel food into skillets and bowls. Both sides are textured, which kept the mats in place on the counter and prevented foods from sliding across the cutting surface. The textured surface also prevented deep knife marks and concealed cosmetic nicks.
Our favorite pot holders are fashioned as pockets with a sheet of silicone on one side, a panel of cotton fabric on the back, and soft cotton lining in between. The silicone layer offered excellent protection from the heat. Our hands never became too hot during kitchen tests and we were able to hold a 350-degree cast-iron skillet comfortably for 23 seconds. They were also flexible, which allowed testers to feel like they had control when maneuvering hot pans. Although both the silicone and cotton fabric remained stained after our durability tests, it didn't shrink or warp. We liked that it is machine-washable.
Our favorite santoku wowed testers of all abilities, who raved that it felt “agile, sharp, and really good in hand.” “Solid but light,” it made “fine, level cuts” with “great precision and control.” This knife features an asymmetrical blade with a 70/30 bevel that the company hand-sharpens specifically for either right- or left-handers.