Rubbermaid Take-Alongs Rectangle

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Freeze It, Nuke It or Store It With Rubbermaid's Take Along Storage Containers!

Mar 28, 2003 (Updated Aug 4, 2003)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Inexpensive, sturdy, microwave and freezer safe, unlimited uses.

Cons:After heavy microwave use they start to look beat up.

The Bottom Line: From freezer to microwave and back again, these are a great alternative to the bland looking food storage containers that are currently on the market.

I'm in the process of going through the large and out of control plastic container drawer in the kitchen and it still amazes me how many different sizes and brands I’ve managed to accumulate. Missing lids, cracked bowls, microwave white gunk build up and the dogs have all been contributing factors in why the drawer is out of control. I never thought to purchase one type of storage container and stick with it. Ziploc, Gladware and Rubbermaid are just a few of the plastic ‘take and toss’ type products in the drawer and hopefully when I’m done I’ll be able to find the right sized container without having to dig and sort through everything. Needless to say, this isn’t just time consuming but extremely aggravating. I’ve narrowed it down to three Rubbermaid products, the previously reviewed square container, this rectangular one and a divided rectangular one. It figures, just when I make a choice, Rubbermaid pulls the rug out from under me in regards to this product. No matter where I look, the basic rectangular style container is a hard find, instead the divided one has taken over the shelves.

Rubbermaid Take Alongs Rectangular

If you have seen other food storage systems but haven’t had the chance to check out the Take Alongs yet, you might be a little shocked to see how sturdy these are. Instead of the thin plastic containers that can dent or warp, these are made of a thick plastic that is see through to a certain degree. The best way to explain it is to say that these look like they are frosted – so they don’t have that ‘cheap plastic’ look to them. The bodies of the containers are make of thick plastic but the lids are soft and flexible so taking these from the freezer to the microwave is a breeze. You don’t have to worry about the lids or containers cracking or giving out when they are frozen one minute and defrosting or cooking the next. These are the only containers that I use to freeze cooked lasagna since you can fit a nice sized piece in it [along with a meatball or two and some extra sauce] and have it ready when you aren’t in the mood to cook.

The shape of the rectangular Take Along is a bit deceptive. It doesn’t look big but it sure does hold a lot! According to the package and bottom of the container this holds 4.9 cups however that it to the brim and doesn’t leave much room to press down on the lid and remove excess air so you get a good seal. I’d say its more like 4.5 cups – which is still a lot for a flat type container. Like I said, when you see these they really don’t look like they hold a lot but when you start filling them – you will be amazed at how much you can cram into them. Standing about two inches high, almost seven inches wide and nine and a half inches long, this sleek looking food storage container is compact enough for freezer use, storing dry foods cabinets or for packing up left overs. One big perk that these have is the large plastic pull-tab on the lid. This makes it easy for small kids as well as grown up with hand problems to open the container with no problem.

These come four to a package [unlike the square ones that are five to a package] and can be found at most stores that sell plastic storage containers. I’ve found the best price at Wal-Mart [$1.99 per package] but they are also sold at grocery stores and recently I saw them on the shelf at Big Lots and Rite Aid. Since these come in a cardboard over pack I highly suggest that you wash them before you use them because you never know where they have been or what they have been exposed to. These can be tossed in the dishwasher on the top rack or hand washed. I don’t use my dishwasher so I can’t say how well they hold up to the heat of the washing and drying cycle.

One of my biggest complaints about the ‘toss and take’ concept is that certain foods tend to stain the insides of the containers. Spaghetti sauce is probably the biggest offended so I try to have specific ones just for freezing or microwaving lasagna or stuffed shells. There’s nothing worse than packing up left overs or trying to make Jell-O and reaching for a container that has that “red tint” to it. The Take Along containers tend to repel most of the ordinary stains and don’t absorb / retain strong smells like garlic or basil. Clean up is easy since the inside is slick making it almost impossible for most food to stick or cling.

Outside The Kitchen

The boys have tons of storage boxes for their Lego elements and until about a month ago they were using the large flat clear tackle boxes to store the smaller pieces. The needed something that had a little more space to store the barrels, treasure chests, trees and horses that seemed to monopolize the space in the tackle boxes so I tossed a few of these their way to try out. At first they were a little hesitant, insisting that they were ‘kitchen girlie stuff’ but after they saw how much room they had after removing the larger pieces, they too were sold on these storage containers. These are also great for Q-Tips, spare toothbrushes, organizing sample-sized items, crayon bits, school supplies, hair ties, puzzle pieces and stickers. The real perk here is that these can be stacked up to save space and keep things organized. Since the containers are see through you won’t have to waste time ripping lids off to find exactly what you are looking for.

The Bottom Line

I’ve really fallen in love with the whole Take Along series from Rubbermaid, from the nice looking storage containers to the functional sipper and sport bottles. If you are tired of the ordinary plastic storage bowls that don’t work well from the freezer to the microwave, I highly suggest checking out this series. If you are going to try and find these make sure that you check out the bottom of the containers. There are two types of rectangular Take Along containers – this one and the divided one. The divided one is nice for packing two foods that you don’t want mixed together or for the picky eaters in your family but the drawback is that it holds a little less food. When you look at the package it is hard to tell which one it is so flip it over and look at the bottom to see if it is the divided or solid version. Both designs are great – it just depends on what you plan on using them for. For me, these have been a real lifesaver in and out of the kitchen and I’m sure that if you give them a try you’ll agree that they are a step or two above the average, ordinary food storage containers on the market today.

As always, thanks for the visit!

^V^ Freak ^V^

2003 Freak369

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Recommend this product? Yes

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