Kitchen Organization With OXO POP
Pros and Cons
- Square and rectangle shape are more efficient than the traditional, round counter top containers used for flour and sugar.
- The top has a spring-operated center handle which 'pops' upward when pressed. The center pop-up becomes a handle to lift the lid.
- To close and seal, the lid is dropped into the upper rim flange and the center button depression seals all sides of the lid at the same time.
- The similar shapes stack.
- The pop-up action seals a silicon gasket firmly to all edges of the lid.
- Current product offering is BPA free
- Safe for refrigerator and freezer use.
- The gasket is dishwasher safe.
- Product instructions must be saved.
- The containers are not specifically stable when stacked.
- POP do not interlock firmly when stacked. There is a slightly raised rim in each top which is form fitted to the same shape.
- Stacking the large containers is limited to two or three.
- The height of these containers is prohibitive in cabinets and pantries without adjustable shelving.
- They are not microwave safe.
- Some dis/reassembly is needed to remove and replace the sealing gasket.
- Part of spring-operated top is complicated and can be disassembled. Some mechanical ability is needed to put it back together.
- The body of the container is suggested as a hand wash item.
- When filled, the containers are weighty and do not have carry handles.
Airtight, Dry Storage
OXO Good Grips products have had a long presence online and in big home goods stores. They build their brand on promoting their easy-to-hold handles and special functions to reduce difficult grasping tasks in food preparation. The company built its product line on ease of use and creating tools for tasks other brands did not consider useful. It is not medically backed or specifically implied they are for arthritic people, but the company does promote their products are easy to hold because of wider, matte plastic handles. And over the years the style has endured that even without the label, you can identify a OXO tool by the outsized grip. Still, among cooks more familiar with the narrow handles of the traditional implements, they were considered quirky, off-beat, non-professional (maybe even branded as handicapped-specific) tools.
It may be that OXO had an uphill battle for acceptance, but gathered a loyal enough following over the years that they are still granted sizable product space at a popular US home goods store. Around fifteen years ago, the OXO company launched an addition to the Good Grips product line-up of easy-open, silicone sealed containers. They claim to have innovated easy-to-use, air-tight lids for their line of square storage containers. They were slick, rounded corner, clear plastic bins, with a starkly white lid and modern silhouette with a slight flare towards the space the lid dropped onto the base. They sized these containers in fractional quart size increments.
Sometimes it's a bit hard to picture dry goods sold in food stores in this manner, as staples like flour and sugar are sold in five pound bags. This guide will take a few items and demonstrate OXO POP container sizes you may wish to buy for a few kitchen staple items. First, we take a look at the all-time basics of flour and sugar.
The OXO POP product label suggests a 4 quart, 6" square container as ideal for five pound bags of flour and sugar.
The Kitchen Test Results
Results for the Sugar and Flour
The OXO recommendation of a four quart container for five pounds of flour was correct. Its lighter density requires the larger size. However, for granulated sugar the rectangular 2.5 quart (2.3 liter) size works and will save some counter top space without unused container volume. The price difference between the two sizes was around $2.00-$3.00.
The size of the four quart container maybe be recommended for both flour and sugar if you are using the OXO dry measuring cups. The four quart container provides space for oblong shaped dry measuring cups to scoop into the product and level off excess flour and sugar over the container. The one cup all-plastic OXO measuring cup fit in the 2.5 qt. container with the full bag of sugar with very little room to spare. If your cups are rounded or decorative, a one cup measure may not fit the narrow shape of the rectangle. The choice between 2.5 qt. and the 4 qt. can depend on your preference to scoop or pour granular sugar into the measuring cup.
As mentioned in the pros and cons, these containers are weighty enough some people would prefer they remain on the counter surface while measuring items out with scoops or measuring cups. The bodies of the container are rather 'slick' and lack any sort of indent which would aid repositioning them to workspaces. This could be a concern in a household with children or older adults with strength issues. This lack is puzzling for a product from a company based on ease of use. When moving POP containers it is best to get the grip of dry hands or wrap an arm around the larger sizes.
Brown Sugar Storage
- They are decidedly "modern" and sleek in design.
- The sides are clear. Anything sensitive to light should be stored in a cabinet in a POP.
- This product line is for dry goods.
- They are plastic type #7.
- They come in white or stainless finish lids (the OXO SteeL POP line.)
- Price of a single large size container is near $20.00 USD.
One of the difficult-to-store baking items is brown sugar. OXO POP is air-tight and slows the hardening of brown sugar, but does not stop it. The best news is that traditional "tricks" to soften brown sugars work exceptionally well in these containers. (In this case, sealing a slice of store-bought bread in with the hardened sugar overnight.) When you're forced to buy a fresh box of brown sugar to do your baking, the remainder fits well in a 0.9 quart (0.9 liter) container.
Breakfast Foods Close at Hand
Cut Oats In 1.5 Quart Size
Your Food Is on Display
If you're choosing the OXO POP, you have to live with the incredible clarity of the BPA free plastic. There is no hiding the contents of the container unless you place it in a cabinet or closet pantry. The cardboard boxes the products come in are not air-tight and visually busy for a "modern" sleek kitchen style. OXO sort of builds the attractive, stylistic image of the POP in the home kitchen as displaying the organic patterns of the food as more pleasing than the beat up, hastily opened product packages. If you're looking for that clean sort of style to hang out next to your modern pod coffee maker, the POP is possibly the container for you.
Regretfully, OXO POP are 'odd' sizes. The 28 ounce box of hot breakfast cereal did not fully fit in the 0.9 quart 4" square POP container. We had around a quarter cup which did not fit. The 1.5 quart (1.4 L) may be a better choice.
Getting rid of the box has a few disadvantages to remember when switching to OXO POP products. The most important is to remember to cut out the product instructions before recycling the box. An alternative is to collect the instructions digitally on a smart phone, kitchen tablet, or computer flatbed scanner. Right, is shown a 1.5 quart 4" square filled with cut oats and the cooking instructions are stuck in the container with the cereal.
Small Containers Handle Small Amounts
Flaws in the Sizing
As demonstrated, the OXO POP containers are a bit married to an ideal fractional sizing system which will not always fit store-bought quantities. The small rectangle container will handle the contents of a small bag of rice after some of it is used for a meal. There may be a time of adjustment to getting all the sizes correct. Some benefit may be gained in buying the OXO boxed sets to get an assortment of the product line at one time.
The freshness preservation and easy-open aspects of the containers makes up for a few concessions to living with over-sized containers. The air-tightness is beneficial in humid climates or where insects are a concern. We can safely say sugar ants might be the one indomitable pest that can beat the seals on a POP, but larger insects are given a harder time with the close fit of the top and bottom at the join between them. A benefit of the slick sides is they can be wiped thoroughly clean, a must when trying to defeat an insect pantry invasion.
0.9 qt/0.9 L
1.5 qt /1.4 L
2.1 qt/ 2.0 L
2.4 qt/2.3 L
4.0 qt/3.8 L
5.5 qt/5.2 L
0.5 qt/ 0.5 L
1.5 qt/1.4 L
2.5 qt/2.3 L
3.4 qt/ 3.2 L
Counter Top Jug (new)
Where to Buy?
OXO POP are in home goods stores and online with multiple large suppliers. At the time of writing, the price difference between brick and mortar and online was slight. If you live distant from the stores and have a free-shipping coupon, online might be a beneficial option. In store, you get to inspect the item for cosmetically significant scratches in the plastic. Other ways to better afford the containers is to keep watch on clearance sales and accept a few blemishes in order to try them out.
Purchase Singly or in Collections?
OXO POP Containers can be bought individually, or in five or ten piece starter assortments in a single box. If you are just starting out with the line, you may get a small cost savings selecting the boxed assortment. Each product has a colorful insert with picture of what OXO thinks is best stored in the size. As we show here, store bought amounts of product is not as ideal fit as a pretty marketing picture. If you can work with the style and its limitations, you may only wish to buy one size for a specific product. Whatever your choice, OXO POP Containers provide a step up in quality from disposable plastic storage lasting trouble-free for years with recommended care.