Deli Cups Are the Most Useful Item in Any Kitchen, According to Chefs

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I swear by them, too.

<p>Food & Wine / Pamela Jew</p>

Food & Wine / Pamela Jew

Deli cups might fly under the radar for most, but you’ll notice them everywhere once you start paying attention, kind of like the FedEx arrow (once you see it, you can’t unsee it). From any YouTube channel with a chef on it, to the last order of takeout you grabbed, there’s bound to be a deli cup as a “go-to” kitchen essential.

But how did they become so ubiquitous? To find out, I asked a few chefs for their opinions. They all agreed, there are so many uses to be found for these inexpensive containers that the bang for your buck is unrivaled. In fact, every chef I spoke with recommended stocking up in bulk when you have the chance.



To buy: DuraHome 44-Pack Food Storage Containers with Lids, $23 (originally $32) at

Chef Noah Zamler of Irene’s in Chicago recommends DuraHome Food Storage Containers, which come in an assortment of three sizes (8 ounces, 16 ounces, and 32 ounces) and are leak-proof, microwavable, and durable.

“These little guys are almost solely responsible for maintaining organization and supporting the cleanliness of kitchen stations, and make it quick and convenient for every cook on my staff to get their station stocked appropriately,” says Chef Andrew Graves of LIVA at Chicago Winery.

While many keep deli cups handy for portion control and meal-prep, they’re also convenient for measuring, which many people don’t realize. “A 16-ounce (pint deli) is easily used to measure out one and two cup portions for recipes and 32-ounce (quart delis) are often used to measure out quarts or gallons of liquids and other ingredients,” explains Graves. Use them to make sure measurements are exact, especially when trying a new recipe where you’re less familiar with the steps.

But don’t get me wrong, I also love to use them as storage containers, and so do chefs. “At home, I love them because I can stock twenty of each size with lids and it replaces all the odd storage containers that one would acquire at a department store,” Graves says. They fit nice and tight and are easily stackable in the fridge and pantry. And, they’re dishwasher-safe, making them hassle free.

But there’s one more thing chef’s love them for: Drinking glasses. “They’re big, and I mean way bigger than any cup you have anywhere,” says Zamler.

For just $23, you can add a set of deli cups to your kitchen. You’ll be glad you did, and who knows, you might even find another use for them, too.

At the time of publishing, the price was $23.

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