Best Kimchi Containers [2020] – Korean Banchan Essentials

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After 10 hours of research and through 5 top rated kimchi containers, we are happy to say that Crazy Korean Cooking’s Premium Kimchi Container is the best vessel available for your precious kimchi! With its simple design and adjustable inner vacuum lid to create an anaerobic environment, this container is the number 1 choice for developing the perfect batch of kimchi.

Editor's Pick:

If you are looking for a simple kimchi container that gets the job done, then this one is for you. This kimchi container keeps kimchi vibrant and crisp with little to no odor in the kitchen. The brown container prevents light from entering, which is critical when fermenting! The best aspect is the adjustable inner vacuum lid that minimizes incoming air and consequently protects the surface of the food. With the container’s super fine pores, air flow is reduced to a minimum to keep the food fresh while preventing aerobic bacteria from thriving. Ultimately, the simple design of this kimchi container won’t create fuss in the kitchen.

Runner Up:

This one hits all the important points. It is easy to use and creates that anaerobic environment which is important to make a good kimchi batch. There is also an adjustable inner vacuum lid that minimizes the air inside. With 9 different sizes, this kimchi container is great for yourself and for a huge group!

2nd Runner Up:

Unique looking but extremely effective! Our honorable mention goes to the Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit. The lids are not only easy to use and clean, but there is also a calendar dial that helps you keep track of when you started your ferment, meaning you do not need to babysit your ferments anymore. The kit also comes with an air pump which should be used toward the end of your ferment when bacteria have slowed their growth. All the pieces can be separated from one another so that you can precent any mold to form in the seal or under the date dial. Totally different from the original kimchi containers you see, this one, with its multiple parts and air pump, is sure to create that perfect batch of kimchi. In all, this wasn’t the best kimchi container which is why I couldn’t label it as the best, but it is interesting looking and unique so I couldn’t NOT mention it.

Other kimchi containers tested

This ceramic crock has parallels to a traditional Korean container. It includes a lid that lets fermented gases escape while keeping air out and weighting stones that make it easy to keep whatever inside under the brine.

Capacity: 1.5 cup uncooked rice
Materials: High Heat resistant plastic

When it comes to microwave rice cookers, the Maxi-Aids microwave rice cooker is one of the best values. It is great for making small servings of rice and rice-based meals in just 18 minutes. It comes with flip-down lid locks for safe cooking, a cover, a measuring cup, and a rice spatula. Recipes and instructions are included too.

Why a kimchi container?

When making kimchi it’s important to factor the environment in which you’ll be fermenting it! The old fashioned way is to bury kimchi in the ground, generally in a clay or earthenware jar. This preserved the cabbage and allowed for it to ferment throughout the winter. This was key since refrigeration was not yet a part of the Korean technological vernacular. But you couldn’t stick your kimchi into any random container, we’re not talking Siberia levels of chill here, but the ground would still freeze over in the winter. Consequently, the make up of the jar (and with the help of all salt used in the kimchi making process) was critical in ensuring that the kimchi would not completely freeze. If your kimchi froze over completely the fermentation process would be completely neutralized… meaning when you dug up and opened up your jars months later you would find… not kimchi. Nowadays, most of us want a more modern look, and you probably don’t have space in your home for an enormous, heavy ass jar that your kid could get lost in. So we’re in search of containers that are hi tech and functional enough to take care of your kimchi throughout its lifetime, won’t break your fridge at the smallest slip, and won’t make your friends think your kitchen smells like a 19th century Korean village.

What is a good kimchi container?

Like any kitchen storage product a good kimchi container needs to be convenient, durable, and (for some at least) stylish. But, there are a few key elements required that differentiate a kimchi container from your standard tupperware. Kimchi is a live food product, like beer, sourdough bread, anything where fermentation comes into play, it needs to be nurtured. You can’t whip together a batch of kimchi, throw it into the fridge and call it a day. While it might serve you well as a quick pickled, spicy cabbage, you won’t reach the same depth and complexity of flavor that weeks, or even months, of fermentation will develop. Key to this process is minimizing the amount of air inside the container in order to induce an anaerobic environment where the probiotics can thrive. That’s why it’s important to not only draw the distinctions between a kimchi container and your run of the mill tupperware but also make sure that your kimchi container can actually serve out its function with ease. We’ll be looking at a variety of factors, but have grouped everything under a few more palatable umbrellas.

Efficacy: Does it get the job done

By far the most important characteristic, it doesn’t matter how cool the container looks if it can’t even function as… a container. This consists of the effectiveness of the container as a storage unit and whether it can actually assist with the fermentation process, or is just a plastic container with a fancy name.

Convenience: Am I ever going to get this out of the cabinet again?

This might not be immediately obvious to the casual kitchen shopper, but containers can be inconvenient. My kitchen cabinets are full of containers that I threw in there never to use again, either because the lids are never to be found, they’re super annoying to store in the fridge with all of the other randomness, or a pain in the butt to clean. Similar to with your clothes, you can see what you actually prefer to wear just by looking at where everything is put in your closet/dresser.

Durability: How many times am I going to buy one of these things?

I’m not sure what the average expected shelf life is for a plastic container, or a glass one for that matter. I’m not looking for the Hoover Dam, something that can take a massive beating and stay standing for centuries to come. At the same time though, we can all have reasonable expectations for how durable we can expect a container to be (especially when you’re putting money down for it), so it’s only smart to have some expectations here.

Airflow: The key to the game.

This is critical to a kimchi container, and one of the most important, discernible factors separating one from the other. If a company has the audacity to specify that their container is specially made for storing kimchi, then they better have created a product that provides the appropriate amount of airflow.

Why trust us?

As we don’t have the capacity to go out and test all of these kimchi containers ourselves we opted to do the next best thing. We applied similar methods as we have for our Best Restaurants posts: relying on the power of the customer base, researching with integrity (we do not have any ties to the companies making these kimchi containers), and being self aware enough to know that we are not smart enough to put forward our own opinion. We are simply relaying all of our research in as consumable of a format as we can.

How we chose what to test?

We decided to make this as easy as possible. We wanted to look at kimchi containers that everyone in the US would have access to buy and that had a good amount of data that we could peruse through. We chose Amazon for its near ubiquitous use for online shopping, went straight for “kimchi containers”, sorted by customer ratings, and went down the list looking for any that claimed to create a tasty batch of crisp kimchi.

Survey results

ComponentCrazy Korean Cooking's Premium Kimchi ContainerE-Jen Premium Kimchi, Sauerkraut Container Probiotic Fermentation with Inner Vacuum LidEasy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid KitKenley Fermentation Crock Jar 5 Liter & PounderPremium Easy Wide-Mouth Fermenting Kit
Efficacy (Don't bother buying - Grandma's kimchi) (1-10)99999
Convenience (No kimchi for you - No hassle) (1-10)1010978
Durability (High risk of shattering - No insurance needed) (1-10)99979
Air flow (Whirlwind - Air tight) (1-10)99999
Overall Score (Save yourself - A perfect bath) (1-10)99989

What to look forward to

First thing, of course, is to build out the stable of reviewed kimchi containers. We’ll be going down our list as quickly as we can but if you have any kimchi containers you are curious about hit us up and let us know. We are continuing our great journey into the hardware side of the culinary world, come along and help us see it through!

Wrapping it up

It was great seeing how many kimchi containers there are out on the market that do a great job of creating a nice fermentation environment for kimchi; but with kimchi’s famously pungent smell, there’s nothing out there that will eliminate all traces of what you’ve got stored in your fridge. However, given how well the containers out on the market today keep your fridge (and your life) smelling fresh the future is bright. Let’s just hope Elon Musk decides to indulge his kimchi loving heart and decides to dedicate a research team to solving all the kimchi problems in our lives. (I have no idea what Elon’s feelings of kimchi actually are, no tech genius/billionaire was harmed in the making of this post).

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