Pros: Locks together; partially interchangeable; soak-resistant; microwaveable; disposable
Cons: Bends a bit; one-use-only; doesn’t seal quite as well as I’d like
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
First posted 5/16/2005
I received this product as part of a pre-launch event from Hass MS&L through
I recently had the opportunity to use and review Hefty’s new “Serve ‘n Store” line of disposable “everyday tableware.” The idea is that you can eat off of it, you can microwave food in it, and you can lock two pieces together (with the unique interlocking rims) to turn it into storage. So your meal can go from refrigerator to microwave to table all on one plate (or in one bowl). The items I tried were the 8.75″ plates and the 24 oz bowls.
These do indeed store well, if you’re going for a small amount of food in the short-term and don’t have to carry it far. It doesn’t seal as well as plastic storage such as Rubbermaid or Tupperware so, for instance, I probably wouldn’t hand a visitor a bowl of soup in one of these things to haul home in the car. However it’s great for things like pizza or macaroni and cheese, or things that are just going to go into your own fridge. I found it a little harder to successfully lock the rims together than I do with plastic storage containers, but it really isn’t that difficult.
These aren’t large plates, but they work well enough for most meals. Steak juice did not soak through them, although it did soak into them a little. Certainly if you just ran the dishwasher and don’t want to deal with opening it, or you want to use disposable dinnerware for a backyard barbecue or picnic lunch, this is good-quality disposable dinnerware–better than most I’ve used.
I love the fact that you can use these in the microwave. I did find that even if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to allow the dinnerware to stand in the microwave for 30 seconds after running it, it often bends rather a bit when you take it out, so you have to be a bit careful when lifting it and use both hands.
My favorite use for the tableware, however, isn’t actually listed in the instructions. When we microwave things we typically put a paper towel overtop to avoid messes on the inside of the microwave. This is an imperfect solution at best. The Hefty Serve ‘n Store plates and bowls, however, make fabulous microwave lids. Because of the ridged rim they effectively have built-in steam vents, but they cover the dish up enough that nothing splatters on the inside of the microwave. And it doesn’t rest on top of the food the way a paper towel does, so it doesn’t soak up your yummy food.
I’m not sure I’d buy a lot of the Serve ‘n Store tableware for everyday use. I’m not fond of over-using disposable things on general principle (I like the environment, thanks), and while these work well, they do have some minor flaws. The more you tend to reheat leftovers in the microwave the more useful I expect you’ll find them, and if you have difficulty finding a washable plastic microwave dish cover, these work quite well for that purpose.