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"Pantry basket" can refer to almost any type of container used to store kitchen foods or utensils. Pantry baskets are available in many different shapes and sizes. Common materials for this type of basket include metal, wire, plastic and wicker.
Metal pantry baskets may be straight-sided or rounded in shape. Some have lids, while others are open in style. Large metal baskets with lids can hold a variety of packaged and boxed foods to keep them dry, organized and pest-free. A lidded metal pantry basket design meant to be stacked can save a lot of room on pantry shelves. Whereas boxes, packages and cans can only be stacked somewhat, leaving a great deal of wasted space between shelves, stacking pantry baskets helps utilize this area.
Wire rectangular baskets with fittings to allow them to slide onto pantry shelves are also good space savers. They hang down from the bottom of one shelf to add storage space to the top of the next one. If a wire pantry basket that fits onto a shelf runs its width, it's often ideal for storing items such as rolls of aluminum foil and plastic food wrap. Shallower wire clip-on pantry baskets can hold small kitchen items such as little packages of sauce mix, birthday cake candles or other cooking-related items that may be difficult to find on the shelves due to their size. These wire baskets are typically either white or silver in color.
Another common type of wire basket designed to maximize storage space is the "over a door" model. A rack consisting of a frame with shallow basket shelves is mounted at the top of a door or on a wall. Typically, these baskets are shallow and ideal for small bottles or jars of foods or spices. Some "over a door" pantry basket systems are made of plastic rather than metal. These aren't usually as strong as the metal ones and may store only very lightweight pantry items effectively.
Plastic pantry baskets are available in transparent or opaque options. Like their metal counterparts, plastic basket containers may have lids or be open in design. The range of color options is more extensive in plastic and modern designs in fresh colors can add inexpensive style to pantries. Pantry baskets in natural materials such as wicker and rattan can give a more organic appeal to pantry design. A large, rustic, natural pantry basket may be used to organize and store canned or jarred foods, while a row of smaller baskets placed on a shelf may hold potatoes, onions or like items.