Have you ever cooked something in a metal pot or pan and wondered if you could put it directly in the fridge or freezer? Have you ever considered refrigerating or freezing a metal water bottle? With so many of our pots, pans, and containers made out of metal, this is a legitimate question that most of you would want to be answered.
So, can you put metal in the freezer? In the fridge? Yes, it is safe to put metal such as high-quality stainless steel in the freezer and the fridge. You just need to make sure to leave enough room for the food or liquid inside the container to expand, especially when freezing.
Read on to find out more about freezing and refrigerating metal, the correct way to do so, some best practices to follow, and more.
Can You Put Metal in the Freezer?
Yes, it is safe to put metal in the freezer without any issues. Metal is a freezer-safe material, allowing you to keep metal boxes, jars, and bottles in the freezer to store your leftover food.
When doing so, keep in mind that frozen food and liquid tend to expand due to the change in temperature, which is why you must leave enough room in the container for the expansion. If not, you could risk breaking the metal container after the contents inside are frozen solid.
The only time you may want to opt out of putting metal in the freezer is when it is completely sealed, such as unopened metal cans.
Due to the expansion process that occurs during freezing, the chances of a sealed metal container cracking become much higher. Keeping these factors in mind, it is best to leave some extra room in the metal container before putting it in the freezer and use unsealed containers.
Can You Put Metal Baking Pans in the Freezer?
Yes, you can put metal baking pans in the freezer to store a variety of food items such as cake, banana bread, meatloaf, and pasta bakes.
Just make sure to cover and seal the pans properly before you place them in the freezer. It can often be tricky to form a tight seal around the pan. Using plastic wrap is a good option, though.
The metal baking pans must be of good quality and free of damage so that they can be sealed tight to avoid any air from getting in and spoiling the food.
Can You Put Metal Ice Trays in the Freezer?
Yes, you can use good quality stainless steel metal ice trays to freeze food. They are safe to put in the freezer and can be used to freeze foods such as:
- Tomato paste
- Pureed fruit
- Fruit juice
- Herbs in oil
How to Safely Put Metal in the Freezer?
Here are three simple steps for freezing food in metal containers:
- Invest in good quality stainless steel metal containers to avoid corrosion, warping, and bending.
- Choose a metal container with a tight-fitting lid, preferably with a silicone seal, to prevent any air and moisture from getting in and avoid freezer burn.
- Leave around ½ an inch of space on top of the container to allow for expansion. Avoid leaving too big of a gap as it may cause ice to form on top of the food.
What Are Metal Freezer Containers?
Metal freezer containers are made specifically to be put in the freezer. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are designed to keep food fresher for longer inside the freezer.
They are airtight stainless-steel containers that usually come with silicone seals. They are very durable and can withstand very low temperatures without cracking or rusting.
Metal freezer containers are a great option for people looking for something eco-friendly and sustainable to store their food in the freezer. Unlike plastic, they do not release any harmful chemicals into the food and can be reused several times without getting ruined or stained.
Perfect for soups, stews, sauces, frozen fruit and vegetables, and all kinds of leftovers, metal freezer containers have airtight seals that keep food fresher for longer and prevent freezer burn. They are also easy to carry around and allow you to keep food hot or cold for longer.
What Material Should You Never Put in the Freezer?
Not all materials are freezer-friendly, which is why you need to be extra careful when choosing a container for freezer storage. Some materials are easily able to withstand cold temperatures, whereas some are extremely wrong for the job.
Following are some materials that you must never put in the freezer:
Glass is one of the few materials that should never be put in the freezer. The reason is that it is susceptible to cracking and breaking in extreme temperature changes, such as in the freezer.
This can be incredibly dangerous as the glass can break in the freezer and cause injury. It may also ruin the food inside it as well as other food items stored near it. To avoid this issue, it is advised to transfer your food into freezer-safe bags or containers.
The only time you can put glass in the freezer is if it is tempered. You can check to make sure that it is tempered by looking at the labeling. If it says that it is freezer-safe, you can put it in the freezer without giving it a second thought.
Certain Types of Plastic
Although some types of plastic containers are safe to put in the freezer, certain other types are susceptible to cracking or breaking in extremely cold temperatures in the freezer.
Not only do some of these plastic containers cause food spillage and wastage, but can also release harmful chemicals into the food and contaminate it. This is especially true for low-grade and low-quality plastic.
Poor-Quality Stainless Steel or Aluminum Containers
All metal containers are not created equal. Some may be the ideal choice for freezer storage while others may not be. It all comes down to the quality of the metal containers.
Poor-quality steel and aluminum containers should not be used in the freezer or fridge. They can rust when placed in the fridge or if they are exposed to water. Therefore, it is best to use high-quality stainless steel, ceramic, or plastic containers for food storage.
Cans are usually made of thin metal that isn’t able to withstand the freezer’s low temperature. They can expand due to the cold and either leak or break, resulting in spillage. The risk intensifies if the cans are unopened or sealed shut.
Some metal cans also have a plastic lining which, when exposed to low temperatures, can leach harmful chemicals into the food.
Can You Put Metal in the Fridge?
Yes, you can safely store food in metal containers and put them in the fridge without any issue. When doing so, choose good-quality stainless steel and make sure to allow the contents of the metal container to cool down properly before storing them in the refrigerator.
If the food or liquid is too hot, it will create steam, which in turn will condense inside the container and trap water, encouraging bacterial growth and contamination.
Avoid leaving the food out at room temperature for too long either. It is important to minimize the total time the food stays out, as the longer it does, the higher the chances are of it going bad much sooner than anticipated.
Metal containers can be used to store cold foods in the fridge as well, such as cheese, cut fruit, vegetables, and sliced meat. Just make sure your fridge is set at the right temperature and you should be able to easily store anything in metal containers without worry.
Benefits of Using Metal in the Freezer and Fridge
Here are some benefits of using metal in the freezer and fridge, particularly in comparison with other materials such as plastic:
- Metal is more durable.
- Metal is reusable.
- Metal is easier to clean.
- Metal doesn’t stain as easily as plastic.
- Metal has a much nicer aesthetic than plastic.
Can You Freeze Food in Aluminum Foil?
Yes, you can freeze food in food-grade aluminum foil as it is tested and considered safe. The downside to doing so is that aluminum foil is fragile and prone to tearing, and it is more susceptible to letting air in.
Can You Leave Metal Spoons in Frozen or Refrigerated Food?
Stainless steel spoons are designed to be safe in the fridge and freezer. Therefore, if you ever notice that you accidentally left the spoon in your leftover food while refrigerating or freezing it, don’t worry about leaching. Try not to do it though, as any metal spoon other than good quality stainless steel may leach into the food and give it a weird metallic taste.