When you prepare or buy large amounts of food, you may want to freeze it for long term storage. Glass containers are always reusable, while plastic bags and aluminum foil can sometimes only be used one time. When freezing things, you want to be sure to use the right container so your food doesn't get freezer burnt. But can you safely freeze food in a glass container? We've checked with the kitchen experts to bring you the answer.
You can freeze food in a glass container, but you'll need to take some steps to avoid freezer burn and breaking the glass. Follow these simple steps:
- Set the freezer to the right temperature - 0° Fahrenheit.
- Cool down the food before freezing.
- Use smaller containers.
- Keep the freezer full.
- Use freezer-safe containers.
- Add another layer of protection.
- Leave an inch of space for freezing liquids.
You want to make sure your food tastes fresh when you do pull it out of the freezer for meal preparation. Glass containers can work very well for freezer storage, but it is essential to take steps to prevent glass breakage and freezer burn. We will give more details on the steps above and also tell you how to freeze liquid in glass jars. Keep reading to learn about the different types of glass or Pyrex and what works best for freezing!
What Is Freezer Burn?
Before we get started on how to safely freeze food in glass containers, let's discuss freezer burn. This is the primary thing you'll want to avoid, after all.
All food has some liquid content. When moisture escapes from your frozen food, that allows oxygen molecules to enter into the food. This causes discoloration and larger ice crystals to form. The flavor of food becomes dull and doesn't taste very good after it becomes freezer burned.
It is completely safe to eat freezer-burned food, so don't worry about getting sick. You want to take the steps to prevent freezer burn in order to maintain the flavor and freshness of your food.
Steps To Store Food In Glass Containers
When freezing your food, there are three primary goals. First, you want your food to taste as fresh as possible after you thaw and reheat it. Second, you want to prevent freezer burn. Lastly, you want to prevent any glass breakage from the expansion of liquids. Here are 7 steps to get started.
1. Set The Freezer To The Right Temperature
The best range for a freezer is 0-5° Fahrenheit. This will freeze the food more quickly. It will help the food to stay fresh. When food freezes slower, bigger ice crystals form and cause freezer burn.
2. Cool Down The Food Before Freezing
This may seem counter-productive to the first step of freezing as quickly as possible. However, putting hot food in the freezer causes more moisture to escape, which is the cause of freezer burn. The hot container in the freezer also will warm up the other food in your freezer, increasing the chance that those items will get freezer burn. When glass goes through a rapid temperature change, it is more likely to crack or break.
3. Use Smaller Containers
Small containers and batches of food will freeze faster than larger portions in large containers. The faster your food freezes, the fresher it will taste after you thaw it and cook your meal.
4. Keep The Freezer Full
The freezer is most efficient when it is full. This is because the items within your freezer are maintaining the frozen temperatures and your freezer doesn't have to work so hard. You still do not want to stuff the freezer completely full, because this will prevent the air from circulating.
5. Use Freezer-Safe Containers
Not all glass containers are freezer safe. When purchasing containers, always choose something that is tempered glass or freezer-safe. This will ensure your food stays fresh and protected while your glass container remains in one piece.
6. Add Another Layer Of Protection
The food in your container being exposed to air is the cause of freezer burn. You can add another layer of protection by wrapping your food or putting it in a plastic bag before you place it in a glass container. Remove all excess air inside the bag or wrap it before placing it in your glass container. Ziploc bags can provide extra protection. Check out this post, Are Ziploc Bags Safe For Food Storage?
7. Leave An Inch Of Space For Freezing Liquids
Water expands when it freezes. If you are freezing something with high liquid content, like soup, then it is vital to leave extra space to accommodate that expansion. Tempered glass and freezer-safe containers are also susceptible to breakage when extra space isn't given for the liquid expansion.
Can You Freeze Food In Pyrex Glass Containers?
Pyrex containers are made to be oven- and freezer-safe. The important thing to remember is that the Pyrex dish should not be exposed to rapid temperature changes. Just like other glass containers, it will be more likely to crack or break. After you cook a meal, you must cool it down before placing the Pyrex dish in the freezer. When pulling the container out of the freezer, you must wait for the container to get closer to room temperature before placing it in the oven.
Can You Put Cold Glass In The Oven?
Do not put a cold glass dish in the oven! Pyrex and other glassware are freezer- and oven-safe, but they will break if exposed to rapid temperature changes. You should allow the container to reach room temperature before you put it in the oven.
Otherwise, you can move the food from the cold dish to a room-temperature oven-safe dish rather than waiting for the glassware to warm up. You may be able to put cold glass in the oven several times before it breaks, but you want to ensure your cookware remains in one piece and your food remains edible.
Can You Freeze Liquid In Glass Jars?
You can freeze liquid in freezer-safe glass jars as long as you leave enough space at the top of the jar to accommodate liquid expansion. Ball jars have a freeze fill line, which is just below the ridges at the top of the jar. It is best to use straight-sided jars. Otherwise, you should leave at least an inch or two below the point that the jar curves. You want to prevent the liquid from expanding into the glass, which is more likely for a jar that curves at the top.
Ball Freezer Safe Jars
Which Containers Are Best For Freezing: Glass, Plastic, Or Stainless Steel?
Each container material has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to storage and freezing. Plastic may contain BPA, which is a harmful chemical that might leach into your food. Glass containers may shatter if precautions aren't followed when freezing or cooking food. Stainless steel is not microwave safe, but it is very durable.
When choosing the right containers for your kitchen, you should consider how you will be using them. If you are only using containers for storage, then you don't need to worry about oven or freezer safety. For more information about the differences between containers, check out Is It Better To Store Food In Plastic, Glass, Or Stainless Steel?
Certain kinds of glass jars and containers are safe to put in the freezer. Make sure to buy something that is labeled as freezer-safe or is made with tempered glass. While some of these containers are also oven safe, you should not put a cold glass dish in the oven. When freezing food with high liquid content, it is important to leave additional space at the top of the container to allow the liquid to expand. This will prevent any breakage in the freezer.
Good luck with freezing your food and enjoy its fresh taste after following our 7 steps!