How to Freeze Food in Metal Containers | 3 Simple Steps

You can freeze food in metal containers as long as they are airtight and undamaged. Use a metal bento box, lasagna pan or metal baking tin to freeze leftover food. Fill the container container and cover it a sealed lid or tightly sealed wrap. Leave 1/2 an inch of room at the top of the container for the liquid to expand. 

This article will explore all you need to know about freezing food in metal containers including 3 simple steps you can follow.

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How to freeze food in metal containers

Check out these 3 simple steps to safely freeze food in metal containers.

1. Choose a metal container with a tight fitting lid

Choose a metal container with a tight fitting lid when freezing your food. Any gaps can let air and moisture in which is more likely to cause freezer burn. I like to choose lids with a silicone seal which will close tightly.

I like to choose metal containers with plastic lids and seals to keep the moisture out.

2. Leave a small gap at the top of the container

Leaving a small air gap at the top of the container to allow room for the liquid to expand. Leave around 1/2 an inch of space to allow for liquid expansion but to avoid ice forming on the top of the food.

Leaving a gap that is too big at the top of the metal container can cause ice to form or freezer burn on your food.

3. Choose a good quality stainless steel

To avoid corrosion from the liquid from frozen food always freeze metal containers made from good quality stainless steel. It will not warp or bend and the lid will continue to fit tightly.

Look out for metal containers with plastic or silicone lids for freezing food. Try freezing grapes, cheese squares and blueberries for an easy snack for kids.

Check out these metal lunch containers from Amazon below.

Freezing food in metal baking pans

You can use metal baking pans to freeze banana bread, meat loaf and pasta bakes. These can be covered, sealed and placed into your freezer. If you plan to bake a cake in advance, you can simply cool it in the fridge, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.

It can be tricky to form a right seal with baking pans. Make sure they are made from good quality steel without damage and wrap them tight to avoid air entering the container.

Freezing Food in Stainless Steel Ice Trays

Metal ice trays can be used to freeze food. Choose trays made from good quality stainless steel. They will be safe in your freezer.

Try freezing these foods in metal ice trays:

  1. Pesto
  2. Pureed fruit
  3. Tomato paste
  4. Herbs covered in oil
  5. Fruit juice
  6. Coffee (to place in iced coffee)
  7. Cookie dough (this is the perfect portion size to take out and bake straight away)

Check out this quick video on foods you can freeze in ice trays.

Can I freeze lasagna in a metal pan?

One of the best dishes to freeze in a metal pan is lasagna.  You can freeze lasagna before or after cooking. Just make sure it is covered tightly with wrap before it goes in the freezer with room left at the top for expansion.

Frozen lasagna will need to be defrosted in your fridge for at least 24 hours before re-heating in the oven. Make a double batch and freeze one for later for an easy mid-week meal.

Can I freeze food in metal cans?

It is not recommended to put metal cans or completely sealed metal containers in the freezer as the food inside can’t expand and might break the can.

If you want to freeze the contents of a can like coconut milk, pour the liquid out into a freezer safe container.

Can you store food in metal containers in the refrigerator?

You can store food in metal containers in the refrigerator.   It is best to still leave space at the top of the container for the food to expand and can easily be transferred to the freezer if you want to keep it for longer.

The best way to defrost food in metal containers is to place it in the fridge 24 hours before you want to heat it up. Lasagna, meatloaf, and pasta bakes can be moved into the fridge before you want to use them and be at fridge temperature ready to re-heat.

What else can I use metal containers for?

I have been a bit obsessed with my stainless-steel bento box.  I ordered this a few years ago and it is still going strong. I try to bring this for lunch most days filled with leftovers from dinner the night before, cut up fruit and veggies and nuts and seeds.

The best thing about the bento box it has 5 different compartments which gets me to include many different food for my lunch. I like the challenge of finding different foods to fill each compartment.

Bento boxes are great for freezing snacks

More variety means more nutrients and therefore a healthier lunch.

Stainless steel containers are also great in the fridge, they travel well and come in a range of sizes.  If you are trying to reduce the amount of plastic in your life then investing in these containers is a great choice.

Choose a high quality stainless steel with a lifetime warranty.  If you are like me and tend to drop things, stainless steel is a great because it won’t break like glass.  If you drop it on the floor it might dent but it will still be fine to use.

Benefits of stainless steel food containers

Stainless steel is non-permeable, so won’t absorb color or smell from your food. Stainless steel is very strong, it will last much longer than any plastic container, it won’t fade or stain and if you buy a good quality stainless steel it will stay bright and shiny for really long time.

When they are cleaned well they are a hygienic way of transporting and keeping food.

Getting your kids involved and packing their lunch in a no-waste container is a great way to teach them about being mindful of their impact on the planet.  Packing a waste free lunch without plastic packaging or wraps will be a great way to reduce waste.

If you ever decide you are done with your stainless-steel container it can be recycled.  I don’t imagine ever getting rid of my bento box but if you did happen to change your mind the metal can be recycled.

Containers that are great for freezing food

Check out some other container options for storing and freezing food.

Pyrex containers

I have 1 small Pyrex container that I inherited from my nanna and use all the time.  I have no idea how long she had it for before she gave it to me but it is still going strong.

Check out this set of Pyrex containers from Amazon below.

I have used this in the freezer many times and it is still looking perfect. I just fill 1-2 cm (half to one inch) down from the top. I think they are great for storing in the fridge or freezer and avoids the use of plastic bags or wrap.

Ceramic containers

Ceramic containers can be a great option for freezing.  You could freeze pasta bakes, lasagna, meat loaf or cakes easily in ceramic containers. Use the ceramic lid or some airtight plastic wrap to stop freezer burn.

Check that your ceramic containers are freezer proof before placing them in the freezer! “Freezer safe” will be written on the bottom of the container.

Check the bottom of the ceramic container first to make sure that it is freezer safe otherwise it may crack. When reheating the food in a ceramic container, defrost in the fridge at least 24 hours beforehand. Then you can place it in the oven or microwave or transfer to a microwave safe dish.

Can you freeze cakes in the metal cake tins?

You can freeze cakes straight in the metal cake tin you baked it in. This can help to prevent it from being crushed in your freezer. Just cover it tightly with plastic wrap.

The only problem can be that it is often difficult to remove the cake once you are ready to defrost. Another option is to remove the cake from the tin, cover it in plastic and then place it back in the tin. That way it won’t stick and the cake won’t get crushed.

Can you freeze metal pie pans?

You can freeze pies or bakes in metal pie pans. Just make sure you cover it tightly to avoid freezer burn. After cooking your pie or cake, allow it to cool so that there is no longer steam coming from the food. Cover it tightly and place it straight into the freezer.

Can you put metal baking trays in the freezer?

You can freeze food on metal baking trays however they are tricky to wrap. Remember you will want to create a tight seal so that air doesn’t come in and cause freezer burn.

If the tray is small, you can place a freezer bag over the whole thing and seal it tightly. Otherwise, you will need to do your best to wrap it tightly with a plastic wrap to prevent air and moisture from entering.

Can you freeze food in Metal Containers? | Summary

You can freeze food in metal containers including bento boxes, storage containers and even oven trays. The best way is to cover them with air tight wrap or choose a container with a tight fitting lid. Bento boxes are great for storing snacks so try them out to keep easy snacks for kids.

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