Freezing Ceramic Dishes | Easy Guide to Avoid Thermal Shock

It is safe to freeze ceramic dishes if they have been marked freezer safe and are hardened and waterproof. To know if the dish can be frozen, check the manufacturers recommendations. Not all ceramic dishes can be frozen and may break due to thermal shock. If the dish has cracks or chips it may also be weakened and may break when frozen.

This article will explore all you need to know about freezing ceramic dishes at home. This includes how to know if a ceramic dish is freezer safe, how to store food safely in the freezer and easy tips for defrosting.

How to know if a ceramic dish is freezer safe

It is important to check each individual ceramic dish to know if it is freezer safe. Not all ceramic will survive in the freezer but there are a few ways you can tell. Check them out below.

1. Check the base of the dish

The fist step to work out if the dish is freezer safe is to check the base. If it is freezer safe, it is usually written on the bottom. Plates, bowls, mugs, cups and baking dishes should all be marked with freezer safe if they are.

Avoid putting thin or light ceramic dishes in freezer. They are usually too thin and more prone to breakage. Good quality heavier dishes are usually fine to freeze but check the base first.

2. Check the packaging

If you have just bought some new ceramic it is always a good idea to check the packaging to see if it is freezer safe. The list should be written on the side including whether it is freezer, dishwasher and oven safe.

3. Check the manufacturers website

If you can’t find any markings on the ceramic dish that show that it freezer safe then it is time to check the manufacturers website. Common brands will have this listed on their site. My ceramic serving plates and bowls are mostly Maxwell & Williams which have all been marked freezer safe on the bottom.

I have frozen food in the bowls covering the food tightly with some cling wrap.

4. Check for chips and cracks

Before putting ceramic dishes in the freezer always check for chips and cracks. Even a dish marked as freezer safe can crack and break when frozen. Any chips or breaks show that the ceramic dish has had an impact or has hit against another plate. These cracks can break completely when the dish is cooled quickly in the freezer.

How to freeze food safely in ceramic

Here are my easy tips to freeze food safely in ceramic. These will help to protect your ceramic dishes and keep the food safely frozen.

1. Make sure the ceramic dish is freezer safe

Before freezing a ceramic dish you should always check to make sure it is freezer safe. Check the base to see if “freezer safe” is written on the bottom or check the packaging if you still have it.

2. Leave a ½ inch gap at the top of the dish

Always leave at least a ½ inch gap at the top of the ceramic dish when filling. This will allow space for the contents to expand and stop it from spilling over.

3. Allow the dish and contents to cool

Always allow the dish and contents to cool down from oven temperatures before freezing. Wait for the food to stop steaming and for the dish to cool enough to handle. When you can handle the dish, you can cover the food and freeze it for a later date.

4. Limit the air

When freezing food in ceramic make sure you limit the amount of air space that is left in the ceramic dish. Put enough food in the dish so the dish at least ¾ full. This will minimize the air space and prevent freezer burn which can affect the taste of the food when reheated.

5. Cover the dish tightly

When freezing food in ceramic always cover the dish tightly with cling film, aluminum foil or a silicone lid. Make sure it is as airtight as possible to prevent air and moisture coming into the container. This can make the food more prone to freezer burn and the food can lose its taste and texture when reheated.

5. Label the dish

Always label the ceramic dish before freezing with the name of the food and date it is frozen. Label the lid with a marker or use a freezer safe label. This means that you will know when it is time to eat the food. It can be difficult to work out what is in the ceramic dish once it is frozen so always label it.

NOTE: Do not put very hot ceramic in the freezer

Never put a hot ceramic dish in the freezer. The rapid change in temperature from cold to hot could cause thermal shock, cracking and breaking the dish. Always cool the dish and hot contents on a bench with a tea-towel underneath. Wait for it to cool so the food is no longer steaming and the dish can be handled.

Once the dish is cool enough to handle cover it tightly with cling film or a silicone lid. Find a big enough space in your freezer to fit the dish comfortably and freeze the food.

How to defrost food in ceramic dishes

To defrost food once it has been frozen in ceramic simply take the dish out and put it in your fridge. Leave it the fridge for around 24 hours for the food and the dish to come down to fridge temperature. You can then remove the covering and reheat it in the oven or microwave.

Larger dishes may take longer than 24 hours to fully defrost. Large lasagnas for example may take a day and a half to fully reduce to fridge temperatures.

Freezing Ceramic Dishes | Summary

Freeze ceramic dishes only if they are marked as freezer safe or it is indicated by the manufacturer. Delicate, thin ceramic can break in the freezer so take care. When freezing food in ceramic, always cover the food tightly to prevent air and moisture from coming in. Never put a hot ceramic dish in the freezer and always defrost it in the fridge for 24 hours before reheating in the oven.

Happy cooking.