Metal containers can be put in the fridge to store food. Good quality stainless steel containers, bento boxes or baking pans can safely store food at fridge temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the container has a tightly sealed lid.
Tips for storing food in metal pans in the refrigerator
Food can be placed in the refrigerator in the metal pan it was cooked in. Lasagna can be prepared and placed in the refrigerator in the metal tray to cook another night. You can also cook the lasagna, meatloaf or an apple pie and place the metal pan in the refrigerator for later.
The key step is to allow the metal tray to cool slightly before putting it in the refrigerator. Wait for it to stop steaming and then cover with a sealed lid or tight fitting wrap. For best results, place the metal pan on a shelf in the refrigerator on its own. This will give lots of space for the cool air from the refrigerator to quickly cool it down.
The metal tray can also be placed from the refrigerator to the freezer to eat another day.
How to store food in stainless steel containers in the refrigerator
Food can be stored safely in stainless steel containers in the refrigerator. Choose containers made from good quality, food grade stainless steel containers. Storing single meals in small stainless steel containers is a great work or home lunch.
Do not to put the metal container in the microwave, instead transfer the food into a microwave safe bowl and cover before re-heating.
How to store food in stainless steel pots in the refrigerator
You can store leftover food from dinner in the refrigerator in the stainless steel pot you cooked it in. Place the lid on saucepans full of spaghetti, casseroles, pasta dishes or soups. Wait for the food to stop steaming and make sure the lid fits tightly. You can add an extra layer of plastic wrap underneath the lid to make sure it seals tightly to keep air out.
When to put a metal container in the fridge
You can put a metal container or pan in the fridge as soon as it has stopped steaming and is cool enough to touch. Good quality metal pans including stainless steel will not warp, bend or release any toxins into your food.
Best metal containers to store food in the refrigerator
Check out these great metal container options for storing food in the fridge.
1. Stainless steel
Choosing a good quality stainless steel container to store food in the refrigerator is a good option. Stainless steel will not absorb smells or color and the food can be reheated in the same pan.
2. Non-stick Teflon pans
Good quality non-stick or Teflon pans can be used to store food in the fridge. It is important to make sure that they do not change temperature too quickly as this can affect the non-stick coating.
You can also store food in covered, cooled, non-stick baking trays. Use plastic or bees wax wrap to store leftover baked pastries in the fridge.
Metal containers that should not go in the refrigerator
1. Poor quality steel or aluminum pans
Poor quality steel containers or aluminum pans should not be used to store food in the refrigerator. These containers can rust when placed in the fridge and exposed to water. For sauces or meals, it is better to transfer the food to a good quality stainless steel, ceramic or plastic container.
2. Cast iron pans without a coating
Cast iron pans can rust if put in the refrigerator and exposed to moisture for a long time. If your cast iron pan has an internal coating, like Le Creuset, then these will be fine. I have stored food in the refrigerator for 1-2 days in my casserole dish below and it has not caused any issues.
Storing milk in metal containers in the refrigerator
Milk can be stored in food grade stainless steel bottles in the refrigerator. Choose good quality steel stainless steel bottle with a well sealing lid. Milk will absorb smells from your refrigerator if left uncovered so make sure the lid fits tightly.
When choosing a metal bottle to store milk in, make sure it has a wide opening to be easily cleaned. You will need to use a bottle brush and warm soapy water to clean the milk out from inside of the bottle when it is empty. Rinse it well with clean cold water after washing. Do this each time you empty the bottle to remove any milk left inside the bottle.
How to safely store food in metal containers in the refrigerator
To safely store food in metal containers, make sure you choose good quality stainless steel, the container has cooled slightly from oven or stove temperatures and is no longer steaming. Steam can create condensation on the inside of the lid of the metal container, trapping water and can encourage bacteria.
Do not leave food sitting out on the bench to cool completely before putting it in the refrigerator. It is important to cool food quickly and that it does not sit at room temperature.
Metal containers can be used to store cold food in the refrigerator. Use metal containers to store sliced meat, cheese or cut fruit and vegetables. Keep your refrigerator to the correct temperature and you food will be stored safely in metal containers.
Storing metal cans in the refrigerator
Do not store open metal cans in the refrigerator. The food can become contaminated by airborne particles in the refrigerator carried in the air or from the inside material of the can.
A sealed can be stored in the refrigerator and can be a great way to enjoy canned tuna or salmon. Refrigerator temperatures are not cold enough to affect the can but if you notice that the can is damaged at all, do not eat the food and throw it out immediately.
Storing food in non-stick metal pans in the refrigerator
Non-stick metal pans can be used to store food in the refrigerator. New Teflon covered frypans, baking trays or saucepans can be put in the refrigerator. Use non-stick metal saucepans to store sauce or place the lid on non-stick frypans to store a cooked meal.
Can you store spaghetti sauce in a stainless steel pot in the refrigerator?
Store pre-cooked spaghetti sauce in the steel pot you cooked it in the refrigerator. Let the sauce cool so it is no longer steaming, place some plastic wrap on the top and replace the lid. This will form a tight seal. When you reheat the sauce, remember to remove the plastic wrap.
Can you store food in metal containers without a lid?
Metal containers like a saucepans or frypans without lids can still be used to store food in the refrigerator. Put plastic or beeswax wrap and over the top of the metal container to cover the food. The metal container or pan can then go into the refrigerator.
If you are using beeswax wrap, the pan will need to be cool before you put it on top otherwise the beeswax can melt.
Can you put metal containers in the fridge | Summary
Good quality metal containers are great for storing food in the fridge. They can be used for individual serves or whole meals. Choose a pan that fits and enjoy! Remember not to put metal containers in the microwave.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.
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