Can You Freeze Plastic Containers?


Freezing food is a good way to store it for future use. You can freeze almost anything in order to cook it weeks or even months later. Freezer bags are generally used when freezing foods and they keep it fresh and airtight so its contents still taste good months later. 

But what if you don’t have any freezer bags and are needing to freeze some food? Can you use plastic containers instead?

You can use plastic containers to freeze food in. Rigid containers, flexible bags, or wrapping can all be put into the freezer. 

Plastic containers can hold all your favorite freezer food. They work especially good for liquids that can be taken out and thawed for meals in months to come. One of the great things about using them is that they are reusable and can be used to store anything, not just frozen items. 

Glass, however, could break if the temperature is too cold. If you want to use glass, get some wide-mouth dual purpose jars that are made for freezing and canning.

These are tempered to withstand the high temperature of the freezer whereas regular glass may break.

When freezing plastic containers to freeze food, make sure the lid is tightly secured and if not, use some freezer tape to keep it closed. Freezer bags are best to use in the freezer since they can be sealed tightly and will also take up less space. 

Some good freezer bags to use are the zippered ones. 

Remove as much of the air in the bag as possible before freezing it and zip it up. Freezer bags fit nicely into the freezer so you have lots of room for more frozen foods. 

If you don’t have any freezer bags, plastic containers are perfectly fine to be used too. These can even stack well in the freezer if you get all the same sizes. 

To see the most popular containers for freezing food just click here. 

How Can You Tell If Your Plastic Container Is Freezer Safe?  

Plastic containers are so convenient for storing food. We use them all the time but are they safe to use for food products? 

There are some symbols on the bottom of the containers that will tell you what it can be used for.

If the plastic container has a snowflake symbol on the bottom of it then this means it is freezer safe.

Along with the snowflake symbol, your plastic container may feature a cup and fork symbol. This means it is food safe so you can store any food items in it safely. 

There may also be a microwave symbol meaning that the container is microwave safe and you can safely heat up food in that plastic container in the microwave. Then we have the symbol of a dishwasher meaning it is dishwasher safe and can be washed in the dishwasher for a quick and easy clean.

Some plastic containers even have a recycle symbol showing a number that represents the certain type of plastic the container is made up of. Tupperware makes freezer safe containers for your food and doesn’t recommend using the flimsy plastic container to store food in the freezer. 

If you want to be sure, check out the symbols and if it displays a snowflake you can store your food in it and put it in the freezer to be used later.

What Container Is Best For Freezing? 

There are some containers that are better for freezing. Like mentioned earlier, flimsy plastic containers aren’t good for freezing and regular glass isn’t good for freezing either. 

Be sure to choose the right type of container to keep your food fresh and safe.

The best type of container for freezing is one that has a freezer symbol on it and is made especially for the purpose of freezing food.

Let’s go through a few of the best containers to store frozen food in and why they are the best. 

First, we have the Snapware Total Solution Glass and Plastic Food Storage Set. These storage containers are a good mix of plastic and glass so you can reuse them for whatever you need to. 

Their lids also tightly snap down in pace for airtight storage. 

Second, are the Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Glass Food Storage Containers. Although they don’t snap down like the Snapware these containers are known to be leak proof. 

They stack well and aren’t bulky so they fit very nicely into your freezer without taking up too much space. 

Next, there’s the Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container. These containers are plastic which makes them less likely to shatter like glass one. They are made up of thicker plastic with snap on lids and even feature vents for microwaving.

Then there’s the DuraHome Food Storage Containers with Lids which come with 44 containers and lids. These are perfect for sending food or treats home with friends without worrying if you will get them back since there are plenty to spare. 

Unlike some deli containers, these tightly seal and are thick enough for freezer use. 

Lastly we have the Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls. These containers can be used for serving as well as storing since they are a pretty design. 

They come with shallow or deep bowls so you can choose whichever you need. 

All of these containers are great for freezing and are reusable so you can even store refrigerated food in them as well. The hard part is now picking which of the many awesome choices of freezer safe plastic and glass containers to get. 

Is It Harmful To Freeze Food In Plastic Containers?  

You may have heard how plastic is harmful to your health. In some instances this can be true. 

By knowing what to look for in a freezer safe plastic container you will keep everyone safe and healthy.

You should only freeze food in a plastic container that is designed to do so. Freezer safe containers will have a snowflake symbol on them or on the packaging. 

Know the code on the recycle symbol on the specific container you want to use. If you see a 1,2,4, or 5 then the container is safe for food. 

Some plastics may contain chemicals that could be harmful. 

Also you should be careful when microwaving plastic. It’s easy to just pop the container in the microwave and heat it up quickly but the plastic could melt into your food and you don’t want to eat plastic. 

Check if the container is microwave safe or to be extra careful just transfer food to a microwave safe glass dish before it is heated up.

It’s okay to use plastic containers to refrigerate food but they aren’t necessarily made for long-term use. Plastic breaks down over time so if you have a container from months ago that has been heated up often? Just toss it and get a new one. 

Some plastics that have a recycling code of 1, such as water bottles are only meant for a single use so those should not be microwaved, frozen, etc. 

Wash your plastic container by hand to avoid melting in the dishwasher. Flimsy plastic containers should not be put into the freezer. 

Cutting back on plastic could help your health but they are fine to use when used properly.

Final Thoughts

Plastic containers can be used in the freezer. That being said, there are some containers that are made for use in the freezer so they will work the best. These are the ones that should be used to store frozen foods in long term. 

Single-use take out containers are not ideal for freezer storage since you need a thicker and more airtight container to store the food items in. By knowing what containers to use in the freezer you help keep your family’s food safe and fresh.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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