The are many types of food storage pans that can be used for freezing. Good freezer food storage pans protect the flavor, color, moisture content and nutritive value of the food being frozen from the dry climate of the freezer. Freezer containers should be moisture- and vapor-resistant, durable, leak-proof, able to withstand low temperatures without cracking, and resistant to oil and grease. If a freezer pan does not have an airtight lid, it can be placed in a resealable bag or wrapped in freezer wrap to create a seal.
Metal baking pans are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel. These metals conduct heat well, and foods placed in the freezer in metal will cool more quickly than foods in other types of food storage pans. Most metal pans do not have airtight lids, however, so the pans will have to be wrapped carefully to create a moisture and vapor barrier. Unless the pan is small enough to fit in a resealable bag, wrap it in plastic wrap and then cover the plastic-wrapped pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. While metal pans can be placed directly in a hot oven, remove the plastic wrap before putting the pan in the oven.
Glass and Ceramic
Glass and ceramic pans can be used for freezer storage as long as the glass is tempered. Check to make sure that the glass or ceramic pan is specifically labeled freezer safe. If you want to reheat a dish that you froze in a glass or ceramic pan, do not preheat the oven. Putting frozen glass or ceramic into a hot oven can cause the pan to crack. Instead, put the frozen dish into a cold oven and turn on the heat so the dish warms up gradually.
Disposable aluminum foil pans can be used to freeze food and can also be placed in the oven to reheat the dish. Some aluminum pans are sold with plastic lids. These lids are lightweight plastic, however, and are not designed for the freezer.
Do not use aluminum foil pans for longterm storage of foods containing high acid foods like vinegar, tomatoes or tomato sauce. The acid can react with the foil, giving the food a metallic taste.
Plastic freezer pans are moisture and vapor safe and may come with snap-on plastic lids. While the pans may be freezer-safe, don't use them in the oven unless they are labeled as oven safe. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for washing the plastic pans and lids; washing the lids in the dishwasher may cause the lids to warp and no longer create an airtight seal in the freezer.
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