What Bags and Containers are Freezer Safe? A Quick Guide to Storage Solutions

August 25, 2023
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Understanding Ziploc Bags

Ziploc bags are the most common plastic freezer bag used for food storage. They come in a variety of different volume sizes and most have a snap and press seal that is used to prevent air from coming into the bag and potentially causing your food to become freezer burned.

Materials and Construction

Ziploc bags are made from high-quality plastic, which makes them safe for freezing food. The USDA confirms that the food properly stored in a Ziploc plastic bag will retain its flavor and remain safe for consumption for a longer time.

Since air can lead to freezer burn, it is important to note that Ziploc bags are designed to seal out air, helping your food stay fresh.

A simple, low-cost method of making zip-bags airtight for storing food.

Different Types

There are several types of Ziploc bags suitable for various purposes. Some common ones include:

  • Storage bags: These bags come in various sizes and are designed for general food storage, including freezing.
  • Freezer bags: These are specifically made for freezer use. A freezer bag features thicker plastic and offering extra protection for your food.
  • Snack and sandwich bags: While not specifically designed for freezer use, they can be reused after hand-washing and drying, according to a Ziploc representative.

Keep in mind that each type of bag will have its own benefits and limitations. Make sure to choose the right one based on your needs to ensure the best results when freezing your food.

Freezer-safe Ziploc Bags

When it comes to storing food in the freezer, you'll want to choose the right kind of Ziploc bag.

Design Features

Freezer-safe Ziploc bags, like Ziploc Freezer Bags, have specific design features that make them better suited for the job. First, they are made of thicker plastic than regular Ziploc bags.

The thicker plastic not only protects your food by keeping freezer burn away, it also seals in the freshness.

Second, these bags often have a double zipper seal, providing an extra layer of protection against air and moisture. This feature also makes it easy to identify them as freezer bags compared to regular storage bags.

Ideal Use

Freezer-safe Ziploc bags are ideal for storing a variety of foods. Some common uses include:

  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Meats and seafood;
  • Poultry and game; and
  • Prepared meals and leftovers.

Keep your food fresh and your sense of order intact with this freezer-safe Ziploc bags!

Using freezer bags ensures that your food will maintain its quality and freshness during long-term storage. While you can use regular Ziploc bags in a pinch, it's best to invest in freezer-safe bags for optimal protection and better results.

When Not to Use Ziploc Bags in Freezers

While Ziploc bags are generally freezer-safe, there are a few instances where you should be extra cautious.

Warning Signs

If you notice any signs of damage or wear on the bag, it's best to avoid using it in the freezer. This includes:

  • Tears or holes in the plastic;
  • Seal that no longer closes securely; and
  • Bags that have been exposed to high heat or harsh cleaning chemicals.

Using damaged bags can compromise the quality of your food, leading to freezer burn or contamination.

Other Freezer Storage Options

When you need to store food in the freezer and you're unsure about the safety of a Ziploc bag, consider these alternatives:

  • Freezer-safe containers specifically designed for storing food at low temperatures.
  • Wide-mouth Mason or Ball jars, leaving at least an inch of space at the top to accommodate expansion.
  • Reusable silicone bags that are freezer-safe can help reduce waste and lessen your impact on the environment.

By selecting the most appropriate storage option for your specific food requirements, you can maintain the quality of your food and ensure it stays fresh in the freezer.

Freezer Safe Containers

If you’re looking for freezer storage containers, there are many options available. Plastic is among the most popular freezer safe container options.

Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage Containers - These storage containers come with leak-proof airtight container lids and are shatter resistant. An excellent option for preserving frozen food for long periods of time.

Oxo Good Grips Storage Containers - These containers are designed for meal prep and are constructed of shatter resistant borosilicate glass. They’re an excellent option as a long term food storage container in your freezer.

Ziploc Endurables - In addition to freezer safe plastic bags, Ziploc also has a food storage container that is freezer ready. The Endurables are made of silicone and can handle the harshest environments. This includes both the freezer and the oven.

Food Saver Vacuum Seal Containers - The Food Saver system takes advantage of vacuum sealing your food in a plastic storage bag or in a plastic container. The vacuum process provides your frozen food with an airtight seal that extends the life of your food.

Freezer Safe Mason Jars and Freezer Jars

Mason jars can be a great option for freezing food. Be sure to only use mason jars that are specifically designed for freezer storage - like Ball freezer safe jars and lids.

An Overview of Ball Mason Jar Storage for Beginners.

Wide mouth jars with straight sides tend to do best in the freezer. The wide mouth makes it easier to store and remove food and is more resistant to fracturing than more ornate shapes.

Mason jars are typically used for food with a lot of liquid content like soups, sauces and jams. Since these foods have so much fluid, you must leave room for expansion.

Look for jars like Ball mason jars which have a not-to-exceed fill line on the side. This helps to ensure that the liquid won’t break the jar when the contents freeze and expand.

Thermal shock is when a material fractures due to rapid temperature change. You’ll also want to Avoid thermal shock by not putting hot food into a mason jar.

A glass container or a glass jar will be susceptible to breakage from thermal shock. It can also be more brittle than other materials - especially at cold temperatures. You will have to be careful when using glass as your freezer storage material.

The lid for a mason jar should preferably not be metal which is prone to rusting as well as expanding and contracting. Ball freezer safe jars come with a plastic airtight lid that is also see through.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Container is Safe for the Freezer?

Plastic Containers

Food-grade plastic containers designed for freezing are a good option. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes and often have airtight snap-on lids to prevent spills and prevent oxidation and freezer burned food.

It's important to make sure the plastic is designated as freezer safe because some plastics can become brittle and crack at low temperatures. Plastic freezer bags are also suitable for freezing food.

Glass Containers

Some glass containers are also freezer safe, like Pyrex or other tempered glass. These types of containers can handle extreme temperature changes.

However, not all glass is safe to use in the freezer as it can crack or shatter with temperature changes.

Always check the product details before freezing food in glass containers. Also, remember to leave some space for food expansion when freezing in glass containers.

How Do You Know if a Container is Freezer Safe?

Check the product labeling: Most freezer-safe containers will be marked as such by the manufacturer. Look for terms such as "freezer safe," "safe for freezer use," "can be used in the freezer," or similar language.

Look for the freezing symbol: Many containers have a snowflake or icicle symbol printed on them, which typically indicates they are safe for use in the freezer.

Check the plastic type: For plastic containers, check the recycling code on the bottom. Generally, plastics with recycling codes 2 (HDPE), and 4 (LDPE) are freezer safe.

Avoid using containers made from plastic number 5 (PP), which might not be as cold-resistant.

Contact the manufacturer: If you're unsure, you can try contacting the manufacturer for more information. They should be able to tell you whether a specific container is safe for freezer use.


What are the Best Freezer Containers to Avoid Freezer Burn?

Vacuum Seal Bags: These are one of the most effective ways to prevent freezer burn because they remove most of the air that could come into contact with the food. However, vacuum sealers can be an investment.

Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil, Plastic Wrap, or Freezer Paper: These can be used to wrap the food tightly and then placed in a resealable freezer bag. The first layer provides a close cover to the food, and the bag gives an extra layer of protection.

Freezer Bags: Look for bags designed specifically for the freezer. They're thicker than regular storage bags and often have a double seal to keep air out.

Airtight Containers: Freezer-safe plastic or glass containers with tight-fitting lids can also prevent freezer burn. They're especially useful for liquids like soups or stews. For glass, make sure it's tempered to avoid cracking or shattering.

Silicone Food Storage Bags: These are reusable and seal tightly, providing an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic bags. They're often dishwasher safe as well.

Can Any Plastic Container go in the Freezer?

No. Check the plastic type: For plastic containers, check the recycling code on the bottom. Generally, plastics with recycling codes 2 (HDPE), and 4 (LDPE) are freezer safe. Avoid using containers made from plastic number 5 (PP), which might not be as cold-resistant.

Is it better to freeze in bags or containers?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both bags and containers.

  • Bags: Ziploc bags are freezer-safe and made from a resilient plastic called polyethylene. They are affordable and easily molded to fit the shape of your food. This allows you to save space in your freezer and maintain the optimal flavor of your food for a longer time.
  • Containers: Containers can also be freezer-safe, depending on the material. They can provide a sturdy, airtight environment for food storage, reducing the risk of spills or freezer burn. But they can also take up more space in your freezer due to their fixed shape and size.

To choose the right option, consider the type of food you're freezing, how long you plan to store it, and how much freezer space you have.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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