What is a good container to freeze liquid in?

Freezing liquids is a great way to preserve foods for longer term storage. Whether you’re freezing broth, juice, or leftovers, having the right container is key to maintaining quality and preventing freezer burn. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best materials and styles of containers for freezing different types of liquids.

Key Considerations

When choosing a container to freeze liquids in, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Material – Glass, plastic, and metal containers all have pros and cons for freezing.
  • Size – Make sure to leave headspace at the top for expansion.
  • Shape – Upright containers are best to minimize surface area exposed to air.
  • Lid style – A tight seal prevents freezer burn and leakage.
  • Intended use – Will you reheat the liquid or use it frozen?

Best Materials for Freezing Liquids


Glass containers are nonporous and impermeable, making them ideal for holding liquids without leaching chemicals or odors. Glass won’t absorb stains or smells either. However, glass is breakable and heavier than plastic or metal. Use tempered glass designed for freezing or mason jars.


Plastic containers are affordable, lightweight, and come in many shapes and sizes. Look for food-grade plastic labeled HDPE, LDPE, PP, or PETE to avoid BPA. Don’t use thin, flexible plastics. Avoid discoloration of liquids by using opaque versus clear plastic. Plastic can become brittle when frozen.


Metal tins and aluminum containers are durable, impermeable to air and moisture, and won’t crack. Stainless steel is ideal, but aluminum and tin-plated steel also works well. Metal conducts cold temperatures efficiently. Downsides are higher cost and weight.

Container Styles for Freezing Liquids

Ice Cube Trays

For freezing small portions of stock, juice, or pureed baby food, ice cube trays allow you to pop out just what you need. Choose flexible silicone or hard plastic trays. Metal conducts heat too quickly. Fill cubes only 3/4 full and cover trays tightly with plastic wrap or foil.

Mason Jars

Wide-mouth mason jars are versatile for all types of liquids. They have tight lids, are easy to seal and stack, and come in a range of sizes. Make sure jars are tempered for freezing. Leave 1-inch headspace. Jars thaw quickly since glass conducts cold well.

Plastic Containers

Plastic freezer containers have rigid sides with tight-fitting lids. Square and rectangular shapes are better than round. Look for BPA-free plastic rated for freezing. Don’t overfill. Many have graduated markings to make portioning easy.

Freezer Bags

Heavy-duty freezer bags conform to different shapes and stack easily in the freezer. Opt for thicker plastic and make sure bags specifically say “freezer” bags. Seal tightly with as little air as possible. Bags aren’t very durable and can leak if punctured.

Freezer-Safe Bottles

Wide-mouth glass or plastic bottles with secure lids are convenient for freezing liquids like soup stock that can be poured while still frozen. Make sure bottles are rated for freezing temperatures and leave an inch of headspace.

Recommended Containers by Liquid

Broth and Stock

Freeze broth and stock in ice cube trays or mason jars for easy use in recipes. Plastic containers or bags also work well. Make sure containers are labeled with contents and date.

Juices and Smoothies

For juices, ice cube trays allow you to pop out just what you need. Mason jars also work well. With smoothies, wide-mouth glass jars or plastic freezer containers prevent leakage and make it easy to scoop out portions.

Wine and Cocktails

Metal ice cube trays are best for freezing wine or cocktails like margaritas. The metal conducts the cold temperatures most efficiently. Make sure to leave headspace for expansion. Small plastic containers also work.

Sauces and Soups

Soups and tomato-based sauces do best in rigid plastic, glass, or metal containers that won’t leak. Mason jars or square plastic containers make it easy to stack and organize in the freezer. Leave headspace for expansion.

Baby Food Purees

For homemade baby food purees, ice cube trays allow you to thaw just a few cubes at a time. You can also use small plastic containers, freezer bags, or jars. Make sure to leave space at the top for expanding food.

Milk and Soy Milk

Freeze milk or soy milk in plastic freezer bags laid flat in the freezer. This creates thin slices you can easily break apart. Milk cartons and glass bottles can also work if sealed tightly.

Tips for Freezing Liquids

  • Leave 1-2 inches of headspace in containers for liquids to expand.
  • Pre-chill liquids in the refrigerator before freezing for faster freezing.
  • Set containers on a baking sheet in the freezer so they freeze faster.
  • Seal containers tightly with freezer-safe lids or plastic wrap.
  • Label containers with contents and freeze date.
  • Store most frozen liquids for 2-3 months for best quality.
  • Place newer frozen items in the back of the freezer.
  • Avoid temperature fluctuations by keeping the freezer at 0°F or below.
  • Freeze in smaller batches or portions for quick thawing and easy use.

Thawing Frozen Liquids

The safest way to thaw frozen liquids is in the refrigerator overnight. You can also thaw:

  • In cold water – seal container in plastic bag
  • In the microwave – use defrost setting and stir frequently
  • On the countertop – only for a couple hours and only once

Avoid thawing at room temperature as bacteria can start growing. Cook thawed liquids before refreezing. Never refreeze liquids that have fully thawed.

Recommended Container Types by Liquid

Liquid Recommended Containers
Broth & Stock Ice cube trays, mason jars, plastic containers, freezer bags
Juices & Smoothies Ice cube trays, mason jars, plastic containers
Wine & Cocktails Metal ice cube trays, small plastic containers
Sauces & Soups Plastic containers, mason jars, metal containers
Baby Food Purees Ice cube trays, small plastic containers, freezer bags, jars
Milk & Soy Milk Plastic freezer bags, milk cartons, glass bottles


Freezing liquids allows you to preserve freshness and have ingredients ready when you need them. Choose containers wisely based on the type of liquid and intended use. Rigid plastic, tempered glass, and durable metal are ideal materials that won’t crack when expanding. Make sure to leave headspace and seal lids tightly. With the right containers, you can enjoy the convenience of frozen liquids for up to a few months.

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