Here’s how to freeze glass jars without them exploding/breaking

2 minutes, 32 seconds Read

When storing hot liquids in the freezer, I prefer glass containers as opposed to plastic as I know that heating plastic potentially gives off chemicals.

Glass, unlike plastic, doesn’t raise unhealthy risks to your health or the environment.

The problem with glass as freezer storage is that glass expands when it gets cold. And in certain situations, the cold can cause the glass to shatter. How many times have you placed a beverage in a glass container into the freezer only to forget about it until you hear an explosion inside your freezer?

Yeah, everyone else, too.

If you choose to use glass as your storage container, there’s no one way that’ll guarantee your jar (or whatever) will NOT explode inside a freezer. But there are best practices you can follow that will reduce the chances that your glass storage container lives to see another day.

Here are five steps to follow if you choose to freeze hot liquid using glass storage:

1. USE SIMPLE-SHAPED GLASS CONTAINERS: When you can, use containers that have don’t have curves or angles. For example, use wide-mouth jars as opposed to regular jars because wide mouth jars don’t have “shoulders”.

jars wide mouth vs. normal shoulders

* When possible, get containers that are “Freezer Safe

2. DO NOT COMPLETELY FILL THE CONTAINER: This is key – don’t fill the entire container full of the liquid. Liquids need room to expand when they’re frozen, so leave at least at least a third of the container empty or else….

frozen glass exploded in freezer

3. ALLOW TO COOL DOWN: If you’re storing hot liquid, allow for the liquid to cool down in room temp or in the refrigerator. Glass is much more likely to crack (not explode) when it’s exposed to extreme heat and then extreme cold… or vice versa. The glass won’t explode, but it’ll crack because of science.

4. DON’T TIGHTEN THE LID (YET): When the liquid has finally cooled enough to be placed in the freezer, keep the lid loose. This allows any remaining pressure that needs out, to be released. When the liquid is frozen, go back in a tighten the lid.

5. PLACE GLASS AWAY FROM OTHER GLASS: This is important, you don’t want to follow the above steps and then have your glass crack because they’re frozen together. Also, in case one glass does break, it won’t affect your other frozen glass storage containers if they’re a few inches away from one another.

And don’t forget that when you remove the frozen liquid, you should also pay attention how best to thaw it out. As mentioned, going from hot to cold can compromise the integrity of glass… so does going from cold to hot too quickly (e.g. don’t microwave it!)

There you have it. Five simple steps to not have to clean up glass and the frozen soup and spaghetti sauce that’s exploded all over your freezer shelves.

Does following these steps make your glass completely impervious to temperature? Probably not, but if you follow the steps above, you will dramatically reduce the likelihood of having your glass storage containers POP.

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  1. avatar
    Bob says:

    Use freezer jars only. Liquid expands when frozen. A jar with a shoulder will have the expanding liquid “pushing” into the shoulder and may crack. Notice freezer jars have no shoulder and that is why you leave a space at the top allowing for the frozen liquid to expand upward rather than against the sides.

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