How to Freeze Food in Disposable Aluminum Pans

How to Freeze Food in Disposable Aluminum Pans

How do you freeze casseroles or any type of food in aluminum pans? I’ve got the how-to!!

You’ve made a meal and have leftovers, now you want to freeze food in a disposable aluminum pan? Head down to” how to wrap an aluminum pan for the freezer.”

Disposable aluminum pans are also called – steam table pans, aluminum catering pans, and foil pans.

These pans are great for storing food in the freezer and can go from the refrigerator to the oven.

Whatever you’re going to freeze in a disposable aluminum pan should be secured in plastic wrap to keep the moisture from escaping during the defrosting process.

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How to Wrap Disposable Aluminum Pans for the Freezer

In the directions below, I loosely put the wrap around the pan, so you can get an image of what it looks like but the wrap should be tight.

  1. Cover your disposable half-size or full-size aluminum foil pan tightly with aluminum foil wrap or an aluminum lid.
disposable aluminum pan wrapped with a foil top

2. Pull plastic food wrap out triple the length of the width of the pan and place the pan in the center. If you’re wrapping a full-size aluminum pan, you can use wide plastic wrap .

disposable aluminum pan sitting in the middle of plastic wrap 3 times it's length.

3. Wrap the pan over the top from both sides, tightly.

disposable aluminum pan wrapped in the plastic wrap

4. Pull the plastic wrap out triple the length of the pan and place the pan in the center, turned the opposite direction then wrap again over both sides, tightly.

disposable aluminum pan turned the opposite way ,sitting in the middle of plastic wrap 3 times it's length

5. And now you have a wrapped pan.

disposable aluminum pan fully covered in plastic wrap

6. If you have a food label, fill the label out and stick it on top.

roll of food grade labels with item, date, and use by date with the days of the week

Q & A
How to Freeze Food in Aluminum Disposable Pans

Is it safe to freeze food in aluminum pans? yes, it is.

Can you freeze lasagna in disposable aluminum pans? sure can, it’s perfect for any type of casserole. But always make sure that your food is cooled down or cold. Do not place hot food in the freezer! After it’s cooled down, you can even put it in the fridge overnight and wrap it the next day and then put it in the freezer.

Can you freeze a cake in aluminum pans? yes to that too.

Should you freeze food in a glass baking dish? No, you should not. Unless you know what specific glass or ceramic dishes are safe to go from freezer to oven or freezer to refrigerator. And these dishes should be labeled with that information when you purchase them.

What if the food is heavy for the disposable aluminum pan? Depending on what you have in the pan, an aluminum pan can bend and or buckle. Place the pan on top of a sheet pan and then place it in the freezer. After the food is frozen, you can take the sheet pan out from under the disposable pan or not.

What if you’re transporting it? The way you transport food is very important because you want to make sure it gets there in one piece. Again, depending on what is in the pan, can make it difficult to hold or lift.

  • place it inside one or two other disposable pans.
  • place it inside a glass pan, roaster, or baking pan.
  • place it in a hotel pan.
  • or on top of a sheet pan, be safe, these pans will slip and slide if not balanced correctly.
  • And what’s even better is if you have a box with a sturdy bottom to put the pan in.

When carrying these pans always be aware of your surroundings and who is walking around you.

Can you wrap food in aluminum pans with aluminum foil and freeze it? yes, BUT your food has a really great chance of getting freezer burn and when you defrost it in the refrigerator the ice crystals and cold air will dry it out. Trust me, I freeze a lot of stuff.

Can you freeze food in regular metal baking pans? yes, you can, just follow the same directions for wrapping as disposable. The only thing is, you’ll be short baking pans, that’s why disposable ones are so convenient.

Do you need to wrap an aluminum pan to freeze it? yes, you should, if you’re going to freeze food in a disposable aluminum pan, it will need to be secured tightly in plastic wrap. Not wrapping it can cause freezer burn and when you move the pan from the freezer to refrigerate overnight, your food will dry out. Do not remove the wrap until the food has defrosted completely and you’re ready to put it in the oven.

What if the food has not defrosted completely? then you still don’t remove the wrap until you’re ready to put it in the oven.

How to defrost food in an aluminum disposable baking pan? Take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator overnight or until it has defrosted, then remove the plastic wrap, label, foil, etc. before putting it in the oven.

What if my wrap is not wide enough to wrap the disposable pan? if you have regular size wrap, pull out a piece, triple the length and place it on a flat surface, then pull out another piece the same size and place it in the middle of the piece you already have, overlapping it to make a wider sheet and if you need a wider piece of wrap, pull out a third piece the length of the other 2 and overlap it.

How long can you keep a disposable pan in the freezer? depending on how securely you wrap it and what’s in it, 3 months.

Can you freeze bread? you can freeze bread and you don’t need to waste an aluminum pan to do it. But if you do use an aluminum pan, you securly wrap it the same way as any other pan.

How to Label Aluminum Pans Q & A

What if I don’t have a label? not a problem, most people don’t. Use a piece of paper or a sticky note, add the name of the dish, the day it was made, or the use-by date. Place it on top of the wrapped pan and put tape over the entire piece of paper. The tape is to secure the paper to the wrap and keep the paper from getting wet, tearing, and smearing.

Is there another way to label it? sure, after you have wrapped the disposable pan in plastic, write your information on a piece of foil, place it on top, and put a smaller piece of plastic over the foil to secure it.

How about another way to label it? if you’re using an aluminum top, write on that and then wrap it or wrap the pan in a layer of foil and write on that, then wrap it with plastic.

Any way you figure out to label your pan is fine, as long as you know what it is.

Also Read:

Guide to Sheet Pans : find out what size sheet pans will properly fit in a residential oven.

How to Carry Disposable Aluminum Pans : safe ways to carry and transport foil pans.

How to make Bacon in the Oven : how to make bacon like a restaurant.

Recap on how to freeze food in aluminum disposable pans

It’s perfectly safe to freeze food in disposable foil pans and it’s so convenient for clean-up.

  • Make sure the food has cooled down completely before placing it in the freezer.
  • Label your container, so that you know what it is.
  • Cover it tightly, so there’s no freezer burn.
  • If you freezing multiple pans, space them out between each other so that the air can circulate and freeze them properly

Question or comments, let me know below or contact me.

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Con E.
Con E.
5 months ago

If I line disposable aluminum pans with parchment, can I pull out the meal from the pan when it is frozen?

5 months ago

If the food wont be defrosting first (directly from freezer to over like a lasagna) do you still need to wrap it in plsdtic wrap?