cooked fish and souce in skillet

Is Storing Food In Pots And Pans In Refrigerator A Good Idea?

Many people often wonder what to do regarding storing food in pots and pans in the refrigerator. Some feel that it is harmless while others are cautious about it.

Most of us are usually full and tired after cooking and eating. Therefore, we don’t want to do additional work of transferring leftover food in other containers. Putting the food in the pots and pans in the refrigerator seems like the easiest way.

Other individuals reason that covering the food with the pot’s lid will keep it safe and is similar to using food containers. However, it is not as simple as that.

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Should you store food in cookware in the refrigerator?

You SHOULD NOT store food in pans and pots in the refrigerator because of the undesirable effects associated with it.

Here are some of them.

It can cause health issues

You might argue that you’ve covered the pot or pan with a lid before putting it in the fridge. However, that does not completely seal the pot. Therefore, bacteria and odors from the surroundings can get into the food and contaminate it.

Calphalon manufacturers support this. That is why they advise their clients against using metal cookware (including non-stick ones) to keep food. According to them, even the best cookware sets are designed for cooking, NOT storage.

If you are using aluminum, or copper cooking utensils then they can leach chemicals into your food. This is particularly if you store the food while it is still hot. It is only cookware coated with enamel that does not leach.

The foods that take absorb the highest amounts of aluminum are leafy vegetables and foods rich in acids. An excellent example is tomatoes.

Related Reading: How To Clean Hard Anodized Cookware

You will ruin your pots and pans

The Clemson University Food Safety released a report which cautioned against storing food in cooking utensils in the refrigerator. The manufacturers of cookware say that you should not leave salty or acidic food in your stainless steel cookware for an extended amount of time.

The undissolved salt exposes the cookware to pitting if you do this.

Manufacturers of kitchenware recommend the use of glass and ceramic containers for storing food.

It makes food go bad quickly

Research shows that food stored in metal pans in the refrigerator goes bad faster than those kept in other containers. The food can only stay fresh for a couple of days. Therefore, you might end up throwing your food away if you store it in cookware in the fridge.

Related Reading: Rachael Ray Cookware Reviews

It can change the taste of food

One of the complaints that people have about using aluminum pots and pans to store food in the refrigerator is that the food develops a different taste. This is especially for foods such as cabbage, rhubarb, and tomatoes.

You might not enjoy your food so much after storing it in aluminum cookware.

cooked fish and souce in skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get botulism from storing food in a metal pan in the fridge?

No. Using cookware for food storage does not cause botulism. A bacteria Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) does.

Can you put a crockpot in the fridge?

Yes, you can put a crock-pot with a cooked meal in the fridge. Allow the slow cooker to cool down to room temperature beforehand. It is still advisable to transfer the food to airtight containers as soon as possible to make sure it preserves the taste.

Do pots damage the fridge?

No, pots and pans do not damage the fridge if you let them cool down to room temperature.

Related Reading: How To Dispose of Old Pots and Pans


Many people do not give much thought to the issue of food storage yet it is essential. Some people argue that the food is safe provided it is in the refrigerator.

However, the storage item you use to keep the food in the fridge also matters, as we’ve established.

You should not put food in your cookware and store it in the refrigerator. This can be harmful to you and your family in the long run. The metals can get into the food and cause health complications, the food can be contaminated from bacteria and it will also go bad quickly.

The best way to preserve your food is to put it in airtight containers, preferably made from glass or ceramic. Then, store the containers in the fridge.

Related Reading: Wolfgang Puck Cookware Review

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  1. The Pioneer women cookware is made aluminum ceramic cookware
    Is it safe to put it in fridge to store it tonight and heat back up in it tomorrow?

    1. The ceramic coating still contains chemicals that can leak into the food. I would be more comfortable using a glass or ceramic container. On the other hand, storing the food in the cookware once will not do a lot of harm. But then it can easily turn into a habit.

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