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Stainless Steel Cookware in Refrigerator?

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Hello all,

I have a set of Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel cookware, and noticed that on Calphalon's website they say that this cookware is not refrigerator safe. For the past couple of months since I've had the cookware, I've been making soups/stews etc., and storing them inside the cookware within the refrigerator (after letting the food cool down a little bit).

Now I'm a little worried I might have damaged the cookware; I don't see any visible signs of damage, and it has never crossed my mind that it might not be good to put your cookware in the refrigerator for a couple days. Is this a big deal? Why is the cookware not refrigerator safe? If I continue to do this, would it shorten the life/damage the pots/pans?

Thanks!

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  1. My guess is that Calphalon worries about warpping

    1. I think it relates to their advice on food safety from the FAQs on their website:

      Kitchen Safety


      Can I store food - like spaghetti sauce or a pot of chili - in my Calphalon pan overnight in the refrigerator?

      No. We recommend that you never store food in any metal cookware, including Commercial Nonstick. Cookware is not designed for storage and is not airtight. Bacteria and odors can contaminate the food stored inside.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        This strikes me as one more case of lawyers, not cooks, writing the manufacturer's advice.

        1. re: ferret

          Interesting - wouldn't have thought of that connection. I haven't seen any 'no refrigerator' mentions on a few other stainless steel cookware websites (All-Clad, Farberware), so maybe it is a food safety thing.

        2. Don't worry about the cookware.. your refrigerator is only at around 40deg - its not like you are dropping the pot into a vat of liquid nitrogen. The poster above speaking about food issues is on point.. the warning has nothing to do with the stainless..

          1. I hadn't realised what I've been doing for all these years is wrong. I thought it was safe because they store liquid oxygen, bulk pharmaceuticals, hazardous chemicals and nuclear waste in stainless steel.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Paulustrious

              Plus Farberware and all those other SS companies sell the graduated bowls with lids, for food storage.

              I don't see anything harmful to the food, storing it in the stainless pans, and I don't see anything harmful to the pans, as long as OP takes the normal steps one should with any cookware--i.e., when you take it out of the fridge, let it go to room temp before sticking in a hot oven or a hot burner, etc.

              Sounds like a "fear of spurious lawsuits" warning to me, too.

              1. re: Normandie

                Little story, kinda related. Years ago the Vollrath company, a maker of kitchen gear for food service applications, made a nice set of stainless steel canisters for food service use. Apparently they sold the same exact item to hospitals for sanitary use (you sometimes see them in exam rooms storing cotton balls and so on) but priced them considerably higher for medical use than for kitchen use.

                And the beat goes on....

                1. re: johnb

                  You know, john, that brings up a good point, which gets mentioned from time to time on these boards, but bears repeating. Just as docs offices could have saved money back then by sticking the cotton balls in SS kitchen cannisters, sometimes we can find things we need for the kitchen at places like the hardware store or plumbing supply places, for a lot less money. Like those people who buy a thick dowel at the lumber yard for, like, a buck-fifty to use as their rolling pins, etc.

                  1. re: Normandie

                    Good point. Another example is those high-end chocolate guys who use drywall trowels from Home Depot to work their molten chocolate on their marble slads. And for that matter those of us who use needle-nose pliers to pull the bones out of fish.

                    1. re: johnb

                      And my drywall compound holder, called a mud buddy, makes a stainless steel loaf pan.

                      1. re: Paulustrious

                        I trust you clean it well between uses.