HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


Refrigerating Food in Stainless Steel

I'm looking for a great lasagna pan. I'm thinking about getting the Cuisinart stainless steel lasagna pan but I thought it wasn't good to store food in stainless steel (especially acidic foods like tomato sauces in the refrigerator). Any input?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You know. I heard of that, but it does not make sense to me. Stainless steel is fairly nonreactive which is more the reasons why it should be ok to store foods in a stainless steel container. Exactly why it is not good to store foods in a stainless steel vessel. Not good for the foods, or not good for the stainless steel.

    1. Found on the Interwebs:

      According to Clemson University Food Safety, "Manufacturers caution against allowing acidic or salty foods to remain in stainless steel for long periods. Although there are no known health hazards from leaching of the metal, undissolved salt will pit steel surfaces."

      1. If you can't store food in stainless steel safely I think we're all in big trouble. It seems like all commercially prepared food, whether it's made in a factory or a restaurant, is all prepared and usually stored in stainless steel. If tomato sauce can come out of a can it can't be that bad. I realize that modern cans are now lined with some type of plastic, but still.

        5 Replies
        1. re: la2tokyo

          cans are generally aluminum, not stainless.

          But you're absolutely right that all sorts of food-prep companies store both cooked and uncooked food in stainless.

          1. re: sunshine842

            I guess I knew that tomatoes don't touch steel in modern cans, but cans were all made of tin at one point or another weren't they? Yes, I realize I am going to lose that argument, but I can't let it go. I just can't imagine being afraid of storing anything in stainless steel. Assuming plastic full of BPA is worse, are we supposed to find glass for everything in our fridges? I leave pasta ragu in a pot in my fridge every time I make it. Hopefully it won't kill me. Of course now that I say that, I'll probably notice something bad happening to me cuz I have all my food in stainless steel.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Most cans used for food are made of steel. Cans made of aluminum are generally only soda and beer cans.

              For example, Campbell's soup cans are made out of steel, except for the pull tab:

              1. re: taos

                but they're still not stainless, which is a different alloy.

          2. Unless you plan on storing the lasagne for longer than a week (by which time it will probably start to grow fuzz), you won't be doing any harm to the food or the stainless steel vessel by shoving the whole shebang into the fridge. If you're still worried, why not just chill your leftovers overnight (to let the casserole firm up), then slice it into individual portions, wrap those well, and freeze them?

            1. Actually, stainless steel or not, i think it's a good idea to divide food into smaller portions and put it in separate containers so that it cools faster, thus reducing the risk of food poisoning. When I make a big lasagna (in a stainless steel lasagna pan), I let it cool until it's firm enough to cut and then transfer the pieces to separate ZipLock food storage containers, which I place on wire racks to cool to room temperature before sticking them in the refrigerator or freezer.

              1. There is a tiny chance that your stainless steel may react with the foods if (a) the stainless steel is of poor quality and or (b) foods are stored for extensive peroid of time. The truth is that corrosion occurs faster at a higher temperature than at a lower temperature. In other words, you ought to worry more about the pan while it is in the oven than when it is in a refrigerator for a day or two. Sure, the chance for corrosion increases when acidic foods are stored for extensive period of time like weeks and months. However, if we are talking about weeks and months, then corrosion should be your very last concern. You ought to worry about serious bacterial growth and food decomposition.

                Even if there is corrosion, there is almost no health hazard. Yes, there are some stainless steels which are more stainless than other stainless steels, but I agree with most of the other posters here. There is no real reason against storage in a stainless steel cookware.

                1. The HIC porcelain 13x9 lasagna baker got good reviews; unfortunately, it has been tough to find in stock online..

                  But I would hope any manufacturer wouldn't create and sell a lasagna pan that would be quickly destroyed by actually cooking lasagna in it, so as the other posters have stated, I wouldn't worry about this..

                  1. I think the idea is that the food may cause damage to the stainless steel rather than the stainless steel causing damage to the food. The warnings relate to possible pitting of the steel from salt in the food for example - exactly the reason that AC and all other manufacturers of stainless cookware advise you to boil water before adding salt to it.
                    Can't see that happening for a 1 day storage of leftovers but it could become an issue if you store food for several days.