I usually make too much chilli so I want to freeze it and defrost it later to eat. Right now I am just using unbranded plastic containers to hold the chilli when it's frozen. I'm assuming it's unsafe to microwave these as they might melt, so I'll take out the frozen chilli and microwave it in a bowl. However is there a better way than this? What containers are best for freezing food in, and can any just be put in the microwave safely when it's time to defrost?

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    I recently took some chili out of my freezer. I stored it in a regular plastic box. I took it out in the morning and set it in the refigerator to let it thaw a little (so I can get it out of the box). Then, in the evening, I just put it into a pot and stirred once in a while. Taste and consistency were almost as if it were freshly cooked. I assume if you microwave it instead, it might thaw unevenly and you'd have to take it out and stir it quite often.
    – Ian
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 9:29
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    That sounds like an answer Ian.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 11:21
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    Try Google "freezer and microwave container" lot of hits
    – paparazzo
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 20:40
  • If you do this often, consider a vacuum sealer such as amazon.com/dp/B0044XDA3S
    – Paulb
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 9:55

2 Answers 2


For meat/veg in sauce recipes I anyways freeze in boxes, and often defrost in the microwave. I tend to buy boxes that are meant for microwave use but don't fuss about this (larger quantities work well in ice cream tubs).

If you know in advance that you're going to eat it, you can defrost in the fridge. If not, aim to defrost quite slowly in the microwave and transfer to something else (e.g. Pyrex) before it gets hot. A larger container is good because it gives you room to stir, and that's a good idea when defrosting. Even the best plastic microwave containers can get very stained with hot oily tomatoes, and with others you might worry about leaching


To prevent freezer burn, fill the container as much as you can without making a mess. Cover the (hopefully cooled) chili with plastic cling wrap and try to remove as much air from the space between the cooled chili and the plastic. Place the lid that fits your container and trap the excess plastic wrap in the lid. Place in the freezer.

To thaw and heat, place the container in your sink and run cool water over it. when the chili begins to break up and isn't a solid chink of structural soup, heat it in a pan on to medium heat stirring occasionally.

Heat to your liking and enjoy.

  • Filling it too full can make freezer burn worse by popping the lid off as the liquid part expands.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 11:20
  • If you have a deep/chest freezer, that helps to minimize freezer burn because it doesn't go through the slight thaw cycles that normal freezers do to stay "frost-free." I keep most of it there, then move it to the fridge when I need it, or maybe keep one container that I'm going to use soon in the regular fridge. Commented Jun 6, 2017 at 19:08

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