Can You Put Glass in the Freezer

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Whether it’s a can of beer, a bottle of Coke, or a cool mixed cocktail, there’s nothing quite like enjoying “a cold one.” 

Some drinks simply taste better when they’re chilled. What’s more, if you’re having company over, you don’t have time to wait for things to chill in the refrigerator or a bucket of ice.

A freezer is, thus, a great way to get a glass of your favorite beverage, fresh, and ready to serve.

That begs the question, however – is it safe to store glass in the freezer and, if so, for how long?

Can You Put Glass in the Freezer ?

​The short answer to that question is, yes, you can put a glass in the freezer, albeit for a limited amount of time.

The longer answer is more complicated. For one thing, water expands when it is frozen.

A classic children’s science experiment involves putting a plastic tub of water filled to the brim in the freezer, and returning in a few hours to see the frozen water has pushed up the lid. The same thing can happen to a glass filled with the beverage of your choice.

However, unlike plastic, glass can shatter. If you put glass cookware filled with liquid and leave it in there long enough for it to freeze solid, there’s a chance it can expand and potentially shatter the glass.

In addition, glass is obviously very fragile, and sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. If your glass was holding a hot beverage one moment and is shunted into the freezer the next, there’s a chance the sudden drastic temperature change could cause it to shatter.

Freezing a Glass Safely

Of course, unless you’re trying to make a Red Wine Popsicle, chances are you're not intending to leave your glass in the freezer that long.

What’s more, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure a glass doesn’t shatter, from adjusting the temperature gradually before putting it into the freezer to using freezer-safe glass to not filling it up all the way.

If your glass or jar has a lid, it can also be beneficial to keep it a little loose when storing it in the freezer.

Normally, you want a lid to be twisted on as tightly as possible to keep the contents fresh. That said, your glass or jar is already in the freezer – unless something goes drastically wrong, freshness is a given.

What is of greater concern is the amount of pressure building up in the glass receptacle.

Remember our science experiment?

That liquid is going to expand, and the shape of the glass means the pressure will be directed upward, toward the lid. If you close that lid too tightly, it will keep the pressure trapped inside the jar.

Eventually, something’s gotta give – and that something will be the jar as it breaks.

Leave the lid on loosely, and when the liquid freezes and expands, it will simply push the lid up a bit if need be, easing the pressure and sparing the glass’s structural integrity.

In short, while the risk is there, as long as you’re careful, you should be fine.