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Old 04-02-2009, 08:03 PM   #1
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Reheating Meat/Chicken

Hello I am new to the board, I started learning to cook about a year ago and am steadily getting better at it

One question I have (it may be silly)

After I cook some chicken or hamburgers, etc, I may have a few pieces leftover that I cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

I have seen conflicting msgs online about if it is safe to eat this after putting in the fridge and if i have to reheat it to a certain temp.

I normally eat the food 1-2 days after I refridgerate it. Do I need to follow any special instructions when reheating it to avoid bacteria?

Thanks

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Old 04-02-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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As long as it is fully cooked when it goes into the fridge then you are fine. You do not even have to reheat it to eat it. You can eat it cold out of the fridge if you want.

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Old 04-03-2009, 08:02 AM   #3
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Whether heating or cooling food, the objective is to minimize the amount of time the food stays in the "danger zone", from 40F-140F (0-60C). This is the temperature range in which most bacteria can grow rapidly.

For example, when removing food from the fridge to reheat, don't leave it sitting out at room temperature for too long. The same is true of cooked food you plan to refrigerate or freeze. Let it cool down before putting it in the fridge, but no longer than necessary.

The FDA recommends that you reheat foods to a minimum of 165F and that you never leave food sitting out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. To me, this can be too long. A lot of bacteria can grow in 2 hours. Use your own best judgment, but the rule is "as little time as possible".
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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Agree with Finca - let food cool down to roo temp
before putting it in fridge. No problem reheating it
days after it cooked.
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:50 PM   #5
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I do not see a need to let food "cool down" before putting it in the fridge, unless your fridge is really full and the food is really warm and you don't want to put that food next to something like milk that is already cold in the fridge.

If you put it in the fridge warm, it will spend the minimum amount of time in the danger zone, and you won't forget it on the counter. Most food does not have enough mass to effect the fridge very much.

I would not put a casserole dish from the oven into the fridge, but a few pieces of chicken or hamburgers that were cooked 10 minutes ago, I just don't see a reason to leave it out to cool down.

Cold chicken is wonderful. When I shop at the grocery store, I often get their roasted chicken make sure to get enough to eat cold the next day. Wait, no, I meant after I spend hours roasting my own chicken...
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Old 04-03-2009, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timm99 View Post
I do not see a need to let food "cool down" before putting it in the fridge, unless your fridge is really full and the food is really warm and you don't want to put that food next to something like milk that is already cold in the fridge.

If you put it in the fridge warm, it will spend the minimum amount of time in the danger zone, and you won't forget it on the counter. Most food does not have enough mass to effect the fridge very much.

I would not put a casserole dish from the oven into the fridge, but a few pieces of chicken or hamburgers that were cooked 10 minutes ago, I just don't see a reason to leave it out to cool down.

Cold chicken is wonderful. When I shop at the grocery store, I often get their roasted chicken make sure to get enough to eat cold the next day. Wait, no, I meant after I spend hours roasting my own chicken...

I agree, unless you're talking about a large pot full of hot stock or soup, etc., all our food goes into the fridge right after dinner. Larger volumes need to be quickly cooled then refrigerated.

I also never buy roasted chickens at Costco for $4.99. I spend hours roasting my own too.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timm99 View Post
I do not see a need to let food "cool down" before putting it in the fridge, unless your fridge is really full and the food is really warm and you don't want to put that food next to something like milk that is already cold in the fridge.

If you put it in the fridge warm, it will spend the minimum amount of time in the danger zone, and you won't forget it on the counter. Most food does not have enough mass to effect the fridge very much.

I would not put a casserole dish from the oven into the fridge, but a few pieces of chicken or hamburgers that were cooked 10 minutes ago, I just don't see a reason to leave it out to cool down.

Cold chicken is wonderful. When I shop at the grocery store, I often get their roasted chicken make sure to get enough to eat cold the next day. Wait, no, I meant after I spend hours roasting my own chicken...
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:47 AM   #8
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Letting food cool to room temperature before refrigerating is unnecessay and isn't best practice. It takes too long, invites too many bacteria, and makes it easier to forget and leave it out too long. Most foods are cool enough to refrigerate as part of your general after-meal clean up, immediately after you finish your meal.

Large pots of soups, stocks, etc., can be cooled rapidly in a water bath by partially filling your kitchen sink and sitting the pot in it for 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can speed this up by adding ice to the water.

My guideline for how cool it needs to be is "cool enough to handle with bare hands", not room temperature.
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:29 AM   #9
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Oh, dear; many aren't saying what their room temperature is. In the winter, my kitchen tends to be very cold if I'm not cooking in it at the moment. Cool enough that olive, peanut, and meat fats will actually solidify. So I'm comfortable letting my soups and stews cool over night. I wouldn't dream of doing it in the summer or at any other place I've lived. The hesitation of putting hot pots in the fridge is that it really does heat the fridge up if it is a large amount. Yes, you can ice the pot down in a sink full of cold water and ice. But sometimes just pouring your soup/stew/chili into another container will cool it enough.

Often, what I do is to serve myself from the pot a few hours before serving it to my guests. I've never had food poisoning from anything I've cooked, neither have any of my guests, and trust me, I've fed masses of people since I learned to cook in my teens. I taste long-cooking foods early, and if I wind up in the hospital, the dinner party's over anyway. It's never happened.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Oh, dear; many aren't saying what their room temperature is. In the winter, my kitchen tends to be very cold if I'm not cooking in it at the moment. Cool enough that olive, peanut, and meat fats will actually solidify. So I'm comfortable letting my soups and stews cool over night. I wouldn't dream of doing it in the summer or at any other place I've lived. The hesitation of putting hot pots in the fridge is that it really does heat the fridge up if it is a large amount. Yes, you can ice the pot down in a sink full of cold water and ice. But sometimes just pouring your soup/stew/chili into another container will cool it enough.

Often, what I do is to serve myself from the pot a few hours before serving it to my guests. I've never had food poisoning from anything I've cooked, neither have any of my guests, and trust me, I've fed masses of people since I learned to cook in my teens. I taste long-cooking foods early, and if I wind up in the hospital, the dinner party's over anyway. It's never happened.
Cooling your soups and stews in an environment that is not at or below 40 degrees is not safe. The odds are your kitchen is in the 60 degree range, and that is not a safe temperature for overnight storage of potentially hazardous foods.

Almost all food poisonings occur due to improper cooking (not usually a problem with soups ans stews) or improper handling, storage, and reheating after cooking. What you are describing are classic circumstances for potential food poisoning when you serve the leftovers.

With all due respect, not having gotten sick in the past is not very good insurance against poor food handling practices. Karl Wallenda never fell off the high wire in 50+ years of performing without a net....... until he did.
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