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Old 06-03-2015, 06:41 AM   #1
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Should you refrigerate straight away even when still piping hot?

My mom would say you shouldnt because it puts strain on the refridgerator.

But I read online that you should because of bacteria.

I usualy wait like 40 mins so its cooled down some.

What is the general consensus?

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Old 06-03-2015, 07:01 AM   #2
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In commercial settings they have special cooling, ah what are they called, so they lower temp significantly and fast before putting in refrigerator. At home you can put pot on the ice and then put in the fridge. Just close the sink put the pot in and add cold water with ice. It will cool the pot faster than simply putting it into fridge. Now the thing to consider is that refrigerators nowadays are so much better than they used to be, it may not be neck to cool pot before. I've done it both ways. Never had any problems.


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Old 06-03-2015, 07:17 AM   #3
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It depends on what it is and how much you have. Putting too much hot food in the fridge will lower the temperature in it too much. Food service guidelines say not to leave cooked food out for more than two hours, so letting it cool for a while before refrigerating is fine. If it's a large pot of soup or something, you could portion it into smaller containers and it will cool faster.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:17 AM   #4
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Leaving very hot stuff out is fine until the temperature reaches what is known as the danger zone. That is between 3 and 80 degrees Celsius. That is about 175 F. So, you have a bit of time to let very hot food cool before putting it in the refrigerator if you want to wait a bit.
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:30 AM   #5
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Sure either way works then. I see what you mean the important thing being not letting it sit in the danger zone too long. So it could be out and hot. So Ill just put it in the fridge within the window before its sitting at lukewarm for too long.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:20 AM   #6
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I thought the danger zone was 40F-140F. So if you're dealing with a pot of soup, stew, sauce, chili, etc. it's been cooking at around 200F. It will take time to cool down to 140F. It's at that point you have 2 hours.

Cooling will happen faster if you can spread out the food so it has more surface area. You can also put the pot into a sink full of ice water and stir it frequently. Then move it to the fridge and leave it uncovered to cool.
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Old 06-03-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I thought the danger zone was 40F-140F. So if you're dealing with a pot of soup, stew, sauce, chili, etc. it's been cooking at around 200F. It will take time to cool down to 140F. It's at that point you have 2 hours.

Cooling will happen faster if you can spread out the food so it has more surface area. You can also put the pot into a sink full of ice water and stir it frequently. Then move it to the fridge and leave it uncovered to
cool.
Another good method is to keep a quart bottle of water in your freezer and just slip it into that big pot of hot food.

Whatever you do, don't forget about it and expect it to be safe to eat the next day!
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Old 06-03-2015, 03:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Another good method is to keep a quart bottle of water in your freezer and just slip it into that big pot of hot food.

Whatever you do, don't forget about it and expect it to be safe to eat the next day!

I fill a plastic baggie with a bunch of ice cubes and swirl it around in the pot to cool down the liquid. Same idea.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:00 AM   #9
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We allow food to cool before putting in the fridge. Been doing it this way for years. Just like my mom and her mom and her mom did.
Never been sick that I know of from this practice.
You know, sometimes a little common sense goes a long way.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #10
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Just remember, the bottom of your fridge is the coldest part. Heat rises, cold settles to the bottom. When you do place it in the fridge, place it at the bottom. What heat is left, will cool faster.
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