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Putting Hot Food in the Fridge Is Safe, But Costly

Although this is up for debate, we believe your refrigerator is the most essential appliance in your kitchen, and you can’t change our minds. Another bone of contention is whether food hot food should be placed in the fridge. Suppose you are big on following refrigerator efficiency rules like cleaning the coils regularly and leaving the door open for a long. In that case, you are probably looking for answers to the question of hot foods and whether they belong in your refrigerator.

What the FDA says

According to the FDA, placing hot food won’t wreck your refrigerator, so you can go ahead and do so. But for quicker cooling, divide large quantities of food into smaller shallow containers.  

But, what is the actual cost of putting hot food in the fridge?

Does hot food belong in the fridge

Yes, you can go ahead and place your hot food but bear in mind that you are not being energy efficient, especially with modern refrigerators. We want to assure you that hot foods in a refrigerator won’t harm your appliance in any way, neither will it cause other foods to spoil. 

What will happen if you place hot food in a refrigerator

There will be a significant spike in the temperature inside your fridge, and this will overwork your refrigerator’s compressor as it tries to bring the temperature back down. However, suppose you occasionally place hot food in the fridge. In that case, your energy efficiency will not be affected compared to regularly storing freshly cooked leftovers. 

Be mindful of food safety.

The first step to energy efficiency is making sure your hot leftovers cool before putting them in your fridge. Another point to note is not to leave food sitting out for too long, or bacteria can develop and lead to foodborne illnesses like salmonella or E. coli. The FDA advises you refrigerate cooed foods within two hours of eating or preparation. 

How to make your foods cool faster

Try the ice-bath method; place your hot food in a covered container and gently place it in the cold water, and within minutes, your food will be cool. Note that the water should not be too much else. It might seep into your food. 

Divide them into smaller quantities; Divide your food into smaller shallow containers. The method works best for liquid leftovers like soups and stews. If the food is two inches deep, it will cool faster. 

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