Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkOther - Food & Drink · 1 decade ago

Are you supposed to put hot food in the refrigerator, or let it reach room temperature first?

Some food seems to stay hot forever, like rice or my world famous bean dip, etc. Should I put it in the fridge right away, even though it's still like 180 degrees? Or wait until it is room temperature?

I always put it in the fridge right away, because i don't want germs to help themselves to my food, and that's what will happen when it slowly cools down (i think so).

But my friends thought that this violates some kind of food maxim and that I am the stupidest person in the world. I thought for sure they were going to call the cops on me or something.

Which is right?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    You can put it in the fridge right away if you like. The reason for not doing so was based on old refrigerators which didn't cool as well and when you put something hot in it made everything else warm. Nowadays you can put it right in.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You are right, when food cools down slowly, it is more susceptible to bacteria growing.

    Put it in a shallow dish (2-3 inches) so it cools faster in the fridge. Don't cover the food until the temperature drops below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do, it will trap moisture and heat, which helps the germs to grow.

    I have a friend who is a health and safety inspector. He said that he's found examples where a few restaurants put large pots (5-10 gallon pots) of hot refried beans in the fridge (with lids on them.) He uses a temperature probe to find out the temperature in different parts of the pot. Sometimes he'll find that the beans a few inches from the sides and top of the pot are cooled, while the middle core is still pretty hot. He said it's almost like some sort of igloo effect on the beans. The temperature between the hot and cold beans is perfect for growing bacteria. He always ends up making them throw out the beans and writes it up as a violation.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The old school of thought was to let it cool to room temperature first. This was because the hot food would warm up the fridge- and previously cold foods- and in older refrigerators, they couldn't cool down easily. Now, you can put food in while it's still hot without warming up the fridge too much. Depending on what other foods I keep in there (it can be crowded sometimes!), I still let food cool about 15-30 minutes before putting it away. I don't like putting almost-still-boiling chili or soup next to milk or cream cheese. :) Good luck!~

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's not a problem with the food that is the issue. It's a problem with the container. If you are using a glass container and it is really hot, the sudden drop in temperature has been known to crack the dish. This is probably not as likely any more with modern manufacturing techniques, but it could still happen. Also, if your fridge has a glass shelf, don't put a hot container onto it, it could easily crack the shelf.

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  • 1 decade ago

    you don't put anything in the fridge hot as it then heats up the fridge defeats the object of it being s fridge other wise the correct way is to rapid cool something by standing it in cool water in a different container and the process should take no longer then 90mins till you get it in the fridge rice is easy to cool once it is cooled just poor cold water over it then put it in the fridge your dip just put in a bowl then stand in a bowl of cold water

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  • 1 decade ago

    always let hot food warm before putting it in the refrigerator

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wait until its room temperature if u put in it when its hot it can form bateria.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You hafe to let itcool down

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    let it reach room tempature first then put it in the refrig. duh

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