It’s good that you asked what happens if you put hot food in the fridge. People would say that you should wait for your food to cool first before refrigerating it, so you might wonder what happens if you put hot food in the fridge.
In this post, you will know facts about refrigerating hot food, so keep reading until the end. Furthermore, we will also include some tips and precautionary measures that you should take to ensure that your appliance will not be affected.
What Happens If You Put Hot Food In The Fridge?
Refrigerating hot food can lead to various, but they are equally bad for the appliance and your food. Here’s why…
#1. The fridge needs to work harder
Remember that refrigerating food will keep it uncontaminated and fresh longer. It will also prevent them from losing their nutritive content. However, if you put anything hot into your fridge, it will make your fridge work extra harder to keep it cold. As a result, the fridge might overheat or damage its internal components.
Other than that, the bacteria can also easily spoil the food in your fridge. All perishable foods will be contaminated. Let hot food cool down for about two hours before putting it in your fridge. But it is fine to put food that is mildly hot only.
#2. The appliance will be harmed
Another thing that can happen if you put hot food in your fridge is that the other foods inside will be affected. Not only that, but it will also pose harm to your appliance.
But the good news is that you no longer need to worry about this if you own a newer fridge model. Most of them are designed in such a way that the moisture and temperature inside the fridge will be regulated. This is possible through its embedded thermostat that ensures the appliance won’t be harmed.
But if the model that you have in your kitchen is quite old already, you should keep in mind some precautionary measures such as keeping your hot food inside an air-tight container. Doing so helps avoid icing and condensation.
Facts About Warm Food
The fridge and hot food are not really incompatible. However, bear in mind that the fridge is invented for one main reason: to keep the food cold, which in turn makes storage for a longer period possible.
When you put an item that is particularly hot inside the fridge, it will have to run much harder than usual to restore or maintain the level of coldness inside. The hotter or warmer the food and the greater its amount, then the longer for the fridge to the desired temperature inside.
But remember that bacteria can develop very quickly, so as much as you want to keep warm food out of the fridge, you should also not leave it too long a room temperature.
According to the USDA, the room temperature that is ranging between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit is considered the danger zone.
The hot food will slightly reheat all the food surrounding it that is refrigerated already. As a result, their storage time will be reduced. Furthermore, the steam that is coming from the warm food will result in condensation. In such a case, ice or water droplets will form at the back of your fridge, and this won’t be good.
Tips To Keep In Mind Before You Refrigerate Any Hot Food
To avoid harming your fridge, ensure to employ the following:
- If you don’t choose to store hot food in your fridge, avoid putting it inside a deep container since it will make it even longer for the fridge to cool it down. Instead, use shallow containers to ensure that they will cool down faster.
- Consider dividing the food into smaller portions. Then, store them inside small containers.
- Try cooling the food on your counter first. Then, wait for the steams to stop before putting it on the fridge.
- Before putting the hot food in the fridge, you may also try to quick-chill it first using the ice water bath.
- If you intend to refrigerate hot liquids, make sure to cover them. That is because leaving it uncovered will release moisture. Meaning to say, the compressor of the refrigerator will have to run harder than it usually does.
It’s A Wrap!
After reading this entire post, I hope we have cleared out your wonders about what happens if you put hot food in the fridge. Remember the general rule that any containers containing hot or mild food should be placed wisely inside the fridge.
It is also advised that you pay attention to the spaced between those containers. Doing this will ensure that optimal cooling and better circulation of the air will occur in your fridge.
Please take note that the heat from the food can cause the unit to work harder, thereby harming your appliance, which is why it is recommended that you allow it to cool to room temperature first.