Why You Shouldn’t Put Hot Food in the Refrigerator

When removing a steaming dish into the refrigerator chamber, you risk breaking the device, as well as being poisoned by spoiled food. We understand why this happens.

Refrigerator may fail

An evaporator is installed inside the refrigerator – a tube filled with freon. This gas absorbs heat in the chamber, which cools the air.

The gas then passes into a compressor, a mechanism that pressurizes it into a condenser, a coiled tube on the back wall or sides of the refrigerator. There, freon turns into a liquid and gives off heat, after which it enters the evaporator through a narrow capillary tube and takes heat again.

There are also sensors in the refrigerator that help determine whether the chamber needs to be cooled or whether the temperature there corresponds to the set one and you can turn off and relax. This saves energy and conserves the resource of the device itself.

If the air in the refrigerator becomes much warmer than the set temperature, the compressor will run constantly, which will not have the best effect on its condition. It doesn’t really matter how modern your model is.

Sergey Burakov

Installer of compressors, pumps and pipelines.

Home refrigerators are designed to remove only a small amount of heat. In household appliances, energy efficiency is at the forefront, so modern models do not like to overwork as much as possible.

Sergey Burakov explains that a large amount of hot food greatly increases the load on the device. Due to the increased pressure at the compressor, gaskets can be knocked out. Also, due to the increased load, the electric motor may burn out.

Increased risk of food poisoning

At temperatures from +4 to +60 ° C in food quickly multiply bacteria that can cause food poisoning. So after cooking, you need to either keep the dish hot, or cool it and put it in the refrigerator.

The recommended temperature inside the device is from +2 to +4 °С. When you open the door or put warm food on the shelf, the air heats up a little, but a serviceable and sealed electrical appliance quickly copes with the task of cooling.

If you send a steaming hot pot to the refrigerator, the device will take longer to restore the desired temperature inside. And all this time, bacteria that cause food poisoning can multiply in the heat. The cold doesn’t kill them, it just stops them growing.

In addition, the presence of hot dishes in the refrigerator maybe increase the temperature in the chamber, which will lead to spoilage of other products.

What happens if you put hot food in the fridge

It depends on the condition of your refrigerator, its health and capacity, as well as the amount and temperature of the food you place on the shelves.

Sergey Burakov

When you put a large pot of borscht, just taken off the stove, into the refrigerator, you create a heat stroke for the appliance. If he manages to digest all this heat, the borscht will be cold in the morning. If you are not lucky, in the morning you will have a broken refrigerator, warm borscht and spoiled food.

The worse the condition of the refrigerator, the more carefully it is worth cooling the food before putting it into the chamber. Since the danger zone for bacterial growth starts at 60 ° C, you can focus on this figure.

How to clean cooked food in the fridge

To reduce risk of poisoning, try not to leave the finished dish in warm conditions for more than two hours, and if the room is hot (about +32 ° C), then the maximum is an hour.

There are two options for how to quickly cool a large amount of prepared food. The first way is to distribute it in small airtight containers. So the food will cool faster, it will be easier to get it and heat it up, and the place in the refrigerator will be freed up.

The second way is to put a pot or other dish with hot food in a low container with ice or cold water. If you also stir the dish during the cooling process, it will cool very quickly.

Also remember that once you have taken out and reheated food, you can not keep it warm for more than one hour.