Can we refrigerate a meal that is still hot?

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Is it really a good reflex to put leftover meals that are still hot directly in the fridge? Even if we all do it more or less, let’s see why it’s not such a trivial gesture.

You are no longer hungry even though you only ate the half of your meal? Or you have prepared dishes in advance and you want them keep for later ? In this kind of situation, we tend to place them directly in the fridgeeven if they are still hotOr lukewarm.
Yet, even when trying to do well, this gesture really remains a bad idea. We’re going around the subject!

Just before explaining everything to you, here are some articles about conservation that could interest you :

Why shouldn’t it be done?

Above all, do not place a hot meal in the fridge to 3 main reasons :

  • The hotter the dish you put in the fridge, the more it will heat up the temperature of your refrigerator, which will take longer to regain its initial temperature (between 3°C and 5°C). It will therefore require a consumption of electricity more important…
  • The other foods in your fridge will then be at a higher temperature and less conducive to preservation. THE bacteria are likely to develop there and thus reduce their the duration of the conversation.
  • Finally, the condensation generated by your still hot dish will promote the frost formation inside the fridge.

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How to cool a dish?

To avoid all these problems, a simple solution: let the dish cool before refrigerating it, but not anyhow! Indeed, it should not be left outside the fridge too longotherwise, the bacteria are likely to develop there. So don’t leave it at room temperature for more than 2 hoursAnd 1 hour if it is over 32°C. The best thing is to let them cool as much as possible. quickly as possiblefor that, we are going to share some tips with you (perfect if you don’t have time) :

  • Put your dish in the coolest room in the house (if there is one) or on the window sill.
  • Immerse the container of your dish in cold water or a ice tray
  • Divide food into several containers keeping them away from heat sources (do not leave your dish in the pan or saucepan, for example)

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Penelope Fajon

Hello ! I am an intern at Marmiton for 6 months (from January to July 2023). I love many things in life, but nothing more than food! Guide me here…

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