Why should you never put hot food in a fridge? Dangerous bacterial growth occurs between 41 and 135 degrees F. This spectrum is known as the danger zone for foods. Potentially harmful bacteria grows most rapidly at these temperatures. Placing large batches of hot foods in the fridge can raise the temperature of the fridge into this danger zone.
Should you put hot food in the fridge straight away? If you have cooked food that you will not serve immediately, chill it down as quickly as possible and then put it in the fridge. Harmful bacteria can grow in food that is left to chill slowly. Avoid cooking large quantities of food in advance, unless you need to.
Does hot food damage the fridge? One common misconception is that if you put hot food directly into your refrigerator you will damage the appliance. The reality is that with most modern refrigerators, you won’t actually damage the appliance. However, you will cause the energy efficiency of the appliance to go down while the food cools.
Can you put something hot directly in the fridge? “Bacteria grow rapidly between the temperatures of 40 F and 140 F,” the USDA says. “Hot food can be placed directly in the refrigerator or be rapidly chilled in an ice or cold water bath before refrigerating.”