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Is it OK to Put Hot Food Directly into the Fridge?

Question:  Can I put hot food in the refrigerator?

Answer: It’s fine to place hot food directly in the refrigerator (as per Stilltasty.com).

Don’t worry about overheating the fridge — as the U.S. Department of Agriculture points out, the refrigerator’s thermostat will keep it running to maintain a safe temperature of 40° F or below. What you do need to worry about is whether the hot food will cool off quickly enough to reach a safe temperature once it’s in the refrigerator. So never put deep containers of hot food in the refrigerator — instead, place the hot food in shallow containers so it will chill quickly. A large pot of soup or stew, for instance, should be divided into smaller portions and placed in smaller containers before being refrigerated. A large cut of meat or whole poultry should be divided into smaller pieces and wrapped separately or placed in shallow containers before refrigerating. If you prefer, you can also quick-chill the food in an ice water bath before refrigerating it.

Either way, be sure you refrigerate the food within 2 hours of cooking it.