Equipment Failure and Food Spoilage: Why You Can’t Put Warm Soup in the Fridge

Our mothers and grandmothers were unanimous in asserting that unrefrigerated food should not be put in the refrigerator. The answer to the question, “Why?” was often an unapologetic “because,” which was hard to argue with.

Can you put a hot pot in the refrigerator – a detailed analysis

In fact, sometimes it is allowed to put hot food in the refrigerator, but only if the technique is equipped with a special compartment for hot or technology for fast cooling and freezing of products.

In the first case, the refrigerator compartments will be protected from hot air, but you will get an energy overrun. In the second case, the food will cool faster and the hot steam will be in an enclosed space. This is not critical, but it is still better to wait until the food cools down at least to room temperature.

Is it possible to put hot food in a No Frost refrigerator – arguments

Modern refrigerators with the No Frost system have a special space between the cooling circuit and the back wall, in which the cooled air accumulates. It is then re-circulated by fans and the appliances do not suffer as much as those that do not have this function. Besides, the No Frost system levels out the possibility of ice formation, which is also an important plus.

Why you should not put hot borscht in the fridge – the main prohibitions

It concerns not only borscht or soup but in general any dishes whose temperature is higher than room temperature. Specialists in refrigerator repair highlight several reasons to consider if you do not want to buy new equipment.

Overconsumption of energy and compressor wear and tear

A refrigerator, contrary to popular belief, does not produce cold but gives off heat. It creates a chilled space inside that draws out heat energy and then gives it back through the radiator.

If you put hot food in the refrigerator, the amount of heat inside will increase dramatically, which will increase the load on the appliances. It will run continuously or the load on the compressor will increase, and this will affect the energy meter.

As for the compressor, it will wear out faster under intensive loads – if the refrigerator works continuously for an hour, its total life is reduced by 6-8 hours.

Serious breakdowns and unexpected costs

Because you regularly put hot food in your refrigerator, it can break down. For example:

  • A light bulb burns out;
  • Fans failing;
  • the freon line breaks;
  • Freon overheating.

As a rule, overloading and breakdowns that occur because of it are not included in situations that are covered by the warranty. You will have to buy a new compressor, which is very expensive.

Damage to the walls and ice

The walls and shelves of your refrigerator are made of plastic and glass – these materials are sensitive to high temperatures. If you often put hot pans on them, you may see cracks and chips on the fridge elements.

Frost, in turn, is formed because the hot liquid in a cold space evaporates faster. A pot of hot soup that is not covered with a lid will cause a “coat” on the back of the refrigerator. As a result, the appliance will absorb heat worse, energy consumption will increase, and performance will decrease. This is what leads to the fact that you will have to defrost the refrigerator more often.

Food spoilage and harm to health

If you have an inexpensive and old refrigerator, it is absolutely forbidden to put hot food inside – the rest of the products will not have enough cold air. Because of this, the food will spoil under the influence of high temperatures. This is especially true if the shelves are half-empty – then the cooling is distributed unevenly.

In addition to the fact that putting hot food in the refrigerator can not in principle, it is not worth doing, putting them in plastic. This material releases dangerous carcinogens if it is exposed to heat for a long time.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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