HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

how long to cool down before refrigerating?

s
smilingal Oct 5, 2011 08:30 PM

I always wonder what others do??

In this particular instance - as my eyes are closing --- I have a 8-10 Qt pot on the stove filled with stuffed cabbage simmering away. How long, once it is finished cooking, do I need to wait before putting it in the refrigerator? On the second hand..... Considering it is 11:30pm - and I think it will be finished at around 12 - 12:30 - can it sit out till around 5 am - when DH gets up for work and he can deal with putting it in the fridge then?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. inaplasticcup RE: smilingal Oct 5, 2011 08:35 PM

    What's the weather/temperature like where you are right now, sg?

    1. John E. RE: smilingal Oct 5, 2011 08:49 PM

      It would probably be ok for that long, however the food would be in the danger zone of 40° to 140° for quite a long time. Here is what I would do, after the cooking is finished I would put the dish on a rack with a fan blowing across it. I have found the heat dissapates faster using a fan to cool a kettle of soup rather than the kettle sitting in a sink of ice water. If you have another container you can transfer the food to, I would put it in the refrigerator. Then I'd go to bed for 2 hours, get up and put the food into the now cold container and put it in the refrigerator. Or, if the original kettle is cool enough, just put it in the refrgerator.

      2 Replies
      1. re: John E.
        almond tree RE: John E. Oct 6, 2011 03:28 AM

        Please be really really careful when refrigerating food in its original cooking pot. I learned this the hard way when I put a big kettle of split pea soup into the fridge. I thought the pot was cool enough, but my glass refrigerator shelf disagreed!

        1. re: almond tree
          John E. RE: almond tree Oct 6, 2011 07:37 AM

          That's why I first suggested to cool it for at least two hours with a fan blowing on it and putting the food into another chilled container UNLESS the original kettle was cool enough.

      2. Chemicalkinetics RE: smilingal Oct 5, 2011 11:09 PM

        I agree with John. If you want to speed up the cooling, you can actively cooling the pot by placing it in cool water or by fan blowing it. In addition, as long as the container is not really hot, you can probably put it in the refrigerator.

        1. j
          J.Dish RE: smilingal Oct 5, 2011 11:28 PM

          Also to assist in cooling you can put everything in a more shallow pan with more surface area.

          I think you have something like 2 hours to get your food from 140 to 80 degrees, and then another 4 hours from 80 to below 40. It's been years since I took a sanitation class though, so DON'T QUOTE ME IF YOU DIE!

          That being said, you could probably leave it out. It's just cabbage, right?

          FINAL ANSWER: Leave it out, let yer husband put it away,

          1 Reply
          1. re: J.Dish
            Chemicalkinetics RE: J.Dish Oct 5, 2011 11:44 PM

            "DON'T QUOTE ME IF YOU DIE!"

            That's funny. (the fact that a dead person can quote)

          2. twyst RE: smilingal Oct 5, 2011 11:30 PM

            Fill a gallon ziploc bag with ice and drop it in your pot. Should be cool enough in minutes.

            1. s
              smilingal RE: smilingal Oct 6, 2011 07:02 AM

              thank you all for your help. Dare I admit that I took it off the stove, set it on a trivet, went up to bed (just to rest - figuring I'd go back down in an hour or so) and then woke up to my husband leaving in the morning asking what should be done with the pot! Oh well - I am going with those of you who suggested this might be ok - and keeping my fingers crossed.

              JDish - it's a pot of sauce with cabbage leaves rolled around meat and rice filling.

              2 Replies
              1. re: smilingal
                John E. RE: smilingal Oct 6, 2011 07:44 AM

                We call it 'holubtsi'. My grandmother always cooked the rice before making it (although I later learned parboiling is better). Anyway, my grandmother got ill, was hospitalized, and died two weeks later on her 86th birthday (not a bad way to go). We found a container of rice and boiled cabbage leaves in her refrigerator waiting to be made into holubtsi.

                1. re: John E.
                  s
                  smilingal RE: John E. Oct 6, 2011 10:04 PM

                  ohhhh John! Thanks for sharing that story! May your grandmother's memories live on forever!

              2. puzzler RE: smilingal Oct 6, 2011 10:45 AM

                I usually put it directly into the frig if it's late night or I'm leaving the house. Just put a hot pad or cork trivet on the glass shelf first.

                Show Hidden Posts