Can You Put Warm Chicken In The Fridge?

can you put warm chicken in the fridge?

We recently came across a hot debate on forums on this question: can you put warm chicken in the fridge?

Refrigerating warm chicken reduces the growth and proliferation of bacteria that might create difficulties later on. Bacteria such as salmonella, streptococcus, and ecoli infect exposed food.

Can You Put Warm Chicken In The Fridge?

Yes, you can put warm chicken in the fridge, and it’s advisable because it limits the chances of your chicken spoiling. 

So, where does the myth that you can’t store warm food in the fridge originate?

It stems from a misinterpretation of what constitutes warm food. Although both are subjective concepts, there are significant distinctions between them.

Warm items are only slightly warmer than ambient temperature. They are hotter than ambient temperature but not warm enough to scorch the skin or cause a fast withdrawal response when touched. On the other hand, hot things are more desirable and may burn the flesh when touched.

Food items below 35°C (95°F) can be considered warm, while anything beyond might be regarded as hot.

Though some freezers can withstand hot food, it is best to avoid storing hot dishes in your freezer. This is primarily because hot food causes the freezer to work more to maintain the temperature.

When stored in the freezer, boiling chicken, there will be a likelihood that your dish will deteriorate. This is because the meal will warm up the air in the freezer, and the ensuing warmth might allow germs to thrive in the food. It can also damage other fruits and vegetables in the fridge in rare circumstances.

How Long Can You Leave Cooked Chicken in the Fridge?

Food products below 34°C (105°F) can be considered warm, while anything beyond might be regarded as hot.

Cooked chicken remains safe in the fridge for three to five days; however, if we are talking about quasi chicken – which you’ll buy entirely or sliced at the butcher store – it is best not to keep it longer than three days.

The distinction is that steak plates are often stored in a modified environment, which includes gases that help to maximize the shelf life somewhat. Chicken is one of the most popular foods on the marketplace, although it is also one of the most dangerous if not handled properly.

If the chicken is frozen, the freezing system will determine the period. If frozen at home from fresh chicken, you should not keep it in the freezer for longer than three months. On the other hand, if you buy a rotisserie chicken, you can prolong the period by 11 months.

It is critical to preserve it as quickly as possible in any event. However, the chicken is still in good shape, rather than being abandoned in the freezer and deteriorating.

The chicken requires cold to be appropriately preserved. During the summer, the room temperature achieved in some kitchens is ideal for bacterial proliferation.

If you don’t intend to eat the meat right away, don’t leave it out raw or cooked.

What Happens If You Put Warm Chicken In The Fridge?

Refrigerating warm chicken reduces the growth and proliferation of bacteria that might create difficulties later on. Bacteria such as dengue, streptococcus, and ecoli infect exposed food.

You might want to let it chill in the refrigerator before placing it in your freezer. In your rush to finish all of the kitchen labor, you frequently wind up storing items that are still hot in the freezer.

The goal of freezing food is to preserve it healthy and unpolluted for a longer time while preserving its nutritious value. It is essential to use caution while freezing, thawing, or defrosting.

You should store cooked food within three hours of cooking. It also helps to chill it faster; split the meal into smaller bits so that it cools quickly and defrosts sooner to minimize contamination. It is usually best to refrigerate all perishable foods such as milk, veggies, steak, and cooked meals.” 

Covering food in sealed containers or foils helps retain the moisture content of the food. This also keeps the odors of various meals from mingling while keeping microbes at bay. Frozen food may be stored for up to two to four months, but examine the color, odor, and taste to verify if it is nutritious.

Another widespread misconception about placing hot meals in the freezer is that it will damage your device or change the temperature of the items surrounding it. Well, with modern appliances, you shouldn’t have to bother that much because the refrigerator’s sensor regulates temperature and humidity, ensuring that your equipment is not harmed. Nevertheless, if you have an older model, you may exercise caution by putting hot food in sealed containers to minimize condensation and ice.

Can You Put A Hot Rotisserie Chicken In The Refrigerator?

Yes, you can keep a hot rotisserie chicken in the fridge. If you wish to refrigerate a hot roasted chicken after it has been delivered, take the chicken and place it in a flat container to enable it to cool fast.

Can You Put A Hot Rotisserie Chicken In The Refrigerator?

When the chicken breasts have cooled, wrap the receptacle or put the chicken in a zip lock bag until set to use. Use the chicken breasts within six days or freeze them for nine months.

Is It Okay To Put Hot Food In Your Fridge?

Yes, you can put hot food in your fridge. However, large quantities of food must be split into tiny parts and stored in small cubes in the refrigerator to faster cooling. Perishable meals should be stored in a fridge at 50°F or lower within three hours of preparation. 

If you leave food out to cool and then forget about it after three hours, discard it. Bacteria can multiply fast on food abandoned at ambient temperature for longer than three hours. Food should be refrigerated or thrown within two hours if kept out in a building at a temperature of 80 degrees F or higher.

Tips To Ensure Before Refrigerating Your Hot Food

  • If you must store hot food in the fridge, avoid using wide containers.
  • They usually take more time to freeze, so keep them in small cubes to make them simpler to chill. You may then put these tiny containers in the fridge to speed up the chilling process.
  • Make smaller servings of your food. Fill smaller containers with them.
  • Before refrigerating the meal, you can quickly cool it in an ice-water bath.
  • Alternatively, you may leave it to cool on the countertop until the steam has subsided.
  • Freeze the heated liquids by covering them with plastic wrap. They can emit moisture if left exposed, making the compressor work more than it has to.

Is It Bad To Put Hot Food In Fridge?

Yes, it is bad to put hot food in your fridge. To allow for rapid chilling, large quantities of food must be divided into tiny pieces and kept in small cubes in the refrigerator. Within three hours of preparation, perishable foods should be refrigerated in the fridge at 50°F or lower. 

If you put food out to cool for three hours and then forget about it, it should be discarded. Bacteria may quickly proliferate on food left out at ambient temperature for three hours. If food is left out in a building or outside when the temperature is 80 degrees F and above, it should be refrigerated or thrown away within two hours.

However, it’s essential to pay attention to how this chilling process works because it has significant drawbacks:

  • It warms the food next to it: placing hot food in the fridge produces a quick rise in temperature inside, increasing the danger of microbial contamination from some of the other foods and shortening the time it can be stored.
  • It’s best to allow adequate room around the hot food for air to flow, aid the freezing rate, and lay the meal on top if it’s a bit heated because the warmth is more constant in this region. Furthermore, because hot air rises and cold air falls, high temperatures will have less of an impact on the food if we place it up.
  • Food cooks unevenly: the cold will not uniformly reach all food portions if we wish to cool a substantial meal. The surface and volume of the object cool at different rates: the smaller the piece, the faster it cools. As a result, it’s best to split it and keep it in shallow containers to expedite the process.
  • It can produce dampness inside the refrigerator due to vapor from hot food, which forms moisture and sometimes even icing at the bottom of the fridge. High humidity contributes to the formation of mold and bacteria and the rotting of food over time.
  • The chilly, damp, and gloomy environment rapidly becomes perfect for bacteria and fungi of all kinds. It is best to cover the container with a lid to avoid this. This is especially important in the case of watery dishes like soups.
  • It would help to avoid cross-contamination from uncooked to cooked meals at all costs: germs from one (typically uncooked) can infect the other. Raw items should be kept on the bottom shelves of the fridge, while prepared meals should be kept on the top shelves.


Denzel and Beryl are a food scientist powerhouse couple. They met while attending culinary school, and have been cooking and baking together ever since. They love to watch football, movies, and reality shows in their free time. They have even participated in several cooking and baking competitions globally!

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