a great way to cool food is to constantly
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Best practices for cooling food
Food needs help cooling down quickly; it can’t do it on its own. Factors that affect how quickly foods will cool down include:
- Size of the food item being cooled.
- The thickness of the food or distance to its center plays the biggest part in how fast a food cools.
d and efficient ways to cool food include:
- Ice-water bath and frequently stirring the food
- . This promotes faster and more even cooling.
- Ice paddles
- (plastic container filled with water and frozen) used to stir food in an ice-water bath.
- Adding ice
- as an ingredient (if water is an ingredient).
- Blast or tumble chiller.
- This facilitates heat transfer from the surface of the food.
Reduce the size of food and divide
Start by reducing the size or mass of food by cutting large food items into smaller pieces and dividing large containers into smaller containers.
How To Cool Food Quickly And Safely
Convection vs Conduction
According to thermodynamics, there are two major ways that things can be cooled.
The first and most common way that foods are cooled is through convection.
Convection is the changing of temperature through contact with a gas or liquid.
This type of cooling cools the air or liquid that surrounds the object by replacing the hot air or liquid that directly surrounds the object with fresh, cooler air.
This allows the object to dissipate heat more quickly.
Conduction changes the temperature of an object by putting it in direct contact with a solid of a different temperature.
The cooler object will draw the heat out of the warmer object through direct contact of atoms
Why should one let food cool down before refrigerating it?
You can just stick it in the fridge. The problem is that you will warm the fridge by doing this, the fridge will cool down again but it will take a bit of time. Meanwhile, all the other food in the fridge warms up a little too making it go bad sooner than it otherwise would.
In a large fridge with a small item the effect is negligible but in a small fridge with a large red hot casserole then it can be noticeable.
So the point in waiting is to avoid warming the fridge too much, whether you bother is
up to you.
Why is it important to refrigerate leftovers?
Bacteria on food can cause food poisoning, which is common and usually not severe.
However, in some cases, food poisoning can be pretty dangerous.
Either way, you’ll want to avoid any type of sickness in your household.
So, does it make sense to put leftovers into the fridge as soon as they’re cooked?
While you want to chill them down and halt bacteria before it spreads, putting hot or even warm food into a cold fridge has many problems of its own.
How to cool food down faster
If you can’t wait two hours, or you’ve prepared a large quantity of hot food that won’t cool in time, there are some ways you can speed up the process.
• Separate hot food into smaller containers –
the smaller the portion size, the quicker the food will cool down
• Leave leftovers in stainless steel containers to cool –
stainless steel transfers heat from food much faster than plastic, and you can always move the portion back into a plastic container for storage
Where’s the best place to store potatoes? Britain’s favourite starch should be kept somewhere cool, dry, and dark – but not in the fridge. Storing potatoes in the refrigerator does nothing to prolong their life.
In fact, keeping potatoes in the fridge can actually increase the amount of sugar in them.
When we cook potatoes and other starchy foods, they produce an organic compound called acrylamide.
Too much of this can be harmful, and keeping them in the fridge means more sugars to convert into acrylamide.
How often should you clean your fridge?
Your fridge should be looking good and healthy by now. Still, you’ll want to make sure you keep the shelves, drawers, and walls bacteria-free if you’re going to live your best fridge life!
Refrigerators are one of the most essential appliances in our home, and they’re hard at work 24/7, keeping your ingredients and leftovers safe and ready to eat. Show your fridge some TLC with a monthly deep-clean that involves checking there’s nothing mouldy lurking at the back.
Proper cooling methods for food
It can be tricky to cool a large batch of hot food. Strategies for cooling can help take the heat out of the situation.
- Separate food into smaller portions. A large pot of hot food put right into the fridge can become dangerous. The food in the middle of the pot will cool much more slowly than t
he food around the edges. Rice is a particular danger for this scenario since it holds heat so well. Instead, separate food into containers that are 4 inches deep or less.
- Cover food loosely while it cools. This lets heat escape more easily while food cools in the fridge. If food is protected from contamination from above, it can be left uncovered while it cools.
- Stir loose foods. Stirring is not an option for some foods, like casseroles, but for loose foods it can be helpful to even out cooling.
- Use an ice bath. Surround a container of food with ice water. Ideally, the water level should sit above the top level of the food.
- Add ice as an ingredient. If ice isn’t an option, use an ice paddle to get the same effect without the added liquid.
- Use a blast chiller or tumbler. These appliances can cool large amounts of food quickly. They work well for both solid and liquid foods.
Warm Food: The Facts
Both approaches are based in fact and there are justifications for both. They aren’t even really incompatible. Let’s remember the refrigerator was invented for this specific reason: To keep food cold so that it can be stored longer.
Your refrigerator must work much harder in order to maintain or restore the “cold” level inside when a particularly hot item is placed in it. The warmer or hotter the food is and the larger the amount, the longer the refrigerator needs to get back to the temperature is it originally set to. On the other hand, bacteria do develop quickly. The USDA calls the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F, under which average room temperature (between 64°F and 75°F) falls, the “Danger Zone”. Do not leave cooked foods in room temperature for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is consistently above 90°F
Hot food may slightly reheat food in its vicinity that is already refrigerated, reducing the storage time of these items. The steam coming from hot food also The steam of warm food will lead to condensation, which forms water droplets or even ice on the back of the refrigerator.
Food Safety: Heating, Cooling and Storage
The Food Standards Agency estimates the number of food poisoning cases in the UK to be around five million people each year.
Food poisoning varies from mild stomachache to extremely severe illness requiring hospital treatment.
Young children and babies are most at risk from food poisoning because it doesn’t take much for them to lose a high percentage of body fluid and become dehydrated.
Food poisoning in the home can be kept at bay with stringent food hygiene practices.
Many busy mums prepare food in advance, and often raise questions concerning the safety of cooling, storing and heating ready prepared meals.
This article will address some of those questions and future articles will deal with raw food preparation and hygiene.
The strains of a demanding family/work life can be alleviated by time-saving practices, and making food in advance for youngsters eating early or older late arrivals is commonplace. Below are some useful points to consider:
Why Can’t I Put Hot Food Straight into the Fridge or Freezer? – Hot food will warm other foods and could raise the temperature of the fridge.
How Long Should I Leave Food to Cool Down Before Freezing or Refrigerating it? – Food should be cooled as quickly as possible and should certainly not be left longer than one to two hours before being placed in the fridge or freezer.
Can Food be Cooled Down More Quickly? – There is no easy way to speed up cooling, but you can try the following:
- Divide food into smaller portions.
- Place in well-sealed containers and run under cold water.
- Place in a well-sealed container and stand it in a shallow tray of cold water.
It’s also important to answer some questions relating to the storage of our prepared food:
If I Cook too Much Food, How Long Can I Keep it? – Store it in a sealed container in the fridge and use it within 48 hours, but preferably 24 hours.
Extra portions of baby food cooked from fresh ingredients should be treated in the same way but used within 24 hours.
Can I Use Cling Film With High Fat Foods? – Some cling film is not suitable for wrapping high fat foods.
This will include dishes you’ve prepared with fried meats or cheese etc. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Why Can’t I Use Aluminium Foil for Certain Foods? Acid foods, such as rhubarb, cabbage, soft fruits, can acquire an aluminium taint, which can affect the taste.
What is the Best Way to Store my Meals in the Fridge or Freezer? – Purpose-made sealable containers or bags are fine. Make sure they are well sealed, air tight and leakproof.
Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ascertain their suitability for the fridge or freezer and for all types of food.
Why Should I Store Food in the Fridge? – Bacteria thrive in warm temperatures, but have difficulty surviving or spreading at very cold or hot temperatures.
Refrigeration slows but does not prevent the growth of bacteria, which is why your chilled meals should be used within 24 to 48 hours
Reheating leftover food
When you reheat any leftovers, remember that the magic number is 165°F (74°C). Not only is that the temperature to instantly kill most bacteria, but more importantly, it is the temperature at which most bacterially-created toxins that we mentioned above will be destroyed.
Food safety requires that all leftovers be reheated to 165°F for at least 15 seconds. Reheat all foods rapidly. The total time the temperature of the food is between 41°F and 165°F should not exceed two hours.
Food that has been reheated should be served immediately! Reheat only what you plan on eating, because re-cooling leftovers after they’ve been reheated is not recommended. (not only from a safety standpoint but from a food-quality standpoint, too!)