Find out why it is not OK to put a pot in the fridge, because of the changes that it will cause in your food and the pot.
When you store your food in the fridge instead of just out in the open, it should stay fresh for a longer period of time.
However, it is not okay to store this food in the fridge in the pot that you cooked it in, because this can have serious negative effects on the freshness of the food and the cookware.
The benefits refrigerator storage
The refrigerator is one of the most used appliances in every home and it is used to store leftovers, fresh produce, beverages, condiments or sauces, and more, in a safe way.
The growth of the various microorganisms that can spoil your food is slowed down significantly by the cold temperature inside your refrigerator and this is why your food will last longer in the fridge than when it is just left out of the fridge on the counter.
Is it OK to put a pot in the fridge?
Although storing food in your fridge can keep it fresher for longer in most cases, this is not necessarily true for all cases.
If you have spent a significant amount of time preparing a meal or you even just feel full after eating one, your natural instinct may be to skip the washing up and to just put the entire pot in the fridge. However, this is not recommended.
There are many reasons why it is not okay to store your leftovers in the fridge in the pot that you cooked them in, this includes the fact that certain metal pots can be reactive and can transfer harmful chemicals to your food when it is stored in the pot for a long period of time.
It may be okay to put non-reactive pots like stainless steel, glass, glazed ceramic, or enamel-coated cast iron pots in the fridge, but it is still not advisable, because a big pot will take up a lot of space in your fridge and even one with a lid on will not create an air-tight seal.
Most pots are also just designed to cook food in, not to store it in. This means that aside from the possible reactivity and spoilage of the food, your pot could end up damaged from acidic foods or seasonings when you store food in it.
Safety concerns for putting a pot with food in the fridge
If your pot is made of a reactive metal like aluminium, copper, iron, and non-stainless steel, these metals can actually be absorbed into the food that you have left in the pot in the fridge, and this can change the colouring of the food and give it a distinctive metallic taste, or it can even cause the food to bubble.
Additionally, a pot with a lid does not create an airtight seal in the same way that rubberised containers do.
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This means that bacteria and other microorganisms can get into your food when it is in a pot in the fridge and this can spoil your food and possibly even make you sick.
These safety concerns are the main reason why it is not safe to put a pot with food in the fridge.
Other issues with putting a pot in the fridge
Although putting your pot in the fridge when it is made of a reactive metal is not okay, there are also other drawbacks of putting it with food in the fridge regardless of the material it is made of.
Transferring your leftovers to storage containers, like these Ginissey stackable containers can help you to make the most of the limited space within your fridge, but a pot with a lid can take up a whole rack even when it is not entirely filled with food and waste valuable space.
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If you try to put a pot in the fridge while it is still hot, it will heat up the rest of your fridge and this can result in the other food and produce in your fridge going bad faster than they should.
How putting your pot in the fridge can damage the pot
The potential changes to your food are not the only risk of putting a pot in the fridge. It is also not safe to put it in the fridge, because this could damage the it.
In the same way that metal can be absorbed by your food from reactive cookware, acidic foods and salt can damage the inside of your pot if you store food in your pot in the fridge for extended periods of time.