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Glorious homemade applesauce ... a big, delicious, warm bowl of it is on my counter. Do I let it cool before refrigerating ?
October 14, 2007 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Glorious homemade applesauce ... a BIG, delicious, very warm bowl of it is on my counter. Do I let it cool before refrigerating ?
posted by R. Mutt to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
No. But, for best food safety and cooling results, repackage in smaller containers.
posted by acoutu at 5:36 PM on October 14, 2007


Yes... You shouldn't put warm anything in there, from the fridges' point of veiw.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 5:38 PM on October 14, 2007


My husband makes applesauce and he lets it *almost* cool before putting it in the fridge. (He also puts it in smaller containers.)
posted by Lucinda at 5:56 PM on October 14, 2007


No, but do put it in smaller containers.

From a restaurant point of view, it's good AND ok to do it in a big vat because the refrigerators there have a lower temp and a better compressor than your residential fridge does. Put that big warm vat in your fridge and it'll run it's little compressor right out from under it.

So yes, it's better to put it in the fridge sooner as opposed to later. The reason for this is that bacteria, which thrive on the warmth, make stuff that's poisonous to humans as they grow and eat and breed and die, and that's part of what gives us food poisoning. The refrigeration slows down the bacteria sooner. The higher the sugar content, the more important refrigeration is.
posted by SpecialK at 6:16 PM on October 14, 2007


I've never bothered to wait before refrigerating and not had any problems. But how but is big here? Too big and I'd have to say let it cool on it's own for a while before transferring it. If it is so large as to dominate the interior volume of the fridge, then I'd agree with the other posters that you don't want to so burden your appliance.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 6:20 PM on October 14, 2007


The only reason to wait until it cools down is that you will of course want to cover it when you put it in the fridge, and if you do that too soon, you'll get condensation raining onto the top of your applesauce. I usually throw food safety to the winds on this one, as long as I'm not dealing with milk, eggs, or meat.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:23 PM on October 14, 2007


i have never had any disasters putting hot food in the fridge, although letting it cool for a bit is probably not a bad idea.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:44 PM on October 14, 2007


Thanks. It has been separated and refrigerated. I look forward to it on my monday morning waffles! Thanks everyone.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:50 PM on October 14, 2007


I agree with mu~ha~ha~ha~har, I avoid put anything hot in the fridge, for the fridge's sake. Plus, since it's applesauce it wont go bad or anything.

Not sure what exactly happens to the fridge if you put hot things in it, but it's been ingrained in me from my mother that it's not to be done.
posted by theRussian at 6:53 PM on October 14, 2007


These answers are wrong. The real answer: cook the applesauce with the lid on, and let it cool with the lid on. Then just put the whole container/pot into the fridge once it's come to room temperature.

Unless you work in food service and are responsible for the safety of thousands, it's ridiculous to worry about applesauce spoiling by sitting out for a few hours, let alone spoiling with something pathogenic. Regardless, if you keep the lid on, once you've boiled the sauce, it's sterile (from the many minutes of boiling). Keep the lid on and it'll stay sterile.

And by sterile I mean "as close to sterile as you'll ever need for fruit, especially when it's gonna get refrigerated within a day.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:55 PM on October 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


There are about 28 cases of foodborn botulism in the USA each year compared to 60 deaths by lightning strike. Don't worry too much, just don't leave it on the counter all week.
posted by furtive at 7:19 PM on October 14, 2007


rxrfrx has it right. Transferring cooked sauce from a pot to a bowl, then separating it into containers, is going to expose more of the sauce to surface bacteria and encourage it to spoil faster. Leaving the lid on a pot that's been at boiling temperature is a much better plan.

If you're paranoid about organisms entering your pot as cooling sucks air in through the gap between the pot and the lid, seal that gap with a tape of cling-film while the pot's still hot.

The higher the sugar content, the more important refrigeration is.


I have several many-times-opened jars of jam sitting in my pantry, not in my fridge, that disagree. Sugar acts as a preservative at very high concentrations.

I doubt that there would be enough sugar in an applesauce to act this way, though.
posted by flabdablet at 7:51 PM on October 14, 2007


The reason you shouldn't put hot things in the refrigerator is that it will bring the temperature of the whole refrigerator up and it may take significant time to cool back down.

To cool down something hot, fill your sink with ice, then put the bowl in the ice. If you don't have any ice at all, use water, but don't let the water get into the bowl.

I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard the absolutely fastest way to cool something is to put it in salty ice water. The salt will bring the water temp below 32 degrees.
posted by faceonmars at 10:01 PM on October 14, 2007


I haven't tried it yet, but I've heard the absolutely fastest way to cool something is to put it in salty ice water. The salt will bring the water temp below 32 degrees.

Alton Brown says the same thing - he uses a hand-crank ice cream maker.
posted by concrete at 10:53 PM on October 14, 2007


For the record, we often get no-sugar added national brand name apple sauce, and it goes bad in the fridge after a month and a half or so, so I'd like to second what flabdablet wrote.
posted by furtive at 3:57 AM on October 15, 2007


Salty ice water is certainly the answer for quick-cool. Just for reference sake, the little yellow placard in the back of our resturant states that the State of Illinois finds it appropriate to fill a sink with ice and "quickly chill" food that way.
posted by GilloD at 7:18 AM on October 15, 2007


Also, if it's below 40°F outside, setting it outside (covered, of course!) will cool it faster than your refrigerator.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:22 AM on October 15, 2007


For cooling info, check out this answer from asavage.
posted by acoutu at 1:45 PM on October 15, 2007


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