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Wife to Husband: Stick it (in the fridge)

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One Mom asks, five Moms answer. Which Mom•Logic staffer do you think is right?

Dear Mom•Logic,

My husband says we shouldn't put leftovers in the refrigerator until they've cooled down, and I say it doesn't make a difference. I can never get a straight answer out of him about why. Is it because of bacteria or will it make the food taste bad?!  The point is I ALWAYS end up putting the leftovers away because after they've "cooled" he never seems to get around to doing it. I think he's just being lazy (and I told him so, which didn't go over so well) and just procrastinating, like his "soaking the pot" tactic that never seems to result in a washed pot. What do you think?

 Signed, "Ice Cold Marriage"

jillI hate to say it, but I actually come from the school of "wait til it cools."  My dad always said it was a waste of energy to put something hot in the fridge.  It stuck with me.  But at least your husband soaks the stuff he leaves in the sink. That's a step in the right direction, don't you think?
jackieM.jpgI've never  heard  this in my life. I always just put the leftovers straight in the fridge. I think the one who needs to "cool down" is him!"
sabrina.jpgI'd tell him fine to cool it as long as he eventually puts them away. You may need to suffer waking up to leftovers on the counter a few times... Good luck. PS We have a "no soaking" policy in our kitchen (soaking IS a total scam).
julie.jpgWaiting for leftovers to cool down...really? How hot could they be by the time you're actually ready to refrigerate?  I don't think that makes a difference, really. But I do feel strongly about this: Never underestimate the the benefits of "soaking the pot" it's a great way to get out of doing them.
I've had this same question so I googled it, and this is what I found: "Don't be afraid to put hot foods in the refrigerator. The appliance is made to cool down foods and will give bacteria less time to grow than sitting out in the temperature danger zone of 40 - 140 degrees Fahrenheit." Looks like you're right. But then again, even if he were right, I'd take your side.

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14 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous March 17, 2008, 1:33 PM

can’t believe you guy helps in the kitchen at all. consider yourself lucky

SugarPlumFairy March 17, 2008, 2:21 PM

I always leave it out for a while, esp. as it is annoying to package up something to go perfectly in the fridge and people want to get seconds and thirds, deliberately messing up my sense of order.

Jenny March 17, 2008, 3:54 PM

I would never wait to put food away. WIth a little man running around my house at all time, who knows what could pull me away. So, I have to agree with Diana for sure…just do it. Clean that kitchen before you settle in the nook on the sofa

Jennifer Cote March 17, 2008, 3:57 PM

I completely agree with Diana! Who wants to wait until that little darling pulls me away after throwing all the hand towels in the toilet. Get that kitchen cleaned up and move on with the day/night.

sweet girl March 17, 2008, 7:03 PM

Is this seriously an issue? If so, A.)How sad, and B.)google it like Jackie did for an answer…it’s a wonderful lil wealth of information, this internet thing.

Anonymous March 17, 2008, 8:03 PM

jill has it right…
it’s a waste of energy and a waste of energy to fight over something so stupid

Mary March 17, 2008, 8:06 PM

Here’s the correct answer:
1. Let the food cool
2. Let your husband put the food away
4. Your husband will learn that if he doesn’t put the food away there will be no leftovers.
Pretty simple unless you’re a control freak…

jade4088 March 20, 2008, 9:00 PM

My husband says the same thing but he only leaves the lid off things and then he doesn’t put it on….

Anonymous April 8, 2008, 7:20 PM

I am always the one that does EVERYthing in the kitchen and that is one of my rules- dont put leftovers away until they’ve cooled. It depends on what it is, but I have also heard that it does conserve refrigerator energy. Everyone will make their own choice on the issue, but all I am saying is that I choose not to put anything warm in my fridge next to all my cold things and make my fridge work harder to cool leftovers down AND maintain the other cold things. Personal choice.

harry October 22, 2008, 9:09 PM
annett October 23, 2008, 12:24 AM
jarri October 23, 2008, 6:56 AM
john October 23, 2008, 10:16 AM
michael October 23, 2008, 1:33 PM

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