I am trying to finish soups faster. I have very heavy iron kettle and it takes years to become cold. I use a water container with ice with it but the hot water still takes a lot time to become cold. I have already put ice cubes into the soup and some cold water but it is still hot! How can I freeze my soup fast without destroying the content of my fridge or freezer? It is now almost two hours waiting it to become colder but with this heavy iron kettle and a lot of hot water, it is taking years.

Could I put the soup into small plastic bags and the plastic bags into the cold water and then the cold plastic bags into the fridge (I have no special plastic bags, perhaps they will break)? I need to somehow make the soup smaller to increase the area, to get it cold faster. By increasing the area, I am sure I can get it cold faster. Ideas to do that?

  • 1
    Yes, pour your soup into another container. Any container will do, as the soup will cool very quickly once it is out of your kettle.
    – michael
    Commented Jul 31, 2011 at 21:00
  • 2
    Ladle it into serving bowls, serve these to your dinning table, it will then be cold, just like at dinner :-(
    – TFD
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 2:52

4 Answers 4


I have "ice packs" which are encased in plastic (some hard, some soft), that I keep frozen. It won't quite bring your soup down as far as you want, but dropping a few of these into your soup will help cool it off. Just remember to clean them before returning them to the freezer.

The other thing I do it put the stopper in my sink and add cold water and ice. The whole pot goes in the sink--surrounded by cold water and ice it will cool much faster than in the fridge (or freezer). Add some salt to the ice-water and it will get even colder. Stir it up a bit every once in a while both inside and outside (use separate spoons!) to keep the temperature distribution even.

Alternatively, you could use one of these :)

  • 1
    A disposable alternative to ice packs that I use is filling a small ziploc bag with ice and a little water (the water is to increase heat conduction when the bag is first put in the target food).
    – AaronN
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 20:38
  • 2
    I like filling and freezing water bottles Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 18:13

Pour your soup into a few containers, each of which is made from a lightweight material (eg: aluminium, a thinner steel, or a food-grade heat resistant plastic. For quickest cooling, go with something that has a larger surface area (eg: instead of a tall thin container, use a container that is longer than it is high). If you have a roasting tray, you could even use that as a temporary container before transferring the cooled soup into smaller containers for freezing.

Wait until these containers are cool enough to put into the fridge/freezer, otherwise you will just heat up the rest of the fridge/freezer. I usually wait until they are at room temperature or just above.

Don't put ice cubes into your soup, it will just make it watery.

  • yes but I have only glass bottles, I have no storage containers really. Is it possible to use plastic bags and bottles?
    – user2954
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 6:42
  • 1
    If your bottles are plastic #2, 4, or 5, then you can safely freeze them with some water inside and submerge them in your soup. Just make sure to clean the outside of the bottles first.
    – ESultanik
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 12:37
  • 1
    I would not use glass bottles, because the rapid temperature change could cause them to fracture and add some extra "crunch" to your soup. Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 16:49
  • If your bottles are food grade plastic, then you can pour the soup in just fine (for storage within the same containers, or to help with cooling the soup before transferring it to your storage containers or plastic bags). If you are unsure or concerned, do a trial with a very small amount of soup in a plastic bottle and monitor it. I would NOT put hot soup into plastic bags, since in my experience, they would melt. Cold soup or room temperature yes, but hot NO.
    – KimbaF
    Commented Aug 1, 2011 at 22:35

Take 3-4 empty plastic water bottles. Fill them 3/4 with water, and freeze them. When you have made your hot soup, put the pot on a layer of ice, then put the bottles directly into the soup pot. The soup will cool evenly.


Package the soup portions into watertight containers, eg lock-n-locks, then cool these by submerging them in (optionally running and/or iced) water as you suggested...

BTW, fridges can take some sh...enanigans from hot contents since they actively regulate their own temperature ... to a limit. You might want to experiment with defined amounts of hot water and a fridge thermometer next time you have that fridge empty...

  • Actually, if you set them in an ice bath with the lids off, you get both heat escape (from the steam venting), plus evaporative cooling (from the steam forming in the first place).
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 15:49
  • Runs the risk of accidentally diluting the soup with the water, though :) Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 16:55
  • Just stir the containers themselves, not the water bath, and you don't run much risk. You can also use shallow trays of food to maximize the evaporative cooling, and reduce the need to stir.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 17:09

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