81

When in Doubt, Throw it Out! You cannot always see or smell bacterial contamination. Mold that appears to be growing only on the surface may grow invisible roots into softer foods. Do not rely on a visual inspection or "smell test" to tell you whether or not a food is safe. It's not worth the risk - food poisoning can be much, much worse than an upset ...


66

This is a myth left over from the days of iceboxes. Go to any official food safety resource online (including USDA, FDA, etc.), and you will find they are all in agreement: it's perfectly safe to put hot food in your refrigerator. In fact, unless you are using some more direct cooling method (like putting your food in an ice bath), waiting to refrigerate ...


32

Ripening of the avocado is slowed down greatly by refrigeration, so it is usually a good idea to let the avocado ripen fully at room temperature. Once it is ripe, it can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week. This way, it is ready to use whenever you want it. Fortunately, there is a day or two when the avocado is ripe, but not too ripe, so if you ...


28

According to Still Tasty, a site that utilizes FDA, CDC and USDA data, cooked pasta should be fine for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Use a shallow container or a Ziplock bag to store the pasta, and get it in the fridge within 2 hours of cooking. To keep it from sticking, toss it with a bit of oil. You can reheat it or eat it cold. You can freeze pasta ...


22

Some facts seem to be getting mixed up here. Hot food is going to remain "warm" (i.e. in the danger zone) much longer if you leave it on the counter rather than in the fridge. That's basic physics. If the ambient temperature is colder, then the food will stay warm for less time, leaving less time for bacteria to grow. There are reasons not to pop a huge ...


18

I'm sure that most of us have, at one point, left some smelly food in the fridge (fish, onions, etc.) and later found that other foods have picked up the odour. Given that, it's a pretty safe bet to say that if some contaminant becomes airborne, it's definitely possible for it to come into contact with other food. So the question then becomes whether or not ...


18

The crisper provides a somewhat enclosed environment, which prevents moisture from escaping as rapidly. Vegetables keep best at a certain humidity, higher than that typically found in the rest of the fridge, but not so high that condensation starts accumulating on them. Vegetables kept in too-dry air in the rest of the fridge will tend to dry out and shrivel ...


17

Living organisms, including plants, are very complicated miniature chemistry factories. Even separated, dead body parts still have chemical processes taking place completely independent from any parasitic organisms (bacteria, molds) present. But of course, lots of the processes which take place in the living plant don't take place any longer, and their ...


16

Based on the guidance my friendly local health department has given me, you need to get things to the right temperature as fast as possible to minimize bacterial growth, generally within four hours after it has been out, for "potentially hazardous food." This means that you need to figure out a strategy to chill food within that timeframe. Items that are ...


16

[Edited] I think 10 hours would be safe enough for most food: the first couple of hours the fridge will still be quite cold, and after that it takes more than a few ours for most food to spoil. When I leave milk out of the fridge for three hours at room temperature (say, 20 °C), nothing happens. I do this often. And the temperature inside the fridge will ...


16

The rest period hydrates the starches in flour, giving the dough a firmer and more workable texture (there is some very minor gluten development, but its mostly the expansion of the starch bundles with water). In many cookies, the flavors will also mature and improve, especially with cocoa in the recipe. In many recipes, the cooling from refrigeration is ...


16

No, refrigeration will not damage your inner pot. Some materials (such as ceramic) can be damaged by rapid temperature changes but the one you picture appears to be stainless steel or similar alloy and will handle temperature changes very well. Note: refrigeration is not bad for ceramic but rather going from one extreme to the other. Please Don't leave it ...


15

SUMMARY: Unless I'm missing something here or you're doing very odd things with your refrigerator, you'd at most save a couple dollars per year by keeping your fridge/freezer full. Moreover, stocking up on water (or other things) to fill up fridge/freezer space won't save you much at all unless you're keeping it stored there for a VERY long time, since it ...


15

Anecdotally, the difference is in the spread. When tested, this is confirmed, along with it affecting the browning and the texture. When you start with cold dough, the outer edges of the cookie start to firm up before the middle has warmed up a lot. This means it will start crusting (and browning) before the fat in the middle starts to spread out. The ...


13

Store them in a well ventilated place. Cool (15 degrees Celsius) and dark will probably do them good too. And buy green bananas. Your bananas are alive. Seriously, they continue to live after they have been picked. Breathing, cell metabolism, hormone production, etc. goes on. You cannot stop this process, you can slow it a bit. In many plants, fridge ...


13

The skins turn black in the fridge, but the fruit itself is fine. Cooks Illustrated tested if refrigerating bananas keeps them good longer, and they found it does—five days longer. Extract below: Most people store bananas on the countertop, and we wondered if chilling the fruit could slow ripening. To find out, we left 12 pounds of bananas at room ...


12

Its called chocolate blooming. There are two types: Fat blooming - cause is not known for certain, but probably the type VI chocolate crystals are more thermodynamically favored, so spontaneous conversion (and exit from the surface of the solid solution constituting the chocolate body) may be possible. Sugar blooming - the sugar in the chocolate is ...


11

The fridge itself does storing, cooling, and dehydrating. But the last part is rather slow, you don't see the effect all that much. It is more prominent at low temperatures (manifests as freezer burn). But try leaving unwrapped bacon slices in the regular fridge and you'll see what I mean. But anyway, it isn't all that interesting what the fridge does, ...


11

In the answer linked in the question, I already provided the results of a simple experiment I carried out a few years ago with an infrared thermometer. However, tonight I decided to try something slightly better with something closer to a worst-case scenario. I don't think it definitively answers the question, but it gives another few data points. I ...


11

The key factor in syrup's shelf life is the water activity in the syrup, rather than the ingredients used to make it. Generally, the water is all 'bound up' with dissolved sugar so microorganisms can't use it to grow, but the lighter the syrup, the more available water it will have. In my experience, simple syrup is usually kept refrigerated except for ...


11

Most hot sauces are pretty inhospitable to foodborne illnesses, and can safely stay in the cupboard rather than the refrigerator. Nevertheless, the flavors in the sauces will break down over time, storing them in the fridge as opposed to room temperature will slow deterioration and keep the sauces fresher longer. If you use your sauces quickly enough then ...


11

I mostly agree with GdD's answer, but I'll add a couple more comments. This may be an obvious answer, but I'd generally follow the recommendation on the specific bottle. Some sauces will clearly state "refrigerate after opening," and others won't. The Frank's FAQ linked in the question is an example of these sorts of instructions: two specific products ...


10

As Doug mentioned in his answer, tomatoes lose flavor if refrigerated. This is because they contain an aromatic compound called cis-3-hexenal which is permanently destroyed if the tomatoes drop below about 50°F. Moisture makes onions rot, and refrigerators are moist places, so onions should generally be stored in a dry place when whole and refrigerated in ...


10

Refrigerating accomplishes several things: It is the right temperature to get the intended flavor. Flavors change with temperature, and some dishes get the correct taste when cold. Flavors get to blend more. Aromatic spices sometimes take time to soak into the sauce, and liquids absorb into the potatoes more Cold is an easy way to prevent spoilage. ...


10

I have worked in the CPG industry for almost 30 years. A few years back I had the privilege of representing one of the largest produce brands in the US. I learned quite a bit about produce storage and what speeds up the deterioration rate. One thing I noticed in your picture is that there appeared to be moisture (condensation) inside of the bag of carrots. ...


9

The easiest solution that comes to mind would be to figure out how much you need for a sandwich, remove that from the jar, set it on the counter to come to room temp (or put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds) and then spread it when it's warmed up. "Refrigerate after opening" doesn't mean that it must be in the fridge every second, though... so even if ...


8

I don't think I've ever seen peanut butter grow mold, natural or commercial, refrigerated or not. What will happen with natural peanut butter is that the fat (of which there's plenty) will go rancid over time. The oxidation process that leads to rancidity requires heat, light, and usually oxygen; keeping it in the refrigerator will therefore slow the ...


8

As others have mentioned, it depends a lot on the efficiency of your fridge, how much or little food there's in, the temperature of the room the fridge is in and so on. The USDA has a whole page about “Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency.” A power outage of 10 hours seems rather long though considering they state you can expect the fridge to keep the food ...


8

Since those are drop cookies, the best approach is to portion them into individual cookie portions, and freeze them on a sheet tray. Once solidly frozen, they can be moved into a zip back or other more convenient storage container. They do not need to be thawed in order to bake, so they still are very convenient. Simply lay them out frozen on a tray, and ...


8

Assuming it's a proper removable (some old ones weren't) inner crock pot you could (as in your other answer). BUT That pot will take a long time to warm up when you put it in and turn it on. I would suggest assembling all the ingredients in another container (which may also fit better in the fridge) and turning them out in to the (ideally preheated) crock ...


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