We all love warm, fresh food on our table, but sometimes we have too much to do so we have to prepare food in advance. To prevent food from spoiling and ending up in the trash, it is necessary to keep it in the fridge. If you are wondering about the right way to put food in the fridge, you are not alone. You have probably heard that you shouldn’t put hot food in the fridge, but is that really true? Does lasagna need to cool before refrigerating?
Lasagna doesn’t have to cool before you store it in the fridge. To retain the aromas and exquisite taste, place aluminum foil over the lasagna and then simply place it in the fridge. However, be careful not to put a hot pan in the refrigerator so as not to damage the inside of the refrigerator.
While some people think that food should reach room temperature before you put it in the fridge, others think it is okay to put it warm in the fridge.
The belief that you shouldn’t put hot food in a fridge stems from the idea that hot food will raise your refrigerator’s temperatures and cause other food to spoil in it.
This is a misconception and you should not wait for the food to cool before putting it in the fridge. Your refrigerator is made in a way to cool food, regardless of its temperature.
Read more: Why You Should Let Lasagna Rest Before Baking
Can you put the lasagna in the fridge hot?
Of course. Leaving food at room temperature to cool before placing it in the refrigerator favors bacteria and allows them to spread.
Food should be out of your refrigerator for only two hours before you put it in the refrigerator, killing all bacteria at the same time.
If left for more than two hours at a temperature between 40 degrees (maximum recommended refrigerator temperature) and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the bacteria can multiply to dangerous numbers.
However, by no means transfer the hot lasagna pan directly from the oven to the fridge as you will most likely damage it. Wait for the pan to cool a bit or transfer it to another bowl, and then simply put it in the fridge.
If you are afraid to put a large pan of hot lasagna in your fridge, transfer it to smaller containers. That way, the food will cool down faster and you won’t have to throw away the food.
However, be careful not to place lasagna next to milk or other products that can easily spoil due to sudden temperature changes.
The best advice is to put a warm pan with lasagna with the aluminum foil on it so that their heat does not spread over the rest of the fridge.
Read more: How Long Can Lasagna Sit Out After Being Cooked?
How long should lasagna cool before refrigerating?
You can leave it to cool, but it’s really not necessary. Simply transfer the lasagna to another pan and place them warm in the fridge.
If you want to put the lasagna in the fridge with the pan in which you baked them, wait about an hour or until the pan has cooled.
How long it will take for the pan to cool depends on the material the pan is made of and the depth of it. If you want to speed up the cooling process put the pan of lasagna into an ice bath or if you don’t have ice just in cold water.
The pan will cool down fairly quickly and you will be able to put the lasagna in the fridge without damaging its inside.
If for some reason you still want to leave it to cool, do not leave it for more than two hours because after that bacteria start to develop on the food, and the room temperature provides ideal conditions for that.
Read more: 8 Dessert Ideas that go excellent with Lasagna
How do you store lasagna in the fridge?
If the lasagna is still warm, simply put aluminum foil over the lasagna, which will prevent the heat from spreading and cool the lasagna faster. Aluminum foil will also allow lasagna scents not to mix with other scents in your refrigerator. If you are storing cool lasagna, put cling film for the wrapping over them instead of aluminum foil and then put them in the fridge.
Finished lasagna can also be stored in a freezer, but can be dried that way. To prevent drying, make sure the lasagna is well stored in an airtight container, heavy-duty freezer bags or wrap them tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap that will tightly cover the lasagna.
If you’ve prepared lasagna in advance but haven’t baked them yet, you can freeze them before baking to get the best lasagna. Leave the frozen lasagna in the fridge for 24 hours before baking, and if you notice that the lasagna has absorbed the sauce, add more sauce to make it juicier. Once the lasagna is thawed bake them at 375 degrees for about an hour and 10 minutes and voila. Your lasagna will be juicy as if you made them before baking.
It is best to keep lasagna in the refrigerator for three to five days, after which it is not recommended to eat it. To extend their shelf life, freeze them in a milling machine. If the lasagna is stored properly, the freezer can retain its best quality for two to three months. After that, you can also eat them, but they will no longer have the same quality.
Once you defrost the lasagna and return it to room temperature, immediately heat it and eat it, because any further cooling or standing in the refrigerator will lead to their spoilage. It is by no means recommended to return frozen food to room temperature and then freeze it again.
If you notice a strange smell, taste, or see that it looks strange, especially if there is mold, throw away the lasagna because these are obvious signs that they are no longer good to eat.
Read more: What Causes Watery Lasagna and How To Fix It!