How Long Should Cheesecake Cool Before Going in Fridge

Cheesecake is perishable and, therefore, must be stored in the fridge or freezer. But should you stow it in the refrigerator right after baking? No way. Your cheesecake needs to come down to room temperature before being placed in the fridge, around one to three hours.

Hi! I’m Michelle, and I have had so much fun learning how to bake cheesecake these last few years. It all came about when my family decided they wanted a pumpkin cheesecake, rather than traditional pumpkin pie, during the holiday season. Boy, did that open the door to endless cheesecake-baking adventures!

I have learned during my baking journey that cheesecakes can be a little finicky, especially compared to a more uncomplicated treat like brownies or cookies – and they absolutely must be at room temperature before they hit the fridge.

Keep reading to find out how long cheesecake should cool before going in the fridge, plus other fun info!

Why Do You Have to Let Cheesecake Cool Before Refrigerating?

Before we dive into how long, we need to know why. After all, it would be a lot easier to pull your cheesecake out of the oven and plop it right into the fridge – right? But that is highly not recommended. Two reasons.

1. Condensation

The number one reason you need to allow your cheesecake to cool before refrigerating is condensation. If your cheesecake is still hot and is placed inside a cold environment, condensation will occur – otherwise known as tiny droplets of water that will ruin your cheesecake.

So, unless you’re looking to indulge in a soggy crust and sub-par flavors, you will need to let your cheesecake cool before refrigerating. 

2. Heating Up the Fridge

Did you know that adding a piping hot cheesecake to your refrigerator will warm up the entire fridge? While it will only be a few degrees warmer, needless to say, you placed your items in the fridge for a reason – they’re perishable and need to be kept under 40F.

Don’t do your other refrigerator ingredients a disservice by tossing your hot cheesecake inside. Let it cool, and you won’t potentially ruin your other refrigerated items.

How Long Should Cheesecake Cool Before Going in the Fridge?

Okay, so now you know one important thing: refrigeration is critical for a perfect cheesecake and for keeping your refrigerated items safe. But what’s the “right” amount of time? How long should cheesecake cool before going in the fridge?

Typically, a cheesecake needs at least one to three hours to cool entirely. The most significant factor is the temperature of your kitchen. If it’s a scorching and humid day, it may take up to three hours. It will likely be done in as little as one hour if it’s a cold winter afternoon.

How Do You Quickly Chill a Cheesecake?

One to three hours? Uh, yeah, that’s pretty time-consuming. What if you need to get your cheesecake done ASAP? Don’t panic. There are a few ways you can chill your cheesecake quicker.

1. Use a Wire Rack

The easiest way to cut down on cooling time is to place your cheesecake on a wire rack

The wire rack will allow 360-degree air circulation, which allows for a speedier cooling all around. If you haven’t invested in a wire rack yet, I highly recommend doing so – it will undoubtedly come in handy!

2. Use a Small Fan

Okay, I know this might seem “extra.” But it’s okay to be “extra,” especially when it comes to creating tasty treats like cheesecake.

Using the small fan is pretty self-explanatory. All you need to do is place your cheesecake on a wire rack (if possible), turn on the fan, and point it towards your cheesecake. 

You may consider moving the fan around during the hour or so it takes to cool down so that no parts go untouched.

3. Place a Wet Rag Around the Pan

Another great option is simply to wet a rag with ice-cold water and place it around the springform pan. This will immediately bring the temperature down, allowing your cheesecake to cool at a quicker pace. 

4. Use the Freezer, Not the Fridge

Unfortunately, there is no getting around cooling on the countertop when it comes to cheesecake. Just like you should never place the freshly baked cheesecake into the fridge, you should never put your newly baked cheesecake directly into the freezer.

It must come to room temperature first.

You can opt to place your cheesecake in the freezer rather than the fridge to help it set and chill quicker. 

However, do not leave your cheesecake in the freezer longer than two hours. This will cause the cheesecake to freeze and crack. While this might not affect the flavor too much, it will make your cheesecake look unappealing.

5. Make a No-Bake Cheesecake

You also can nix the cooling time altogether by making a no-bake cheesecake.

As the name suggests, you do not have to bake this cheesecake, making your job infinitely easier. Don’t let this type of cheesecake fool you, though. It will still need to sit and chill for 6-24 hours before being consumed.

That said, making a no-bake cheesecake means you don’t have to fuss with the oven or cooling your cheesecake, but you will still have to wait a good chunk of time before diving headfirst into your treat with a knife and fork.

FAQs

A cheesecake needs to cool before it’s placed inside the fridge, which will take anywhere from one to three hours. If you want to keep learning about this fascinating topic, check out the frequently asked questions below.

Can I put warm cheesecake in the fridge?

You cannot put warm cheesecake in the fridge. This will allow condensation to form, negatively affecting your cheesecake, making it soggy and lacking flavor. You also risk warming the temperature of your fridge, which could impact your ingredients. 

Does cheesecake need to be completely cooled before refrigerating?

Your cheesecake must be cooled completely before refrigerating. This will fend off condensation and the potential for your fridge’s temperature to rise, affecting the current ingredients.

How long does it take for cheesecake to cool down?

We already know that cheesecake needs anywhere from one to three hours on the countertop. But what about in the fridge? Once placed in the refrigerator, your cheesecake will need two to 24 hours to set and chill thoroughly. The freezer can speed this timeframe up immensely.

Final Words

Cooling is an essential step in making a cheesecake and shouldn’t be overlooked. It can take up to three hours to cool on the countertop, but you can speed this timeframe up by using a wire rack, pointing a small fan at the cheesecake, and/or placing a rag around the pan. 

How long do you let your cheesecake cool before placing it in the fridge?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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