If I put a glass pot of hot coffee in the fridge, will it break?

If I put a glass pot of hot coffee in the fridge, will it break?

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  1. Hot glass exposed to cold breaks the glass because of two factors:
    Glass expands and contracts with the temperature. Heating glass makes it expand, cooling glass makes it contract.
    Glass is generally a poor conductor of heat. If one part of the glass is heated, it will take time for other parts of the glass to get hot.
    As such, when you take hot glass object and put it into a cold environment, the outside of the glass cools and shrinks faster than the inside of the glass. This is incredibly stressful, and can overcome the strength of the glass, causing it to break to relieve the stress. The same happens in reverse when you take a cold glass object and put it in a hot environment.
    There are a couple of ways to prevent this:
    Cool/heat it slowly, so the heat as a chance to conduct to all parts of the glass.
    Use a thin piece of glass, so heat doesn’t need to be conducted very far. This helps eliminate large temperature differentials across the glass. It also reduces the amount of material to get stressed.
    Use specially made glass with a low coefficient of thermal expansion (that is, it doesn’t expand as much when heated). This helps reduce the stress caused by large temperature differentials. Borosilicate glass is often used for that purpose.
    My coffee pot is made of very thin glass. If I were to put a full pot of fresh, hot coffee into the fridge, I would expect that
    The thin piece of glass conducts heat rapidly, so the inside and outside of the pot will be at coffee temperature when I put it in.
    The coffee-glass boundary conducts heat much better than the glass-air boundary, so the pot will stay at coffee temperature and cool only slowly. The only place where it might cool rapidly is where it is in contact with the shelf.
    I don’t know what the pot is made of, but given that it is intended to hold boiling-hot water, I’d guess that it would be some sort of low-expansion glass.
    As such, put into the refrigerator, it would not break, but would cool down with the coffee it holds.
    Things might be different if I were to make a pot of coffee, pour it out and drop the pot into a sink full of ice-water. Ice-water cools things faster than the air in the fridge. Or just put the pot full of boiling-hot coffee into the ice-water bath. That might chill the glass rapidly enough to fracture it. But it’s so thin, it might not.

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  2. Probably not – its temperature shock that causes stuff to break – very hot to very cold suddenly – and your fridge will cool it slowly through its ambient temperature – its the same as if your kitchen was 35 degree F (1.6) and you just put the pot on the side.
    What it will do is heat your fridge up – making it work harder to keep cold and thus burning more electricity and being more inefficient.

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  3. I agree with the other answers but they’re both missing one thing:
    While putting the hot pot in the fridge won’t break it if you do it once, repeating the process may weaken the glass until eventually, YES, the structually compromised glass will eventually shatter and leak coffee all over your fridge.

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  4. What you’re asking about is, will a glass coffee pot break from the thermal shock of going from hot to cold inside a fridge. And the answer is no, in general (and assuming there aren’t flaws in the glass to begin with). Coffee pots are already designed to be heated rapidly (going from room temperature to 98 degrees in a few seconds). Putting a coffee pot in the fridge is going to cool down the pot far slower then that.

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  5. I wouldn’t think so. It’s rapid changes in temperature that would break glass.
    side note: Hot coffee that goes into the fridge is not going to taste very good the next day.

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