Proper Fridge Food Storage
If you come home from the grocery store and just shove food into the fridge wherever it will fit, then I imagine you end up throwing a lot of it out in a few weeks’ time. To help you save some money, help the planet and consume food safely, we’re going to show you how proper food storage can make a huge difference!
Temperature Zones in Your Refrigerator
You may typically set one control to a specific temperature inside your refrigerator, but what you may not realize is that the fresh food compartment has different temperature zones. Normally you will find that the upper shelves and the doors will be the warmest areas and the bottom shelves and crispers will be cooler. The door or doors on your fresh food compartment are going to be warmer zones. So, while it is tempting to keep items that you want easy access to on the doors, milk cartons and eggs should be kept somewhere else. As a rule of thumb, try placing less perishable items such as condiments on the door bins.
Although the upper shelves are a slightly warmer location in your refrigerator, they are also very easily accessible and an ideal spot for snacks and leftovers. Keep in mind that this is also the area that the cold air enters your fresh food compartment, therefore you’ll want to be sure that you don’t place perishable items directly in that airflow. Since cold air drops, the bottom shelves are going to be the coolest part of your refrigerator. This makes it the ideal location for storing such things as raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
What Should I Store in my Crisper Drawers?
Do you know the proper settings and which foods to keep in your crisper drawers? Most crisper drawers will have a feature that will allow you to choose between a low or high humidity within them. The controls are usually either a slider control or adjustable dial that you can choose between a low and high humidity. If your crisper drawers do not have this option, by default they are considered high humidity drawers. This is due to the lack of airflow into and out of the crisper.
What Need's a Low Humidity Setting?
Generally, fruit will be the main items being stored in a low humidity setting. The reason for keeping fruit in the low humidity drawer is because many fruits produce ethylene as they ripen, which in turn speeds up the ripening or rotting process of surrounding produce. The increased airflow in a low-humidity crisper drawer lets some ethylene gas escape.
What Need's a High Humidity Setting?
High humidity drawer items that are prone to moisture loss or welting should be stored in a high humidity crisper drawer. Items like leafy greens, herbs, and vegetables in general, should be kept here. Since the drawer is sealed off from the rest of the refrigerator, the produce is not exposed to the ethylene gas. The humid environment helps keep the produce fresh for longer, which explains the name crisper drawer.
Tips for Storing Food in The Freezer
Food kept in the freezer will generally be safe to eat for months on end, as long as it has stayed frozen the entire time. The quality of the food, however, may diminish over time. Qualities like the color, smell, taste or texture of the food can change. Freezer burned food is still safe to eat but the quality will suffer the most. The best way to prevent freezer burn is to properly store the food. For example, don’t freeze meat in the original foam tray you bought it in. Any plastic bags or containers you use should be freezer-grade quality. Air is the ultimate enemy, so make sure lids and seals are airtight. If you are freezing leftovers, ensure that they have cooled completely before putting them in the freezer, as steam will create ice crystals.
We hope learning about how to properly store food inside your refrigerator will ultimately help to limit the amount you throw out, saving you money in the long run! If any of the components that we’ve mentioned, such as your crisper drawers or bins become damaged, this can also impact the ability for them to preserve your produce, so be sure to replace components as necessary. For more money-saving tips around the home, subscribe to our YouTube channel!