A refrigerator is a cooling kitchen appliance that is used to store and preserve perishable food. The food kept at room temperature inhibits the growth of bacteria, but if stored in the fridge lasts longer. The maintained cold temperature is more than the water’s freezing point.
Refrigerators are divided into various compartments. Each compartment is designed for different purposes along with diverse temperature zones. This indicates that if you store things in wrong place then you are wasting the modern phenomenon of refrigeration. It leads to –
- Loss of money on the new technology
- Wastage of food
- No desire to cook because drawers have wilted greens
Food has to be preserved at cold temperatures. This prevents the development of bacteria and microbes from spoiling the food. Fridge temperature must be kept at lower or 40°F and deep freezers at 0°F. Even with this set coldness, the temperature in different compartments varies. It depends on the proximity of the cooling elements. Learn the art of organizing the refrigerator and enjoy stored food for a long time.
Freezer – You store frozen things like ice, frozen veggies, fruits, stock, meat, and other items here. You can even store pasta sauce, eggs and tortillas to be used later. Avoid putting bread here because it can dry out. You have to pack the items to be frozen tightly in stackable containers and pile them in an organized manner. You can even use plastic freezer bags, but avoid glass jars because they can break.
Doors – Doors are warm section of the refrigerators. Foods that are spoil resistant must be kept here. Reserve this place for juices, condiments and other items that can bear temperature fluctuations. Dairy and eggs must not be placed here because doors get warm, when opened frequently. Even if you drink milk directly from the carton, avoid keeping it in the door space to avert bacteria.
Upper shelves – This compartment has the most consistent temperatures in comparison to the lower ones. Keep drinks, leftovers, and instant food like hummus, deli meats and tortillas in the top section. Herbs too can be kept here but store them in jar or vase filled with water and cover them with plastic bag loosely. Keep the berries here for easy access.
Lower shelves – Lower compartments are best for eggs, seafoods, raw meat, and dairy items that require coldest temperatures. A particular section in this part must be assigned for storing raw meat. Keep the raw meat in its original packing on a plate to prevent bacteria from spreading. Clean the plate regularly.
Tip – Remember not to overcrowd the fridge shelves like freezer. Cold air needs to flow freely. If there is no space, there will be pockets of warmth and heat created, which can spoil the food. A little room also keeps your energy bills down.
Crisper drawers – Crisper drawers are designed to maintain moisture for optimum preservation of fruits and veggies. However, never combine fruit and vegetables because many fruits produce a chemical called ethylene, which helps them to ripe. Unfortunately, produced ethylene can promote vegetable ripening. Veggies can turn limp, yellow, or even sprout. So keep fruits and veggies in different drawers. Moisture can cause fruits & veggies to switch from ripe to rotten, so make sure to use them quickly.
Fridge top – Avoid using fridge top as a food attic. Your kitchen may have a small space but it is a bad idea to store bread or wine on top. The fridge pumps warm air outside to regulate cold temperature inside, so the cabinet is warm on top. This spoils the food kept on top. It is wise to use the space for storing paper towels, cookbooks, or appliances.
What not to store in the fridge?
Keep tomatoes at room temperature or they turn odorless and mealy. Potatoes, onions, and squash survive best in cool environment, so store them in dark cupboards.