The refrigerator is not just a closet for your food—it’s a high-tech device that helps store all your food in order to maximize how long you can use it. But, the question is: do you know how to use it? How do you arrange the food in your fridge—for convenience or for optimal food storage? We have some tips on how to organize your fridge in order to preserve your food in the safest and longest way possible.
KNOW YOUR FRIDGE. The first thing you want to identify is the cooling source. The space closest to that source will be the coolest space in the fridge. Put items, like milk, that must stay cold closest to this.
DON’T OVERFILL YOUR FRIDGE. Refrigerators are designed to keep the cold air circulating. The cold air needs to circulate throughout the fridge. If you really want to get to know your fridge, use a thermometer to see where the cool and warm zones are. According to Consumer Reports, the overall temperature should be around 37 degrees.
AVOID FOOD CONTAMINATION. A good rule of thumb taken from professional kitchens is to keep foods that are ready to eat at the top of the fridge and foods that require heat at the bottom. If needed, a clear plastic container can be used to store raw meats so they don’t drip on items below. The upper shelves are great for drinks, leftovers, and other ready to eat items.
USE THE DRAWERS with humidity control for fresh fruits and vegetables. The low humidity setting leaves the drawer vents open; the high humidity setting closes the vents. The low humidity drawer is for foods that are not sensitive to moisture loss and high-ethylene. The high humidity drawer should hold foods that wilt and those that are sensitive to ethylene gas that speeds up ripening. Click here for a list of foods that fit into those categories.
THE DOORS OF THE FRIDGE are for items that can stand some temperature fluctuation and don’t need the coldest temperatures. This can include butter, eggs, and sauces. Keep in mind that the bottom drawer of the door is probably the warmest place in the fridge.
Check out this infographic to help you remember all this information. If you decide you need to completely update your refrigerator, Friedman’s is here to help with refrigerators that offer different cooling zones for different types of foods. Organizing your fridge properly can make a big difference in helping your food go the distance.