How to Get the Most out of Your Refrigerator
● By Digital Media Director
Did you know that some simple organization of your refrigerator can reduce the amount of food waste and cut down the risk of foodborne illness? It’s very common in these busy days to rush in putting away our purchases so we can move on to the next item on our agenda. Did you know refrigerator organization can save you time and money?
Your refrigerator has zones with different characteristics. Manufacturers have developed these zones to maximize the perfect climate for your different food item needs. Using these zones correctly can increase the length of time that your food stays fresh.
Remember from your youth science classes, hot air rises? This same principle exists in refrigeration. Upper shelves and door bins tend to be warmer than the midline and lower shelves and deli compartments. The storage drawers identified as crispers often offer adjustments that control the different levels of humidity in them, which will prolong the life of your fresh produce and stretch your dollar.
Each manufacturer will explore opportunities and options testing the performance of the refrigeration in environmentally controlled elements. They will test the refrigerator under higher than normal ambient air temperatures, often exceeding 100 degrees, to be certain the refrigerator performs.
French door refrigeration is the most common purchase today and finds the refrigeration compartments on the upper levels with the freezer drawers or doors directly under the crisper drawers or deli drawers. This location directly above the freezer offers better cooling and adjustments to accommodate a wide range of foods. You can have flexibility in keeping hors d’oeuvres at a warmer temp and being able to store items like bacon, cheeses, hot dogs and brats and a variety of deli meats at cooler temps.
The crisper area allows for flexibility in humidity control. High humidity is best for all of your leafy vegetables and low humidity for most of your fruits plus some vegetables-like peppers and cucumbers. Extend the life and reduce the amounts of items that get tossed by learning how humidity affects your choices of fruits and veggies.
Here is a list to help you identify how to maximize the shelf life of your food: High Humidity Drawer
Low Humidity Drawer
Use the lowest shelf of the refrigerator above the crispers to be your workhorse as this area is the coldest in the refrigerator compartment. This area is best for storing those items that have the propensity to develop harmful bacteria. These would be items such as raw meats and fish (be sure they are on trays or plates to catch any drippings).
The upper shelf is that catch-all shelf and is a place to put items like preserves, jams and jellies, yogurt, left overs in small containers and peanut butter or snacks.
Take a few minutes today to sort out your refrigerator and the time you invest will pay off in the savings of money, food and time.