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How to Make Your Fridge Work Harder for You

How to Make Your Fridge Work Harder for You

Keep it chill! Discover what should go on each shelf of your fridge, how to keep refrigerated foods fresher longer and the latest features in high-tech fridges.
Mairlyn Smith and Aileen Brabazon
2013-07-26 14:42
2013-02-28 15:50

How to Make Your Fridge Work Harder for You

1. In the door
Even though your fridge comes with cute compact places in the door to store eggs and butter, it's still best to keep them in their own containers within the refrigerator, where the temperature is colder. You can safely put condiments such as mustard, ketchup and jam, plus water and pop, in the door.

2. On top and middle shelves
Keep cooked and ready-to-eat foods here, including yogurt, butter and leftovers. Note: Bring hot leftovers to room temperature before refrigerating, but try to make sure they're in the fridge within two hours.

Store mushrooms in a brown paper bag to absorb unwanted moisture or place them loose in a sealable plastic bag left partially open to allow air circulation.

• Asparagus
Stand upright in a jar or jug filled with a small amount of water. Or wrap in a moist paper towel.

3. On bottom shelf
Keep meat, fish and poultry in their original packaging and store on a tray on the bottom shelf to prevent raw juices from dripping onto any other foods. Store containers of milk and eggs here in their original cartons, too.

• Cheese
Soft, semisoft and firm cheeses should be wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and stored on the lowest shelf or in one of your vegetable drawers if they don't have to share space with any strong-smelling veggies.

4. In the crisper
Store sealed bags and containers of fresh fruit and vegetables here. Don't wash produce before storing; fruit and veggies will spoil faster if wet. Instead, wash just prior to cooking and eating. If you have two crispers with adjustable humidity controls, keep one at a higher humidity and delegate it to leafy greens. Turn the humidity down on the other one and use it for root veggies and fruit.

• Fresh loose herbs
Rinse well to remove grit, dry them off, wrap in paper towels and place in a plastic bag for up to one week in the crisper. Or trim ends then pop cleaned herbs into a small vase filled with water and enjoy your fragrant mini-bouquet on the kitchen counter.

5. In the freezer
If you're planning to store frozen meat, fish or poultry for more than two months, add an extra protective layer by wrapping the package (still in its original wrapper) with heavy-duty foil or popping it into a freezer bag and sealing tightly. You should never freeze fresh eggs in the shell, an opened container of liquid pasteurized eggs or egg substitutes, mayonnaise or unopened canned ham.

What shouldn't go in the fridge
For some fruit and vegetables, the fridge is actually too cool, causing them to lose their taste or texture or spoil faster. Keep the following in the kitchen in a cool place out of direct sunlight (potatoes and onions prefer a darker spot):

• Bananas
• Tomatoes
• Potatoes
• Onions
• Eggplants
• Melons
• Lemons and limes
• Avocados
• Honey

Illustration, Fresh Juice.


Fresh Juice: February/March 2013