4 Tips to Keep Your Food Fresh in the Refrigerator
Many people see the end of their teen years and the start of their twenties as the time for trying new things. This is the period of life when people move out of their childhood homes and into a dorm on a college campus or an apartment in a new city. They’re finally no longer under their parents’ roofs and living independently as adults.
Upon moving out for the first time, many people look for dorm rooms or starter apartments. These are usually small or scaled down to make room for more than one occupant, which is why people often use mini-fridges in these living spaces.
A compact fridge might not have the same space as a full-sized one, but it stores food just as well. If you’re living alone for the first time or sharing living space with other newbies, here are a few ways to prevent food from going bad in your house.
1. Keep to a temperature range
Whether you have a full-sized fridge or a mini one, its temperature should not rise above 40°F, and the freezer should be kept at 0°F or lower. Cool air needs to circulate inside, so do not overstock your fridge.
Putting too many items inside will make your appliance work overtime, and results in an inefficient cooling system. This leads to more expensive energy bills; you’d be surprised at how much energy a mini-fridge can use when left running inefficiently.
2. Follow the “first in, first out” rule
Don’t store too many items and keep the refrigerator door closed when you’re not getting items from inside. All perishables should be brought inside the fridge within two hours, or one hour if it’s more than 90°F. Don’t keep milk and eggs in the door; these products need more cooling and should be placed in the middle of your refrigerator.
Use containers with lids or wrap food to prevent it from drying up or mixing odors with other items. Clean your fridge regularly; throw out molding or spoiled food. Cooked items generally keep for three to four days, so track how you cook to avoid spoilage. Apply the ‘first in, first out’ rule, and eat leftovers that are the oldest.
3. Store protein in the coldest areas
Animal-based proteins spoil easily and should be in the coldest areas of your fridge. These should not be at the bottom; this will make ice form around the package or container and make them stick to the surface. If your fridge has a drawer, keep meat there. You want these in the coldest spot in your fridge, often but not always at the bottom, ideally stored in their own drawer.
An ideal temperature for storing meat is 29° F. Keep these food items in their store wrapping. If you transfer containers while these are raw, you might expose your food to harmful elements. Bacteria can spread through drippings as well; slide a plate under packages that did not come with a plastic or styrofoam tray.
3. Be mindful of dairy contamination
First in, first out applies to dairy as well; put the new gallons of milk at the back and move older items forward. This helps you use the oldest items first without you needing to check the expiry date every time.
Cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, and other similar items should be left in their store packaging. When you transfer them and consume part of it, though, don’t return these to the original container. Instead, put a cover or plastic wrap over the mouth of the glass or bowl it is in.
4. Keep produce separate and dry
The small size of your mini-fridge should not hamper you from getting the right kinds of food. You should get your fruits and vegetables along with your other groceries. Remember, though, to separate your produce.
Keep tomatoes with tomatoes and apples with apples. Fruits and vegetables give off various gases which might speed up the deterioration of unlike produce. Store these in perforated plastic bags. Do not wash these before putting them in the fridge as dampness encourages mold to grow on food.
Keeping your food fresh will be a breeze if you stick to our four easy tips. Meal planning and preparation will be more cost-effective if you are able to keep your mini-fridge electricity costs low, and you’ll get more value from your appliance this way.
Pixel Fridge is the best place for refrigerator reviews and advice. We’ll help you choose the right fridge for your home today, so check back regularly to this website for more tips about mini-fridges.