Most people might not give much thought to how they stock their refrigerators. After all, as long as the perishables are cold, and the frozen stuff stays frozen, then everything’s good, right? Well, it turns out that there’s a bit more to it than that.
Temperatures can vary throughout different areas of the refrigerator. For example, upper shelves tend to be warmer than bottom shelves. And door shelves are warmer than deli compartments. Keeping this in mind when loading your fridge can help food last longer, reduce the risk of food borne illnesses, and may even help your refrigerator run more efficiently.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide that takes the guesswork out of organizing your refrigerator.
Step 1: The Door
Temperatures of door bins and shelves tend to be two or three degrees higher than the main compartment. That’s too warm for milk, eggs, and other highly perishable items. Instead, reserve the door for items that can handle warmer conditions, such as:
- Cooking oils
Step 2: The Deli Bin
This storage option may be found beneath the crisper drawers of French-door refrigerators, or as a separate drawer that hangs below the top shelf in other types of refrigerators. It’s a helpful feature, especially if the temperature can be adjusted to best accommodate a range of foods. Here are the items that belong in the deli bin:
- Deli meat
- Hot dogs
Step Three: The Crisper Drawers
Crisper drawers are designed for produce. On many refrigerators, the humidity of the drawers can be adjusted. Keep the humidity high on one drawer to store leafy greens and other vegetables that wilt easily. Keep the humidity low on the second drawer for fruits that tend to like dryer air. If you can’t adjust the humidity of the drawers then still try to keep vegetables and fruits separated in these categories:
- Ripe stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines)
- Summer squash
- Leafy greens
- Green onions
Step Four: The Lower Shelf
The lower shelf tends to be the coldest part of the refrigerator, so it’s ideal for items that are more susceptible to developing harmful bacteria like eggs, milk, and raw meat, fish, and poultry. And remember that any meat, fish, or poultry you don’t plan on consuming within 24 hours should be wrapped in a freezer safe bag and stored in the freezer.
Step Five: The Upper Shelf
The upper shelf tends to be the warmest part of the refrigerator, making it the best for these items:
- Jams and Jellies
- Nut butters
- Hummus, salsa, and other dips
Now that you know what goes where in the fridge, you should also be aware of which foods don’t belong in the fridge in the first place, such as:
- Bread (storing bread in the freezer is fine)
Also, keep in mind that you should avoid overloading your refrigerator. Stuffing your fridge full of food may prevent cool air from flowing freely throughout the unit. As a result, your refrigerator may run less efficiently and food may spoil faster.
Having the right kind of refrigerator that fits your family’s lifestyle is also something to consider. Reno’s has a large selection of refrigerators to choose from, including bottom-freezer, top-freezer, side-by-side, and French door models from trusted brands like Sub-Zero, GE, and Whirlpool. We also have a large inventory of compact refrigerators that are perfect for dorm rooms and for smaller spaces, plus all the replacement parts and accessories you might need for your refrigerator.
Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection.