How to store food in the refrigerator: zoning rules
When we use our home refrigerator, we often don't think about where to put food and ready meals - we just put them wherever there is space. But in this way food can be stored worse. For example, because of unsuitable packaging, mutual contamination of certain microorganisms that are bound to appear in any dish, etc.
OBOZREVATEL has collected a few lifehacks, how to properly store food in the refrigerator, so that it does not spoil longer. What to pack dishes in and on which shelves to arrange which products.
How to pack food
The cold room is impervious to light and heat, but not to air. And air tends to dry out food over time. Therefore, any food, especially food with a high moisture content, should be packed or covered before it goes into the refrigerator.
Ready meals can be stored both in pots (although this is undesirable) and spread out on special trays with airtight lids. As for vegetables, plastic bags, in which they are packed in stores and markets, are not suitable for storage - condensation quickly forms inside them, which leads to the development of bacteria and spoilage fungi.
Here are some recommendations on how to pack food before loading it into the refrigerator:
- food film - blocks the evaporation of liquid, so it is good to cover containers with the remains of cooked food;
- parchment paper - unlike film, it does not allow moisture to pass through, but it does allow air to pass through, so it is good for wrapping cheeses, sausages and smoked meats, which "forbid" without access to air;
- foil - ideal for storing ready-made appetizers, meat loin, fish, meat dishes;
- antibacterial mat - a device that helps to store fruits and vegetables longer, experts recommend laying it on the bottom of fruit crates. The membrane the mat is made of allows air to circulate freely, but keeps the pulp from rotting;
- plastic containers with tight lids - good for storing any cooked food, in particular, they do not allow the odors of the food to mingle;
- glassware - suitable for almost all foods and dishes, except for fresh fruit;
- vacuum trays - a high-tech storage method that allows you to significantly extend the shelf life of cooked food, in particular because it does not allow bacteria to penetrate and develop;
- wooden containers - well suited for storing fruits and vegetables.
As for metal utensils like pots and pans, it is not recommended to keep food in them for a long time because of the ability of the dish to oxidize the metal. This spoils both the cookware itself and negatively affects the flavor of the food. In addition, this is the most bulky option, which will take up a lot of space in the refrigerator.
How to zone food during storage
Although the refrigerator compartment appears homogeneous, different shelves produce different conditions in terms of temperature and humidity. Therefore, it is better to place food and dishes on them in a suitable way.
School knowledge of physics suggests that the upper shelves will be the warmest, so it is better not to put there the food that you plan to store for a longer period of time. But it's a good place for ready meals and ready-to-eat foods such as sausage, cheese, and yogurt.
Foods that spoil quickly will keep better on the lower shelves. In particular, this applies to meat and fish that you plan to cook soon, so you don't want to freeze. By the way, food from the freezer is also better defrosted in this way - so they will better retain their flavor properties.
Pull-out drawers are always receptacles for fruits, because these containers form the appropriate level of humidity. But it is important to place fruits and vegetables in them freely, so that air can flow between them. This way they will not crumple and will not spoil prematurely.
In the door of the refrigerator it is best to store sauces and drinks. Especially since such shelves are often equipped with special holders, which will prevent bottles and packages from falling out during opening.
What should not be stored in the refrigerator
Not all products are well stored in the refrigerator. For some, on the contrary, low temperature and humidity are prerequisites for rapid spoilage. Here is a sample list of the following foods:
- any tropical fruit, including bananas;
- apples and pears;
- pumpkin - pumpkin, zucchini, patissons, etc.;
- onions and garlic;
- olive oil;
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told how to set the right temperature regime in the refrigerator and freezer.