Fridge Tips & $1,000 Fridge Sweepstakes at Milk and Eggs!
$1,000 Fridge Sweepstakes!
Enter the Milk and Eggs Fridge Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $500 gift card! All you have to do is provide your name and email address in the link below.
We will be selecting 3 winners:
- $500 Gift Card
- $250 Gift Card
- $250 Gift Card
Contest runs November 28, 2017 through January 31, 2018. LA/OC entries only.
Need help? Here are some fridge samples:
Knowing where in the fridge to store your food is a question that many people wish they knew the answer to. Refrigerating your food correctly is important to ensure that your food remains safe to eat and stop harmful bacteria spreading for raw to ready-to-eat foods. But what goes where?
Let’s start with the obvious stuff: Freezers are for storing frozen things (duh!). Your ice goes in the freezer, as do frozen fruits, veggies, meat, stock, and other items. You can also store a surprising number of other foods in the freezer for later use, such as tortillas, pasta sauce, and even eggs. (Note: You can freeze bread for up to three months, but don’t store it in the fridge or it’ll dry out.) The trick with freezers is to pack foods tightly in their containers and keep things well organized, since this optimizes storage and also saves energy (and moolah on that energy bill). Rather than using glass jars, which can break, freeze foods in stackable plastic containers or in plastic freezer bags laid flat.
Doors are the warmest part of the fridge and should be reserved for foods that are most resistant to spoiling. Keep condiments, juices, and other foods that can stand up to temperature fluctuations here. (And remember that even condiments have a shelf life). Since fridge doors can get warm (particularly when they're opened often), eggs and dairy shouldn’t go here, even if you guzzle milk straight from the carton all the live-long day. (Although if that’s how you roll, you have bigger bacteria to worry about.)
The upper shelves of the fridge have the most consistent temperatures, while the lower shelves are coldest. One pro strategy from restaurant kitchens is to place foods that don’t need to be cooked near the top of the fridge. This includes leftovers, drinks, and ready-to-eat foods like tortillas, hummus, and deli meats. Herbs can be kept fresh by placing them upright in a vase or jar with water and loosely covering it with a plastic bag. You’ll also want to keep berries up here for easy access (see the crisper section for more berry info).
The lower shelves are your best bet for raw meat, eggs, seafood, and other dairy to be stored at the coldest temperatures. To prevent raw meat’s bacteria from spreading to other areas, assign a particular section of the fridge as your meat locker. Keep meat in its original packaging, and place it on a plate or in and improvised bin that’s cleaned regularly.
Overall: Don’t crowd your shelves too much. Unlike the freezer, the fridge shouldn’t be totally packed. Cold air needs to flow here, and if it can’t, you’ll get inconsistent temps with pockets of heat and warmth. (Lukewarm yogurt, anyone? Didn’t think so.) Leaving a little wiggle room between your leftovers will also help keep down your energy bill.
The purpose of crisper drawers is to maintain moist conditions that help preserve fruits and vegetables. But don’t make the mistake of jumbling all your produce together in a fruit and veg free-for-all. Many fruits, including apples, peaches, plums, pears, and cantaloupes, produce ethylene, a chemical that helps them to ripen. Unfortunately the ethylene produced can also promote ripening in other plants, causing vegetables to go yellow, limp, or even sprout. For this reason, keep veggies in one drawer and fruits in another.
Fruits and veggies should be washed before eating, but too much moisture can cause foods to flip from ripe to rotten before you can get your antioxidants on. The goal is to wash fruits and veggies when it’s convenient, but not so far in advance that they are likely to spoil before you eat them. When washing fruits, remove extra moisture by draining in a colander, blotting with paper towel, or using a salad spinner. Berries are particularly fragile, so handle with care and gobble them within a day or two of washing. (Storing them on the top shelf of the fridge will help with that.) Once washed, put greens and herbs in a plastic bag or container with a square of paper towel to soak up excess moisture and everything else in clean (and preferably clear) containers. Put the containers back in the crisper for longer-term storage or on the top shelf where you’re more likely to see them and eat them up quickly.
On Top of the Fridge
If you’ve been using the top of your fridge like a food attic, stacking bottles of Merlot or loaves of bread up there, stop. Even if your kitchen is tiny and that space feels super convenient, it’s not a smart idea. To regulate cold temps inside, the fridge’s condenser coil pumps warm air out, and that heat rises around the appliance’s cabinet. Result: It gets pretty warm up top. Heat is Kryptonite to wine. And it’ll make bread mold faster. (We’d rather get our spores from blue cheese. Amirite?) The best use of this space? Store appliances or supplies like paper towels or a stack of cookbooks.
Remember that your fridge should be set at a temperature between 0-5°c so that the rate of food spoilage is slowed and harmful bacteria cannot multiply. At this temperature, your food will be kept safe to eat.
Also remember to keep an eye on use-by dates. Any food that has passed its use-by date should not be eaten as harmful bacteria has had chance to grow and make the food dangerous to health. Foods past their best-before dates can be eaten as this is only a mark of quality, not safety.
General Rules of Refrigeration
- Make sure that the refrigerator is never overloaded. Whilst cramming that last piece of food into the fridge may seem a good idea at the time, you are in danger of blocking the cooling unit that will chill your food. There is also a danger that the fridge door could not be properly shut, leaving you food that is unfit to eat the following morning! Air needs to be able to circulate around the food.
- New stock should always be placed behind old stock. Yes, the rules in a commercial kitchen should apply at home as well. Ensure you eat the food in the fridge based on the use by date in order to prevent food wastage which ultimately hits your wallet!
- Open cans should never be stored in the refrigerator as this may result in chemical contamination, especially acidic food such as fruit and tomatoes. If you wish to put canned food in the fridge, ensure that you put the food into a container that is suitable for chilling first.
- If your fridge temperatures are too high, it may be the result of overloading, the blocking of cooling units, or the thermostat being set too high. If your fridge does not have a thermometer built in, we recommend that you purchase a fridge thermometer to monitor the temperature. Remember that the correct temperature is- 0-5°c.