My refrigerator isn’t the most attractive. It is a typical New York City rental fridge: ancient, white (albeit it is now more of a cream color), annoying, and noisy. I daydream for hours about having a brand-new stainless steel French-door version in my kitchen. Ice maker, wine cooler, huge freezer, and everything else… (Hey, I’m not requesting a built-in camera, at least!) The one thing I do have, though, is a reasonably organized refrigerator, which will have to do till that day comes.
You know, you could drop by unexpectedly, walk right up to the fridge, and open it without flinching in fright. In fact, you might even remark on how tidy it is, and how simple it is to locate the well-labeled leftovers, sauces, and herbs.
Staff writer Kelly Vaughan claims, “After working in a restaurant, I too believe in this trick. Chefs swear by it. You no longer need to scent something out of a jar before asking your roommate or lover, “When did we have these mashed potatoes?” Everything you need to know is on the label.
Organize Some Fruits And Vegetables Separately
According to Jada Wong, Market Editor, “I learned from my mom at a young age to take fruits and vegetables out of any plastic wrapping or produce bags before putting them in the refrigerator or on the counter. It facilitates proper airflow so the fruit won’t become moldy or too ripe before being consumed.
Additionally, she adds, “I keep the majority of my fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawer or on the middle shelf of the refrigerator. To really consume them, you must do this. Because I leave “hard” fruit like apples, pears, and nectarines out on the counter, I say most. “Soft” fruit like mangoes, plums, and berries goes in the refrigerator.
Make use of bins and baskets
Due to a disorganized refrigerator, Home52 Editorial Lead Arati Menon was tired of throwing away condiments, chutneys, and spreads, little containers of takeout sauces, and mason jars of pickled vegetables. She’s arguably the best when it comes to maintaining cleanliness, but she was having trouble keeping track of the contents in the refrigerator.
To solve the problem, she went to bins, a storage option she frequently used in other sections of her house but hadn’t considered utilizing in the fridge. Because the same principles—zone, label, stack, and elevate—apply, Arati asserts that “if it’s healthy for your pantry, it’s definitely good for the fridge.” Then why stop at the bins? Why not use all available pantry storage options, including trays, baskets, lazy Susans, and tiered shelf organizers?
Handle soft herbs as if they were a bouquet of flowers.
The number of times I’ve purchased fresh cilantro and then watched as its leaves turned yellow and eventually brown could be counted! I usually jump in at that time (I’m working on it!) and make a valiant effort to salvage the few that are still mostly green.
The Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs author Lisa Kolb advises doing this to prevent this from happening to soft, leafy herbs (such as basil, cilantro, parsley, or tarragon). Simply remove a tiny portion of the stems, then put the bunch in a Mason jar or glass container with water. They can be kept on the middle shelf of the refrigerator for at least a week by gently covering them with a piece of Bee’s Wrap.
Give Foods From The Pantry A New Home
I’m going to let you in on something that completely surprised me: There are a lot of things you keep in your pantry that would do far better in your refrigerator than they do on the shelf. To name a few, I’m referring to whole-grain and nut flours, organic nut butter, maple syrup, soy and nut milk, and soy sauce. The one that most surprised me?
Yeast. In fact, according to this Food52 Hotline thread, yeast is best kept in a cold location, like the condiment shelf in your refrigerator. This is due to the fact that yeast is quickly killed by heat and light. Yeast will last for up to a few months in your freezer if you store it there (in an airtight container) for longer-term preservation.
Keep all of your deli packagings
All of the leftovers that the assigning editor, Rebecca Firkser, packs are in quart, pint, or half-pint deli containers. They are the only “Tupperware” I own because they have the same lid for all sizes, stack neatly on top of one another, and won’t leak if they are accidentally knocked over. And we can answer your question about how long to keep these useful storage containers.
Let dairy and eggs calm down.
For a very long time, I thought that dairy—milk, cream, eggs, and cheese—should be kept on the refrigerator’s interior door. It turns out it wasn’t the best plan. Such goods should be kept in a location with a consistently cold temperature, such as the top shelf of your refrigerator, to prevent spoilage. When you’re scrambling to get breakfast together before leaving the house, having them stored here makes them more convenient to grab.
Drink some water to make your lemons and limes last longer.
According to food writer Valerio Farris, the countertop is not where your lemons and limes should live, despite what is typically done (and of which even I am guilty). If you keep them sealed in a bag or container that is partially filled with water and placed in your refrigerator, they’ll survive considerably longer—up to a month! Lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits are extremely porous, so leaving them out in the open air will speed up their drying process.