How to Store Food in the Kitchen

Although it can be a great deal of fun filling up a shopping trolley, you are often faced with the difficulty of finding room for its contents and putting it in the right place when you get back home. Hopefully, you have not come back from your grocery shop with anything you did not intend to buy. Your sorting out and storage, however, should begin at the checkout. Sort out your dry goods, cans, vegetables and other items and put them into different bags. Also, make sure that you do not put fragile foods at the bottom of the bag where they could get squashed.

How to Store Food in the Kitchen How to Store Food in the Kitchen

Once You Get Home

Obviously, you need to put the frozen food and fresh produce away in the freezer or the fridge as soon as you can. Apples, bananas and citrus fruits, you can easily store in a fruit bowl, but not near the oven or exposed to direct sunlight. If you have bought bananas, keep them away from the other fruit because they will encourage the other fruit to ripen very quickly.

Vegetables

If you are not storing your vegetables in the fridge, then they should be kept in a cool, dark place. Vegetables begin losing their vitamin content straight after they have been harvested and the longer you keep them, the fewer nutrients they will have. Vegetables are best bought on a regular basis, in small amounts. Frozen vegetables do keep their vitamins, so frozen veg is often a good idea.

Meat, Poultry and Fish

These items definitely need to go straight into the fridge or the freezer. You should really try to keep separate shelves for these at the bottom of your fridge. Make sure you rotate so that the older items are at the front and you use them first. If you have bought a value pack of chicken breasts, for example, and only want to use two of them, it is much easier to separate them before you freeze them. Take them out and wrap them separately in clingfilm before freezing them.

Fridge Organization

Does your ice taste of garlic and have you always got limp lettuce? If so, then you really need to reorganize your fridge. Fridges do not make food cold; they remove the heat and moisture, just like an air conditioner. That is a good reason for not leaving food or drinks uncovered. Here are some other pointers:

Fresh eggs: Eggs are best kept in their cartons because they lose moisture through their shells.

Crisp lettuce: Watery foods like lettuce stay crisper if they are wrapped in a plastic bag, trapping the moisture

Peak Efficiency

Your fridge should be set at around 3°C/37°F. You can always buy a fridge thermometer to keep a check on this, but do not over freeze your fridge. It will not only cost you more in energy, but will damage your food. Always try to keep your fridge at least three quarters full rather than almost empty. This is because, when you open the door, warm air will rush in and, if there are plenty of cold things in the fridge, the temperature will remain more stable. But do not pack things in too tightly because the air will not be able to circulate.

Fridge Contents Management

You should, of course, clean your fridge regularly. Make a habit of throwing out old food at least once a week. Get rid of old ice, as it will have picked up odours. If you are going to give your fridge a thorough clean, then make sure you unplug it first. A few times a year, you should also pull your fridge out and vacuum the dust and hair off the condenser at the back. This will stop it from overheating.

Allocating Shelf Space

Divide your space up on the shelves of your fridge. Group similar items, such as beverages and dairy products, together. Make sure you rotate perishable foods, check your dates and dispose of anything that you are unsure about. You should keep meat, poultry and fish towards the bottom of your fridge. Put the items that you use most frequently at the front of the shelves. Cover everything because foods left uncovered can take on the flavor of odours in the fridge.


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