Ready to clean out your fridge this weekend? When you do, take a few minutes to rearrange where things go. Most of us just put food in the fridge wherever it fits best, but there is a science to refrigerator storage—your food will keep better and for longer if stored in the proper place! The temperature changes according to shelf and placement. So here’s our handy guide to refrigerator storage – let’s break it down food by food!
- Milk: On the bottom shelf in the back. It’s the coldest part of the fridge, and it’s also darker there
- Eggs: Middle shelf, not too cold or warm
- Cheese and butter: In the door; these don’t need super-cold temps to stay fresh
- Cured meats: Shallow drawer
- Raw meat and poultry: Very bottom shelf away from fresh produce, on a tray to catch any escaping juices
- Condiments, jams, nut oils and butters, fruit juice: In the door; the temperature isn’t as cold and these foods are already more preserved due to higher levels of vinegar, sugar, salt and fat.
- Vegetables: Best not to wash before storing. Vegetables need to be stored in the high-humidity drawer in plastic or perforated bags (the greenest choice is reusable produce bags). I line the drawers with a few paper towels to prevent it from getting too damp.
- Fruit: Not all fruit needs to be refrigerated, but those that do require lower humidity. Store fruits and vegetables separately – like with like. Excess moisture leads to mold, and fruit is more susceptible to spoilage.
- Leftovers: Covered in the middle and lower shelves. Allow food to cool a bit before refrigerating. Piping hot foods in the fridge raise the temperature too much and the fridge has to work harder to stay cool. Don’t store food in cans; use proper glass or plastic containers with lids or seals. Also, label the containers so you know what they are at a glance.
Ready to start cleaning? Here’s our guide to deep cleaning and deodorizing your fridge!