A refrigerator might be silver or white, its freezer might be on the top or the bottom – or maybe it’s a double-door with a whole side dedicated to frozen goods. No matter the make or model of your fridge, it’s very likely it’ll be outfitted with a series of drawers and compartments. It’s tempting, of course, as a busy and lovingly disorganized person to just throw your food in wherever it fits, but using your refrigerator’s draws as the manufacturer intended will keep your food tastier for longer, saving you time and money in the future.
The most misused and disorganized drawer in common refrigerators is the crisper. While some people believe that any and all fruits and vegetables go in a crisper drawer, it’s helpful to remember a few tips. First thing first: it’s all in the name. You want to put produce in the crisper drawer that you want to remain, well, crispy. You don’t need to bother with produce like potatoes or onions, or even tomatoes. Think leafy greens: lettuce, herbs, asparagus, bok choy, celery – anything you want to maintain a crunch. The crisper drawer maintains a higher level of humidity which keeps your veggies from wilting or getting soggy.
Some types of fridges will also have a drawer labeled “Fresh.” A little confusing, no doubt, but you’ve got this. Think of the fresh drawer as a place for all the produce you don’t want to stay crispy but that you want to remain fresh. Lemons, limes, apples – almost all fruit will stay good in the fresh drawer. The fresh drawer maintains a lower level of humidity, which will prevent water molecules from enhancing rot. If your fridge doesn’t have labeled drawers, don't worry! That often means you can control the humidity yourself. Program them so you have one running on high humidity and the other running on low humidity, and you’ll never eat a wilted salad again.
It’s possible that your refrigerator has a slim drawer somewhere in the middle of its shelves intended for sliced or deli meats for sandwiches and snacks alike. This drawer is slightly colder than the body of the fridge, which will help keep those meats cooler for longer – even the ones made without preservatives. You can also keep sliced cheese in there.
Other Meat and Dairy
If your fridge doesn’t come with a deli meat drawer, not to worry! Meats are otherwise best stored on the bottom shelf (not in a drawer) on a plate to prevent any dripping. Cheese can be kept in the door or on the top shelf for ease of access.
You may have a drawer that opens up and down (rather than out) in the door of your fridge. This is a great place to put eggs, butter, or soft kinds of cheese – making them easily accessible and not too cool. The last thing you’d want is for your eggs to be crispy before you fry them.
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