Setting Your Refrigerator to the Ideal Temperature for Different Storage Needs
Refrigerators are one of the most important and innovative inventions that paved the way for modern food preservation. Chilling foods and beverages at the right temperature can make a world of difference in extending the freshness and shelf life of foods for days to weeks.
The chilling atmosphere can slow down the growth of bacteria in your food, but it’s easy to forget that you need to maintain a certain temperature to ensure the quality of the food remains safe to eat.
Most set the refrigerator to hover at 40° F, while it should be 0° F to keep the freezer ice cold. However, you can’t just set it and leave it; there are factors you need to consider when you want to ensure your perishables don’t actually perish.
Tip #1: Invest in a Fridge Thermometer
Knowing how to accurately identify the temperature of your fridge can do wonders in improving its performance, especially when it comes to setting your fridge to the ideal temperature. Keep in mind that various compartments of your fridge have different temperatures, even when you set the fridge to reach the optimal 40° F.
The drawer dedicated to vegetables, for instance, can be at least five to eight degrees colder compared to other areas of the fridge. The area for deli meats, on the other hand, should be at 36° F and 32° F for other raw meats that you don’t plan on freezing.
Tip #2: Know Where to Store Your Food
Speaking of varying temperatures in different compartments, the temperature also helps determine the proper placement for each food. Leftovers and snacks are best in the upper shelves where the temperature is more stable, allowing you to maintain its freshness in the optimal setting.
Condiments packed with preservatives can handle the temperature fluctuations by the fridge door, which means it can remain stable and less likely to spoil. Foods that easily spoil like raw meat or dairy are best placed on the coolest part of the fridge, which is the bottom shelves.
Tip #3: Keep Your Refrigerator Full
A full fridge can be a feast for the eyes and senses as it means you have more gastronomic options throughout the week, but it can help maintain a consistent temperature. This is because more food means there’s less air escaping every time you open the fridge, which reduces the warm air being introduced as the door opens.
Tip #4: Avoid Jamming Too Much Food in Your Fridge
While it’s recommended to keep your refrigerator full, stuffing too much food can cut the airflow and compromise the cooling system’s efficiency. By blocking the air vents with too much storage, the moisture content can increase as the fridge tend to fluctuate in temperature.
The Bottom Line: The Importance of Refrigerating Food in the Right Temperature
Knowing the ideal temperature of your fridge is crucial to ensure your food stays safe to eat for days to come.
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