Working in the food industry for over 20 years teaches you a few things. One of those things is that the refrigerator is, without a doubt, every cook or chef’s most important equipment. There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as a messy cool room, so you have to learn how to manage fridge organisation fast.
I’ve learnt the hard way that maintaining an organised fridge keeps food at its best for longer, reduces waste, saves planning time, and protects people from nasty bugs.
Here are a few ways I apply industry-learnt knowledge to stay on top of fridge organisation at home.
Fridge space is premium so don’t store items that don’t require refrigeration in there. If you have any of these in your fridge, considering moving them to a cool, dry place instead: chocolate, jams, conserves, tomatoes, maple syrup, peanut butter, butter, tomato and BBQ sauces, honey, baked goods, potatoes, onions, and garlic.
Extend the life of fresh produce
I add Keep Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Savers to my produce drawers to extend the life of my fruit and veg. These ingenious little papers absorb the gas ethylene, which is produced as fruit and vegetables age, slowing the ripening process and preventing spoilage. They’re so economical and well worth the small investment to keep your fruit and veg in tip-top shape.
Use smart sectioning tools like stackable boxes so you can see all the items in your fridge at a glance. Try these stackable food containers from Kitchen Pro which are great for produce, meat, cheese, and any leftover food. Or create sections using different Madesmart Trays to ensure everything has a it’s own place.
It’s always best to store raw meat below fresh items in case of drips. But if you are using the lower drawers for fruit and veg, then store meat in an enclosed box to avoid contamination. Enclosing cheese and deli meats in their own containers will also prevent them from absorbing odours.
Pass the thermometer
Use a fridge thermometer to determine which area in your fridge is the coldest. Then, always keep your most delicate food, such as milk and raw meat, in that area.
Smarten up storage
Store meal prep and leftovers in see-through containers and make sure to date them. Place the oldest food at the front so you can reach for it first to avoid wastage. I love using containers that can go straight from the fridge or freezer into a microwave or oven, such as these Glasslock oven safe containers.