I recently collaborated with Betta Living for a piece on their website, about Fridge Fitness. Myself and other food bloggers gave our best tips on how to store food in the fridge, what not to keep in the fridge and so on.
I was then challenged by Betta Living to put all of the advice into practice with my own fridge. Now, before I start I must apologise for the fridge itself.
Until we moved, I had a lovely big stainless steel fridge that sat in our old kitchen. When we bought our new house, the fridge although not fitted – it sits in the utility room - was included in the sale.
The fridge wasn’t as big as ours and we thought we would put our one into the utility and put the previous owner’s one in the garage, for keeping beers cold and so on. On the day we moved, things were chaotic as you can imagine and our fridge ended up at the back of the garage, and we kept saying that we would swap them over one weekend. We did keep beers in our fridge in the garage, thinking this would be fine for a while. Until the bottles kept popping open and beer flowed everywhere! Every time the fridge was opened it stank like a brewery. We kept other bits and pieces in the fridge garage until it became evident that it was never going to make it into the house. The thermostat was broken, the journey to the new house obviously didn’t agree with it. Even on the highest temperature setting things started to freeze.
- So that is one tip, first off, make sure that your fridge freezer is suitable to keep in garages if that’s what you are planning, as people tell me, not every fridge takes kindly to this!
As a result the previous owner’s fridge has remained in the house. It’s not a bad fridge, don’t get me wrong, but it has a few cracks and broken bits and pieces, plus it’s smaller than we are used to. So, the plan is to get a new one at some stage.
For now however, let's see how I score on the 5 unwritten rules in our inherited fridge;
1) Firstly, my own tips were regarding keeping dairy items in the fridge to keep them fresh. However, I would recommend removing them prior to baking, as butter and eggs really need to be at room temperature when incorporating them into a cake mix.
2) Don’t keep bread in the fridge, as I used to. Many people think that this keeps it fresher for longer but it actually dries it out and makes it less soft. As these were my tips, I scored well on these.
3) The next tip was to keep preserves, pickles and so on in the door fridge. This is the warmest spot in the fridge and is not the best place for milk surprisingly! As jars of preserves etc. are high in natural preservatives such as salt, sugar or vinegar they can cope with opening and closing of the door.
We do keep our jars in the door, so we score there. But we have been keeping milk in the door too, so we lose out on that point!
4) The next tip was to keep citrus fruits and apples in the fridge. Now, I score well on this as we always keep our limes in the fridge, ready to be used in gin and tonic! When they come out of the fridge however they may not yield as much juice being cold, so a wee tip to get more out of the lime is to roll it firmly on the kitchen worktop before cutting into it, or zapping it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Much juiciness!
We don't eat a lot of apples in our house, but as we have apple trees in our new garden, come the autumn I am hoping for a bumper crop and will certainly put this tip into practice.
5) Lastly, store meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that any meat juices don't drip down and spoil any other food. The fridge is also warmer at the top so isn't ideal for storing fresh meat. The bottom is colder and best placed for meat storage.
As you may be able to see I had just popped some frozen meat in the bottom of our fridge to defrost, so another point to me!
It can be difficult to keep to these rules, especially if you don't have a big fridge. But I have certainly tried to incorporate the rules into my 'fridge fitness'. I don't think I scored too badly, did I?
How do you measure up on the Fridge Fitness chart?