How to Store Food in the Refrigerator
The question of storing food in the refrigerator comes down to three points: location, temperature, and packaging. The right combination of these three factors ensures that the products retain their properties. If you plan to store food in the freezer, then you also need to prepare the product for quick freezing.
Storage of products in the refrigerator, such as meat, fruits, and vegetables, fish can be both short-term and long-term:
- short-term - from several days to two to three weeks - storage in ordinary (3-7 ° C) or "zero" refrigerator chambers. In such storage conditions, products, even perishable ones, do not lose their taste and are ready for use without special preparation;
- long-term storage - up to several months - usually involves special preparation of products and subsequent deep freezing in the freezer (-5-15 ° C). Of course, with deep freezing, the products partially lose their properties, but if simple rules are observed, the negative effect is minimized.
Shelf life of food in ordinary or "zero" chambers:
- cooked food - up to 5 days;
- salads with meat or fish - no more than three days;
- greens (do not wash). In order for the greens to be better stored, wrap them in paper (preferably wet) or put in a plastic bag. Shelf life - up to 4-5 days;
- mushrooms - up to 5 days;
- eggs are stored for no more than a week, but can be longer - up to 3-4 weeks;
- cheeses: a lot depends on the variety, so look at the expiration date indicated on the package, most often it is 2-3 weeks. Hard cheeses are stored in plastic bags or wrapped in plastic film. Gorgonzola or Roquefort - up to two weeks. Soft cheeses, for example, brie or mozzarella, retain their properties for no more than two weeks while they are tightly wrapped in paper;
- meat: stew - no more than 1-2 days. Steaks, large pieces tightly wrapped with cling film - up to 4 days;
- fish and seafood: no more than 2-3 days.
Shelf life of products in the freezer (-12-18 ° C):
- poultry: 6-9 months;
- fish: up to 3 months;
- fish dishes: up to 4 months;
- seafood: up to 3 months;
- mushrooms: it’s recommended to freeze immediately after purchasing, shelf life up to 6 months;
- fruits and vegetables: up to a year.
The rules for storing food in the refrigerator are as follows:
- proper placement of products. Depending on the design of the refrigerator, the temperature regime of its chambers is different. This should be considered when placing products:
- on the upper shelves it is better to store dairy products;
- on the lower shelves (the coldest) keep fish and meat products;
- special boxes are provided for vegetables and fruits.
Consider the compatibility of different products. There are some tips on what you can't store next to:
- fruits, vegetables, and smoked products are not stored next to cheeses and sausages;
- root vegetables (beets, cabbage, potatoes) can’t be together with fruits;
- bananas are not placed next to oranges and other citrus fruits;
- fish does not go well with baked goods and fruits.
- Product packaging. Products emit odors, and in the confined space of the refrigerator, these odors usually mix. The problem can be solved by proper packaging. To do this, use paper bags, containers and airtight bags, including containers with special lids for vacuum storage. The following is recommended:
- meat products: keep in a package for no more than a month;
- fish: in a bag, shelf life not more than 2 weeks;
- ready-made meals are best kept in an enameled dish with a lid or in special containers for food. If there is no lid, then the plate with food must be wrapped in a special film or foil;
- baking should be left on the dish, covered with a napkin;
- groceries - butter, sausages, cheese - better retain their qualities in parchment paper or foil;
- dairy products must be kept in glass or enameled dishes;
- the refrigerator should be cleaned at least once every two months.
Some products can be kept outside the refrigerator, especially in spring or autumn, when the air temperature is optimal. For example, apples, pears, bananas. Potatoes can be kept on the balcony, however, they must be in a paper bag that is impervious to sunlight, otherwise they will turn green, and it is very dangerous to use such potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are dry. You can also check popular option on this refrigeratorfaq.com
Canned food is airtight and unpretentious to temperature. In addition, heavy cans take up a lot of space and create a load for the blowing system, which interferes with normal air circulation.
Storage of mineral water in the refrigerator adversely affects its healing properties.
To better preserve fresh vegetables, herbs, fruits, minced meat, and other products, some refrigerators have a special chamber. It maintains zero temperature, as well as a constant level of humidity. In the "zero" chamber, the products retain their taste better.
Products, especially vegetables and fruits, are often frozen for the winter or just for the later use. Before being placed in the chamber, they are properly prepared. Here are a few general recommendations:
- you use vegetables and fruits immediately after defrosting, therefore they must be washed before being placed in the chamber;
- some vegetables are blanched before freezing (boiled in a small amount of water at a low boil);
- meat is frozen without washing, after cutting off the fat. Depending on what you will do with it, it can be cut into pieces or frozen in a single piece. It is advisable to pack small pieces separately so that they do not freeze with each other;
- poultry: the carcass is gutted, the entrails are packed separately. Carcasses shouldn’t be stuffed before freezing;
- the freezing speed depends not only on the temperature but also on the size of the products. The products are better frozen in small portions. Moreover, the smaller the portion to be frozen, the faster the food will freeze. For example, chop meat into small pieces if you plan to later cook broth from it;
- products should be packed in plastic bags, special food bags or containers. Packages with a zip fastener are also convenient for freezing. Container lids are sealed with a special tape that freezes to the packaging;
- before placing the bag in the freezer, remove excess air from it.
Freezing vegetables, fruits, herbs, mushrooms:
- greens (chives, dill, basil, parsley):
rinse the greens in running water and dry;
finely cut and pack into packets in small portions;
squeeze out air from packages.
remove top leaves;
head of cabbage divided into inflorescences;
blanch the cabbage in a weak solution of citric acid for ~ 3 minutes;
drain the water, cool the inflorescences and dry;
put in bags and place in the freezer.
- corn and green peas:
husk peas or corn;
boil in boiling water for 3-5 minutes;
recline in a colander, rinse with running water;
dry and put into bags;
put in the freezer.
rinse and cut leaves;
put in boiling water for 1 minute;
recline in a colander and cool after water drains;
put into packages and freeze.
divide into inflorescences;
put into packages.
There are two ways to freeze tomatoes. The first is to put the tomatoes in a meat grinder, pass the mass through a sieve, separate the seeds and then pour into containers. The second way is mentioned below:
rinse and dry;
cut into slices;
layout in bags, remove air and tie a bag;
small tomatoes can not be cut, but it is advisable to pierce in several places so that they do not crack during freezing.
Depending on what you are going to do later with pepper, cooking methods will vary:
if you need pepper for stuffing, then remove the stem and all the seeds. Rinse, dry, put in a bag and freeze;
immediately stuff the pepper with boiled rice and carrots and place like that in the freezer;
the easiest way: cut into small pieces and freeze.
wash, cut into cubes (or straws).
remove seeds, cut into cubes and boil;
recline in a colander, let the water drain;
put in bags and remove air.
Everything is simple here - rinse, put in a colander, dry, pack. Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are best stored in containers. You can grind the berries with sugar and put into cups or containers;
Some types of mushrooms are frozen raw, like champignons. For other species, the following procedure is recommended:
peel, rinse, large mushrooms - cut into pieces;
fry in vegetable oil for twenty minutes so that excess moisture evaporates;
cool, pack and place in the freezer;
Alternative: Fry in the oven. To do this, put the mushrooms in a deep pan and simmer in the oven, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated.
It is desirable to label the packaging of products. With a long shelf life of a large number of food products, it is important to label the packaging to prevent products from expiration. A kind of sticker is put onto special packages, on which the contents and date of freezing are indicated.
How to defrost foods
How to defrost meat, poultry, chicken or minced meat? There are three main ways to defrost foods:
- thawing in the refrigerator. The products are put on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Defrosting time depends on the weight of the product. For example, a large chicken or turkey carcass may thaw during the day;
- thawing in cold water. The product is placed in cold water, where it is kept for several hours;
- quickly defrost fish or minced meat in the microwave: each oven has a special mode that will defrost the product in a few minutes.
Other methods are not recommended, as they lead to a significant loss in the taste of the product.
More detail on how to defrost products can be found on the web depending on what you need to defrost.