How To Prolong Life Of Produce In Small Refrigerator
With as much as I cook , one would think that I have this nice, new, big refrigerator to hold all of my ingredients. I don’t. Mine is actually even smaller than the standard 18 cubic foot. This one was here when we moved in and I am too cheap to buy a new one, I figure it works so might as well wear it out.
I had to come up with a few tricks to make this small refrigerator practical, the most important being how to keep my produce fresh. Especially with all of the vegetables we grow during the season. I was noticing a lot of wilting and premature rotting with the veggies in our “crisper drawer”. I quote crisper drawer because it is actually just a drawer. It does not crisp, nor does it preserve.
Here is an easy way to help prolong the life of your produce in a small (or older model) refrigerator.
Produce needs a few things to survive after being harvested or brought home from the grocery store:
- Air circulation
- Cold Temperatures
If your smaller or older model fridge lacks a humdity/temperature controlled crisper drawer follow these steps to help preserve your produce and keep it fresh longer.
- Remove the drawer. Use the space, but not the drawer. Cramming all that produce into the drawer prevents air flow and confines the natural gases fruits and veggies give off. This will ripen and rot your produce faster.
- Remove produce from their plastic bags when you can (like tomatoes, cucumbers, onions)
- Wet a few paper towels, ring them out, place inside of zip lock bag. Leave the bag open and sit it on the middle shelf in the back corner. This will add moisture to the air and help prevent drying. use two if you see in a week that one is not enough.
- Single rows- Make sure produce is not piled on top of each other on the shelves
Note: Removing the crisper drawer also keeps the product cooler, being stuffed into a drawer actually keeps them warmer just as if you cuddled up next to someone for warmth.