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What Goes In The Crisper Drawer In The Fridge?
The crisper drawer in the fridge is the best place to keep your fresh fruit and vegetables.
What Is The Crisper Drawer?
The crisper drawer is the compartment (sometimes two side by side) at the bottom of your fridge which is designed to prolong the life of your fruit and vegetables.
It has a different level of humidity to the rest of the fridge allowing you to optimise the conditions for fresh produce storage.
A lot of crispers will have a humidity slider at the back. This allows you to control the air flow into the drawer from a cooling vent;
- Close the air flow for high humidity
- Open the air flow for low humidity
Managing the crisper drawer correctly can significantly extend the life of your fruit and vegetables. This has a few noticeable benefits:
- It will keep your food tasting fresher for longer
- It will lower your grocery bill
How Do You Use The Humidity Control On Your Crisper Drawer?
Generally speaking you want to keep produce that rots easily in a low-humidity environment e.g. apples, avocados etc.
Whilst a high-humidity drawer is better for items that tend to wilt easily e.g. lettuce and spinach.
The high humidity section also works well for ethylene sensitive items.
What is ethylene gas and why does it matter?
One of the main reasons certain foods go bad quickly in the fridge is ethylene gas. Ethylene gas is naturally produced by foods such as bananas and apples. It is a plant hormone that is released as gas.
The ethylene hormone initiates cell degredation, turning fruits soft and sweeter.
There are some fruits and vegetables which produce high amounts of ethylene whilst others are more sensitive to it.
High Ethylene Producing Fruits and Vegetables
- Bananas (ripe)
Ethylene Sensitive Fruits and Vegetables
- Bananas (unripe)
The above information should give you some help and guidance when it comes to storing your food. For example you may want to segregate your ripe bananas and your onions.
Some fridge models have more than one crisper drawer which makes it easy as you can separate foods as you need to. If your fridge only has one crisper drawer then you could always look at small storage containers to isolate the items you need to.
How Full Should My Crisper Drawer Be?
Make sure that you do not overfill your crisper drawer. If you are having to cram the last red peppers into the top of the drawer before closing it then take some stuff out.
It’s a good idea to leave space for air to freely circulate which will maintain the set temperature.
Should You Store Meat In The Crisper Drawer?
Given the ease in which you can set the relative humidity in the crisper drawer it could potentially be a good place to store meat.
However, generally raw meat should be isolated from everything else to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
Therefore if you only have one crisper drawer which you tend to use for fruits and vegetables, avoid placing raw meat in there regardless of how tempting or convenient it might be.
If you have separate drawers and you use one of them for raw meat, make sure you do not use it for anything else.
In the case where your fridge does not have more than one crisper drawer, consider getting a reusable container with seal to if you need to store raw meat in your refrigerator.
What To Do If Your Fruits and Vegetables Are Still Not Staying Fresh?
If you’re still having trouble with keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh after trying out the above, then your fridge may have a problem that needs some technical attention or in the worst case, you may need a new fridge.