As some of you know, I recently finished up a complete kitchen remodel. You can see the whole post here. I am very thankful that I was able to get this done before the stay in place order. Like most of you, we have been cooking way more than usual, and buying a lot more groceries because of that. Since we got our new Bosch 800 Series French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator, I have really been taking the time to learn the proper way to store my food. It’s pretty incredible how much longer your food will last when it’s stored correctly, and in a refrigerator with advanced freshness technology. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you guys some of tips and tricks I have learned about refrigeration organization in hopes it will help you during this time!
I made a general key for what I have read is the best way to store food. I have been keeping a habit of really making sure my refrigerator is clear of clutter because it’s MUCH easier to see what I have. I was finding that, with an over-packed refrigerator, I would forget about things and then they would spoil. Out of sight, out of mind. So now, I try to keep things really clean and simple, and only buy what I know I will absolutely use.
Generally, it’s best to keep your fruits and vegetables separate. If you have two drawers, perfect. One thing I love about my Bosch refrigerator is that the crisper drawers pull all the way out for easy access. Each bin’s environment can be controlled independently via the Bosch VitaFreshPro technology, which balances both temperature AND humidity based on what I’m storing. I learned from the refrigeration experts at Bosch that the key to extending your produce freshness is an environment that balances both of these components, and I love that these bins adjust to five different settings with the simple the touch of a button. So, if I decide it’s more useful to store meat and fish in a specific bin, I select the appropriate setting and it will automatically adjust to the ideal temperature and humidity level for that. It’s been super convenient. Most recently, we have been getting a lot of farm boxes that are just totally filled with lettuce. So, we have had a lot of overflow into what would normally be my meat and dairy section, but thankfully my refrigerator is built for that kind of flexibility, so everything stays super fresh. The bins also have a FreshProtect Filter which prevents foods like apples and peaches from ripening too quickly by absorbing naturally occurring Ethylene gas emitted from certain fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, I just try to make sure everything has its own home.
With the diagram, you will notice that prepared foods and drinks are at the top. Those are the foods that are best to consume first. Typically, the top part of refrigerators are the warmest, so it’s best to keep the foods you will use quickly there. With my new Bosch refrigerator, though, I can organize based on my needs because the features provide optimal conditions for all my items, no matter where they are. I love keeping all the leftovers in one place because I find it makes it easier to get through them. As soon as I open the fridge for lunch, I know to look in the section of foods that should be eaten first.
For meat and fish that needs to be cooked, I learned it’s best to keep them on a tray so that if some liquid were to leak out, it won’t contaminate your other food or get all over the interior of your refrigerator. Ideally, you place these items as close to the bottom as possible so if they do leak, they don’t contaminate much. For me, that area is right above all of the individually temperature-controlled drawers.
One major take-away for me when I started this whole process was trying to be on top of de-cluttering the contents. A lot of the condiments I found hiding in the back were expired. The more your refrigerator is stuffed, the less air flow happens. With less air flow, your refrigerator has a harder time keeping a consistent temperature. My Bosch refrigerator has MultiAirFlow to maintain consistent temperatures throughout, so that has really helped keep everything at the proper temperature – from the back wall to the door bins.
Keeping organized and some light meal planning has been important for me in ensuring I don’t let food spoil. I try to keep the tall items near the back of the refrigerator and the short ones in the front. This has been an especially helpful way to organize the refrigerator doors. My Bosch refrigerator doors have large gallon-sized bins which I love. I keep condiments organized by type and height. One compartment for jams, nut butters, and syrup, and another for ketchup, mustard, special sauce, and so on. My refrigerator also has this really neat feature called a FlexBar. It enables me to position extra shelving near the back of the refrigerator that otherwise would have been unused space.
Our freezer is generally full of ice cream treats, and quick dinners. My freezer has three layers, the top layer I use for ice cream and treats. The second layer has ice, and I use it to store frozen meat. The third layer is also my deepest. It has a smaller compartment on the right I use for frozen ingredients, like bags of strawberries or spinach. The main compartment I use for storing frozen soup I have made (which I label with contents and date!) and any other frozen foods I have. Organizing the freezer into layers and food type has been a great way to ensure I have easy access to everything in there.
One last thing I really like about my new refrigerator is the Home Connect function, which allows me to connect my iPhone directly to my refrigerator. Home Connect lets me know if I accidentally left the door open and when it’s time to re-order my water filters – such a nice convenience!
I hope you guys can find some of these tips helpful for making your food last longer! Stay safe!
(A special thanks to Bosch for collaborating with me on this post.)