Refrigerator is a smart invention of humanity — it helps us stockpile food so that we don’t have to take a walk to the supermarket every second day, it keeps cooked food from going stale, and fruits and vegetables remain fresh inside even after days.
But how many of you knew that we have been using our refrigerator quite wrong, which often spoils our food, causes freezer burn, and hikes up our electricity bill?
Here is a list of the mistakes you have been making while using your refrigerator, and what you should do instead:
#1. Freezing the wrong kind of fruits and vegetables
Tender greens, leafy vegetables, and watery fruits should never be kept in the fridge. Vegetables like celery, lettuce, cucumbers etc get limp and soggy. Although you can freeze vegetables like spinach, kale, etc. Also avoid freezing, baked or boiled potatoes and boiled eggs. To know more, here’s a list of foods you should never store in a refrigerator.
#2. Not freezing the meats fast enough or soon enough
Most foods that you buy in frozen condition from the supermarket should be put into freezer immediately. If you freeze it fast enough, it can prevent the growth of bacteria. One more way to freeze food quickly enough is to cut it up into small pieces or freeze in smaller containers, that allows faster freezing.
#3. Keeping hot food straight into the freezer
You shouldn’t put hot food straight into the freezer. It can lower the freezer temperature, and will defrost other items in your freezer. Instead, you should let the hot food cool down to room temperature and then put it into the freezer. Although, food shouldn’t sit outside the freezer for more than two hours.
#4. Washing fruits and vegetables before freezing them
Don’t ever wash fruits and vegetables before putting them into the freezer. Wet fruits in the freezer can get freezer burn and that will ruin their taste and texture. It’s better to wash them after you have taken them out of the freezer and defrosted them completely.
If you really need to wash them, then let them dry properly before stowing away in the fridge.
#5. Not blanching the leafy vegetables
Blanching vegetables before freezing them can significantly increase their life, and enhance their taste when you take them out of the freezer. Proper method to do is to put your veggies into boiling water and let them cook for about one to two minutes. Then take them out and put them immediately into ice water for another two minutes. Afterwards, drain all the water from the vegetables before you freeze them.
#6. Freezing a big clump together
Freezing a bunch of fruit or vegetables together might cause them to stick together and form a big clump. You should keep all your fruits and vegetables separate and make sure they are not touching. Freeze them for two to three hours, then take them out, put them together into a freezer bag or container – this way you can avoid clumps.
#7. Not choosing the right containers
If you are not freezing your food in airtight containers, you are making a big mistake. Leaking air into your container can dry out the food or cause freezer burn. Make sure to use freezer bags or airtight containers.
#8. Overpacking the food containers
Water expands when it freezes, and all your food contains some amount of water. That can cause food to expand when it freezes, which is why you should leave sufficient space in your containers or bags. Otherwise the containers might get opened or even cracked, letting air in and spoiling your food.
#9. Leaving food in the freezer for too long
Although some say that food stored in Freezer at -18°C (0° F) can last forever, but plenty of research has shown the food in freezer usually lasts two-three months. After that the taste and texture of the food begins to spoil,
It’s best to label the freezing date of the food so that you can know for how long it has been inside the freezer.
Featured Image Courtesy: BBC Good Food