Posted on July 28 2020
Proper storage of food is one of the most overlooked yet most essential parts of kitchen duty. After all, not only does it affect how long ingredients or a dish will last, but it also dictates how it tastes, too. From how to you store your vegetables to putting pans in your fridge, here are some common food storage mistakes that plenty of households make, and what you should be doing properly instead.
1. Placing everything in the freezer
Not every ingredient needs to be stored in the freezer to extend its shelf life. In a previous article here on FoodVacBags, we mentioned how root vegetables—like onions and carrots—are great just for your fridge. Fruits, such as oranges and apples, can also survive as long as they're stored in cool, dry places. Doing so can grant you some extra room in your fridge for fast perishables, like dairy and green vegetables.
2. Storing quickly perishable foods in the fridge door
Your fridge isn't evenly cool all throughout. In particular, your fridge door compartments are 3 to 5 degrees warmer than the shelves inside, causing food stored on them to spoil faster. Food with longer expiration dates, like ketchup and relish, can be stored on the shelf with no problems. But perishable foods like eggs, meat, and opened milk should be kept in the main fridge itself where it's colder. Feel free to leave them in the door if you're planning to consume them within a week.
3. Putting food and cookware into the fridge
It’s common to serve a dish straight from the pan or pot. But when you have leftovers, the worst thing you can do is chuck the whole thing—cookware and food—into your fridge, as the non-airtight lid makes your food spoil faster. Plus, research on Greenopedia finds that unless they’re made out of ceramic or glass, cookware has “coatings” that can contaminate your food when stored in them for a prolonged period. It’ll take an extra couple of minutes, but storing your food and cookware separately is important for your health and your cookware's quality. Even around your kitchen, make it a habit to place your appliances in the right area, or choose ones that aren't bulky. The same criteria should be applied for your toasters, blenders, and more.
4. Leaving dry foods in their original packaging
Dry ingredients such as grains, oats, and uncooked pasta can last for months without being consumed. However, this doesn’t mean that they should simply be left alone either. Mice, weevils, and other pests can sniff out your food wherever they’re placed. And because of their flimsy packing, they’ll usually just eat their way through it. As such, it's important to vacuum seal them to keep the smell in. However, they can chew through our bags if they wanted to as well. For added protection, we recommend placing the vacuum sealed items in a sealed container if long term storage is needed. Several of the food containers listed on The Wire Cutter are not only airtight, but are durable enough to keep any unwanted pests from damaging your food source. Food is stored differently depending on their type and state of consumption, so it’s important to know how to handle each one properly. For more storage tips and useful kitchen solutions, check out our other posts on the FoodVacBags blog.
Guest post written by: Reese Jones