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How to store things in your fridge/freezer discussion

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
The other thread reminded me of a discussion I wanted to throw out there...I have 3 "Drawers" in my fridge, 1 with a humidity control (just an air slot) , and the bottom one that has a "meat" or "vegitables" switch thing.

the other is a smaller drawer, no ventilation i don't think.

What drawer and how should I store certain things...for instance, how should I store my herbs in the fridge like rosemary/thyme.....parsley.

How about my mirepoix-ish.....carrots celery onions shallots and potatos and such. do I want high/low humidity and for what things?

how about cheese like my parmegiano-reggiano.....how about goat cheese or crumbled blue?

just curious as sometimes things last a while sometimes they last a day....parsley is strange that way for me, sometimes it lasts a day others weeks.

post #2 of 9
Quick response re: herbs. I store my parsley and cilantro on a shelf in the fridge as though they were bouquets, standing with their stems in a container of water, with paper towels draped over the top of the "bouquet" and a plastic bag draped loosely over the whole thing. If I don't use them up within a couple of days, I'll replace the paper.

Other hardy herbs -- rosemary, thyme -- I spread out on paper towels, roll up, and keep in the vegetable bin also in a loose plastic bag.

Basil will not keep no matter what you do. Just use it all up as soon as you get it. :D
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 9
I never store onions, garlic, shallots or potatoes in the fridge. There is no need to do so. They do benefit, however, from being kept in the dark.

In theory you can keep all roots unrefrigerated. But in my experience, unless root cellered or something similar, they tend to dry out unless used fairly quickly.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #4 of 9

My fridge also has three "drawers". A small one without ventilation, and two larger ones on the bottom with ventilation switches(air holes)

Basically, I use the smaller drawer for my cold cuts and cheeses. Usually I re-wrap my cold cuts in parchment paper instead of the thin deli paper I get them in(only buying BH helps with the taste :D ) And I keep all the cheeses I buy wrapped in Glad press and seal, then in a zip-top bag.

The larger drawers are on the bottom. One of them I use only for carrots, green onion, celery and bell peppers. Mainly because this is something I always have a decent amount of, and so they are all together. I also keep my herbs in this drawer. Each bunch of herbs gets individually wrapped in press and seal, then they all go into a gallon zip-top bag. During holidays labeling of herbs is required, as I have a lot more fresh herbs then any other time of the year.

The other drawer is for vegetables I would use for side dishes, ie; broc, zuchinni, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, haricot verts..etc.. as well as salad accesories

Things I do not store in the fridge include: Potatoes, garlic, basil, yellow/white and red onions, shallots, tomatoes, bananas.. thats all i have out of the fridge right now. Some fruits i put in the fridge, some I don't. Basically the more delicate fruits I put in the fridge, and things like oranges, lemons, and apples stay on the counter in bowls, until theyre cut into of course.

Freezer wise, I have the one that is part of the fridge, which is for ice cream, ice, some nuts, choco chips, random raw protiens such as chicken breasts/thighs/legs that were part of a big package that didnt get used for the dish, bones for stockage, and of course a few frozen meals, which sometimes, I just need. The other freezer, is a large standing type. This is where full packages of protiens go that wont be used right away, ice cream when its on sale and I buy like 4 gallons of vanilla, and the entire bottom is dedicated to portioned out containers of stocks/soups, and there is always at least 2 portions of meat gravy for pasta in there. This freezer is also colder then the one attached to the fridge, so its used more for storage then it is everyday use. Protiens ill use in a few days go in the fridge or attached freezer.

You know, that was fun. I never realized it, but I have a pretty decent system goin on here! It'll be fun to see how differently everyone organizes thier stuff! Cool thread:smoking:

edit: the ventilation things I dont really pay any attention to, my mother used to own every vegetable tupperware container avaiable with all the holes for humidity with the chart on how to use it, and I never noticed anything keeping any longer then normal, so, IMO, I think its a way of making the fridge look "high-tech".
post #5 of 9
Good system but what on earth is meat gravy for pasta?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ragu, meat sauce, meat marinara, some even dare to call it bolognese. but....around my house which is not italian in the least bit, we call it...


my system is pretty much the same, i keep my mirepoix type stuff, in the bottom bin. other veggies and herbs in the middle, and cheese and deli meats (if i have them) in the small drawer. on my top shelf, its strickly liquids/bottles/jugs.....i keep seltzer/club, vermouths, any wines, i have a big bottle of cocktail sherry in there now, milk, POM, and probably 10 other things im forgetting, oh yeah simple syrup.

next shelf is usually stuff in containers, leftovers or stuff defrosting for the next day...its my "churn" shelf...nothing stored long term

next shelf under that is just stuff that doesnt fit on the doors.

I'll take a pic in a few.

Freezer is just mainly protiens, stock, and fat....duck fat, bacon fat. and a shelf for chilled cocktail glasses. a bin at the bottom that i haven't ventured into in a while but it has some ellios, veggies, probably some fish sticks...
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
ok lets see..

starting at the top shelf:
2% milk, apple cider, half-half, heavy cream, POM, vermouths (both sweet/dry) cocktail sherry, club and seltzer, some nasty bacardi "zombie" mix someone left here...no clue why its still in there...ick. I thnk there are 1 or two things im missing..

next shelf: 2 packages of duck confit in the back by the baking soda, ...some soda (or "pop" for some of you weird talkers) and some left over pasta from last night that no one will probably eat.

next shelf: ketchup, some beer (amstel? heinys? no clue I don't drink beer, left over from 4th of july party!) some great local blueberry preserves, salsa, pickles, a few things of sour cream, and some yougurt that i bet expired....one thing I learned...woman and yougurt...they love to buy lots of it, but only eat half of it before it goes bad. Oh yeah, some cans of pinaple juice for cocktails, and cranberry juice. On yeah, and throghout my fridge, you'll notice "open" cans/bottle of soda/juice...that's NRatched....she opens, takes a sip, then leaves it in fridge.....and NEVER drinks the rest.

little drawer:
parm-reg, big hunk of prosciutto, 2 tubs of blue cheese (why 2?) asiago, some mexican in a bag taco cheese,

next drawer asparagus, herbs, parsley

last: potatoes, onions, celery

the door,....oh boy...top is yeast in a package and butter.....maybe some cream cheese.

next is what I call "american" condiments, mustard, relish, ketchup, bbq, mayo

next is a mix of asian/mexican sauces/condiments

next is salad dressings and syrups and preserves/jellys

bottoms is dessert stuff.

freezer is not much to it, I do label everything and date it.

you can see some beet raviolis on the door, and some mango sorbet...a little thing of bacon fat. on the almost top shelf hides a bag of parm-reg rinds.

post #8 of 9
Most old school Italian People know refer to tomato based sauce as gravy.:bounce:
post #9 of 9
I'd go further: keeping onions, garlic, shallots, potatoes, etc. in the fridge is a bad idea, because a fridge is basically humid, and these things like to be drier. The perfect environment for them is on wire or bamboo or whatever racks, separated slightly, standing in a cool, dry basement, with considerable ventilation. My neighbor in VT who grows garlic in ludicrous quantities can keep it until June this way. For normal people (and quantities), this is nuts.

I have had wonderful luck, however, with a wooden box. A neighbor in Kyoto who's a chef sometimes serves fancy wine that comes in wooden boxes, and I snagged one off his trash-can one night. It had a little clean shredded paper, like confetti, which I kept. It's a 5-sided wood box, the size of a wine bottle, and the 6th side slides off the front; I'm sure you've seen boxes like this. I keep garlic, onions, and potatoes in boxes like this, under my kitchen sink, which is the darkest, coolest place in the house during the summer (and Japan is amazingly hot and humid then). Stuff lasted very well for a couple weeks, which is impressive in that weather, believe me. Now I put the boxes in the closet of the front room, which is really very cold (uninsulated and unheated, and it's 40 degrees right now!), and I don't even have to check: whatever is in those boxes is fine.

Dark, dry, and cool are important. Well-ventilated is less so, but hermetically-sealed is not good. If you have a real house with a basement, get a biggish wooden bin with some kind of lid, put an inch of straw in the bottom, and heave everything in there. If something looks nasty, chuck it at once: you don't want some kind of mold spreading. Keep it an inch off the floor if you ever get flooding. Other than that, you're good to go.

And yes, you can keep all kinds of roots like this, but as KY says, it never seems to work. The thing is, there you really do need the ventilation. If you're very into that sort of thing, consider picking up a falling-to-bits wardrobe at a junkyard. Use 2x4s and stuff to keep it from falling over, and prop it up an inch or so off the basement floor. Put the bin for onions and garlic and stuff in the bottom, and then hang the carrots and turnips and whatnot from hooks or rods or whatever at the top -- where the coats used to be. If the thing closes passably, you should do pretty well. But don't expect things to be super-crisp: the carrots will taste fabulously sweet if you cook them, but if you just bite in like a rabbit they'll be a tad soft. Oh well.

Bear in mind that your veggies' keeping properties depend on how they've been treated before you got them. It's no use putting potatoes in the world's most perfect root cellar if the supermarket where you bought them kept them in fluorescent light and humidity all the time: they will sprout.
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