It’s difficult to envision living without a refrigerator in the kitchen. Consider that for a moment. Almost all of the foods you’ve grown to rely on to keep your body nourished is kept in the fridge. This single device can not only store these products, but it can also increase the shelf life of a variety of foods and beverages.
Of course, just like any other equipment in your home, you must clean and maintain it. This could entail a thorough cleaning or simply a fast inventory of expired materials. In any case, it all starts with the goods you store inside of it.
- Cans That Are Open
When you’ve only used half of a can, you may need to refrigerate it. Before storing it, make sure you cover it with plastic wrap or transfer the contents to another container. The contents of open cans begin to dry out. The flavor will diminish as a result of this.
Additionally, the odors and drippings of other products can contaminate the food inside. Only buy things that come in resealable bags or cover everything before placing it in the fridge.
If you enjoy creating homemade ranch dressing, you probably buy buttermilk on a regular basis. The issue is that buttermilk frequently comes in such enormous containers, and you usually only need a small amount to perfect your recipe. In most cases, a carton of buttermilk will only survive two weeks in the refrigerator. After that, don’t take any chances and just throw it away.
3. Soft Cheeses
Soft cheese refers to goat cheese and ricotta, for example. The majority of the time, this will just last a week or so. Fortunately, ricotta may be used in a variety of meals, including sandwiches, dips, and pasta sauces. Purchase it only when you require it and are ready to utilize it in a recipe.
4. Chicken Broth
A carton of chicken broth is only good for four days once the lid has popped off. If you’re preparing soup, this isn’t a problem, but if you’re using just a glug in a stir-fry or cream sauce, it’s a waste. It can be used in risottos, mashed potatoes, glazed vegetables, or pilafs, or it can be frozen and used later.
5. Ground Beef & Raw Poultry
Raw meat should be stored at or below 40°F and consumed within two days of purchase, according to the USDA.
After this time, the meat is at risk of bacterial development. If you eat it after this, you might get sick. If you won’t be able to prepare it within this time frame, put it in the freezer and thaw it the day before you want to cook it. Ground beef can survive up to four months if properly frozen.
6. Baking Soda
Leaving an open package of baking soda inside your fridge is one of the oldest tricks in the book. While it helps help absorb all of the residual odors, most of us make the error of leaving it in there for too long.
If you use baking soda to deodorize and freshen your fridge, you should replace it every a month at the very least. It’s even printed on the packaging by Arm & Hammer. Unfortunately, most of us are unconcerned about it and allow it to sit for much too long.
7. Produce that has shrunk and become slimy
Anyone who has purchased leafy greens in a bag knows how quickly they spoil. Despite your best attempts to preserve them sharp and extend their shelf life, they always wilt sooner than you expect. The appearance of slimy leafy vegetables is a telling sign that they have gone bad. There isn’t anything you can do about it. When you notice the bag, simply toss it.
In addition, keep a watch on any lemons or ginger in your fridge that appear to be shriveled. Keeping food at this point isn’t worth it because it won’t add anything to a dish.