Tricks for Storing Your Food Properly So It Lasts Longer and Still Tastes Good
If you had to guess my favorite part of any meal… what would you say?
A juicy slice of turkey? A fresh salad?
I bet you’d guess dessert, right?
Nope. It’s none of the above.
Well, I guess it could be all of the above…
My favorite thing is the chance for leftovers.
This time of year, Karen and I often have leftovers in the fridge.
Sometimes it’s leftover meat. Or, a batch of extra soup we just whipped up.
Leftovers are great. One less meal to prepare. Plus, you get the most out of the food you buy.
But nothing’s worse than reaching for a tasty leftover and finding… it’s too late.
You know what I mean.
Veggies covered in fuzz. Meat that just doesn’t smell, or taste, quite right.
It all comes down to proper storage. That’s key to keeping food fresh and reducing waste.
With our food supply vulnerable due to the pandemic, the last thing you want is for the food you managed to secure for your family spoiling too quickly. That’s like flushing dollars down the toilet.
So here are some tricks I’ve picked up for storing your food properly, so it lasts longer and still tastes good.
First, ditch the aluminum foil.
Sure, it’s convenient. But it’s one of the worst things you can use to store food.
You see, aluminum foil can react to the food inside. The result? One bite, and it’s almost like you’re chewing on the aluminum foil itself. Yuck.
Another downside of storing food in aluminum foil is you can’t see what’s wrapped up in that foil. So, you’re bound to forget about it.
Now, when’s the last time you checked your fridge’s temperature? Fridges should be set between 38 and 40 degrees. When your fridge gets above 40 degrees, the risk of bacteria growth goes up.
It’s a good idea to check your fridge’s temperature every few months to make sure it’s in the safe zone. Or at the very least, when you change the batteries in your smoke alarms, give your fridge a good look over also.
And you should also try to store food evenly in the fridge too.
If all your food is on one shelf, or on one side, air won’t circulate properly. This can throw off the temp of your fridge and send it rising.
This next trick is something I know I’ve been guilty of. But do as I say, not as I do, right?
In a rush to clean up after dinner, I’ve put hot soup right in the fridge.
Placing hot items into your fridge can throw off the temperature calibration system. And really mess things up.
It’s best to just wait, let food cool to room temperature, and then put it away.
You probably know you should never store raw and cooked foods next to each other. But where’s the best place to put your raw meats?
If you said the bottom shelf of the fridge, you’re right. And it makes perfect sense.
After all, you don’t want to risk having juices from your raw foods drip down onto your cooked foods.
And the lower shelves should stay colder too.
If you’ve been washing your fresh produce as soon as you come home from the store, stop.
Moisture attracts mold. And, I don’t know about you, but I’m no fan of fuzzy broccoli and moldy berries.
Instead of washing the whole batch at once, only wash what you’re about to eat to help ensure your produce stays fresher longer.
Food is probably one of your bigger household expenses.
And with our food supply in a delicate state due to the pandemic, the last thing you want is for your newly purchased groceries to go bad before you’ve had a chance to enjoy them.
Proper storage helps keep your food fresh, reduces waste and stretches that dollar, too.