If you’re reading this guide there is a good chance you just purchased a fridge from Home Clearance and are awaiting delivery (how exciting, not long now till you get your new fridge!). If however, you just stumbled across this article keep reading as you should still learn something new that will help you get the most out of your current fridge.
My guess has it that it’s not your first ‘rodeo’ when it comes to owning and using a fridge, however, it surprises me how many of us simply don’t get the most out of our fridge whether it be the way we set it up, how we store our food or even what food we decide to put in it. On top of this, there are many ways you can extend the functionality of your fridge no matter the brand or type of fridge you decided to buy. In this article, I’ll be touching on each of these points and will have you prepped to receive your fridge and get the most out of it that you possibly can.
Grab a cup of tea, coffee, water, a shot of whiskey, or whatever drink you feel is necessary and get ready to get your fridge knowledge on.
Before you use your fridge for the first time
Before you actually start using your fridge, there are some things that you should do or at least be aware of.
Cleaning the area
Before you get your fridge delivered and given the fact that our drivers will unpack and put your fridge into the space where it’s going to go, you may want to give the area a quick clean before we arrive. This will ensure you have a nice clean area for your brand new fridge to live.
Turning it on right way
The truth is, the myth about having to wait to turn your fridge on is only true when the fridge has been placed on its side during the delivery. Given that in 99.9% of cases we don’t do this, you’ll be able to turn your fridge on right away. In fact, our drivers will even do this for you, after they put it into its place they’ll connect it up to ensure that everything is working.
If your fridge has ice and water
If you purchased one of those fancy fridges with ice and water then you’re going to want to ensure there are no impurities in the water when you start using it. It’s advised to run a few liters of water into a large jug that you then tip it out, as well as discard the first few rounds of ice that is produced to ensure the water is safe to drink.
Setting the right temperature
Typically, you want the temperature of your fridge to be between 0° and 4° Celsius to ensure your food & liquids stay good. The freezer temperature should be set at -18° or lower. You may need to adjust the temperature slightly (for the fridge) to get it right for you, do stay within this guide though.
It’s not a long list, but a few things to keep in mind before you receive your fridge.
What food to, and not to, put inside
After a little research, it was surprising even to me just how often people store the wrong foods in their fridge. Just because it’s food it doesn’t mean it should go in your fridge and this section will help you understand what food is considered ‘fridge friendly’.
There is a handy guide from Choice that explains the different recommended temperatures for certain types of food and if you read that you’ll see that the recommended temperature for some foods is well beyond 4° – the maximum recommended fridge temperature. It’s why at times in the past you have likely seen certain types of food freeze or go off quicker than other foods.
To save you the time, here is a list of foods you should never store, instead we recommend keeping them outside the fridge and use them quickly once used or opened.
Putting any herbs in your fridge is not a great idea. It will make them loose flavour and dry up quickly so instead, try keeping them out in the open, placed in a glass or cup of water (you’ll be surprised how much longer they last).
Your lovely bread
Similar to herbs, putting bread in the fridge will make it chewier and also go off quicker. Bread doesn’t like cold temperatures.
Tomatoes, potatoes & mushrooms
These guys don’t get any better by putting them in the fridge, they are not meant for cold temperatures like that. Instead, keep them out in the fruit tray and try to use them quickly.
You’ll hear some different views about this on the interwebs but my general rule is no, save those awesome boomerang shaped fruits from a cold death and keep them out on your bench top. I tend to buy small amounts of my bananas at any one time so I can eat them within the golden (and short) ripe window that they have.
Garlic & Honey
Both of these foods will deteriorate in the fridge and the worst thing is nothing in their appearance will let you know this! Honey will always be good outside and will never go off, and the garlic, keep in a cool dry place and have within a month or so of buying, quicker if you have already cut into any of the bulbs.
A guide for tastier and better food
With the arrival of your new fridge, it’s a great time to also improve your cooking skills – now that you know more about the right foods to store in and out of your fridge. See below for some quick tips on improving the flavour and taste of your foods.
Make vegetables yummy
I know, vegetables aren’t everyone’s favourites (especially the young ones) but they are packed with all the good stuff we need. Try adding a little fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to your cooked vegetables (steaming or roasting is recommended) and or add a healthy sauce for some extra flavour.
I have been using Young Living Essential Oils at home in my cooking for the past year and I don’t know how I ever did without them. Whether its a drop of Rosemary in my spaghetti bolognese or a peppermint drop in my smoothies, the taste you get from these organic and authentic oils is nothing short of amazing.
Do more with salts
There is more than just one type of salt, and the great at-home chefs know what foods go best with what salts. Table salt, kosher salt, sea salt, grey salt, Himalayan pink salt – the list goes on and it’s worth spending the time to learn about the different salts to give your cooking an instant boost.
Try giving some of these tips a go, it will be worth the time spent, just trust me!
Extend the use of your fridge with these hacks
If you have never heard the term of ‘Fridge Hacking’ you’re in for a treat! There are many hacks out there to extend the functionality of your fridge and we have listed a few of our favourites below.
Magnetic food containers
Just because gravity pushes everything to the ground it doesn’t mean you can’t make use of the walls. Using magnetic containers (or containers with magnetic strips on them) you can attach the containers to the inside walls of your fridge to maximise the use of space in your fridge. Of course, you’ll also have the option of sticking herbs and spices on the outside of the fridge as well.
Make a snack zone
You know you would like certain food in the fridge to be eaten first, whether it’s food that is going off soon or just healthy food you would like the kids to eat. Create a zone at the front of the fridge and store items that you would like eaten first, and even put a label on it to make it stand out.
Make your lettuce last longer
Ever had that lovely lettuce you purchased for your sandwiches and salads go off quicker then you would like? We have an awesome hack for you, which does take a little effort each time you put the lettuce back in the fridge but will have your lettuce lasting for 2 to 3 weeks minimum! The goal is to place the washed (and fully drained) lettuce into a ziplock bag with all of the air drawn out which you then put into the fridge. See the video below for an explanation (you can use a straw like shown, or just put your lips on the opening and suck the air out).
Use a lazy Susan
You likely already know what a Lazy Susan is, have you ever put one in your fridge though? Place the Lazy Susan on one of your shelves and put your most used items on it. By spinning the wheel you can easily get to items that are at the back without having to reach for them (extra tip, use for your snack zone!).
Use Mason Jars over Tupperware
Ever been frustrated by how Tupperware is often hard to clean and is left stained from different coloured foods? I have been, and moving to using Mason Jars literally changed my life and I am sure it will change yours as well. Use Mason Jars to store all your food, it will keep the food way longer and will be much easier to clean you’ll have no more stains to clean off. They are great not just for storing in the fridge but also for storing quick to eat meals in.
Now, get ready to receive your new fridge!
If you have made it this far in the guide congratulations, you’re now way more prepared to receive your fridge, more likely to put the correct foods in it, as well as improve your cooking skills. If you ever need any help with the setup of your fridge and or you run into any issues you can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week via phone on 1300 002 500. We’ll be happy to help any way we can.