Have you noted that the milk you keep in your fridge sometimes gets icy? Or does the bacon in your fridge spoil far too rapidly? If you have then it is possible that you have your refrigerator set at the wrong temperature. So, what is the ideal refrigerator temperature to keep your food fresh longer?
The Cold Hard Facts
You will probably not wish to make your family ill, so it is important to ensure that the fresh produce stored inside your fridge does not go bad before you start to cook it. But then again you likewise do not wish to turn down the temperature so low on your fridge so that any fresh produce, with its watery content, will begin to freeze and become unusable.
The ideal fridge temperature does depend on a number of factors including the make and model of your fridge but as a simple guide to keeping your food edible there are some common guidelines-
- Chiller section: Around 0°C.
- Fresh produce: between 2°C to 5°C.
- Freezer section: Around -18°C.
Your fridge will also naturally have some areas colder than other areas. The temperature inside your fridge will differ with usual daily usage. Usually you will find that the coldest areas of your refrigerator will be found at the back, and at the base of your fridge. The cooling element of the fridge is located at the back which is why there is a temperature difference there and a difference at the bottom of the fridge occurs since warm air rises. So, if produce is getting frosty, then try moving stuff away from the back of your refrigerator.
Use a Fridge Thermometer
You can just trust your fridges temperature self-check, but an independent thermometer may be more reliable. If your crisper draw often ices and partly freezes your vegetables, you can use a thermometer to regulate the reasons why. Ideal fridge temperature from summer to winter can be tricky to negotiate. You might discover that your freezer will get warmer instead of cooler during the winter. This is because it may be working a little harder if its cold outside too. It is best to keep a watchful eye on your fridge’s temperature using a thermometer, mostly in the height of summer and winter.
A Full Refrigerator
When you keep having to open up your refrigerator frequently, then keeping it full should help you to keep your temperature steady. If you have an unfilled fridge, then each time you open the door you will be driving the majority of the air around, replacing the cool air inside with the warmer air from the rest of your home, which then of course needs to be cooled down again. However, if you have a packed fridge, then there will be less air to be driven around. The existence of lots of food in your fridge should reduce airflow.
However, do not pack your fridge with too much food. You should not jam pack your fridge so full leaving for no airflow at all around your produce as this can hinder the cooling effectiveness of your fridge. Stuffing the fridge too closely with food will also tend to block air vents, leading to many temperature issues.
Check Fridge Air Vents
If your fridge is not performing at its best, then there might be a problem with your vents. Air must pass unhampered between the refrigerator and freezer compartments to help to keep its temperature stable. When you begin to spot ice in your refrigerator then ensure that there is nothing pushed up against the vent as this will stop appropriate circulation. You ought to be able to discover an online guide for your specific refrigerator on how to clean air vents.
Never Put Quick to Spoil Produce in the Fridge Door
Avoid placing food in the door compartment of your fridge that are delicate and likely to spoil. The things you put in your fridge door will get warmer than anywhere else in your fridge. If you are tempted to place milk or eggs in the door you will drastically cut their shelf life. You also commonly do not want to find solid frozen butter when you next come to use it. Place your condiments, which are less likely to spoil in your fridge door instead, things like ketchup, mayo, and salad dressings.
Rapid Food Spoilage
Sometimes foods decline unexpectedly when they are kept below particular temperatures. This frequently happens when a food item freezes. Other foods undertake delicate changes as soon as they start to get too cold, like certain types of fruits and vegetables. Lettuce is a prime example as it is mainly water, so they tend to freeze easily below 0°C. When these types of fruit and veg thaw, you will instantly see that they turn into a sloppy mess.
For foods that you want to preserve long term, you will most likely want to freeze them. Nonetheless even if a food has been frozen, fluxes in temperature might be very damaging. For instance, if ice-cream gets to a temperature of above -15°C on a systematic basis then this is when you start to see changes on its surface. The individual component will separate out and allow crystals to form on top which spoils the texture and even the taste of the ice cream. You can see this happening with frozen peas too which often lose their moisture and ice crystals will begin to form inside the pack.
The ideal temperature for your fridge can differ depending on how you use your fridge. It will also be dependent on the characteristics of your fridge, and its contents. If air is not allowed to circulate freely throughout the fridge, then ideal temperature organization will be very time consuming to keep an eye on. It is vital to keep this in your mind when buying food to put in your fridge as there has to be effective air circulation And remember, with the whole family popping in and out of the fridge all day long, this can impact on your ability to maintain the ideal temperature for your fridge.