Storing milk, eggs, and other often used food products in the refrigerator door is a helpful way to keep them well-organized and easy to access. Although it may seem like a good idea at first because you can easily see them, this seemingly harmless practice comes with some warnings.
Not all the areas in the fridge are created equal, and choosing the fridge door for your ingredients may cause them to spoil quicker than if you store them elsewhere.
This article will cover what things should be stored in the refrigerator door, what shouldn’t, and why.
Fridge Door Temperature
When shut, the fridge door temperature should be between 35°-40°F (or 1.7 to 4.4°C), the same as in the rest of the fridge. That would keep the food on the door shelves and trays sufficiently cold to avoid bacteria growth and warm enough to keep it from freezing.
However, the temperature in your fridge can fluctuate.
Sometimes this happens because the refrigerator is stuffed full; think of a post-Thanksgiving fridge. Other times, warm food heats up the refrigerator as it cools down. Have you ever had food in a certain part of the fridge actually freeze up? That is a prime example of colder and warmer zones in a fridge.
First, it’s important to understand that all places in the refrigerator are not the same temperature. The doors are the warmest part of the fridge since they are exposed to room temperatures each time the door is opened.
This also means that the more the door is opened, the warmer the items in the door will be. With a family of three kids and a forgetful husband, I can tell you that the fridge door is very frequently opened. Often the fridge door is even left open overnight.
Therefore, some food items are more suited for the fridge door than others.
What To Store In The Refrigerator Door?
Generally, foods less susceptible to spoiling should be stored in the fridge door. This includes things like salad dressing, condiments, jams, soda, and juice. These items contain preservatives, which help them better deal with temperature fluctuations.
Here Is A List Of Food Items You Can Safely Store In The Fridge Door
A refrigerator door is a valuable storage space, and although it is warmer and more exposed to temperature fluctuations, it does not mean you should leave it empty. Here are some ideas that are perfect for keeping in the fridge door.
- Mayonnaise (debatable)
- Salad dressing
- Soy sauce
- Fruit cups
- Bottled water
- Juice (except fresh)
- Plant milk and plant beverages
- Bottled lemon juice
- Cooking oils
- Jar of pickles
- Jar of sauerkraut
- Pickled eggs
- Maple syrup
- Peanut butter
- Canned foods (if you prefer them chilled)
Where Should Eggs And Milk Be Stored In The Fridge?
Should you store your milk in the refrigerator door? In a word, no.
Why does milk fit so perfectly if it isn’t supposed to be stored in the door? And what about eggs? Some refrigerators even have egg compartments and egg holders built into the door.
If your goal is optimum freshness and taste, milk and eggs should not be stored in the fridge door. The fridge door is warmer than the rest of the fridge. Keeping milk in the back of the refrigerator is recommended because cool air sinks, so the coldest place in a fridge is the lowest shelf near that back.
The cold temperature will be the most consistent on the lower shelves, so things like milk and eggs should be stored there.
But I do get it; it is not as convenient, storing milk and eggs on the lower shelf; it is so much easier to open the fridge door and just grab an egg or the carton of milk.
Luckily, there are some space-saving storage solutions for eggs that will help you keep the refrigerator organized and clean; and are as much convenient and practical when stored inside the fridge door.
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What’s your take on keeping eggs in the fridge or not? After all, Europeans don’t!
Read More Here: How To Choose The Most Healthiest Eggs?
What You Don’t Need To Refrigerate?
You might be wondering how you will have enough room in your fridge if you don’t use the door to store things like eggs and milk?
There are several things that don’t need to be refrigerated that usually are. Storing these things in a suitable place outside of the fridge will help you have more room in your fridge and can actually help to prolong the shelf-life of some of these items.
- Storing tomatoes in the fridge can change their taste and texture. They do better at room temperature in a cool, dry place.
- Citrus fruit will keep well in a fruit basket in the kitchen; if you want to preserve them longer, try a cool, dry place in a cabinet.
- Unripe avocados should be kept at room temperature until they are fully ripe, or when avocados are mashed, then they should be refrigerated to keep them from turing brown.
- Refrigerating potatoes changes their starches to sugar, so instead, keep them in a cool, dry place outside the refrigerator.
- Keeping bread in the fridge can dry it out. Another option is to keep it at room temperature or put the bread it in the freezer if you need to save some before it goes bad.
Here is a list of a few more fruit and vedge that are better off outside the fridge:
- Bananas (open to debate)
What Items Should Be Refrigerated That Usually Aren’t?
There are also some items that are better if they are refrigerated. These items would do well in the door of the refrigerator.
- Flour, especially whole wheat flour, can go rancid, so refrigerating it helps preserve its freshness.
- Nuts– Warmer climates can turn many kinds of tree nuts rancid. Keeping them in the fridge will allow you to buy in bulk and keep them fresh for extended periods of time.
Get The Most Out Of Your Fridge
In conclusion, it is important to organize your fridge items properly. The more organized your fridge is, the less time you will spend looking for things or throwing away forgotten spoiled food.
But before you start reorganizing your fridge for maximum storage and freshness, give it a defrost and good clean. Here is how to keep your food safe while defrosting a fridge freezer.