Many of us give little thought to our refrigerator drawers, but the likelihood is that you’ve been using them wrong for years. There is actually a right way to use your crisper drawer, and it can impact the lifespan of your fresh produce.

It’s Not Just Extra Space

Whether it’s holiday season or during the summer, refrigerator space is almost always at a premium. So, it can be tempting to cram anything and everything into your refrigerator drawers. Unfortunately, if your refrigerator drawer contains vegetables, fruits and even cans of beer, it can impact performance. Getting the best use of your refrigerator drawer can extend the lifespan of your produce significantly. This will not only save money on your grocery bill, but it can ensure that your fruits and vegetables taste super fresh.

It’s About Airflow

The vents on your refrigerator drawer are designed to control the airflow to extend the lifespan of your fresh produce. Most refrigerator or crisper drawers feature adjustable humidity vents that allow you to create more humidity by closing off the airflow or open it up to create a low humidity environment. If your crisper drawers lack controls, it means that your refrigerator has high humidity drawers.

The Importance of Low and High Humidity Drawers

The most efficient way to use your crisper drawers is to create one low and one high humidity drawer. The general rule of thumb is that low humidity drawers should be used for items that rot easily, such as pears, melons, avocados, stone fruit, and apples. A high humidity drawer is ideal for fruits and vegetables that will wilt, such as leafy vegetables and thin skinned vegetables such as asparagus.

You can also use your high humidity drawer for any items that are sensitive to ethylene gas. Ethylene gas is a hormone that is ripened when certain fruits ripen. This gas can help if you want to quickly ripen something such as an avocado, but it can have a detrimental effect on lettuce and other sensitive items. The high humidity drawer traps the ethylene gas so that your produce won’t be discolored or prematurely softened.

The Correct Fill Level

Crisper drawers are designed to work at two thirds full. This means that you shouldn’t overfill or underfill your crisper drawers. When the drawer is overfull, your items will be too tightly packed in, and they won’t be able to breathe. Additionally, the weight of your heavier items may damage more delicate items.

Rotate Your Produce

Even if you have every item placed in the right crisper drawer, it can still be easy to forget about certain fruits and vegetables. So, it is important to rotate your produce, to ensure that everything is eaten when it’s at its best. Most refrigerator drawers are transparent, so you can see the contents, but it is still easy to forget about that avocado tucked in the back or those fresh herbs lingering under your lettuce. Therefore, it is a good idea to rotate the produce in your refrigerator drawers. Bring older items to the front and put any fresh groceries at the back of the drawer.

Upgrade Your Refrigerator

If you’re doing everything right and you still can’t enjoy fresh produce from your refrigerator, it may be time to upgrade to a new appliance. Fortunately, there are lots of fantastic models available with variable low and high humidity crisper drawers and other great features, which offer high energy efficiency. Although you may not relish the prospect of investing in a new refrigerator, just think how much you’ll save by not wasting all that delicious, fresh produce.

If your crisper drawers are no longer providing the optimum conditions for your fruit and vegetables, you can explore your options with this online refrigerator collection, or speak to a home appliance expert for a more specialist service.