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Food Compartments

Side By Side Refrigerator Food Compartments The food compartments for a side-by-side refrigerator.

The refrigerator’s food compartment is possibly the most important part of the whole appliance. It’s where we keep all of our stuff! There’s a wide variety of refrigerator styles on the market, each with their own special layouts and features. Whatever your tastes may be, just about every fridge is the same on the inside—they all need to store food.

A typical refrigerator will have two main sections: the refrigerator and the freezer. In the refrigerator section, the largest area is meant for general storage. Most refrigerators come with adjustable shelves so that arranging your food is customizable and convenient. It’s often recommended that you set the top shelf in your fridge as the largest and use it for storing your milk, juice, and other drinks. This will save your back from a lot of painful bending.

Somewhere in the middle of the fridge (though sometimes near the bottom) you’ll usually find a meat drawer. This drawer isn’t intended so much to accommodate the meat’s special needs, but to protect the rest of the food inside the refrigerator. Blood and juices from meat can leak out of its wrapping, spreading bacteria and other nasties to the rest of your food. It also helps to contain the meat’s odor, since no one wants to eat cake that smells like old pork chops.

Top Mount Refrigerator Food Compartments The food compartments for a top mount refrigerator.

Near the bottom are the crisper drawers. These drawers are designed to keep your fruits and veggies well-hydrated and preserve their freshness. Some refrigerators allow you to adjust the temperature or humidity, depending on the needs of the food being stored.

Here’s a tip! Be sure to take your fruits and vegetables out of the grocer’s plastic bags before putting them in your fridge. Fruits and vegetables release ethylene gas as they ripen, and trapping the gas in the plastic bag will accelerate how they break down. Keeping the fruits and veggies loose will keep them fresh longer!

The doors of the refrigerator typically have their own shelves for your smaller foodstuffs. These shelves are ideal for jarred foods and condiments. Some refrigerator models have special shelves designed for storing water pitchers. Yours may even have an egg rack or dairy compartment.

The freezer section of the refrigerator is designed for food that needs to stay frozen or for long-term storage. This is where we keep our frozen vegetables, TV dinners, and best of all, ice cream! Most modern refrigerator freezers will come with a built-in ice maker, often connected to the front water and ice dispenser. For people with extra food storage needs, there are also dedicated freezers and ice chests, great for keeping popsicles in the garage for hot summer days.