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Packing the fridge: This is how to do it correctly



  • Cooling zones in the refrigerator: How to use them correctly
  • These foods do not belong in the refrigerator
  • 3 tips for storing opened food or leftovers well

Some like it crispy cool, others a little warmer: The different food groups in your fridge all have their own “needs” and comfortable temperatures. Fish and meat, for example, prefer a different cooling zone than yoghurt or vegetables and will last longer if stored well. By the way, athletes should always have these foods in the fridge.

You probably weren’t aware that your refrigerator has different cooling zones and that you could fill it incorrectly, right? We’ll tell you which foods feel most comfortable in which zones and which you should banish from the fridge completely.

Cooling zones in the refrigerator: How to use them correctly

There is no uniform temperature in the refrigerator; there are different cooling zones. Even the refrigerator door is a kind of separate “zone” that can be divided into different areas. This means you can create optimal conditions for almost any food and it will stay fresher for longer. And less food ends up in the trash. You can read about all the delicious things you can prepare with leftovers here.

Climate zones from top to bottom:

Upper compartment (8 degrees): Opened canned goods (covered), pickled cucumbers or preserves, i.e. foods that are not easily perishable, feel at home here.

Middle compartment (5 to 8 degrees): Here you can optimally store dairy products such as yoghurt, quark and milk as well as eggs. You can also store the eggs at the top of the refrigerator door.

Lower compartment (0 to 5): Dhe last compartment above the vegetable compartment is relatively cold and the ideal place for perishable foods such as meat, fish and sausage. Your meal prep or leftovers are also in good hands here. Some devices also have a special 0 degree zone, which in this Bosch refrigerator, for example, is called “VitaFresh”. Fish and meat, as well as vegetables, feel at home here and stay fresh for longer. You can also use the 0 degree compartments for gentle defrosting.

Tipp: With refrigerator organizers like this you can create even more order and separate individual food groups from each other. These storage boxes are also stackable and lockable and equipped with a practical handle.

Vegetable compartment (around 10 degrees): The vegetable compartment (also available with a so-called crisp zone including a humidity regulator) provides ideal conditions for your greens. Salads, some types of fruit and most vegetables stay fresh for a long time here.

Smart: You can use these pull-out storage boxes like a drawer compartment for individual types of vegetables. You can also store herbs here for a few days. To do this, wrap the herbs in damp kitchen paper.

Refrigerator door (8 to 10 degrees): In the middle of the door you can store dressings, jam, mustard or jars. In the lower area there is space for opened juices, milk and water.

These foods do not belong in the refrigerator

There are numerous foods that, according to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, have no place in the refrigerator. The reasons for this are very different. Some foods dry out in the refrigerator, others lose their taste or absorb foreign smells.

  • Violation dries out in the refrigerator.
  • Avocados ripen better at room temperature. If you want to interrupt the ripening, a stop in the fridge is good.
  • potatoes should only be stored dry and cool, but not cold. The cold makes them floury-sweet.
  • Bananas get brown spots quickly.
  • Garlic and onions would start to mold in the fridge.
  • Honig Although it doesn’t tolerate sun or heat in general, it doesn’t need cooling and doesn’t do well in the refrigerator as it prefers temperatures of 10 to 15 degrees.
  • Coffee can absorb foreign odors in the refrigerator and lose its aroma itself.
  • olive oil gets hard in the fridge. However, according to consumer advice centers, storing linseed oil, walnut oil and pumpkin seed oil in the refrigerator is a must, as they do not last long after opening.
  • tomatoes They also lose a lot of flavor due to the cold. Cucumbers are also chilblains and are sensitive to cold.
  • Citrus fruits do not tolerate cold well and lose their taste.

Lemons and bananas in the fridge? Rather not!

3 tips for storing opened food or leftovers well

  1. Always close opened food packages such as canned goods (including pet food) tightly or transfer them to other containers. Dairy products in particular can easily absorb foreign odors. These silicone lids are ideal.
  2. Allow cooked food or leftovers to cool completely before putting them in the fridge, otherwise a lot of energy will have to be used (and wasted) to compensate for the increase in temperature in the fridge. You can read here how you can save energy when cooking.
  3. Repack cold cuts from the butcher in cans instead of putting them in paper in the fridge. A space-saving, flat refrigerator container for several types of sausage or cheese is available from Mepal, for example.
  4. Store carrots in a bowl of water in the refrigerator (change the water regularly) so they stay fresh for a long time. Even carrots that are already shriveled can become crispy again with this trick.

It’s not that difficult to organize your refrigerator properly and save energy and money. If you pay a little attention to the different cooling zones, leave “frostbites” outside and pack leftover food well, you can keep your food fresh and edible for longer.

Speaking of which: Many foods, such as dairy products, have a longer shelf life and are still edible even when they have expired. Read more about it here.


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