Tips For Storing Food (And Banishing Crumbs Forever) is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information.
Food storage is important for several reasons. First, you want to make sure that all your food keeps. The last thing you need is to get home after a busy day, open up the pantry, select the item you want, only to find that it’s past its best. It ruins your flow and forces you to change your meal plans. Not good.
Second, food storage helps to keep your kitchen and food storage areas hygienic, discouraging mess, crumbs, and pests. People who get food storage right can enjoy their favorite meals at a time of their choosing, safe in the knowledge that whatever they select from their cupboards or fridge is safe to eat.
Take a look at some of these tips for storing food and avoid crumbs all over your pantry.
Put Your Apples In The Vegetable Crisper
Most people like to store apples at room temperature. And, for the most part, this is a good strategy. It makes eating apples convenient and means that you don’t have to go rummaging around to get a quick snack. But while an apples’ thick skin will protect it for about a week, over time, it starts to lose moisture, and eventually, it will succumb to rot.
If you want to delay this process, then put your apples in the vegetable crisper. The cooler temperatures will stop them from both losing moisture and falling prey to the bacteria living on their surface.
Place Flour In A Glass Container
It’s tempting to buy a bag of flour in a paper packet and leave it in the pantry until you need it. But there’s a problem: pests can easily infiltrate a bag of flour and get at the food inside, forcing you to call pest control to eliminate the problem. What’s more, if you rely on paper bags, you’ll end up with flour debris on the floor of your cupboards – not what you want.
If possible, place your flour in a glass container. Glass containers are non-toxic and will preserve the flour until you next need it – which might be a long time.
Don’t Put Potatoes In The Refrigerator
While it’s often a good idea to put apples in the refrigerator, the same, unfortunately, can’t be said of potatoes. When you cool potatoes down too much, some of their starch begins to convert to sugar, and they end up tasting unpleasantly sweet. The ideal temperature for potatoes is about 50 F. A cool pantry will suffice.
Leave Meat In Its Wrapping
Some people like to take meat out of its wrapping and place it in another container. But this is probably a bad idea.
Professional meat wrappers tend to take great care to ensure that the wrapping environment is free from dangerous bacteria. They do this because they want the meat to last as long as possible and they want to avoid food poisoning outbreaks. Suffice to say, store-packed meat is about as clean as you can get.
When you unwrap meat to store it in another container, you run the risk of exposing it briefly to bacteria in the air that can live on its surface, grow and multiply, and then cause food poisoning. Leave meat in its packaging until you need it.
Store Pasta In Airtight Containers
It’s conventional wisdom to store pasta in its original container. But according to experts, that’s not a good idea. Ideally, you should store pasta in an airtight container. Airtight containers prevent moisture from the atmosphere from getting into the pasta and causing it to go stale. Pasta’s water content should remain low until the moment you cook it.
Don’t Store Tomatoes In The Refridgerator
Tomatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator. The reason for this is that when you expose tomatoes to low temperatures, their cellulose structure begins to break down, and you end up with mushy, tasteless tomatoes. Ideally, you should store tomatoes in the open air, at room temperature, and out of direct sunlight. By doing this, although they might not last as long, you stand the best chance of ensuring that they are tasty and delicious.
Put Bread In The Freezer
One of the main reasons bread manufacturers began adding so many preservatives to their products was that people wanted to be able to get the experience of freshly-baked bread but without having to go to the bakers every day. But instead of eating all those additives and preservatives, you can simply eat as much freshly-baked bread as you can on the day you buy it, then put it in the freezer to retain its moisture content.
There are many reasons for storing food properly. It can help to be less wasteful. It will save you time by no needing extra trips to the grocery. And it can help to save money! All in all saving you sanity.