Getting the Most From Your Kitchen Food Storage

5 08 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Phil Hawksworth    

The first step to perfect kitchen storage is to chuck out anything you don’t want or don’t use. Everyone has a jar or tin of something at the back of a fridge or cupboard. If it has been there longer than a year and not been touched – get rid of it.

There are some things, of course, that are only used once in a long while. Cumin, for instance, will store for a long time and the average amateur chef will only require it once in a blue moon. But space is not often at that much of a premium on your spice rack.

Of course, this is not a signal to root through everything and throw away all you don’t need. If your kitchen is not full to capacity, that 5-year-old tin of peaches may come in handy one day. If you are running out of space in your kitchen – now is the time to sort it out.

A lot of people nowadays have more advanced and larger methods of storing their food – such as AGA American Fridge Freezers. There are huge and even harder to fill up than a regular fridge but some people still manage it. Keep your most used items within easy reach – this counts for both food and utensils.

To keep food safe, make sure your fridge is at the correct temperature. Do not always rely on the in-built thermometer, put your own in to be safe. The ideal range is between 0 and 5C. Also, store food in the correct order – meat and poultry should be kept in clean, sealable containers and put at the bottom of the fridge. This will ensure the juices do not drip onto other foods and contaminate them. Cooked meat should also be kept as far as possible from raw meat.

Make sure food is fully cooled down before putting it in the fridge. The heat from the dish will raise the temperature of the rest of the fridge.

Outside of the fridge, there are a lot of other tricks you can use to store the likes of cutlery, utensils and pots and pans. If you have a gap between two cupboards, the type usually reserved for a wine rack or similar, why not make it a hand plate store? This can also work for any thin cupboard.

Insert some wooden slats vertically with a gap in between them big enough for plates to slide in and out of. If you are short on space, consider bringing in some plastic packaging. Cereal boxes are bulky and take up a lot of space, transferring their contents to a handy sealable tub can save on space.

Pull-out drawers in cupboards can also help you make the most of every little bit of space. Often you will find you have utensils and pans that sit at the back of a cupboard forever – never being used. A drawer will allow you to access all parts of the cupboard easily, keeping you aware of space that is being wasted.

If you’re not using it, throw it out.

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