Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Fridge Drawer Humidity Levels (Tuesday Tips: Kitchen Edition)

Every year we totally take apart our fridge and freezer, clean the walls, shelves, drawers and gaskets thoroughly, clean the refrigeration coils, fix any lights that are out, inspect for mechanical problems, then put it all back together.

Only I can never remember how to put it all back together. Once I do, I can't figure out how to set the humidity levels in my two produce drawers at the bottom. They have little slide levers for humidity (low to high and everywhere in between).

My owner's manual says HIGH for veggies, LOW for fruits. My search for more information (it just couldn't be that simple, could it?) led me to a better understanding of the settings and how they're used:

High humidity keeps moist air in the drawer. This is the best environment for your leafy greens or anything else that wilts.

Low humidity means drier air for anything that rots, gets slimy, or grows mold. This is the best settting for strawberries and most fruits and vegetables with skins (like cucumbers and apples), along with root vegetables (like carrots).

There's even a little saying to help remember the settings so you don't have to look it up every single time:

"Leaves grow high on a tree, roots down low."

If you only have one "crisper" drawer in your fridge, which may not have a humidity setting and is designed to keep moist air in, use it for your green leafies. You can store your other produce on the fridge shelves, which are in a lower humidity zone.

Here's hoping that I finally understand the workings of the two humidity-controlled drawers at the bottom of my fridge!

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