What Does Your Fridge’s Crisper Actually Do?

Any fridge owner knows that the serviceable kitchen appliance‘s interior is clad with a few shelves and some drawers. But have you ever wondered whether each compartment boasts its own exclusive function? Well, that is the case for your crisper drawers, so if you toss all the random stuff that doesn’t fit on the fridge door into your crisper drawer, you’re likely not taking full advantage of it.

If used correctly, your crisper can actually keep your food fresh for longer. To help you finally discover what your fridge’s mysterious drawers actually do, we spoke to Claudia Sidoti, the Head Chef and Recipe Developer at HelloFresh and member of the Eat This, Not That! Advisory Board. Heed her tips below before you restock your refrigerator.

What does your fridge’s crisper drawer actually do?

crisper drawer fridgeShutterstock

Pry those beer bottles out of the bottom of your drawer because your crisper drawer is meant solely for produce. “Sealed crisper drawers can help keep your fruits and vegetables fresh for the longest period of time,” Sidoti tells us, adding that there are two kinds of crispers. “There is usually a high-humidity and low-humidity drawer. Vegetables require higher humidity, while fruits require lower humidity, which is why many refrigerators have two separate drawers for each.”

Sidoti informs us that the high-humidity drawer should hold produce that’s sensitive to moisture loss and ethylene gas. For example, unripe bananas, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, peas, and strawberries should all be stored in the high-humidity drawer.

Your low-humidity drawer should be stocked with produce that isn’t as sensitive to moisture loss and produces high-ethylene gas. Sidoti recommends using this drawer to store apples, ripe bananas, kiwis, and stone fruits.

“Some crisper drawers have controls that allow you to customize each drawer’s humidity level,” Sidoti says, adding that if your fridge comes with an adjustable temperature meat drawer, you’ll want to keep meats as cold as you can without freezing them.

Now that you know what to stock those drawers with, note that they work best when they are at least two-thirds full. As for the rest of your fridge—well, don’t overcrowd it because it can cause poor air-flow and lead to contaminated foods. That’s just one of the 10 secrets you didn’t know about your refrigerator!

RELATED: These are the easy, at-home recipes that help you lose weight.

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