Food Storage: The Basics of Storage

Fresh meat belongs in the refrigerator, baked goods in the bread box – these rules for storing food are well known. We explain how you can best store your other supplies in order to better preserve the aroma and valuable ingredients.

Food storage tips

Many people are currently stocking up to avoid having to go shopping too often and to be able to stay at home as much as possible. But what is the best way to store the groceries you buy? The basic rules for storing food are already part of our flesh and blood. Nevertheless, there are a few blunders that we easily make in the household when it comes to nutrient-friendly storage. This starts with purchasing, extends to storage, and ends with freezing. Far too much food is still thrown away. It is, therefore, best to create a rough weekly plan for the dishes you want to cook and create a shopping list. In this way, you only buy and store things that you will use in a timely manner, which is also important for optimal nutrient content in salads, for example. Long-lasting favorite ingredients that you use again and again in your recipes can be stored well. Clever decanting protects the nutrients.

What is the correct way to store meat?

Meat is one of the most sensitive and perishable foods. How you should store meat depends on the type of meat, whether the product is raw or processed, and how long you want it to keep. It is important for storage not to interrupt the cold chain, to store the meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator, and to freeze it quickly and in the absence of air when stored in the freezer compartment.

Especially with raw meat, it is important to ensure that the transport is as short and well-cooled as possible before storing the meat. Buy the meat only when you have all your other purchases already in the basket or trolley to avoid unnecessary transport times through the store. Ideally, you should transport raw meat home in a cool box – meat should not be stored unrefrigerated for longer than 20 minutes.

If you are storing meat that you plan to use within a few days, storing it in the fridge makes sense. There the meat belongs in the coolest place – in most refrigerators this is the glass plate directly above the vegetable compartment. Take the meat out of its packaging and place it on a plate covered with cling film or put it in a glass or plastic box. It is important that the meat juice does not come into contact with other foods. While beef and pork can be stored in the refrigerator for two to four days, minced meat is very susceptible to germs due to its large surface and should definitely be used within one day – preferably within eight hours. Prepared meat can be stored in the refrigerator for about two to three days, but it can happen that the taste quality decreases after a while.

If you use the freezer to store meat, the shelf life is extended by several months. Pork keeps for between two and seven months, beef can be stored frozen for up to ten months. Make sure to freeze the meat as soon as possible after purchase and pack the product airtight in a freezer bag. Otherwise it can happen that the meat dries out and a so-called freezer burn occurs. If you finally want to use the meat, thaw it slowly – preferably in the refrigerator so that the product is not exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations. To do this, it is best to place the meat on a sieve over a bowl that can absorb the meat juices that appear during defrosting.

Food is best decanted

Since most food today is packaged in plastic or paper bags, the contents are exposed to oxygen as soon as they are broken. This promotes drying out, spoilage and loss of aroma. Pests also find a gateway. It is therefore better to transfer dry goods such as oatmeal, muesli and rice to a storage jar or a plastic food storage container. The lid should be able to be closed tightly. Alternatively, you can leave these foods in their original packaging and reseal them with a clip. Store meat properly by unpacking it and storing it, covered, as far down the fridge as possible. Never freeze it in the sales packaging either: the inert gas atmosphere can cause minced meat and the like to go rancid when stored in the freezer. In addition, the plastic casings quickly leak and then lead to freezer burn.

These containers are suitable for food storage

Depending on the food, different packaging is optimal for keeping it fresh. Most important tip: Do not use sales packaging for storage, such as rinsed yoghurt cups. It is better to create a set of tins, jars and boxes for your household that are specially designed for storage – you can also use these for storing the dishes of your meal prep plan for the week. Dry foods such as pasta, rice or oatmeal are safe in containers made of glass or stainless steel, while cork or wooden lids are sufficient as a cover. Everything that should be kept in the dark belongs in non-transparent containers – potatoes, for example, in a clay or ceramic pot. Vegetables and fruit can be stowed away in a bamboo or wooden bowl within easy reach. A cover made of metal wire protects against fruit flies in summer, which like to cavort in the kitchen. Sausage and cheese are stored in tightly sealable plastic boxes in the refrigerator, where they retain their aroma.

Grocery crates turn into eye-catching wall shelves

Whether fruit crate or wine crate – both can be used as wall shelves. They create space and loosen up the interior. They can be hung individually or several next to or on top of each other. There are no limits to your creativity.

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