Using the vegetable storage drawer in the fridge

calista, Jul 26, 3:32am
Some time ago I bought a F&P fridge that has a vegetable storage drawer. It was a display model and the instructions had been lost.

I don't think I make the best use of the drawer, so I thought I'd ask on here because there are many people more knowledgeable than I am about this. I did try to Google, but instead got information about a cool drawer on its own - more advertising than educational.

So - do you put all your veges in the drawer?
Which veges are best store on the tray at the top?
Do you leave the veges in the plastic bags you bought them in or store them loose in the drawer?

Any other advise or hints?

Thanks for all helpful answers.

245sam, Jul 26, 3:42am
calista, our refrigerator has a small freezer at the top, then the actual refrigerator and a drawer (called a "Humidity Drawer") at the bottom. Is that what you have? :-))

Edited to add - ours is similar to this one, and is the second of this type of refrigerator that we have owned:-

biggles45, Jul 26, 4:49am
I store all my veg in the vege drawer, except for potatoes (which I keep in the pantry as it's dark and they last longer) and tomatoes because we prefer them at room temp - (yeah I know they are a fruit! ). I remove them from the plastic bags and store them loose, I also line the bottom of the drawer with paper towels. just makes cleaning easier and soaks up any residual moisture from where the supermarket staff have sprayed water on them.

samanya, Jul 26, 8:42am
I have a new Mitsubishi fridge with a separate vege drawer & I keep all veges except potatoes in it . it's great. Some, like lettuce I put in a bag . some I don't. It depends on how much of a hurry I'm in. I put all the small stuff in the tray, only because I don't want to hunt for it.

calista, Jul 26, 8:54am
That's the one Sam. The trouble with 'smart' appliances is that they're cleverer than I am - which is why I have a dumb phone.

Thanks biggles - I didn't think of the paper towels, they would definitely make the clean up easier as well as soaking up the supermarkets over watering. Anything that makes cleaning up easier is welcome as I had the whole drawer and the bin insert out today and while not heavy, it is awkward to manage. I totally agree about cold tomatoes.

Has the small tray that sits at the top of the door got a particular use?

fefeoc, Jul 26, 10:12am
It probably has, but I use mine for things that don't really need to be in the main fridge (like butter for baking, for example) and also things I want to hide from gobbling family members who would NEVER think to look in a vege drawer.

lythande1, Jul 26, 8:21pm
Tomatoes should never be kept in the fridge.
Other things - salad veges, carrots, greens can be.
Potatoes, kumara and onions live in my pantry.

buzzy110, Jul 26, 9:55pm
In the past my manuals have advised storing each type of produce in its own plastic bag that has been closed/sealed or folded. This helps to catch moisture from that product in the bag. A little bit of moisture is beneficial to storage longevity.

My current fridge manual says:

"If possible try to store fruit and vegetables separately. This will help extend their storage life".

I don't tend to do that. I keep fruit on my bench or leave it on the tree. Tomatoes get watery if stored in the fridge and they stop ripening. Hopefully they are not fully ripe when purchased, unless using that day.

I still place each different type of vegetable in its own bag and fold or seal with a clip. I have definitely found that when not in plastic, or paper bag as in the case of mushrooms, produce gets wrinkly quite fast but when in plastic bags they stay more stable for longer.

Nothing can compensate for the time spent out of refrigeration before purchase. Once a vegetable starts on its downward slide the fridge merely slows that. Picked fresh and put into the fridge within ½ a day vegetables tend to stay almost perfect until gone, which in my house will be anything from 1 day to 2 weeks - i.e. celery, cabbage and bags of onions and carrots take longer to use, etc and those vegetables I do buy should last out the week of daily use, at least. Other things, like silverbeet are best eaten or cooked on the day of purchase.

In conclusion, my advice is to put produce into their own bags and keep them there until used.

karrie3, Jul 27, 6:59am
I have a newish Mitsubishi with a large middle vege drawer. I put all my veges in there in separate tightly wrapped bags, even potatoes, kumara etc. There's only me and I buy small regular amounts so they don't have to last for ages. Small things go on the little shelf and the rest all together in the main section
If I run out of fridge space I'll even put 'fridge' things in the vege drawer, it doesn't seem to make any difference. Not sure if there's any temperature difference. I treat the vege drawer as extra fridge space

samanya, Jul 27, 8:23am
Yep me too.
I was a bit concerned when i bought that fridge, I thought that maybe the actual fridge part was going to be too small, but with the vege drawer, in which I store most of my food, it's more than adequate. & having the freezer .space on the bottom , I keep the nuts, pesto, ginger & all the daily used stuff etc & it saves me a few trips to the big freezer in the garage.
The main fridge part copes with the other things, mayo, eggs, sauces, leftovers etc no probs.

calista, Feb 9, 5:17pm
Thank you all for taking the time to answer. I love the idea of hiding food from gobbling family (;

And Buzzy thanks for being so detailed in your answer.

I haven't used this drawer consistently in the past because I was unsure of the proper usage. This will give me more room in the main part of the fridge.

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