Optimal Refrigerator Temperatures for Food
Ideas and Advice

Optimal Refrigerator Temperatures for Food

One of the main problems people have when refrigerating food is the huge range of refrigerator temperatures to choose from. When it comes to food storage, is colder always better? What humidity conditions best preserve the freshness of your food? More importantly, how can you use the tools your refrigerator offers to keep your food fresh? The experts at Appliances Connection are here to tell you the best ways to store various food types in your refrigerator, as well as showing off some features refrigerators have that make it easier to keep your food fresh.

Optimal Refrigeration Conditions for Meat

Temperature For Meat

In general, you should store meat in the coldest section of your refrigerator. Meat (both red meat and white meat) is best preserved at temperatures close to freezing. This is especially important for long-term storage of meat. If you can get a section of your refrigerator to between 28° F and 32° F (-2° C and 0° C), that's where you should put your meat. Refrigerators like this Viking refrigerator are particularly good for meat storage, since Viking's adjustable Cold Zone™ Drawer can be set to these sub-freezing temperatures while not freezing your produce.

You also want high humidity when storing meat in your refrigerator. In general, you want to maintain 85% to 90% humidity. This keeps your meat from drying out and ensures it stays fresh longer.

Optimal Refrigeration Conditions for Seafood

Temperature For Seafood

Seafood is best stored at temperatures of 40° F (4° C) or lower, as the quality of your seafood will degrade quickly at higher temperatures. High humidity is a good idea for seafood storage as well: if you can, cover your seafood in a damp cloth as you store it in your fridge. Low storage temperature is especially important for seafood items that are meant to be eaten raw, such as sushi.

Optimal Refrigeration Conditions for Fruit

Temperature For Fruits

Fresh fruit needs a humid environment (between 80% and 95% relative humidity) to avoid drying out, and a temperature of between 32° F and 55° F (0° C and 13° C) in order to be preserved properly. Because fruit is less likely to harbor bacterial growth than meat, there's a wider range of acceptable temperatures, but in general, as long as you avoid freezing your fruit, your refrigerator will have a good place to store it. Refrigerators such as this one by Fisher & Paykel really shine when it comes to storing fruit, as the variable temperature zones it provides let you pick exactly the temperature your food needs.

Optimal Refrigeration Conditions for Vegetables

Temperature For Veggies

Vegetables are best stored in a cool, humid environment, such as a crisper drawer in your refrigerator. While the optimal storage temperature for vegetables varies, you should generally keep your vegetables at a temperature of around 34° F (1° C).

Optimal Refrigeration Conditions for Cheese

Temperature For Cheese

It's important not to keep your cheese too cold. Cheese is best stored at temperatures between 40° F and 53° F (4° C and 12° C). Soft cheeses require higher humidity than hard cheeses, but regardless of what cheese you're storing, you want a humidity level of at least 80%. One of the best refrigerators for storing cheese is this Café unit, as its Convertible Drawer with Soft Freeze allows you to store your cheeses at temperatures as high as 42° F (6°C).

Related Questions

What is the correct temperature for a fridge?

In general, the average temperature inside your refrigerator should be no higher than 40° F (4° C). Many refrigerators have variable temperature zones that allow you to make some areas inside the cavity warmer or cooler.

Where is the coldest part of a fridge?

The bottom shelves of a refrigerator are generally the coldest, since heat rises.