The colder the better – that’s probably what many people think when it comes to refrigerator temperature, and they set the refrigerator too cold. But many foods react sensitively to temperatures that are too cold. Vegetables and fruits last longest at 8 to even 10 degrees. Fish and meat, on the other hand, should be kept at 2 degrees. But how do you achieve the perfect temperature in the refrigerator, and where do cheese, butter and salad belong??
The perfect temperature in the refrigerator
The ideal temperature in the middle of your refrigerator is 6 to 7 degrees Celsius. For the freezer compartment -18 degrees are optimal. Most refrigerators have a dial with numbers for setting the temperature. The higher the number, the colder the refrigerator. We recommend placing a thermometer in the refrigerator and measuring the refrigerator temperature – ideally every now and then in the different zones. Temperatures that are too low consume electricity unnecessarily, and they can even be rather harmful to fresh food.
Tip: So that you can set the right refrigerator temperature ideally, it is worth measuring with a thermometer. Because even in appliances with their own temperature display, it matters where exactly the temperature sensor is installed. Depending on the food, a different temperature results.
A rule of thumb says: If the butter is still spreadable, the temperature of your refrigerator is right.
Temperature zones in the refrigerator
As warm air rises, the top of the refrigerator is always warmer than the bottom. This results in different cold zones and warm zones respectively. In the top shelf of your appliance, the temperature should be 6 to 8 degrees. In the middle compartment, the temperature is 5 to 6 degrees and in the lower area, the coldest zone, 0 to 2 degrees. The vegetable or fresh food compartments are 8 degrees Celsius, while the compartments of the refrigerator door are between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius.
What food belongs where?
To keep your food fresh and durable for as long as possible, you should store it in the right temperature zone of the appliance.
Top shelf: Cooked food, opened jars such as jams or started canned food (best in Tupperware), because they can tolerate slightly higher temperatures.
Middle compartment: Here are dairy products such as cheese, yogurt and milk.
Bottom shelf: Perishable foods such as meat and fish
Vegetable compartment: Vegetables, lettuce, herbs and fruit
Door up: Eggs, butter
Door down: Drinks
More tips for saving energy
- Pay attention to the energy efficiency class when buying your refrigerator. An A+++ appliance consumes about 30 percent less electricity than an A++ appliance.
- If ice forms in the refrigerator or freezer, the performance drops and the appliance consumes more electricity. If necessary, regular defrosting improves the energy balance – this is hardly ever necessary with newer appliances. If it does, it is best used in winter to temporarily store refrigerated goods on the balcony.
- The refrigerator should not be placed directly next to the stove, oven or radiator, because then the appliance needs more energy to cool down.
- Put fresh food in the refrigerator as quickly as possible after shopping. Cold food should not heat up unnecessarily. Conversely, it makes sense to let warm foods cool first before putting them in the fridge.
- Defrost foods such as frozen vegetables in the refrigerator. Frozen foods cool refrigerator chill when defrosted. This reduces electricity consumption.
- The fuller the fridge, the better, because it prevents cold air from escaping and the appliance needs to cool less after it is opened. Sensible stockpiling and menu planning/residual use for as little food waste as possible is of course the best motto.
- Do not open the refrigerator door unnecessarily often and for as short a time as possible. Do not leave them open.
- The refrigerator door must close well, so that a slight resistance is felt when opening it. Do not jam any packages. Check the rubber seal once in a while. This must not be brittle and have no cracks or holes, otherwise be sure to replace it.
Good to know:
You should not store this in the refrigerator
Fruit: Citrus fruits, tropical fruits such as pineapple, bananas, mango, papaya, avocado
Vegetables: Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, hot peppers, green beans