Our refrigerators are constantly at work keeping our food cold and safe to eat, but we rarely give them much love back. To keep your refrigerator functioning optimally, consider these seven tips, which can also help you save money on your electricity bill and avoid unexpected repair costs.
For some things, I’d recommend not just letting it cool, but actually expediting cooling. When I cook stocks, stews and other things that will retain a lot of heat, I’ll empty my ice maker into the sink, fill with water, and put the pot in it to cool faster (actually, I vacuum seal portions, then immerse the bags, but I’m probably unusual in that respect). I believe this is SOP for restaurants with stock, which can actually take long enough to cool that nasties can grow in it even if it goes from stove to fridge, with or without “room temperature” cooling in between…
The FDA recommends you don’t let food sit out any longer than two hours or so.
When the Epi team started brainstorming ideas for #EpiLunchWeek, we first delved deep into our own lunchtime quandries. Photo editor Chelsea Kyle’s first question: “How do I revive a day-old portion of pasta?”
The most obvious answer: don’t. Start with a pasta dish that’s as good cold as it is served fresh from the kitchen (perhaps packed into a jar).
But if it’s piping hot noodles enrobed in rich sauce you’re after, the answer isn’t so clear.
At any given moment, we’ve probably got a couple of different kinds of takeout in the fridge. But once we’ve had that late-night pizza or half-eaten container of pad Thai for a couple of days, we’re never quite sure how long it will actually stay good.
…For a complete guide, check out our cheat sheet below. But remember: Regardless of how many days it’s been, if something looks or smells bad, don’t eat it!
I’m surprised no one has mentioned using an actual thermometer here. People are notoriously bad at estimating temperatures and most foods need to be reheated to at least 74° C/165° F. Your finger will hurt long before you get to that point.
Your pan should already have a tablespoon or so of fat in it (leftover from browning your meat); if it doesn’t, supplement with olive oil. Now add an aromatic or two to the pan: A couple of smashed garlic cloves or a sliced shallot; a sturdy fresh herb, like thyme or rosemary. Give them a few minutes over gentle heat so they release their flavors.
This is essentially making a gravy for your leftovers, which is a straightforward enough idea, but I like that this recipe is so simple and quick, and you can make it straight from the pan after reheating left over food.
I have Fridays off, and on my first Friday back at university you’d have found me with first the first cold I’d experienced in over two years, and after a trip to Waitrose (In London the time when so many things in store are reduced is on a Friday morning) spending the afternoon in the kitchen. The reason my afternoon cooking and my cold were related, because my irritation at how much my food shop had cost combined with my still sore throat lead to the discovery of my new personal cold medicine; Fresh Ginger Peel & Lemongrass Tea.