THE MAIDS BLOG

humidity drawers/crispers

We’ve all seen the knobs, but how many of us simply leave the humidity controls of our refrigerator drawers to the middle dial? These settings actually have quite an impact on your fruits and vegetables if you know how to use them to your advantage.

Groceries can get expensive—not to mention time-consuming–if you have to go shopping every few days. Life is easier when you can buy all of your fruits and veggies for the week and have them last until you’re ready to eat them. This is where knowing how those refrigerator humidity drawers work comes in handy.

How Do Humidity Drawers Work?

Humidity drawers, otherwise known as crispers, work by controlling the airflow to the contents within. The “high” setting on the humidity drawer will cut off airflow to the drawer, allowing the contents to sit in the humidity and gases they produce as they ripen. The “low” setting opens up a small vent, allowing gases and moisture to escape, decreasing the humidity in the drawer. Simply put, high humidity equals a closed window, low humidity equals an open window. Setting that knob to middle doesn’t quite do you any favors.

The purpose of the humidity drawers in your refrigerator is to create an organized storage environment that will prolong the edible life of your fruits and vegetables. Here’s how to figure out which foods benefit from low, high, and outside settings.

Which Foods Should You Keep in High-Humidity Drawers?

The rule of thumb is to put any food that wilts into the high-humidity drawer. Strawberries and other produce susceptible to ethylene gas, a byproduct of ripening fruit, should also be stored in this closed environment.

Fruits: 

  • unripe bananas
  • strawberries
  • watermelon
  • okra

Vegetables:

  • lettuce
  • arugula
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • carrots
  • eggplant
  • green beans
  • peas
  • peppers
  • squash
  • cucumbers
  • cauliflower

Which Foods Should You Keep in Low-Humidity Drawers?

Foods not sensitive to moisture loss are perfect for the low-humidity drawer. Since these foods are often high-ethylene gas producers, they benefit from the additional venting. According to the experts, you’ll commonly only use low-humidity drawers for fruits.

Fruits:

  • apples
  • ripe bananas
  • small melons
  • figs
  • kiwis
  • mangos
  • papayas
  • pears
  • apricots
  • plums
  • peaches
  • nectarines

Which Foods Should Be Stored Outside of the Humidity Drawers?

There are some fruits and vegetables that have needs outside the humidity drawers, and they should be handled differently to extend their edible life. Citrus fruits, for example, prefer very low humidity and often do better stored in the main part of the refrigerator. Vegetables that can get soft and lose flavor inside of a refrigerator should be left out of the fridge entirely and put in dark, cool places on the counter. This includes:

  • potatoes
  • onions
  • corn
  • garlic
  • lemons
  • limes

Other Tips for Using Humidity Drawers

Humidity drawers and crispers work best if they are more than halfway full, so arrange your fridge as necessary and prolong the life of your produce. If you find that your fruits and vegetables are still going bad before you can eat them, consider upgrading your refrigerator—or pledge to eat more produce more often.

Grocery shopping is a crucial part of our lives. Instead of finding yourself tossing out food or needing to scrub bad smells out of your fridge, use your drawers to your benefit. By using this guide, it’s easier to figure out the right high or low humidity for vegetables and fruits. And remember, as you’re organizing and cleaning your refrigerator, you can count on The Maids for a helping hand around the kitchen. With 30 years of experience under our belts, we know how to make kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms shine. Call us at 1-800-THE-MAIDS today!



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