Crisper drawers are an area of your refrigerator that people often struggle with. How do you use them, and what do you store in them? Our Global Food Preservation scientist Carolina Biotti has some tips on how to best use your crisper drawers.

The crisper drawers are the area within your refrigerator that has the highest relative humidity. Fruits and vegetables are best stored in these bins because they are the most sensitive to humidity but there are a few guidelines on how to use them to get the most out of your refrigerator and your produce.

One of the best ways to store your fruits and vegetables is to separate the drawers into high and low humidity. This will give adequate space for all types of produce.

Fruits and vegetables with a thin skin, or of the leafy variety are best stored in high humidity. This will help keep your produce in the best condition possible until you use it. Produce best stored in high humidity are: spinach, lettuce, strawberries etc.

Fruits and vegetable with a thicker skin are best stored in low humidity. Items best stored in low humidity are onions, peppers, tomatoes etc.

Once you have your produce separated into high and low humidity bins, it’s helpful to organize your drawers from front to back. Placing items that have a shorter shelf life in the front will ensure that you will see them first and use them before they spoil.

Now, that you’ve learned the basics on what to store together it’s important to know what not to store together. Some fruits naturally release ethylene gas. Ethylene gas when exposed to sensitive fruits and vegetables can speed up the ripening process. For example, storing apples and bananas together can cause bananas to ripen faster meaning the shelf life of the fruit is significantly diminished.