From the top shelf to the freezer and everything in between – we see inside the fridges of three celebrity parents
If self-isolation has taught us one thing, it’s that home cooking is making a comeback. From iso-baking, sour doughs to Sunday roasts, people are discovering their inner master chef and turning to food and cooking for comfort.
However, with fridge and freezer space a challenge even at the best of times – now with everyone buying, cooking and arguably eating more food – it’s become a sore point for many Australian households. So, to help make kitchen life easier, we asked three celebrity parents, Jimmy Rees, Beau and Kara Ryan and Sean Szeps, for their tips on how to level up your own fridge stacking game.
Height matters when it comes to storing tall items on the top shelf – JIMMY REES
- Call me crazy. I keep all my sauces in the fridge. Cold tomato sauce is the best and I also keep Vegemite in the fridge (haters gonna hate). Don’t ask me why…but melted butter on toast with a slightly cold spread…yum!
- Height matters. I like to keep the top shelf of my fridge at a decent height so I can fit all those sauces and other tall items. We also put similar items together and keep most of the staples to each of the sides. This means I can chuck the random stuff that might not live in the fridge for long in the middle.
- Lock up the good stuff. We have an abundance of leftover chocolate from Easter, so we keep it in our Westinghouse fridge which has a handy lockable section. The lock makes you think twice about the 15th chocolate egg you’ve eaten … HAHA!!! The lock is basically my weight management program.
- Batch cook. We make big batches of food for our 1-year old twins and freeze them in snap lock bags. There is a drawer devoted to the twin’s food, sometimes two drawers.
The crisper is your friend to keep your fruit and veggies fresh - BEAU RYAN
- Hide the good stuff. Our son is a dairy addict, so we keep all the milk and dairy out of his reach. If we don’t hide it on higher shelves, we find him raiding the fridge at midnight.
- The crisper is your friend. Runs to the grocery store are harder than ever before so make sure you keep fresh fruit and veggies in the crisper. Our Westinghouse fridge has humidity-controlled crispers to keep unwanted moisture away and keep all the fruit and veggies fresher for longer.
- Use what you have. If we know we won’t use up fresh fruit and vegetables before they turn, we chop them up and freeze them. Perfect to whip out of the freezer for a cold smoothie.
- The vertical stack. This is one for people who hoard things in the freezer – a great tip we’ve learnt as a family is to stack as many objects as you can vertically to save space. It makes it easy to see what we have on hand, saving us time and trips to the supermarket.
- Store like with like. We group ingredients together to save time looking for them while we’re cooking. We keep condiments in the fridge door, creams and dairy in their own compartment and pre-cooked meals on the middle shelf. It also makes putting your grocery list together super quick and easy.
Store sauces, spreads and condiments on the fridge door as this experiences the highest temperature fluctuations – SEAN SZEPS
- Sandwich bags are your friends. We'll all culprits of placing an extremely small amount of food in an extremely large container. Even when the size is right, they somehow multiply right be over your eyes and take over the entire fridge. Instead, you should start experimenting with sandwich bags. They are great for sliced veggies, leftover corn, fruit, and stinky cheese. My pro tip: lay a sauce or soup-filled bag on a cookie sheet and place it in the freezer on a flat surface. After 24 hours, you'll be able to stack them in a basket side-by-side.
- Relegate your leftovers to one shelve. If you're a family that keeps leftovers in the fridge for way too long, then I implore you to implement a new policy that forces the family to use only one shelf - ideally the top shelf, which is slightly warmer - for takeaway and Tupperware containers. Storing these at eye-level reminds you to eat last night’s ribs before they turn into mouldy mystery meat.
- Store stable items on the fridge door. Most people don't think about the fact that their fridge doors experience the greatest fluctuations in temperature each day. I mean, think about how often you swing it open and shut. And then open again. That's why we store the most stable items there. We have all our condiments in one section, spreads in another, and there's an entire section just for mustards - we have eight at all times!
- If it's raw, it lives on the bottom shelf. I hate, more than anything, cleaning up a fridge leak. Having to climb into the fridge to wipe up juices that have dripped down the back of a few different shelves is something you'll only ever do once before you religiously keep raw meats and fish down on the bottom.