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What does the fridge humidity drawers do?

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.

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The “low” setting opens up a small window, allowing gases and moisture to vent, decreasing the humidity in the drawer.

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The purpose of the humidity drawers in your refrigerator is to create an organised refrigerator and a 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 extreme settings.

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What foods benefit from the high-humidity drawer setting?

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.

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Fruits: Unripe bananas, strawberries, watermelon

Vegetables: Leafy and head greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, eggplant, green beans, peas, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and cauliflower.

What foods benefit from the low-humidity drawer setting?

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.

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Fruits: Apples, ripe bananas, small melons, figs, kiwis, mangos, papayas, pears, apricots, plums, peaches, and nectarines.

Vegetables: Celery (remove from plastic bag)

What food 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. Tomatoes, some cucumbers, potatoes, onions, and garlic are better stored at room temp as the cold from the fridge can make them soft and mealy.

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Keep in mind, 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 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. Either way, you win.

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