Fresh fruits and vegetables stored in a refrigerator crisper drawer

HOW TO USE A REFRIGERATOR CRISPER DRAWER

When it comes to taking your culinary pursuits to the next level, your refrigerator crisper drawer provides a convenient cooling and storage environment to help elevate each recipe with deliciously fresh ingredients. With this guide, you’ll learn what a crisper drawer is and how to properly use crisper drawer settings to reduce waste and help make your ingredients last.

Refrigerators with crisper drawer settings like these built-in or freestanding models by KitchenAid brand allow you to control the flow of air to items in the drawer to help maintain desired levels of moisture and help create an ideal environment for food storage and cooling. Explore how humidity control in a refrigerator works via your fridge drawers to help you maximize the life and quality of your food.

HOW DOES A REFRIGERATOR CRISPER DRAWER WORK?

Crisper drawers work by controlling airflow and, as a result, exposing food items to different levels of humidity in your refrigerator to create the optimal storage environment for your fresh produce and ingredients. By adjusting the crisper drawer settings, your drawers can be set to “high” or “low humidity” depending on your needs.

When a “high humidity” setting is chosen, crisper drawers restrict the flow of air to the bin. This traps moisture released by your produce in the bin, creating a more humid environment, ideal for fresh produce like thin-skinned vegetables prone to wilting, such as lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers and leafy greens. With a “low humidity” setting, fridge drawer contents are exposed to the outside air as moisture escapes, creating an ideal environment for storing ethylene-emitting fruits prone to rotting or pitted fruits, such as apples, pears and melons.

Assorted vegetables inside an open refrigerator crisper drawer Assorted vegetables inside an open refrigerator crisper drawer

USING A REFRIGERATOR CRISPER DRAWER: A GUIDE

While operation of refrigerator crisper drawers may vary across models and brands, learning how to properly store produce in your fridge drawers according to humidity level can help you use only the freshest fruits and vegetables for your signature recipes.

WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD CRISPER DRAWERS BE SET AT? 

Your crisper drawers will perform at their best when the fridge is operating within its optimal temperature range, which is 32ºF - 40ºF (0ºC - 4.4ºC).

While crisper drawer settings are responsible for exposing food items in the fridge bins to different levels of humidity, you can adjust the temperature of the fridge through its electronic controls. Refer to your owner’s manual for appliance-specific information on adjusting refrigerator temperatures.

WHAT IS HUMIDITY CONTROL IN THE REFRIGERATOR?

Humidity control in a refrigerator is possible due to the management of airflow within the fridge drawers. By moving the convenient sliders located on your crisper drawers to indicate low or high humidity, you can easily adjust the drawers' ventilation and moisture settings depending on your needs.

When you store fruits and vegetables in a fridge with crisper drawers, humidity control may extend the freshness of your ingredients by trapping or releasing moisture. With refrigerators like these models from KitchenAid brand, your crisper drawers can help give you greater control over the storing conditions inside your fridge, allowing you more freedom to experiment with your fresh food and ingredients. 

A variety of fruits, vegetables and ingredients in a KitchenAid® FreshSeal Crisper Drawer A variety of fruits, vegetables and ingredients in a KitchenAid® FreshSeal Crisper Drawer

WHAT FOODS SHOULD YOU PUT IN THE CRISPER DRAWER? 

From juicy apples and pears to lush garden greens like kale or lettuce, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables can be stored in your fridge’s crisper drawers.

Items that are best kept in a refrigerator crisper drawer on a “high humidity” setting, for example, are high-moisture foods like leafy or thin-skinned ingredients. Crisper drawers set to "low humidity" are great for storing foods that thrive in low-moisture environments, like thick-skinned fruits and vegetables.

CAN YOU PUT MEAT IN THE CRISPER DRAWER? 

It’s important to keep fruits and vegetables separate from meat, as using the same drawers for produce and meat can increase risk of cross-contamination. While bottom shelves can provide the low temperatures ideal for storing meat, you should reserve crisper drawers for items sensitive to humidity.

To make contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables less likely, consider using a fresh drawer to store raw meat like fish or poultry instead.

CAN YOU STORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IN A CRISPER DRAWER?

Fruits and vegetables are best kept in appropriate levels of humidity, making the fridge crisper drawer the ideal place for storing these ingredients. Use the crisper drawer settings on your fridge to keep your food looking and tasting its best.

To help keep your fruits and vegetables fresh, avoid overcrowding the crisper drawers by leaving the produce some breathing room inside the bin. Generally, fridge crisper drawers work best when they are approximately ⅔ full.

A stainless steel KitchenAid® French Door Refrigerator in a rustic kitchen A stainless steel KitchenAid® French Door Refrigerator in a rustic kitchen

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When you preserve the quality and taste of your ingredients with proper food storage, your mind is free to explore the endless culinary possibilities before you. Whether you’re using bushy arugula for a starter salad or fresh broccoli for your favorite sheet pan recipe, KitchenAid® refrigerators can help store everything you need through a sleek and intuitive design that suits your unique kitchen.

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