Things You Shouldn’t Put In Your Fridge
It really common to open someone’s fridge and see a raft of things that, really shouldn’t be in there. This all the more so on large fridges and American style side by side fridge freezers.
Thing is, a lot of people could get a lot more space freed up in their fridges if they didn’t put things in there that should not be there. Now for us, it’s more space for beer and so on but how you use the space is completely up to you.
Here’s the top items often found in fridges that really shouldn’t be in there and, why not.
Refrigerating bread does absolutely nothing to extend the life of it at all.
In fact the opposite is true as it tend to get dried out and turn stale faster than it would kept in a bread bin or bread bag.
Also bread should be stored in a cool dry place. That is not your fridge!
If you have a fresh whole melon it should not be kept in the fridge.
After you cut it up it should then be wiped in cling film and stored in the fridge, normally used within 24 hours or so to get it at its best.
Nope, while they are not ripe they also should not be stored in your fridge either.
After they ripen (no green bits) then they can be stored in your fridge but not before that as they can turn black and go mushy inside if you do.
Avocados are the same deal although they won’t go much as such, they won’t ripen if you put them in your fridge.
Once more these should not be stored in the fridge as they tend to keep longer outside it and the flavour is better.
The science behind it says that the cooling actually causes the membranes and stuff to break down inside the fruit and does more harm than good.
Okay hands up, a number of us in the office were guilty of this one!
Apparently keeping potatoes in the fridge isn’t just bad, it’s potentially harmful to us. We didn’t know that and now, we don’t keep the potatoes in the fridge any longer.
The Food Standards Agencys says that, "When these are stored in the fridge, the starch in the potato is converted to sugar. When baked or fried, these sugars combine with the amino acid asparagine and produce the chemical acrylamide, which is thought to be harmful."
So, don’t do it is the advice basically.
All that is needed to store potatoes is a cool dry place, so a dark cupboard that’s cool is all you need.
Fresh cream in it, okay, put it in the fridge.
No fresh cream, don’t.
That’s the simple advice but so long as a cake is in a tin or covered decently like that it won’t last any linger if you put it in your fridge. And, any icing will go brick hard making eating it not so pleasant.
We didn’t get this one at all as, nobody in the office did this but apparently many people do keep their coffee in their fridges.
All you need to do is stick in an airtight container, you don’t and shouldn’t refrigerate it.
Moreover the beans will soak up other smells around them so, you really don’t want all the food smells in your fridge to be in your morning cup of coffee. Not nice.
Like potatoes, cool dark place is all that’s required.
The fridge is not the place for them as they can taint other foods with their odour.
Often we will see onions chucked in with a load of other veg in a storage drawer and, that’s obviously not good.
As with onions, they shouldn’t be in the fridge and, garlic will transfer it’s odour to other things.
Lasts forever, doesn’t need refrigerated.
These are preserves, an ancient way of storing food that would ordinarily not keep long for ages. This method came about long before mankind worked out how to refrigerate stuff in the modern manner so, they were designed for a long shelf life.
You don’t need to keep them in your fridge.
You don’t need to refrigerate it as, it is a preserve after all so the clue’s in the billing.
Nope, get it our of your fridge, it’s got no business being in there, ever!
Cleaning Electric Hobs
Electric Hob Cleaning
Cleaning your hob the right way so it looks better for longer and lasts
When we refer to “electric hobs” what we mean is the more traditional type of hob on a cooker, built in hob or range cooker but one that is not a ceramic glass type hob top.
This will leave only two types, the older radiant ring type that was generally only seen on older cookers in the UK and rarely on built in hobs and of course the newer sealed version of those that are commonly referred to as as hotplates or sealed hob heating elements.
Hopefully the tips here will prevent you from having to change the heating elements sooner than you really should need to or ending up with an unsightly hob like the one on the image which is beyond saving if you ask us.
Following the simple tips here may save you expense and hassle.
The older radiant ring types have been on the decline for many years as they aren’t really pretty and not exactly energy efficient so, in the modern era of “going green” they’ve largely been phased out here in the UK and the rest of Europe but do seem to have an enduring popularity in some other regions, notably the USA.
In essence these are the same idea as the newer sealed heating elements but they are more open.
The good thing in is that they will usually be very easy to keep clean, most things on them are very obvious and often the hob to will lift up making access and replacement of these heating elements pretty easy for most people.
Older elements can be treated with Collo cleaner to bring them back to looking “black” and hiding minor imperfections, some minor rust pitting and so on.
If you clean these every few uses just with a cloth or sponge they are usually fine and normally don’t really need a lot of maintenance.
Sealed Heating Elements
Sealed plates look prettier to most people but they do require a bit more in the way of maintenance.
These tips whilst not essential will extend the life of your hotplates and quite probably the hop top by a fair way, you can get a lot more years of use with only a modicum of care and maintenance.
Show your hob a little love and you will get more from it.
The first thing to know is that you will need to “season” the every so often to prevent them from pitting or rusting on the top cooking surface.
Doing this is much the same as you would season a wok or a pan that doesn’t have a non-stick coating.
All you need to do is put the hob zone on at the lowest setting, very lightly cover with olive oil (we find olive oil works best) using a cloth or a bit of paper kitchen towel and then after the whole surface is shiny turn the heat up a bit and leave it for a few minutes.
Turn the hob off and allow it to cool down.
This is real simple but stops water getting to the metal as the oils forms a barrier that will protect it, at least from the worst and doing this can immeasurably extend the life of these heating elements. Correctly maintained doing this will get you many time the life so, it’s well worth dong on a regular basis.
How often is hard to call as mileage will vary depending on your use but, as a rough guide for most people, once a month or every second month is usually okay.
Don’t worry if some of the oil goes over the chrome trim and onto the hob, it will wipe off and probably seal the gaps there and this is nothing to be concerned about, so long as you keep up with the maintenance.
The Chrome Trim
Which brings us to the chrome trim that we’ve mentioned before in several places on the site.
They are a pain the proverbial!
They all discolour, often after only a single or a few uses you will see an iridescent (rainbow effect) type pattern form on them and many people think this is wrong, it’s not, it’s just the way they are.
If these get damaged or start to rust, which we will point out is always a result of poor maintenance, spillage or both, there’s no coming back from it. There’s nothing you can do other than replace the whole element to clean that up.
You can restore the plate surface, the black bit. However, there are limits.
We see adverts online where you see pictures of these types of plates being magically transformed from old and scrappy looking, covered in rust and pitting, to looking like brand new using some “wonderful” product or cleaner.
The first thing we’re going to tell you is, that’s complete manure. It ain’t going to happen.
We recommend Collo cleaner, it’s German, works, has been about for decades and it’s the same or similar to most of the types of cleaner we’re talking about here but we think this is the best one. So much so we don’t bother with the clones of it as, far as we know, Collo is the original and still the best.
What it does as they all do, is to go on a little bit like boot polish that melts onto a warm (not hot) plate and re-blackens the plate masking any pitting, rust and so on as well as putting a protective coating on the plate itself.
It’s really good stuff and can make the plates look a million times better but, it’s not a miracle thing that will give you shiny new plates. It will cover up and hide most minor issues and make the plates look a lot cleaner but if you’ve got major pitting or any holes it won’t solve that.
And importantly, no cleaner will.
The ads we often see for this sort of cleaner are annoying as they can give what we feel is a false impression, we’d rather tell people the truth as we usually do.
Our opinion is that Collo is the best of the bunch but if the plates are really bad, the only choice is to replace them.
If you need any advice on whether to give Collo a shot or replace, just email us a picture of the zones and we will try to advise as best we can on wether you will get away with using a restorer like Collo or the better option is to replace the plates.
But products like Collo cleaner are like seasoning, if you do it reasonably regularly then your hob heating elements will last longer, no doubt about that at all. So it's best to look at this as a thing to use on a regualr basis, not just in crisis.
The Enamel Hob Top
For all types, radiant ring or solid heating element, there will be an enamel top around the heating zones.
If moisture from spillage gets under the enamel it’s game over. It will rust and once that takes hold the hob top will just gradually deteriorate over time and this will often happen quickly.
It is really important to clean up especially major spills as quickly as you can.
Given that this can only be caused by spills and often a lack of care most manufacturers don’t cover this (or anything else in this article) even in warranty. Some extended warranty companies will cover it but that varies depending on the policy of the company and the level of cover.
When we spoke earlier about the oil from seasoning the plates getting into the gaps between the plates and the hob this can actually help with this problem. Th oil can form a barrier that helps prevent moisture from getting underneath the hob and starting it to rust.
It won’t save you from major spills or from constant poor care but, it’s no bad thing for most people.
When you clean the enamelled surface of the hob, don’t use abrasive cleaners, you’ll wreck it!
Try to clean spillage as soon as possible, the longer it sits on the hob the more it can become a problem and some stuff you cook can “eat” into even the best enamel coating.
Even stuff you can’t see there, when the hob is used again and gets hot can start to burn leaving unsightly residues or coatings, especially so around the heating elements where they start to rise out the hob or meet it.