So you’ve bought enough food to feed a small country in your Christmas shop, including a turkey which can probably be seen from space. Now there’s only one problem – fitting it all into the fridge and freezer. Unfortunately, there’s no magic solution to this annual dilemma, you just need determination, patience, and organisation skills to rival Santa’s.
It goes without saying that you’ll have done your best to remove any unwanted food before you bring home the shopping. Now it’s time to dig out the Christmas compilation CD, find a happy place, and take everything out of the fridge.
How to Pack the Fridge and What to Leave Out
There’s no denying stocking the fridge is the worst type of festive stocking. To make things easier, start with the largest items like the turkey – remember, raw meat needs to go on a plate on the bottom shelf to prevent cross-contamination from drips of juice. Leave condiments (except mayo) until last. Then if you find you don’t have space for things like your mustards, marmalades, jams, vinegars, capers, olives and oils you can keep them in a cool box with ice in the garage, or even on your kitchen work surface. This is a perfectly safe storage method for a few days – great for a little extra fridge space.
Taking out unnecessary items can really help maximise the space you do have available. Over a quarter of a million bananas are being kept in fridges in Britain; even though it turns them black prematurely. Don’t keep bread or Christmas cake in your fridge either, this only turns them stale. Mushrooms and root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, parsnips and onions should also be kept out of the fridge; put them in a dark, dry cupboard instead. If you’re refusing to cut corners this year and making your own sage and onion stuffing, try popping the onions into the fridge for just an hour before you cut them – this slows down the release of enzymes and stops your eyes streaming. Refrigerating root vegetables when you buy them is an unnecessary waste of space and actually increases the sugar levels in potatoes, leading to the release of a carcinogenic chemical when they’re roasted. Nobody wants a side order of acrylamide with their sprouts.
If you’ve chosen a frozen bird and you’re lucky enough to have a great big freezer, perfect. If you’re pushed for freezer space, remember it’ll need defrosting before the big day anyway. Try to arrange the latest possible pick up date as possible, and depending on the size of your bird, you might not need to store it in the freezer at all. Government guidelines recommend you defrost your turkey in a fridge for 10 to 12 hours per kg (or less if you’re defrosting at room temperature). This means the largest birds take 5 days to defrost in the fridge, leaving plenty of space in the freezer for party snacks and ice cubes for those cheeky glasses of Baileys.
Let Your Appliance Do the Hard Work
Maximising fridge space is easy if you’re organised, but even if you’re a busy family with other priorities this season, it can still be easy. Some fridges, freezers and combi fridge freezers have plenty of storage space and practically organise themselves. We offer appliances with bottle racks perfect for a bottle of bubbly, side door compartments perfect for fresh orange juice (ok, ok, it’s to pour in the bubbly) and ice cube trays (for the buck’s fizz of course). And after an indulgent Christmas, a fridge with an in-built salad crisper awaits your New Year health kick. If you’re worried your fridge or freezer is going to struggle with your family’s appetite this festive season, forget the novelty reindeer jumpers and buy yourself a practical early gift. Take a look at our full range of refrigeration appliances here and prepare to buy a bigger turkey.