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post #1 of 16 Old 06-23-2011 Thread Starter
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refrigerator

We are going for a week's sail in the Chesapeake. Storing food for a week in the fridge is always frustrating. Everything is just left in plastic grocery bags so its hard to locate items. Any suggestions for how to better organize things? For instance, should I put cold cuts in tupperware so I easily see them and grab them?

What do you do?

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post #2 of 16 Old 06-23-2011
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I have a large tupperware that has deli meat and cheese for sandwiches. Salads go in Lock-n-Lock containers that stack. Condiments are in plastic containers on a shelf. Entree meats are in the freezer or in either Ziploc bags or vacuum bags in the fridge. I try to pack the fridge from the bottom up so I don't have to dig too much. I keep fruit and veg out on the counter in baskets - any diminution of life is overwhelmed by reduced bruising and not losing things in the bottom of the fridge.

sail fast and eat well, dave
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-23-2011
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Dave has some great suggestions.

Another thing we've found helps is to limit our fridge digging expeditions to either in the early morning or in the evening before bed. We make sure the things we'll need for the day are near the top ready to grab which sometimes includes pre-making our lunches too. We started this as an energy saving and convenience measure but realized less digging means less opportunity for things to get out of control in the box.

We try to minimize plastic bags. They seem to trap the slightest bit of condensation and get everything else damp or wet in the process.

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-23-2011
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Plastic bags are out if only because they often leak. You only need one rotten tomato and the bottom of your fridge is blech.

As Auspicious says, stackable containers are the way to go. Better for organising storage, easier to get at so less time with fridge open. Something turns to mulch, only one plastic container to clean out.

Maybe cos we live in a warmer climate but we can only keep fruit and veg like potatoes, onions, apples, oranges out of fridge. We contend with bruising by keeping soft fruit (peaches etc) separated by paper towels or soft cloth in containers.

For the first week or so on Raven we would vacuum bag and freeze meat, fish, poultry and the like. That way we have found that we can make it through a couple of weeks. The new girl has a small freezer. How that will work for us is too early to tell.

Andrew B

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-23-2011
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We use clear ziplocs.... prioritizing the loading with the accessibility in mind (as suggested above) helps too.

Those camping-style plastic egg cartons make storing eggs easier, and you don't really need to keep them in the fridge/cooler - and they do take up a lot of space there. If you store them out of the fridge be sure to turn them over daily (just flip the whole container)

Don't leave frozen meats in their original store containers... again use good ziplocs and vacuum pack if you can. Usually prefreezing will allow you to get through most of a week.

Ron

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post #6 of 16 Old 06-24-2011
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Ditto what others have already said above.
We try to not leave plastic grocery bags in the fridge as it seems to accelerate spoilage and hides problems that might otherwise be noticed. We store fruit and such already washed in a small hammock hanging in the galley, prepare next days lunch in advance when possible and leave in the fridge overnight, not sandwhiches with bread but stuff like hamburger patties seasoned and ready to throw on the grill, kabobs in a ziplock to marinate, etc. A little off topic to the original question but we have found the storing bread in the microwave is a great way to keep it fresh while underway. One last thing. The more full you keep your fridge the more efficient it will cool, so load it up.

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-11-2011
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Put the cold drinks into a cooler

Reduce clutter by putting the cold drinks into a seperate cooler.

Craig
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-17-2011
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First time we chartered, I did that "just throw it all in" system. It was horrible to find things. Halfway through the trip, I re-organized, using several of the cooking pans as bins!

With our own boat, I used a lot of Sterilite plastic bins -- the type that are solid on the bottom (to contain messes) and have holes on the sides (to allow for good movement of that cold air).

Devise a system where you always put things in the same place and you'll cut down on a lot of that searching time.

Things that need to be coldest on the bottom and nearest the chill plate; stuff that you just want cool (produce) on top.

For more details, I've written a bunch on my blog about storing food on a boat in general and one post specifically on how I organize the refrigerator:

Storing Food on a Boat
Organizing the Refrigerator

Hope the refrigerator is a little less frustrating this trip!

Carolyn Shearlock

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Last edited by CarolynShearlock; 07-23-2011 at 12:08 PM.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-17-2011
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In addition....

Create your menu, then pack the fridge from the bottom up.

Freeze and/or marinate proteins before you pack.

Keep drinks accessible to one side and condiments in a bin, preferably with holes in it to allow for air circulation.

Cheers,
Shawn

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
Keep drinks accessible to one side and condiments in a bin, preferably with holes in it to allow for air circulation.
I now carry a cooler on deck for drinks. In addition to helping avoid people rummaging through the fridge and the convenience of easy access, I've found a great reduction in how often I have to defrost the cold plate.

Even offshore on passage, ice in the cooler lasts quite a while (Yeti coolers rock). Bay hopping in summer we get four or five days from a couple of ice blocks.

sail fast and eat well, dave
S/V Auspicious
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