Choosing the best refrigerator for you
The History of Refrigeration
Some say the heart of every home is the kitchen, and what kitchen is ever complete without a refrigerator to keep safe and fresh the ingredients that bring a meal together? But before the fridges in our homes had LED lights, moveable shelves, and BioFresh technology; before the fridges were even refrigerators, our ancestors developed their own means of cooling and preserving their foods.
Dating back to the days of hunters and gatherers, the food brought home for cooking had to be used in one sitting, or it would go bad. As this nomadic lifestyle evolves and people begin to settle, the ability to hunt and gather meals deteriorates. The earliest solutions to this were to pickle, cure and smoke their products, but eventually they come to the realization that the best way to keep things fresh, is to keep them cool.
Cooling processes at this point took many different forms: small openings in wooden walls, holes dug in streams, ponds and in the ground, clay or wooden containers, and eventually, cold cellars. The first version of the refrigerator, which is still used today, was the icebox. Named to describe what it stood for, the ice box was often a wooden crate that held blocks of ice, tin or zinc, and insulation materials such as cork, sawdust or seaweed. People would store their food in these ice boxes to preserve its freshness.
Artificial refrigeration began in the mid 1750s and continued to develop into the 1800s. In 1913, Fred W. Wolf of Fort Wayne, Indiana, brought refrigerators to the domestic lifestyle of Americans. By the 1930s, refrigerators had become a staple in all American private households. In other parts of the world, where electricity was not yet available, communities would rely on communal cooling houses to store their fruits, vegetables, meat, and other perishables.
The invention of the refrigerator was the first step in what became known as a more settled, luxurious lifestyle. It eliminated the process of pre-cooking meals for hours, and daily trips to the shops—rewards we still reap today. Luckily for us, the development of the refrigerator did not end in the 1930s, and the models we have sitting in our kitchens now, are a result of research to produce magnificent, energy efficient, spacious, and intelligent pieces of technology.
For further information, check out this blog entry in FreshMAG on, “The History of Refrigerators”: https://blog.liebherr.com/appliances/us/history-refrigerators/
Choosing the right model – 4 different types
When selecting a new refrigerator for your home, it is important to look at the many great features offered in today’s refrigeration technology, but before doing that, it is important to decide which is the right model to suit your needs.
1.Top Freezer Refrigerator
If you’re looking for a more classic refrigerator for your home, you can’t go wrong with the top-freezer fridge. This model is one of the most affordable types, but it is often not the most energy efficient. Perfect for dorm rooms and first-time homebuyers, this refrigerator model can be found in different sizes and will fit most kitchen spaces.
3. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
This model is one of the most energy efficient types of refrigerators you could purchase too meet your refrigeration needs. Providing you with a large amount of both fridge and freezer space, the Bottom Freezer Refrigerator, combined with new technology such as Vario Boxes, and BioFresh technology offered in Liebherr products, gives you energy efficiency, ample space and eye-level convenience.
2. Side-by-Side Refrigerator
This model features a refrigerator and freezer standing vertically next to one another. Perfect for more limited spaces, as they have a shorter door-swing, these refrigerators also limit the amount and size of the foods that can be stored. Energy efficiency for these refrigerators isn’t the highest, but they are often a more affordable model.
4. French Door Refrigerator
The lovechild of the side-by-side and bottom freezer refrigerators, this French door model adds sleek design and class to the refrigeration market. Building on the energy efficiency of the bottom freezer model, it has the ability to open only one door at a time to prevent the escape of cool air so it conserves even more energy.
What is Energy Efficiency?
Appliances sold in Canada are tested for their energy efficiency levels, and if they pass, they are officially considered Energy Star Certified Appliances. The way that appliance manufacturers can increase their energy efficiency is by improving on their insulation and compression.
Before purchasing a new refrigerator, you can check its energy efficiency rating level with Natural Resources Canada’s, Energy Cost Calculator.
For an appliance to be considered particularly efficient, it must embody high performance without compromising convenience and while maintaining a low energy usage level. Putting this to the test, appliance brands such as Liebherr have come up with their own ways to receive better ratings. By introducing their ActiveGreen® commitment, Liebherr’s entire appliance range has been converted to HCFC/CFC-free refrigerants. Liebherr is also one of the first refrigeration manufacturers in the world to be completely restrict the use of hazardous substances in their manufacturing process. For further reading on their ActiveGreen® initiative check out https://home.liebherr.com/en/can/ncsa/why-liebherr/special-thinking-green/sustainability.html
The Liebherr Way
We’ve all been there: Someone in your home had gone grocery shopping, bought some very expensive items—perhaps an avocado or two— and thought to themselves…. Hmm, my family loves to make fresh guacamole; someone is sure to use these. Unfortunately, due to cluttered fridge space and drawers that do not optimize visibility, those ‘spontaneous’ avocados are forgotten about somewhere in the back of the fridge and eventually go bad before they are eaten.
Enter Liebherr’s unique BioFresh technology. Liebherr has taken the concept of drawer space and adjustable humidity settings to a whole new level with the creation of what they call BioFresh technology. It can be built into all of their refrigerators, fridge-freezers, and side-by-side fridge-freezers. This technology offers a way to keep their customer’s foods fresher for a longer period of time thereby optimizing your stock and spending, with less waste. BioFresh drawers allow users to store different foods at different temperatures and at ideal humidity. The developers based their work on the observation that food will maintain optimum freshness when stored at a temperature just above freezing, so BioFresh drawers are constantly maintained at a temperature just over 0 degrees Celsius. They have also extended this concept into BioFresh-Plus, where the temperature in the top ‘safe’ can be set to a precise degree required for the items being stored. Foods such as: fruits, veggies, meat, fish; dairy, etc. will always last longer with BioFresh technology than they would with conventional refrigeration technology.
The Liebherr design also accounts for practical interior features and functions, such as moveable/adjustable shelving, more storage space, and clear platforms and drawers so that all food can be visualized and kept in sight. For more information on what Liebherr’s technology and refrigerators offer, check out their Food Preservation and Food Storage pages, or watch the video that visualizes what BioFresh technology is all about!
Storing Groceries 101
The main thing to remember when sorting your fresh groceries in your refrigerator is to keep your ready-to-eat and prepared meals separate from your raw ingredients. This prevents any cross-contamination. The other thing to remember, is to plan out the layout of your fridge in a way that is most convenient and accessible for the members of your household. This reduces the time the fridge door is open as well as improving the “time spent looking” factor.
Ideally, in a typical refrigerator, you will find four shelves and at least two storage drawers, along with your door racks. To optimize the use of this fridge space, it is best to keep items such as: dairy products, prepared meals, leftovers, cooked meats, and prepared salads on the top two shelves. Any raw meats, poultry and fish, should be stored in air-tight containers on the bottom shelves. The purpose of this is to keep your prepared meals away from the raw foods so that harmful bacteria cannot transfer from the raw to the cooked foods.
However, optimum organization doesn’t end there. To make food easy to access and quick to find, your drawers should be utilized for specific items. It is best to label one drawer as your ‘salad drawer’; also known as a crisper drawer. This is where you will store your fruits and vegetables, salads and herbs. The best way to store your fruits and vegetables is to first wash them, then wrap them with a cling or saranwrap, with airholes poked through. For your herbs and salads, wrap them in a damp paper towel and place them in the drawer. The second drawer of your refrigerator is most commonly used for your cured meats and cheeses. This includes deli meats, grated or whole cheese, and raw meats. Securing these items in a drawer, not only keeps them fresh, but prevents other foods in your fridge from picking up bacteria or odours.
If you happen to have a larger fridge, with more drawer space—especially ones like the Liebherr fridges with special
compartments and humidity settings, you can divide these foods even further to store them at their best. Splitting up your fruits and veggies—placing fruits in a drawer with the humidity settings on low, will keep them fresh, longer; whereas placing your vegetables in a drawer with the humidity set on high, will keep your leafy greens sprightly.
The door shelves are best used for condiments, canned goods, food in jars, and beverages. It is important to note that milk and other dairy products (yogurt, butter, etc.) should not be kept on the door, as it is not cold enough in most models. This may be deceiving, as many models of refrigerators have a slot in the door intended to store butter, but, it is important to remember that the temperature on the drawer is often the warmest, which may cause your dairy products to spoil quicker than they should. These tips will keep your produce fresh, and help them to last longer in your refrigerator.
To Freeze or not Freeze
Here is a list of the items that you should and should not be putting in your freezer:
- Butter and margarine can be kept frozen and fresh for up to three months
- Grated cheese can be used right out of the freezer
- Bread (most breads) can be kept frozen and defrosted before use
- Milk, this may come as a surprise, but milk can be kept frozen for about one month, and can be defrosted in the fridge. (Remember to shake well before use!)
- Stews, soups and gravies—remember to store in useable portions so it does not go through multiple processes of freezing and re-heating!
- Raw meats and fish—each type may have a different threshold for being frozen.
Not to Freeze:
- Eggs—your eggs will expand and crack if you place them in the freezer!
- Vegetables, such as lettuce and sprouts, that have a high water content will turn to mush.
- Find herbs can be stored in air-tight containers, but these should be used for adding flavor to meals and cooking, but not for garnish.
- Egg-based sauces will only separate and curdle.
- Plain yogurt, cream cheese and cottage cheese will only go watery, but not freeze.
- Alcoholic beverages in glass bottles will expand and explode if left in the freezer too long!
Three Tips for optimizing the use of your Freezer
- Only freeze food at its prime. Unfortunately, you cannot bring old food back to life by freezing it!
- Raw foods should only be frozen again after they have been cooked. This will avoid the preservation of bacteria.
- In the event of a power outage, keep the freezer door shut. Foods can remain frozen for up to 24 hours.
Liebherr technology that makes a difference
BioFresh is not the only advanced refrigeration technology to emerge from the folks at Liebherr. They have also paid attention to the way our everyday food items freeze and have come up with optimizing technology to best this process.
SuperFrost technology allows you to freeze food rapidly, but gently. This energy-saving technology is automatic and ideal for raw meats and fish. When these items need to be quickly frozen, SuperFrost delivers, while keeping those vital vitamins preserved during freezing. After this function is complete, the appliance will automatically switch back to standard mode to optimize energy efficiency. Another Liebherr technology is NoFrost, which means, No need to Defrost. NoFrost technology freezes food using chilled circulating air, and extracts and expels any humidity. Therefore, the freezer compartment remains ice-free so food will not frost over. No more time wasted on defrosting your foods before a meal prep or re-heat!
Liebherr’s freezer technology is both innovative and convenient. Keeping their consumer in mind, they have added many more features to their freezers! Aside from SuperFrost and NoFrost, Liebherr has also created VarioSpace technology which optimizes freezer space, transparent drawers, and an icemaker. You can read more about these features on their website here!
Time to Shop – When to ditch your old refridgerator
Shopping for a new refrigerator may seem like a stressful and time-consuming task but the Euro-line website has lots of helpful information to assist you. ( euro-lineappliances.ca ) When your old refrigerator is “working just fine!” replacing it can seem wasteful or unnecessary but when you consider the new energy saving features Liebherr offers and the healthy food storage options built in, it simply makes sense. Typically, a refrigerator has a life span of approximately 15 years but with technology changing so rapidly it is not a surprise that you and your family will enjoy big benefits from a newer model.
Seeing as the fridge is often the most expensive appliance you will purchase for your kitchen, be sure to do your research before making a purchase. Choose a model that not only fits into your kitchen layout and your style but one that matches your food storage needs.
When purchasing a new refrigerator try not to underestimate the bells and whistles. Some features may seem costly and extra while shopping around, some may appear to be strictly for convenience—a convenience you can certainly live without—but it is important to look at the big picture: the investment in your home as well as practical things like your food storage, grocery shopping, electricity bills, family dinners, ability to hosting events, having guests over, healthy diet, comfort foods, keeping leftovers, and all of the other wonderful ways our refrigerators support our day to day family lives. . Therefore, it is important to look for unique Liebherr features such as BioFresh, NoFrost, SuperFrost, Vario Boxes. These all distinguish the Liebherr’s premier European brand as the best healthy food preservation and their ability to save energy.
If you’re looking for a European made, state of the art, and affordable refrigerator for your home, Liebherr delivers outstanding quality, design and innovation. For more information on why to choose Liebherr, check out this wonderful article in the FreshMAG blog: https://blog.liebherr.com/appliances/us/liebherr-reasons/
Some more tips for you
- When buying a new refrigerator, always recycle the old one.
- Position your fridge away from heat sources (ovens, dishwashers, heating vents, direct sunlight).
- Clean your condenser coils regularly! Accumulated dust can restrict airflow and cause the refrigerator’s motor to work harder, using more energy.
- Don’t over fill the fridge. Allow for airflow inside the
- Keep the door and seals clean and tight.