Vanilla beans, expensive as they are, warrant proper storage when fresh to preserve their suppleness. To keep vanilla beans from drying out, store them in a tall bottle (such as a clean caper bottle) filled with vanilla extract. The beans stay moist, full of flavor, and ready to use.
2. Double-decker egg storage
It’s not uncommon to purchase a new carton of eggs before you’ve used up the old one. To save fridge space and make sure the older eggs get used first, place the newer carton upside down on a shelf and set the older eggs in the now-inverted cups on the bottom of the carton.
3. No-tears onion storage
Onions are a staple of many different types of cooking, but they can be tricky to store—they need a cool, dry place or they quickly spoil. Here are a few tips for protecting your onion stash. A. It’s always best to use up foods that have been sitting in the pantry for a while before breaking into a fresh supply. Here’s a trick for doing this with onions: using a permanent marker, lightly mark a small x on the skin of each onion in your storage bin. Leave any new onions you add to the bin unmarked. Use the marked onions first. When all of the marked onions have been used, mark the remaining onions. B. The high sugar content of vidalia onions, which is what endears them to cooks, also makes them spoil more quickly if they are stored touching each other. Turn to an unusual place—the hosiery drawer—to avoid this issue. Place a vidalia onion in the leg of an old but clean pair of pantyhose. Tie a knot in the hose, just above the onion. Repeat this process up the entire leg of the pantyhose. C. Instead of discarding empty clementine orange containers, keep the stackable crates in your pantry for storing onions, potatoes, and other items that benefit from exposure to air. D. Looking for a convenient way to store onions, shallots, and garlic in a dark, cool place with plenty of air circulation? Try dusting off your bamboo steamer. The baskets stack easily and allow just enough air circulation to prevent mold.
4. Hello, my name is…leftover cheese
If leftover cheese hunks aren’t returned to their original packaging, it can be hard to remember what type of cheese you’re storing. To keep track, snip the label from the original packaging and store it with the leftovers.
5. Goat cheese bunker
Rather than rewrapping a log of fresh goat cheese every time you use a portion, store it in a covered butter dish. That way, the cheese is neatly protected and easy to use.
6. Keeping fish extra-fresh
Fresh fish and shellfish are best purchased and served on the same day. If fish must be stored, even briefly, it is best kept on ice. Instead of keeping seafood in a messy container of melting ice, place a layer of sealed frozen ice bricks (the kind used in picnic coolers) along the bottom of the meat drawer in the refrigerator. Place the wrapped fish on top of the ice bricks. For firm-fleshed fish and shellfish, place additional ice bricks on top. Replace melted ice bricks with fully frozen bricks as necessary.
7. Cool tuna
Tuna fish salad sandwiches are quick and easy. But it can be annoying to wait for the freshly made tuna salad to chill after opening a new can and making the salad. Solve this problem by storing cans of tuna fish in the fridge for fast-tracked lunch anytime. (this tip is recommended only for water-packed tuna.)