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Protecting some foods from refrigerator odors? What odors? My ref doesn't have ODORS!

People have posted about the need to protect some foods from refrigerator odors. What're those? I don't have durian and unwashed socks in my refrigerator. What odors will my cheese left out on a small plate in the ref pick up? I sniff around in there, but have yet to detect any off or foul odors.

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  1. I have put half an onion in a ziploc and popped it in the veg bin and have smelled it the next day,not over whelming but still there it was

    6 Replies
    1. re: pikiliz

      I wrap and tightly twist shut the occasional onion half in palstic wrap to minimize contact with air.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          I do onion halves, limburger the same way, with Saran Wrap. Even my pet waste until pickup day is Saran wrapped in the freezer- things get a little odoriferous here in the Florida summer otherwise.

          1. re: Veggo

            My dad always kept his limburger in a glass jar. wrapped in plastic and then put in the jar.

          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

            I either wrap the occasional onion half in foil or put it in a ziploc bag. Have never encountered any odors as a result of that.

          3. re: pikiliz

            On an impulse buy, I picked up a tupperware half onion/tomato holder and love it. You hang it on the shelf so you don't lose half an onion (which I did too often) and it's reusable.


          4. My cohabitant complains that the smell of my awesome Hooligan cheese permeates the fridge and is gross. So I have to wrap it in wax paper AND stash it in a plastic pint container (what the hell do we call generic Tupperware?). To me, it is an aroma. To him, it is a stink. Chacun à son odeur.

            3 Replies
            1. re: small h

              My last cohabitant would have just eaten the cheese. That's why I wrap cheeses the same way - so thay won't give themselves away.

              1. re: small h

                Perhaps buy your "cohabitant" a little dorm fridge and he/she can store his/her own freakin' food.

                I'm with Sam. I must have six to eight different cheeses in the fridge right now. No odor --- and I have a VERY sensitive nose - just ask my husband. Get a life, nosey-people.

                1. re: c oliver

                  The complaints are annoying, but less annoying than coming home to find my cheese has disappeared into someone's gullet! Sam practices stealth; I rely on aversion.

              2. Hey, I leave my kim chi in an open, uncovered bowl and everything else, including my limburger cheese smells just like kin chi. I love kin chi flavored butter for my scrambled eggs.

                1. Sometimes ours smells like rotten food. I don't clean it out too often. I wrap EVERYTHING, except takeout/to go things are already packaged. I don't re-wrap them. I keep everything else in zip-locks. Still, I think something died in there! I don't like to throw things away.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Scargod

                    You and Janey should compare notes. My mom is classic for the "what's that smell in the fridge" game because something forgotten has died/grown mold there. YUCK! I suppose you have one of those freezers so stuffed that things come flying out. Thank god it skips a generation--my mom and her sister both had the attack freezers, likely to spring flying frozen meat to hit you right in the toe. Owwwwww!

                  2. My fridge has odors, no doubt. Not a bad thing! I consider it a badge of honour. But odors it has many.

                    Can't really be helped, I like stinky food. If the odors are not there, there is something really wrong with the food item.

                    We have been fermenting kimchi in the fridge, and after returning from our holiday in Italy (report coming soon I hope!), we found that it had overflowed. the smell was quite powerful when we opened the fridge, and it has permeated many a food item, including the butter (as Passa mentioned above). Oh well.

                    We also always have a large number of cheeses around, including many raw milk gems, and some of these can get fairly powerful. Again, it wouldn't be the same if it didn't exert its olfactory qualities.

                    I currently have a high quality KOrean shrimp paste in the fridge in preparation of a kimchi-making session coming soon. We are making my mother's famous stuffed cucumber kimchi, I can't wait! That will add yet another odor to the fridge. The shrimp paste itself is a relatively mild smell, but I have a feeling it would put off those who were not used to it.

                    We have a bunch of leftovers from Indian Take-out - wow you have to love the smell of all those curries and pickles.

                    We have been gorging on strawberries, all the local Quebec ones, and so our fridge is stuffed with berries. Also lends to odors in the fridge, although I think most people tolerate fruity berry smells pretty well.

                    Fortunately, most of the odors in our fridge are strong food odors, not rotting food odors. But I suspect there are those who would find the odors in our fridge off-putting. I have a very sensitive nose, but as long as it is a good food smell, I am very tolerant.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: moh

                        moh, I'd love to be there at your ref. Those aren't odors, those are fragances.

                      2. Mine neither. Most of the time. But recently I made a huge batch of meatballs and popped them in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up before being vacuum-sealed.

                        Let's just say that the flavors of vanilla ice cream and garlic do not play well together.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          Odors transferred in the FREEZER??? You really could taste the garlic in the vanilla ice cream? I wanna try your meatballs.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            I was pretty impressed too. The kids - not so much. (With the ice cream. They like the meatballs.)

                          2. re: alanbarnes

                            Sounds like you're headed to Gilroy for the garlic festival!

                            1. re: alanbarnes

                              Alanbarnes, your meatballs sound great!

                              As for the combination of vanilla ice cream and garlic, well, that sounds rather like the description of durian. I'd be game to try it! And there are certainly people out there who would appreciate this combo, including the organizers of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. I believe they routinely serve garlic ice cream. But I could see that your kids might not be as enamoured of the mix.

                              1. re: alanbarnes

                                Did you fashion them after the famous "Schweaty Meat Balls" ? I heard they were high in garlic. Also, a question: Did the meatballs take on any hint of vanilla?

                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                  Alan, next time you should make Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls instead of meatballs. They'd go better with the vanilla ice cream, I suspect. ;)

                                2. Unless you are storing rotten or spoiled food items, you shouldn't have refrigerator odors.

                                  1. I think it refers to odours from some foods going into others and not necessarily enhancing them. My refrigerator doesn't have odours either, because everything is in jars or covered with plastic wrap (even when there's green fuzz growing inside, but that's a different issue).

                                    I'm sure if you made a habit of storing different things in the refrigerator uncovered you'd notice a LOT of odours, probably all pleasant but not necessarily ideal for everything.

                                    1. On topic, I have to say there are no odours or odors or fragrances or even aromas in my fridge. No way, no how. Every thing is either wrapped in plastic wrap or in tightly sealed refrigerator storage containers. Never should the smells converge. Oh, and that goes for the freezer too.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Gio

                                        Doesn't even smell of disinfectant? Plastic?

                                        1. re: Scargod

                                          Nope.....Just nice and clean. In each crisper bin there is a disc which preserves produce longer than a week. This is a big help when I haven't used all the veggies within a few days. They're called "Extra life discs." Here's a link:

                                          I think it's essential not to cram stuff into the fridge. Air needs to circulate to keep the food fresh. That's why we usually shop twice a week, Wed. & Sat. That's my secret for an odor-free fridge. Oh... and the weekly cleaning inside & out.

                                      2. I am sitting in Scargod's kitchen as I type and can attest that his fridge has the finest kind mixed aromas of Texas red chile, tomatillo green chile, left over BBQ'd tuna and chipotle lamb chops.

                                        13 Replies
                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                          I just bought a three-pack of what Gio was recommending above so I could be more PC. That and I can't eat my veggies fast enough.

                                          1. re: Scargod

                                            Another crutch you can use is an open box of Arm & Hammer baking soda on a shelf in the back. It absorbs odors....I've used it for years.

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              I've done that before. I would have to put a case in there.... not enough room.
                                              My fridge REEKS of garlic right now.
                                              Soda doesn't last for years. ;<')

                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                Why does your fridge reek of garlic, S-man?

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  Huge package of skinned garlic cloves with a big hole in the plastic on one end. Now in zip-lock.

                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                    Aha! That's pretty boring :) I was anticipating something really good. I've never bought those. I'm quite adept with the side of my knife when I'm not threatening Bob with the pointy end :)

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      I am not lazy; I was anticipating using a lot of garlic. There are plenty of things in the fridge, stinking it up! Cheeses, meats, herbs...
                                                      I don't get fridges that don't smell. Not much is happenin' out of them. Too much cleaning and not enough cookin'.

                                                      1. re: Scargod

                                                        Cupcake, I would NEVER accuse YOU of laziness!!!

                                                        1. re: Scargod

                                                          Scar I kind of like the eau d' boef lingua in your fridge. damn, I wish I brought some home. And those Texas ribs. Also there *a lot* of Koren left overs that are garlic laced. Don't forget to eat the steak tatar and the raw squid before they crawl out!

                                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                                    LOL... Sorry, but it works for me. Or maybe my fridge is just ultra clean....

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      see, Joe, there aint no odors in our refs.

                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                        Yep. Doin' my happy dance ovah heah.

                                            2. sam,

                                              try leaving an uncovered glass of water in your refrigerator for about 24 or 30 hours, then taste it. im guessing it will have picked up some flavors.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                Glass is now in the ref: meet me here in 24 hours!

                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  had a cold yesterday.... what did you find?

                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                    It tasted better. The slight chlorine smell had dissipated. No new smells were detected. I did find the stinkiest thing in the ref: my homemade daikon pickles. Stinky and good.

                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                      then you do indeed have an immaculate icebox. and the daikon sounds great.

                                              2. We keep the refrigerator clean, but with the amount of exotic stuff we have in there, odors happen.

                                                I find that if I buy too much butter, and it has a chance to sit for a couple of weeks, it picks up odors (even though the wax paper around the sticks is intact). No specific odor, just a "stale" kinda funk going on. I've taken to wrapping the sticks that're not in use in a sturdy zip-lock freezer bag (but in the fridge).

                                                1. I don't think it's necessarily a matter of bad odours, but just of general food smells that are transferred to other foods.

                                                  Like, have you ever put a glass of milk back in the fridge uncovered? I bet you it will taste like whatever is in your fridge in a few hours. Onions, leftovers, whatever.

                                                  Same thing with milkshakes or ice cream in the freezer. I don't know what it is about dairy, but it seems to pick up on alot of the other foods' aromas, even if they are subtle or basically undectable by scent.