What Temperature Should You Keep Your Refrigerator Set At?

During the operation of the refrigerator, questions often arise related to the care of it, the need for defrosting or adjustment.

Today we will talk about what temperature should be in the refrigerator to achieve the optimal result.

Achieving the optimal temperature in the refrigerator is essential for the following reasons:

  • this will allow you to store your products longer;
  • the correct microclimate will preserve their beneficial and taste qualities;
  • this will extend the life of your refrigerator;
  • reduce the frequency of the need to defrost the device;
  • Prevent the appearance of an unpleasant odour in the refrigerator.


Optimum Temperature In The Refrigerator

Next, we will put on the shelves all the nuances, but immediately say that based on the data below, you can quickly determine what temperature should be in the refrigerator so that it is suitable for all (most) types of products.

The temperature in the refrigerator should be in the range of +2 – +4 degrees Celsius.

But wait, don’t leave! A lot depends on the food that is most often stored in your refrigerator and the actual distribution of the cold!


Food Storage Table

Here is a table with the recommended temperature regimes for the refrigerator for the most common foods.

The temperature in the refrigerator should be as follows:

Product Temperature Shelf life
Meat (fresh) +1 +3 up to 36 hours
Fish and seafood (fresh) 0 +2 up to 48 hours
Bollocks +2 +5 max. 4 weeks
Ready meals +2 +5 up to 5 days
Vegetables +4 +7 from 5 to 30 days
Milk optimal +4 different
Fruit +5 +8 (except exotic) Many housewives know that, for example, bananas are better not to store in the refrigerator, because they can turn black there due to too low temperature. The same goes for mangoes, passion fruit, pineapples and others.
Bread +5 up to 3 days
Confectionery with cream +1 +3 up to 72 hours
Ketchup, mayonnaise, sauces +3 +7 from 15 to 120 days


Cold Distribution

It must be remembered that the temperature in different places of the refrigerator may differ.

At a set total temperature of +4 degrees, this will look like this:

  • Usually, the coldest place against the wall is at the chamber’s top (if you have a freezer on top). There will be from +2 to +3. Meat, the fish and semi-finished products from them, as well as other perishable products, should be stored here;
  • On the middle shelves will be in the area from +3 to +5 degrees. Here it is recommended to store “milk”, meat slices, sausage, cheeses, some fruits, bread, etc.;
  • At the same time, the warmest place in the refrigerator is the shelves on the door. Depending on the frequency of opening the fridge, the temperature in this place can range from +5 to +10 degrees. In the door, it is best to put stored ketchup, mustard, sauces, and drinks.
  • In the “freshness zone”, the average temperature is from +5 to +8 degrees and has, we can say, its microclimate. This creates better conditions for storing greens, fruits and vegetables.

If the refrigerator did not open for a long time, its sitting temperature is as much as possible.



As for the freezer, here you need to proceed from how intensely (densely) it is clogged with you.

If in your freezer, as a rule, there are few products and you do not use them too often, you should not put the temperature above -14 degrees.

When the freezer is used often, it is loaded by more than half, and among the products, most of the meat is, it will not be superfluous to reduce the temperature to -20 -24 degrees.

The optimal temperature that should be in the freezer is -18 degrees.

The “Quick Freeze” or “Super Freeze” option is used for quick freezing of fresh products. Typically, this occurs at -24-30 degrees for several hours.

It is believed that this process allows you better to preserve the taste of vegetables, berries, greens.


Temperature Measurement

In which cases people want to know what the temperature level in their refrigerator is:

  • to check its serviceability and operability;
  • when there are doubts about the relevance of the selected temperature regime about the products that are stored;
  • For an accurate understanding of whether it is cold enough in the chamber for specific products.

In modern models, there is a display that displays the current temperature, and it is also possible to set it with an accuracy of up to a degree.

There is only a mechanical power regulator in the old models, and to find out how many degrees are now in the refrigerator, only by putting a thermometer or thermometer.

In the latter case, you will need to put the thermometer on a dry saucer, put it on the middle shelf and leave it for 10 minutes.

In the same way, you can find out the exact number of degrees in any of the zones of any refrigerator (about why it is essential to know, we will talk further).



Following specific rules can help keep your foods longer, tastier, save energy, and extend the refrigerator’s life.

Here are some of the most valuable tips:

  • first of all – do not put in the refrigerator products and food that have not cooled (especially soups);
  • try to close the refrigerator door quickly;
  • do not be lazy to restore order in the “freshness zone” because it is she who is most polluted;
  • Do not expose heavy-duty cooling in both chambers permanently. Otherwise, the refrigerator will work without rest, which will negatively affect its service life and electricity bill;
  • Vegetables, berries, fruits and other things prepared for freezing are best packed in unique bags with a clasp. So it is more compact, and in the case of unforeseen defrosting, they will not leak anywhere;
  • Do not forget to defrost the refrigerator regularly (frequency depends on the type of cooling system).

The most terrible enemy of any refrigerator is an utterly uncontested soup or roast, for the safety of which the hostess (owner) worries more than for an expensive device.

The proper and gentle operation, combined with optimal temperature, will save your food, refrigerator, as well as your nerves and money.

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