Storing canning Jars in an extra Refrigerator.

by Rebekah

We have just moved into a temporary (for 1-2 years) smaller home that is short on storage space. Since the place we are renting comes with a fridge, we are storing our fridge plugged in the garage.

We were told to keep it full for energy efficiency, but since I'm not used to having a second fridge, right now it is completely empty.

I have been canning away this summer and I was wondering, is there any reason why I can't store the items I've canned in the fridge? (jams, tomatoes, peaches, green beans, tomato sauce)

Would the moisture be an issue? I can't find any information on this online. I love your site and I am hoping you will know.
Thank you! Rebekah


I asked your question on my facebook page to get other opinions. I don't know if you are on facebook but you might check it out.

The consensus there seems to be that moisture might be a problem. No one mentioned actually trying it them selves though.

I'd suggest keeping jugs of water in this extra fridge for storage. Someone on FB mentioned root crops or apples too. I hadn't thought of that.

The expense of running the extra fridge kind of defeats the benefits of canning so you can just store on the shelf, but since you want to run the fridge anyway that might not be an issue for you.

Another thought is you really don't want any jars to freeze. I don't know about your fridge but I know if mine is packed full items that are close to the vent where the cold air is pumped in will freeze. So that would be a concern.

Can you just leave the refrigerator unplugged until you have more to fill it? If you do this be sure and leave the door cracked open a bit. Sometimes they will get stinky inside if there is any moisture left.

Also be very sure the door can't close on someone inside. Children might think it is a fun place for hide and seek if it is not on and cold. I've heard stories of suffocation.

Hope that helps.

Here are some comments from the gals at FB

Donna - I've known of second-fridge storage users that stored water (as mentioned) and also would make up freezer jams, freeze them up and then store them en-masse in that 2nd fridge where they had slow slow defrost - also a great place to store root veggies and apples for longer periods.

Julie - I wouldn't do it because it might cause it to spoil with all the access moisture and make you sick. And it could alternate the taste as well. I would say if your going to put it in jars put it in jars if your going to put it in the fridge freeze it to be on the safe side.

Holly - Not a good idea instead have some cleaned milk jugs in the fridge with water. It is a great way to fill the fridge and store water for a emergency. If our electric goes out we have a well no water. And if you need more fridge space (party, holiday food) water jugs can be taken out easily stored out of fridge.

Darice My grandma had two fridges she kept in her basement- one running and one not- from the 1950's. She did keep canned goods in both and never had a problem with them. She labeled them all with the month and year they were canned. As long as the seal wasn't broken, the food was fine. This was way before fridges had defrost too.

Here are some more canning jar storage pages

Storing you canning jars

Storing canning jars: an excercise in creativity!

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