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What is the best refrigerator temperature for storing food?

5 minute read |

Having the right refrigerator temperature settings not only helps you keep your food fresh, it also contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle in the process. Yet not everyone knows what the best refrigerator temperature for food is or even how to adjust refrigerator temperature control properly.

No worries, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn helpful advice from Electrolux experts.

What is the best refrigerator temperature for storing food?

1. What temperature should a refrigerator be?

It's advised by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that recommended temperature for refrigerator and freezer is at or below 4℃ and below -18℃, respectively.

For daily use, household refrigerator temperature range should be set between 1.7 – 3.3℃ or close to freezing. This temperature range helps to slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent food from spoiling.

It is important to note that different parts of the refrigerator may have slightly different temperatures. It is a good idea to use a thermometer to check the temperature in different areas of the fridge. For example, the temperature in the door shelves may be slightly higher than the temperature in the back of the refrigerator.

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Some default temperature settings for ideal food storage condition on modern refrigerators

2. What temperature should a freezer be?


As mentioned above, the ideal temperature for a freezer is -18°C or below. This temperature helps to keep food frozen and prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause foodborne illnesses.

While refrigerator freezer temperature should be at or below -18°C, it is also important to keep the temperature as consistent as possible to ensure that the food stays frozen and safe to eat. It is recommended to use a thermometer to check the temperature in the freezer regularly and adjust the temperature settings as needed to maintain the proper temperature.


>>> Read more: How to remove bad smells from refrigerator


How to check your refrigerator temperature?


Based on the ideal temperatures mentioned above, it’s important to know what temperature your fridge is maintaining. Latest refrigerators such as some single door refrigerator models from Electrolux even come with a digital temperature readout inside or sometimes even on the outside of the appliance, making such temperature checks super easy.



Digital temperature readout on latest refrigerators from Electrolux

If you don’t have a refrigerator with such a readout, we recommend that you buy a refrigerator thermometer. These are specifically designed for use with refrigerators, and you can find them in kitchen supply stores or online.

Place the thermometer in a place inside your refrigerator for which you want to monitor the temperature. Leave it there for a few hours before you take the first reading. You can then use this information to decide whether your refrigerator’s temperature control needs to be adjusted.

How to adjust refrigerator temperature control?

To make sure that your refrigerator is always at an ideal temperature, it’s very important that you learn how to use it correctly – and that means understanding the temperature controls. Depending on the make and model of your refrigerator, these controls can look quite different, but they usually work either with numbered or named power levels.

Where are the temperature controls on my refrigerator?

On most modern fridges, the temperature controls can be found on an interior control panel or on a slider control panel on the outside.

Some top and bottom freezer refrigerators have a temperature control found inside the freezer compartment, which controls both the freezer and refrigerator temperatures.


Temperature control inside the freezer compartment


In some older models, the temperature control may be at the bottom or back of the refrigerator. This control may be a dial or slider, and it may be labeled with temperature ranges or numbers.

How do you use refrigerator temperature controls with numbers?

Usually, the numbers on your refrigerator’s temperature controls don’t directly correspond to temperature. That means that if you set your refrigerator to “1”, it will not automatically cool the inside of the appliance to 1 degree.

Most often, these numbers are power levels ranging from 1 to 5 or 9, with the highest number standing for the highest power level.


Temperature controls with numbers on a freezer

How do you use refrigerator temperature controls labeled with words?

If your refrigerator temperature controls are labeled with words such as "cold," "colder," or "coldest,", or “low”, “medium”, and “high”, you should first refer to the user manual. See if it provides guidance on how to use the temperature controls.

It may also give recommendations for the best setting for different types of food. If you’re unsure, start with the middle setting, which is often labeled as "normal" or "recommended."

>>> Read more: How to keep green leafy vegetables fresh in fridge

Extra tips to keep your refrigerator cool


To make sure the temperature inside your refrigerator stays evenly cool, it is important to make sure that the appliance is not overloaded, as this can interfere with the circulation of air and cause some areas to be colder than others. It’s also a good idea to keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible so the cold air can’t escape.

Latest refrigerators from Electrolux offers a wide variety of technologies that help you keep your refrigerator cool and your food fresh and tasty.

The EvenTemp technology minimizes temperature fluctuations by cooling each shelf individually, creating a more consistent temperature. TwinTech Cooling keeps temperature and humidity levels stable while QuickChill lets you cool large amounts of fresh food quickly.

Electrolux UltimateTaste 900 refrigerator offers ideal storage with 5 temperature settings


If you are on the market for a new fridge, learn helpful refrigerator buying tips here or take a look at our best-selling Electrolux refrigerators below:

  • TasteLockPlus keeps vegetables fresh for 7 days*.
  • EvenTemp reduces temperature fluctuations.
  • Spacious freezer provides ample storage.
  • TasteLockPlus keeps vegetables fresh for 7 days*.
  • EvenTemp reduces temperature fluctuations.
  • ChillRoom is ideal for meat, cheese, and snacks.
  • Storage space for all types of food and drinks.
  • TasteLockPlus keeps vegetables fresh for 7 days*.
  • EvenTemp reduces temperature fluctuations.
  • FlexiShelf allows adaptable spaces for different-sized items
  • DynamicAir ensures stable temperature
  • FastCool function cools new ingredients quickly

FAQs about refrigerator temperature


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