Do you have a pantry and struggle to keep it cool? Is the food in your pantry going bad? Do you have a bad smell coming from your pantry? A poorly ventilated pantry can cause all this. Therefore, having a pantry requires good maintenance to keep it functioning as it should. For example, I recently visited Slovakia, where my kids’ grandparents live. They have a fully stocked pantry, but I noticed it was cold when I stepped in—not powered by a refrigerator but by an air circulation system. According to them, the pantry has been there for over 50 years and maintains its temperature in both summer and winter.
They could keep cooked food on the pantry floor and still maintain its taste without it going bad. So I asked, “How did they keep the pantry so cool?”
The answer I got was ventilation. So the first and most important thing to do is to ensure your pantry has a good ventilation system and is not located in a humid area.
How to keep the pantry cool
Use adjustable shelves
If you buy new shelving for the pantry, get ones with adjustable heights—you’ll want them as high as possible. When stocking the shelves, keep foods that need more room, like beans, at the back, so they don’t touch any other cans or packages.
If you use your pantry as storage for blankets or toys, put a dehumidifier in the room or keep the doors open. It’s also helpful to keep a small fan in the room to circulate air and discourage mold and fungus growth.
You can buy an air purifier and put it inside the pantry door to take things one step further. This will help reduce any smells that get trapped there. You can also put jars of activated charcoal with tight-fitting lids under one or two shelves to eliminate extra odors.
When you’re shopping to stock your pantry, keep these things in mind:
Organize the food, so it’s easier for you to reach.
It should be right at eye level, as close to the front of the shelf as possible, and out of reach of dust bunnies. Then, in case of an unexpected crisis, you’ll be able to get the food in your pantry more quickly.
Keep food types together.
Don’t mix meat with vegetables or fruit with grains or proteins.
Keep foods that spoil quickly on their own, don’t put anything on top of other food items that would make them go bad faster.
Avoid storing foods like canned goods with a very high acid content in your pantry. This includes an overabundance of tomatoes and tomato sauce, many fruits, and pickled items.
Sealed glass bottles
Don’t buy food in a glass bottle unless the bottle has a seal around it. You want to prevent breakage and discourage pests from going after anything in your pantry.
Remove unused items
You want to reach all of your food quickly, especially when there’s a disaster on the horizon. So if you don’t need something, take it out and set it aside. This will keep you from overstocking for no good reason and allow you to get out of your pantry faster if something happens.
Use small windows
You need small ventilation windows if you are not building an underground pantry. Using large windows is not ideal for a pantry because there is too much light and air coming in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should a pantry be cold?
To ensure that your non-perishable foods always taste their best, the ideal temperature for a pantry is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should maintain this temperature range at all times. However, they caution that heat can lead to the loss of nutrients in your food. Therefore, it is important to maintain a cool temperature in your pantry.
How do you keep humidity out of your pantry?
Mold and mildew grow well in damp places, so a dehumidifier in your kitchen pantry can help stop this from happening. Therefore, think about using a dehumidifier if your kitchen cupboards are damp. This way, you won’t have to worry about dealing with the musty, irritant odor they emit.
You can fight moisture with the help of dehumidifiers, some of which are renewable and disposable. When you buy an ORFELD dehumidifier, you can be sure it will remove extra moisture from your pantry without giving off any dangerous fumes. But, of course, they’re not just for the pantry; they’re also useful in and around the kitchen and cupboards. So that you can get the most out of your dehumidifier, we’ve put together this handy guide.
These people have the pantry built just about 4 feet below the floor level of the house. So the pantry was kept cool from the ground up. Half of the wall is 4 feet down, while the other half is up. So they did not use concrete floors.