Groceries are expensive, and we want to make our food last as long as possible. Most of us would think of the refrigerator as the best place to store food to keep it well-preserved. However, there are some foods that should never end up in your fridge.
Check your fridge for these 30 foods — you might free up some storage space.
Keeping these foods in the refrigerator can alter their flavor and increase the growth of mold. Chances are you’ve inadvertently been storing food incorrectly. Keep reading to find out how to properly store these common items.
Cold temperatures will speed up the process of starch turning into sugar making your potatoes gritty and sweet. Instead, place the potatoes in a paper bag and store them in a cool (not cold) dark place. Martha Stewart says to store them as close to 45 degrees as possible.
Keeping your bananas in the fridge will facilitate rotting, and no one wants a rotten banana. This delicious fruit is best kept on the counter until they’ve ripened.
Refrigeration will zap all of the flavor out of your garlic. Go ahead and leave it in the pantry instead.
Unless you’re trying to halt the ripening process, don’t keep your avocados in the fridge. Placing unripened avocados in the refrigerator will keep them hard and inedible. These belong on the counter with the bananas.
Placing your onions in the fridge will make them soft and moldy. Yuck. According to the National Onion Association in the U.S, unpeeled onions should be kept out of plastic bags and fridge. They need air to reach maximum life. A peeled onion, though, should go in the fridge.
6. Dried Beans
Putting dried beans in the fridge will deplete their flavor. Not to mention, it could even cause your beans to sprout. No one wants a garden in their fridge, so they’re better kept on the shelf.
The fridge will dry out your bread very quickly. Bread should be kept out for up to four days before freezing it for later use. Unless the bread is sliced sandwich bread that you intend to eat within a few days, bread is best kept on the counter, in a bread box, or in the freezer.
Ground coffee and beans are best kept in an airtight container or the freezer. Placing coffee in the fridge will lose its flavor much faster than when kept at room temperature. If you have large amounts of beans or grounds, freeze them in an airtight container.
Honey hardens and crystallizes when kept in the refrigerator rendering it pretty much useless. Honey is super easy to store. An open jar or container of honey can last for up to two years.
10. Pickled things
Anything pickled is already full of so much sodium and brine that it’s sitting in its own preservative. No need for refrigeration here!
Cold temperatures will speed up the ripening process of the berries and leave that yucky fuzz all over them. Berries should be kept on the counter and eaten while they’re ripe and delicious.
12. Olive oil
Olive oil will turn into a thick, butter-like texture if kept in the refrigerator. It’s best stored in a cool (but not cold), dark place.
If you place basil in the fridge, it will wilt much quicker. Instead, place the basil in a cup of fresh water like you would flowers. You can also blanch and freeze it if you want to store the delicious herb for a long period of time.
Tomatoes will be stripped of all their flavor if they are stored in the fridge. The refrigerator will also warp the texture. Keep tomatoes in a bowl or a basket on the counter.
Unless you’ve cut open your melons, don’t put them in the fridge. Keeping melons are room temperature will maintain their antioxidant levels. They will also lose their beta-carotene.
Dark, cool, and dry are the best conditions for a pumpkin, but not cold. Keeping a pumpkin in the fridge will make it mushy.
17. Apricots and peaches
Just like tomatoes, these tender fruits will halt in the ripening process if kept in the fridge. They will also lose their nutrients. Keep them on the counter instead.
18. Peanut butter
Keeping your peanut butter in the fridge will turn it hard, dry, and impossible to spread. If you keep your peanut butter in the cupboard instead, it will be soft and spreadable.
Just about every other country besides the United States keeps their eggs at room temperature. Storing your eggs outside of the fridge or in the fridge will not change the nutritional properties. It’s perfectly safe to keep eggs in the cupboard instead.
The preservatives that are in ketchup will maintain its quality without needing refrigeration. So if you accidentally forgot to put the ketchup back in the fridge, no big deal — you can leave it out.
21. Canned tuna
Some people store their canned tuna in the fridge, but as long as it’s sealed tight, it can remain at room temperature for months. Plus, it will taste better when eaten at room temperature.
Citrus fruits can experience chill damage if they are kept in the refrigerator. Citrus needs to be at room temperature to fully ripen.
Cucumber will decay very quickly if it’s kept in the fridge. It will also damage the skin. Keep cucumbers in a cool, dry place instead. It will keep fresh for much longer.
Just like cucumbers, refrigeration will speed up a carrot’s decaying process. No one likes a soft carrot. Keep them at room temperature but be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight.
Unless you live in a warm climate where chocolate will easily melt, it’s best left on the counter or in a cupboard. Refrigeration can deplete chocolate’s flavor.
Some people might think that keeping flour in the refrigerator will make it last longer. However, that’s not the case. At room temp or cold temps, it makes no difference; flour will last for months. So, free up some extra fridge space!
Here’s another vegetable that many people think needs refrigeration but does not. In fact, the cold temperatures will dull the peppers color and wrinkle the skin.
All of the preservatives in jam will keep it fresh and safe to eat for months at room temperature. No need to take up fridge real estate for that jar of jam.
Keeping spices in the fridge is some people’s preference, however, this is another food item that doesn’t require refrigeration. Instead, keep spices in a spice rack or in the cupboard.
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Apples will normally last a week or two in a bowl on the counter. If you plan on eating them within a couple of days, leaving them at room temperature is completely fine. However, if you prefer a cold, crisp apple, make sure it is only in the fridge for a couple of days. Otherwise, it will start to rot.