While a lot of meat and dairy products need to be refrigerated to keep from molding or going bad, there are a lot of other foods that don’t necessarily need to be refrigerated, including some that should never be. A refrigerator is a very specific, cool, dark environment that isn’t hospitable for every kind of food item. After reading this article, you might need to make some more space in your pantry.
Keep reading to find out a better place to store your carrots, pineapples, and dark chocolate.
Keep Apples Out Of The Cold
Apples can last a week or two at room temperature, but they start to get mealy pretty quickly if you keep them in the fridge. Also, apples can cause other fruits to ripen faster because of the natural gas that they emit. You don’t want to trap all of that gas in your fridge with your other perishables.
Enzymes within apples become far more active at room temperature, making the apples way more nutritious.
Keep reading to see why ‘cool as a cucumber’ is just a saying and not a fact.
Avocados Do Better On The Counter
If you have some unripe avocados that you want to ripen up, the fridge is definitely not the place for them. The cold air causes avocados to ripen more slowly. Leave your avocados in a cool, dry place, like on your counter in the open air.
But make sure to eat them before they get too ripe. There’s nothing worse than an overripe avocado. If you feel like your avocados are starting to get too ripe, you can pop them in the fridge to slow down that process.
Keep Bananas Out In The Open
Bananas hold on to their nutrients better when they are kept out of the fridge. Cold temperatures actually slow down the ripening process (as we saw with the avocados). But there is also a lot of moisture in most refrigerators which can cause bananas to turn brown or even black.
If you really want to keep bananas around for a long time, slice them into small pieces and store them in plastic bags in the freezer. Frozen bananas are perfect for smoothies.
Keep reading to find out where you should be keeping your bread.
Grow Your Own Basil
You shouldn’t store basil cuttings in the fridge. Refrigerators are dark and your basil can’t get any sunlight in there. Basil has been known to wilt in the fridge.
Instead, place any leftover basil in a cup half full of fresh water, and then place that cup by a sunny window. Your basil will last a lot longer, and it may even sprout roots, which means that you can replant it and grow infinite basil.
Don’t Dry Out Your Bread
Nothing dries out bread faster than leaving it in the refrigerator. At cold temperatures, bread will turn stale, dry, and tasteless. Also, bread acts as a kind of sponge and it will soak up whatever odors are lingering around your fridge.
To be safe, store leftover bread in a breadbox. This closed-off box will keep moisture from escaping from your delicious bread. If you don’t have a breadbox, you can always store your bread in a microwave. Just make sure you don’t accidentally turn it on.
Cool As A Cucumber’ Is Just A Saying
Cucumbers do not do well when they’re left in the fridge. They can quickly become waterlogged and lose a lot of their flavor. Instead, store your cucumber on your counter or in a pantry. Just don’t forget that you left it there. You don’t want to find a rotten cucumber in your pantry later on.
If you want your cucumbers to be cool because you want to put them on your eyes or something, then you can leave them in the fridge momentarily or store slices of cucumber in ice water.
Mustard Can Stay In The Cupboard
Mustard is similar to ketchup in that it can last longer outside of the fridge. In fact, mustard can last even longer than ketchup because it contains a natural acid that acts as a preservative.
Mustard can last way longer than you’d think, in or out of the fridge, but you don’t need to take up fridge space with this condiment. Save room in the fridge for all of those leftover hotdogs.
Aged Cheese Is Cured
This one might seem counterintuitive, but when it comes to aged cheeses, you don’t need to store them in the fridge. We know, cheese is a dairy product, but because the aged ones have been cured, they are shelf-stable.
The curing process for cheeses like gouda, gruyere, and cheddar can take up to six months, and like salami, turns your cheese into a living product, so please treat it with the respect it deserves.
Save The Carrots!
Carrots can actually rot and become waterlogged and droopy if they’re left in the fridge for too long. You should store your carrots away from direct sunlight in a place with low moisture.
If you’re cutting up a bunch of carrots to serve alongside chicken wings or something, you can put them in a container of water and place that in the fridge, but only if you’re going to eat them within a few hours.
Do Not Keep Cereal In The Fridge
The fridge is not a place where cereal belongs. The moisture in there will cause the cereal to wilt and become much less crunchy.
Cereal should always be stored in a cool dry place, like a pantry or a cupboard. Nobody likes soggy cereal. Unless you’re one of those people who like to let your cereal get soggy in the milk before you eat it…
Chocolate Doesn’t Belong In The Fridge (Sorry)
Many people absolutely love cold chocolate, but the ideal temperature for chocolate is actually between 65 and 68°F, which is much warmer than the average refrigerator.
Only store your chocolate in the fridge if you live in a very warm part of the world and your chocolate is at risk of melting completely. If you really love freezing cold chocolate though, we’re not going to stop you from eating it that way.
Read on to learn more about why some cultures don’t keep eggs in the fridge.
Citrus Fruits Belong In The Pantry
Typically, ripe fruit is a sweet fruit, which means that fruit that’s kept at room temperature will ripen faster and develop more sweetness. Citrus fruit can be rather sour if it’s not given enough time or space to ripen.
Keep fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes out of the fridge. If you absolutely love cold oranges, store them outside of the fridge, but pop them into the fridge an hour or two before you want to eat them.
Don’t Refrigerate Your Leftover Coffee
You can actually keep coffee in the fridge as long as it’s in an airtight container. This goes for both coffee beans and leftover brewed coffee. Generally, coffee beans need to be in a cool dry place, and a fridge is cool, but not very dry.
Brewed coffee can make everything else in your fridge smell like coffee, and if it’s too hot, it can actually raise the temperature of your whole fridge, which is damaging to all of the meat and dairy you have in there.
Don’t Refrigerate Tomatoes!
If you take one thing away from this whole article, please do not store tomatoes in the fridge. These delicious, juicy, red fruits thrive in cool, dry, airy environments. Leave them in a bowl on your counter.
If you store tomatoes in the fridge, they’ll quickly lose all of their delicious flavor, texture, and nutrients. Tomatoes stored in the fridge can have a sort of sour taste.
Eggs Aren’t Kept In The Fridge In Some Parts Of The World
In some countries, eggs aren’t kept in the refrigerator in grocery stores or in people’s homes. That’s how it’s done across the pond in the UK. A study recently uncovered there found that it actually makes no difference whether or not you store your eggs in the fridge, so you might as well save yourself some fridge space.
Not so in the US! Please keep in mind that the FDA recommends that eggs be kept in the fridge because they’re usually washed of their protective coating. It’s best to read the full precautionary statement before quitting the fridge on this one.
Don’t Put Flour In The Fridge
We haven’t met very many people who store wheat flour in the fridge (I don’t think I’ve met any, actually), but just in case you were thinking about putting flour in the fridge, there is absolutely no reason to do so.
Flour should be stored in a dry place and in an airtight container. You can put it in the fridge if you want, but it’s just going to take up a lot of fridge space.
Most Tropical Fruits Like Tropical Environments
Tropical fruits come from tropical places where it’s warm and rainy and the sun is always shining. You don’t want to take a tropical fruit and put it in a cool, dry fridge. That’s the opposite of what it needs.
Fruit like mangoes, plums, kiwi, apricots, and peaches actually ripen at a slower rate in the fridge and they’ll lose flavor and nutrients faster. Just leave tropical fruit in a bowl out on your table or kitchen counter. They’re so pretty to look at, too. Leave them out for everybody to see.
Ketchup Doesn’t Need To Be Stored In The Fridge
Contrary to popular belief, ketchup doesn’t actually need to be stored in the fridge, even after the bottle is open. That’s why all of those diners can just leave glass bottles of Heinz ketchup out on the tables for hours at a time.
This stuff is chock-full of preservatives. As long as you don’t contaminate it, ketchup can last for a really long time. Now you don’t need to worry when you’re slathering it onto your burger.
Keep reading to see how mustard fares outside of the fridge.
Keep Garlic Out Of The Fridge
Garlic is another food item that doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge. If you do keep it in the fridge, it can get rubbery and even start to sprout. It can look totally normal, but then when you cut it open, you’ll notice little green sprouts inside.
Leave your garlic in a specialized garlic jar, or even in a pair of breathable nylon pantyhose. You can also peel the garlic and store the peeled cloves in your freezer.
Oh Honey, Don’t Put Honey In The Fridge
It may seem obvious to you, but you really shouldn’t store honey in the refrigerator. The cold air will cause the honey to crystallize, which isn’t great. If your honey does crystallize, just put the whole jar in a warm water bath to dissolve the crystals.
Honey is a natural preservative, so it doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge or freezer for it to last a long time.
Hot Sauce Likes It Hot
When it comes to any kind of hot sauce, you have to remember that these products have a pretty long shelf life. They’re full of natural preservatives like vinegar and they often don’t contain very many actual fruits or vegetables.
You should store hot sauce away from direct sunlight and keep it in a cool, dry place like a pantry or a cupboard. If you’re a hot sauce fanatic, you might just want to leave it on the table because you know you’re going to use it again with your next meal.
Jam Your Jam Into The Pantry
Jam is packed with preservatives, both natural and artificial, and it’s literally built to last. Keeping it in the fridge won’t make it last any longer.
What will make it last longer is taking care not to contaminate your jam jar. If you’re having jam with any kind of cheese (by the way, fig jam, pictured here, goes wonderfully with brie, and basically every cheese on the planet) don’t use the same knife to spread your jam and cut your cheese. If you get any cheese in your jam jar, that will make it spoil faster.
Melons Don’t Need To Be Refrigerated
There is nothing better than a cool slice of watermelon on a hot summer day, but you really shouldn’t be storing your watermelon in the fridge. When kept at room temperature, melons will keep their natural antioxidant levels balanced.
If you want that delicious cold melon, store the melons at room temp, slice them up about an hour before you’re ready to eat them, put those slices in the fridge, and enjoy an hour later.
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