You just hit the grocery store and your fridge is overflowing. But do all those things actually belong in the refrigerator? Cold storage is a necessity for many foods, but the chilly air of the fridge can have a negative effect on some healthy favorites. Keep these foods at their best by keeping them out of the fridge. Here’s a list of 24 items that will do just fine outside the fridge.
Do not store bananas in the fridge. They retain nutrients better outside the fridge and so they should never be placed inside the refrigerator. Bananas are better kept on the counter until they ripen. The cold temperatures actually slow down the ripening process of the bananas, while the moisture and darkness of the fridge will only facilitate rotting.
2. Honey And Maple Syrup
Providing that you keep it in a tightly sealed place, honey will stay good almost forever. Therefore, storing it in your cooler doesn’t make sense. Honey, is a naturally preserved food so it needs no help from us. Ironically enough, placing honey in your refrigerator will in fact speed up the sugar crystallization process. The result of that will be the honey becoming almost dough-like, in form. Thus, making it harder or nearly impossible to scoop or use.
As with honey, maple syrup will crystallize and get goopy if stored in the fridge.
If you purchased an avocado that’s not ripe, you should not place it in your refrigerator. Since they will need time to ripen, keeping in the cold cooler will deter and impede that process. Also, placing the avocado in your fridge should only be done if the avocado is already ripe and you won’t use it right away.
4. Apples, Oranges, And Lemons
Freshly picked apples will do well (and look pretty) on your counter. If they aren’t eaten after a week or two, make them last a little bit longer by then chilling them in the fridge.
Chill damage is a common effect of cold temperature on the fruits filled up with citric acid like oranges or lemons. These citrus fruits need natural temperature for ripening, so keeping them inside the refrigerators hampers this process. You will also see some spots as well as a dull texture on these types of fruits if kept in the refrigerators.
5. Peaches, Apricots, And Other Stone Fruits
Stone fruits such as peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums, that are not yet ripe should be stored outside of the fridge. Once ripened, stone fruits can be stored inside the fridge in the crisper.
Did you know herbs wilt faster in the fridge? You could place them in a water-filled glass jar on your kitchen countertop to keep it fresh and green.
Fresh berries from your local farm taste amazing at room temperature so it’s the sooner the better for munching. For long-term storage keep them in the fridge. To avoid soggy or moldy berries, rinse just before eating.
8. Onions And Garlic
The best way to store onions is in a paper bag in a cool, dark spot, away from potatoes. Potatoes tend to release moisture and gases that can cause onions to rot. They soften and impart an oniony scent on nearby foods. The moisture of the fridge softens the onions and moldy.
Refrigeration reduces the flavor of garlic and affects its lifespan as well. The refrigerated environment can actually cause mold to develop. Store garlic in a paper bag in a cool, dark spot.
It is perfectly fine to freeze bread, but keeping it in the fridge causes it to dry faster. And you end up eating dry bread. Instead, keep what you’ll eat within four days at room temperature and freeze the rest. Store in a cool cupboard or bread box for a fresh slice.
Whether red, green, yellow or even chili peppers, they’re going to be just fine without any refrigeration. Store them in a paper bag in a cool space.
Most oils don’t need to be refrigerated as it will make them thick, harder and cloudy. They should be kept in a cool dark place. However flax seed oil, for example, is extremely unstable and goes rancid quickly, so it’s best kept in the fridge.
Melons normally do best outside the fridge. Once refrigerated, they tend to break down and become powdery and grainy. So to keep the flavor intact, melons need to be stored at room temperature. However, after cutting, you should store the melons in the fridge for three to four days.
High on preservatives, pickles will stay fresh outside the fridge. Store it in an open space, so air can move around it.
14. Hot Sauce
Vinegar and chilies are both well known preserving agents, so they extend the life of the bottle pretty far. The safe bet is that an opened bottle of hot sauce can be stored in your pantry for up to three years. Wash the crust that forms around the bottle cap with warm water regularly as it can harbor bacteria that will spoil the bottle.
Keep in mind that if you’ve been storing a bottle of hot sauce for 2 and a half years it’s going to taste a little different. The chilies have had time to sit making them more potent, and the overall flavor may have degraded slightly.
Humidity in the fridge can cause a buildup of mositure, which is no good for the flavor of ground or whole bean coffee. Store yours in an airtight container in the pantry instead.
16. Soy Sauce
Just like fish sauce, soy sauce is fermented and does not need to be refrigerated unless you are keeping it for more than one year.
17. Salad Dressing
Just like other condiments, most salad dressing, especially ones that are vinegar- or oil-based, are just fine stored outside the fridge. Cream-, yogurt-, or mayo-based dressings should be stored in the fridge.
18. Nuts And Dried Fruits
Colder temps help prevent the natural oils in nuts from going rancid, but the cool environment can stifle the nutty flavor; shelled nuts can also absorb other odors lurking in the fridge. Store nuts in an airtight container in the pantry. If you do have a large amount stashed in the fridge, toast the nuts in a dry pan before using.
Also, there is absolutely no need to refrigerate dried fruits.
Your morning cereals will be fine and happy outside the fridge. So don’t upset them.
20. Jam And Peanut Butter
Due to the high amount of preservatives in jams and jellies, it is acceptable to store without refrigeration, even after opening. You also don’t need to refrigerate peanut butter. Keep it stored in a cool, dark spot and your peanut butter will be just fine.
Refrigeration adversely affects the flavor of potatoes, therefore it is best to store them in paper bags. Remember, plastic bags promote moisture and speed decay process.
If you use ketchup often, do as restaurants and diners do — just leave it out. Ketchup can be kept unrefrigerated for up to one month, but if you don’t think you’ll finish the bottle in that timeframe, it’s best to keep it in the refrigerator.
The chill of the icebox makes tomatoes dull and mealy. Store on the counter (under-ripe ones can go on the windowsill). If they begin to get too ripe, it’s time to make tomato jam or roasted-tomato sauce.
You might not be sure, but that tuna has been sealed, just like in a can, so it’s more than fine stored at room temperature.