- You may think most things have to be refrigerated but many actually don’t.
- Tomatoes should be kept out.
- Don’t put avocados in the fridge.
When it comes to groceries, most of us probably assume the fridge is the best place to store items we want to keep fresh. However, there are actually a surprising number of foods that shouldn’t be refrigerated.
From produce to condiments, here are a few things that actually taste better and can even last longer if kept at room temperature.
You can leave some salad dressings at room temperature, but others should be kept cool.
Free up room in your refrigerator by storing your vinegar-based dressings in the pantry instead. According to The Kitchn, salad dressings that don’t contain ingredients like cream, vegetables, fruit juice, nut oils, yogurt, or mayonnaise can be kept at room temperature.
A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t refrigerate the components of a salad dressing on their own, they probably don’t need to be chilled once combined.
Don’t put your tomatoes in the fridge if you want them to taste their best.
Most grocery stores keep their tomatoes un-refrigerated, which is exactly what the experts say you should do at home. According to the National Academy of Sciences, keeping store-bought tomatoes in the fridge will result in loss of flavour, mealiness, and loss of firmness. You’ll also be setting your tomatoes up for uneven ripening, decay, and non-development of aroma compounds.
Keep your salads and sauces flavorful by letting your tomatoes sit, uncovered, at room temperature until you eat them.
Keep your hot sauce out of the fridge to maintain its flavour.
You probably don’t think twice about tossing a bottle of hot sauce in the fridge after opening it, but keeping it at room temperature is likely the better move.
Popular hot sauce brands such as Frank’s RedHot, Cholula, Texas Pete, and Huy Fong Foods recommend keeping most of their sauces at room temperature. Sauces that contain fruit, vegetables, or eggs are the exception and should be kept in the fridge to keep them from spoiling.
Potatoes should be stored in paper bags.
Get those spuds out of the fridge. According to Food Republic, potatoes shouldn’t be refrigerated because it affects their flavour. Instead, pop them in a cool dry place, like a paper bag to keep them fresh for about three weeks. Don’t store potatoes in plastic bags, as the plastic will trap moisture and make them spoil faster.
Peaches shouldn’t be chilled if you want the best flavour.
Peaches are best eaten when perfectly ripe, so don’t throw them in the fridge before they have had a chance to reach their peak on the kitchen counter. According to The Kitchn, you can store ripe peaches in the refrigerator for a few days but run the risk of losing that juicy freshness. For long term storage, freezing is the way to go.
Let avocados ripen on the counter, not in the fridge.
Get a perfectly ripe avocado by leaving your fruit on the counter rather than storing it in the fridge. According to Epicurious, this is the best way to ensure the avocado retains its buttery texture and rich taste. Storing avocados in the fridge will make them last longer and ripen more slowly, but you’ll lose some of the fruit’s flavour in the process.
Keep your honey in perfect condition by storing it in the pantry.
Honey can last for decades or even centuries if it’s properly stored. However, stashing your honey in the fridge may lead it to crystallize and could even destroy many of its natural amino acids and vitamins.
Keep your honey happy by storing it in an airtight glass container away from light and extreme temperatures. If your honey crystallised, simply immerse the glass container in a bowl of warm water to dissolve the crystals.
You technically don’t need to refrigerate butter, but you should follow a few guidelines.
Butter storage can be a divisive topic. Some people insist on storing it in the refrigerator, while others tend to keep butter on the counter for easy access and spreadability.
Food-safety experts told TODAY that you can store butter at room temperature for one to two weeks as long as its salted, pasteurised, and stored in an air-tight container. It’s safe as long as you avoid cross-contamination with other foods and you plan on using the butter up fairly quickly.
Due to butter’s high fatty acid content, it’s a less friendly breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. However, butter will go rancid if kept at room temperature for too long and storing it in the fridge is the best way to keep it as bacteria-free as possible.
Some melons should be left on the counter, not stored in the fridge.
This summertime fruit does far better at room temperature than in the fridge, accord to Farmers’ Almanac.
If you pick up an unripe cantaloupe, leave it on the counter for a few days to ripen before slicing it up and storing it in the fridge. Watermelon can also be kept at room temperature until it is cut, though honeydew melon should be refrigerated right away.
Onions need proper air circulation outside of the fridge.
There’s a reason that onions come in those mesh bags – these veggies need plenty of air flow to keep them from going bad before their time. According to HuffPost, onions keep best in dark, dry places like the pantry and should be isolated from other produce, as the gases they emit can cause spoilage.
Putting garlic in the fridge could encourage mould growth.
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, How Stuff Works reported that stowing garlic in the fridge actually promotes the growth of mould. The best way to keep garlic fresh and flavorful is to store it in a paper bag, egg carton, or mesh bag and keep it in a dark, dry place with plenty of air circulation. Garlic that is stored in a moist environment and exposed to light may sprout.
You probably shouldn’t be freezing your coffee.
Though you may have seen a barista pull a bag of coffee beans from the freezer, you probably shouldn’t be storing your coffee the same way.
As coffee expert Scott McMartin explained to Real Simple, the best way to store ground or whole coffee beans is in an airtight container away from heat, light, and moisture. Freezing or refrigerating the beans you use daily causes temperature fluctuations that negatively impact taste.
Though freezing is fine if you have a large amount of beans that need to be kept fresh for a prolonged period, don’t throw your day-to-day coffee supply in the fridge if you want the best flavour from your beans.
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