There are many things you don't need to be storing in your refrigerator whether it's not good for them or because you just really didn't realize they were OK in the pantry even after opening. Most people tend to come home and put most fruits and vegetables in the fridge and this can ruin the taste of them and maybe even everything else in the refrigerator.
A few years ago I wrote a post about 25 things you can freeze that you probably didn't know about. It remains one of the most popular posts on Miss Information so I decided to help you out again with this post. One of the most common sense things to do when it comes to fruits and veggies is to follow what your local grocery store does. If they don't have it in the refridgerated section, then you don't need to either. We've all come to be brainwashed that everything lasts long in the fridge when actually you may spoil some things by putting them in there.
I know you will find a few surprises in here. When I did the research for this post I had 5 things on this list in my fridge so now I am happy to say I have more room!
Condiments you don't need to refrigerate after opening
- Ketchup– Yes you can store your ketchup in your pantry, even after it has been opened, due to the amount of vinegar and preservatives is has in it you are well protected.
- Jam and Jelly– Jam and Jellies have a high amount of preservatives. They are also OK to store in the pantry after opening.
- Pickles– Mainly stored in vinegar with some preservatives, pickles will stay crisp in your pantry. But, if you must have them cold to eat, store them in the door of your refrigerator so your coldest spots are available for items that really need them.
- Real maple syrup and honey– Not only do syrups and honey crystallize and get goopy if stored in the fridge putting cold syrup on warm pancakes just isn't appetizing. I also store my Mrs Butterworths in the pantry and have had no issues.
- Hot Sauce– Does something in the name make sense here? There's no need to store these in the fridge, the preservatives and spices protect it even after you open it. Anyway, who wants something that is supposed to be hot cold?
- Soy Sauce– Even in low sodium soy sauce there is enough salt, which is a natural preservative, to keep it safe at room temperature after opening.
What you should not store in your fridge
- Coffee– A lot of people store coffee in their fridge or freezer thinking it will keep longer. It's best to keep it at room temperature so its natural oils can stay intact and be released when brewing. These natural oils are what makes your coffee full of body and flavorful. If you don't drink coffee every day buy it in small batches or use my favorite coffee maker the Cuisinart Single Serve Brewing Machine.
- Bread– Many people store bread in the fridge or freezer but it will make it dry out faster. Store it in a cool cupboard or bread box to make it last longer and make sure to always secure it well after opening.
- Herbs– When you come home from the grocery store fresh herbs need to be taken out of their bags and put into a glass or mason jar filled with water. Store them on the counter in your kitchen until ready to use.
Vegetables you should not store in your refrigerator
- Potatoes– Storing potatoes in the fridge makes the starches turn to sugar. They will have a strange flavor. It's best to keep them stored in a paper bag or basket in a cool, dark cupboard or drawer. Same goes for sweet potatoes.
- Onions– As with potatoes, the best place to store onions is in a paper bag or basket in a cool, dark cabinet or drawer. When stored in the fridge, they become soft and will make everything in your fridge smell like an onion. They will also mold quicker. If you have leftover onions you can see my post on How to correctly dice an onion and not cry and how I freeze them.
- Root Vegetables and Squashes – Any root vegetables or squashes such as jicama, acorn squash, butternut squash just to name a few should not be put in your fridge. Like potatoes and onions store them in a cool dry place until ready to use.
- Garlic– Like onions the smell will permeate everything in your fridge. Store garlic in a garlic keeper or paper bag in a cool, dark spot, and it holds its wonderful flavor for weeks.
Fruits you should not store in your refrigerator
- Tomatoes– Tomatoes will lose their flavor and become mushy with a mealy texture when stored in the fridge. Leave them on the counter or in a basket until you are ready to use them.
- Avocados– Store avocados on the counter until you are ready to use them. They ripen fast so it's best to buy them ripe within a day or two of use. You can put leftovers in the fridge but wrap them tightly with plastic wrap to minimize browning or I love this Evriholder avocado saver, it reduces surface exposure and slows the oxidation process.
- Apples– Apples will also loose their flavor and texture after spending time in the fridge. Leave them on the counter, and toss them in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to eating if you want them cold and crispy.
- Bananas– Leave those bananas on the counter, and if they turn brown before you get to them, toss them in the freezer to make banana bread at a later date.
- Berries– Unless you freeze them for smoothies fresh berries will never last long. Putting them in the fridge makes them loose some flavor, just eat them within a day or two of purchasing.
- Melons– Melons like cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon are best kept outside the fridge until you are ready to cut them or they will break down and become mealy. Only after cutting should you put your leftovers in the fridge.
- Lemons and Limes – These are best stored on the counter so when you cut into them you will get all the juice. Just be careful not to crowd them together in a bowl no matter how great they look because they will mold quicker.
I hope you found this list useful and please leave me a comment below to let me know if there are any other topics you would like for me to share like this I'd love to get your input!