By Jason Albert
Fridges are one of the most important parts of our kitchen. The ability to cool our food can keep them fresher for longer, saving time, money, and reduces the risks of eating spoiled foods. However, not all that glitters eis gold – while your milk may benefit from cooling temperatures, there are a surprising number of items you should not refrigerate.
We break down some of the foods that are not appropriate to keep cool, due to potential health risks – this list might just save your life.
Similar to pears, apples benefit most when they are stored at room temperature. This can be tempting to defy since everyone loves a chilled crunchy apple to bite into, but you must resist! The best place to keep an apple is in a fruit bowl in the kitchen.
This is because the fridge can speed up the decay process. This, in turn, ruins the texture, smell, and flavor of your favorite Granny Smith. When you buy them, be sure to keep them warm. After all, this is how they come when you buy them in the store.
Cold climates convert starch into sugar much sooner than warm ones. That’s not very good news for potato lovers! Whether it’s boiled, mashed, or roasted, you can eat them any way you want. Just don’t keep them cold!
When you buy them, be sure to keep them in a cool (but not cold!) and dry place in your kitchen. That way, they’ll last longer and won’t turn too hard before cooking.
It’s safe to say that the banana doesn’t benefit from the cooler climate of a fridge. The cold temperature can actually have the reverse effect by turning them black quicker.
When buying your bananas, be sure to catch them before they’re ripe so they can mature in room temperature in your kitchen. Another fun fact about bananas: they’re great for your blood pressure, so get chewing.
Like bananas, the cold temperature can speed up the rotting process. When buying a melon, try to keep them in a cool, but not cold, and dry place. You’ll probably be buying these in the summer time, so we can see how you would want to keep them cold.
If you’re buying a whole melon you are probably entertaining friends, so make sure to cut it up and eat it quickly before it dries up! This is the perfect summer treat to enjoy in the garden.
Basil is a great herb to have around the house. Its unique taste makes for the perfect cooking partner to spice up your life kitchen. Just remember: it should be kept at a temperature of at least 40 degrees F (4C).
Anything less than this can cause black marks to appear on the plant and ruin their taste. Be sure to keep it in a little bit of water and in the shade. That way, the herb will last a lot longer than if it was in the fridge.
Onions don’t just rely on warmer climates than fridges, they actually depend on clear and open air circulation to keep them fresh. Whether they’re chopped or fried, you need to look after them the same way you would any other food.
Strangely, you should keep them far away from your potatoes, since they can speed up onions’ aging processes. It’s safe to say these foods don’t get on! Make sure they’re kept in different parts of the kitchen – with neither in the fridge.
Some people keep coffee in their fridges – and then some people are normal. It should NEVER be kept in the fridge – coffee needs air circulation and dry air to breathe and remain fresh. A fridge only keeps it in the moist, cold, and trapped air alongside all your other foods.
Keep it airtight away from sunlight. That way, the taste and brewing process isn’t affected by the cold. You’ll thank us in your mornings when you sip on your boiling hot cup of espresso!
If you want your garlic to sprout early, then fridges will take care of that for you. It will also attract mold on the skin and within the inner layers of each bulb. So really the choice is up to you. But we would recommend keeping it somewhere dry and warm.
The best thing about accidentally putting your garlic in the fridge is that all the rotting occurs from inside the cloves, so you won’t be able to see it. Unless you’re protecting your friend who happens to be a vampire, you shouldn’t do this.
Most hot sauces contain vinegar and certain preservatives that slow down molding and bacteria from growing. Although keeping your favorite condiments cold won’t speed up the molding process, it might just reduce their strength.
You might think you have taste buds made of steel, but it’s your fridge helping you. Next time, keep your bottle of Tabasco on the kitchen counter and see how impressive you can be with it. We bet you’ll notice the difference.
You should never keep bread in your fridge, as it makes it look and feel older than it actually is. Hm… maybe this writer has been keeping himself in a fridge all these years? Anyway…
Cold air speeds up the staling process making it last a lot shorter than usual. Next time, it will be better to put your bread in the fridge exclusively in its sandwich form. Once it’s cut and joined with all your favorite sandwich fillings, its components act a little differently.
Fats solidify when kept in cold temperatures, which is unideal for your favorite Olive Oil. Yes, it might be good for you to have a healthy intake of fats and oils, but what good is oil when you’re ruining it?
If you’ve made the mistake of putting it in the fridge, you can always zap it in the microwave for a few seconds, so not all is lost! A little bit of warmth should bring it back to some of its original potency, but nothing compared to avoiding the fridge altogether.
Honey can last for hundreds of years when kept in an airtight jar – you probably have some in your kitchen from 2002, too. This writer bought a jar in the 1990s that is stick looking great. You know why? We didn’t put it in the fridge!
If you keep this sweet item in your fridge you might see it crystalize and give it a tough texture. It will make scooping nature’s nectar that much harder and your oatmeal or sandwiches a lot less satisfying.
If you said you only bought and stores pumpkins in the month of October, we wouldn’t blame you. These things apparently are only popular for one month during Halloween and the time when Starbucks makes its Pumpkin Spiced Latte.
If you’re thinking of actually eating these in the other months, remember that pumpkins will go bad two or three days after putting it in the fridge, so it’s better not to. Next time, keep them nearby in the kitchen and watch them ripen at a normal pace.
Apricots, Kiwi, Peaches, Mangoes
Rounding up all the fruit that bears resemblance to melons and tomatoes, these items develop crystals and can turn fruits rotten quicker when refrigerated.
It is best to leave them all in your brand-new fruit bowl you will buy after reading this list, where you can keep them alongside fruits that have yet to be mentioned. What are they? Click to find out…
Whether you like crunchy or smooth, we can all agree that peanut butter is enjoyed best when you can actually spread the darn thing. There’s nothing worse than going to make a PB&J and having to wait for it to warm up to stick your knife in.
Keeping it in the fridge hardens the spread and makes it hard to apply to bread. Next time, keep it in the cupboard and avoid this problem altogether. No longer will the bread have to battle between hard peanut butter and soft jelly!
This suggestion is based on convenience rather than necessity. Nothing bad will happen to flour if kept in the fridge, but there are also no benefits. So why wouldn’t you keep it in the fridge? Well, let us tell you…
So save some space in your fridge by omitting this item entirely. Save the space for milk or other items that need it. Since there’s no reason to keep flour in the fridge, it’s better to be more space efficient in other ways.
A jar of pickles contains the same vinegar that hot sauces have, so fridges will have the same effect on your favorite cucumbers if you store them there. It can be tempting to keep these things ‘fresh’ in the fridge, but you’re actually doing the opposite.
It is best to keep these in a cupboard in your kitchen and save refrigeration for only a few minutes if necessary. Maybe just before you cut them for a salad or a snack. To avoid the smell, consider keeping them in an airtight jar.
Soy sauce has quickly become an essential item in most people’s kitchen. Whether it’s sushi or Chinese food, there’s no denying how popular it is today. Unless you keep to a low-sodium diet (which we all should), then your soy sauce belongs in a cupboard.
The sauce has natural antibacterial ingredients which extend when kept at room temperature. Keeping it cold reduces the effectiveness of these ingredients and also affects the taste. Do this and see your sushi palette improve.
Ask any millennial and they can tell you: the best time to purchase your avocado is just before the time it’s completely ripe. Trust us: they’ve had years of practice ever since reading about them on Buzzfeed in 2015.
You shouldn’t keep an avocado in your fridge until this process is finished, so it’s better to keep them on your kitchen counter until then. Once you cut them open, be prepared to battle an incredibly short shelf life. You’ll have to eat it quickly.
This one makes sense – jerky is nothing more than dried meat, so why keep it in a place with moisture? The best jerky is the type that stays dry for a long period of time. Your kitchen cupboard or counter is the perfect place.
Store your jerky at room temperature and preferably in a dry or airtight container. That way, you can eat it over a longer period of time and not worry about its lifeline.
We understand the urge to have a nice, cold tomato in your sandwich or salad, but this can cause the fruit to gain a grainy, weird texture. It might disappoint tomato lovers to learn that these juicy fruits should be kept at room temperature, and not in the fridge.
The best way to store tomatoes is in a warm and dry area, avoiding the growth of crystals and accelerated rotting. If you want them chilled in a salad, consider putting them in the fridge for a few minutes before you cut them.
It may seem like your salad belongs in the fridge to keep it fresh for longer, but this might not be the case. Your salad will survive at room temperature for a few hours, so there’s no need to cool it in your fridge to prevent its wilting.
If you’ve already dressed it, then there’s no chance in prolonging its life, so you might as well dig in. The dressing will speed up the moisture of the veggies and make its lifeline considerably shorter. So make sure to time it correctly before digging in.
Here’s a myth about to be debunked for you – fridges don’t add crispness or increase the spiciness of a pepper. We know you’ve probably spent your entire life thinking this, but consider this myth busted!
In fact, the cold temperature will decrease the spiciness of your favorite peppers. Keep them in a bag in a dry place to keep their taste. This applies to all bell peppers: red, green, orange, or yellow. So no matter your preference, you can use the same advice.
Here’s another debate among condiment owners: where do you keep your ketchup? Most of us probably keep our ketchup in the fridge once it’s open, but the vinegar in the sauce will react badly to cold air over time.
It is best to keep it in the cupboard where it belongs and it will keep the taste longer. This will also prevent the runny watered residue we all hate and try to avoid. The same can be said for other condiments with a high amount of vinegar, so keep it in mind when you go shopping.
What’s one thing tropical fruits all have in common? Fruits like mangoes, passion fruits, coconut, and pineapple were all grown in hot climates. These are literally designed to retain their texture and moisture in warm temperatures.
That’s why it’s not advised to keep them in the fridge – they’re simply not used to it. Next time, store these on a counter in your kitchen – but be sure to wrap them in protective materials to keep the flies at bay!
It doesn’t matter if it’s a healthy cereal or a sugary treat for the kids – you should never store it in the fridge. Once a box is opened, you can simply roll the plastic bag and tie it shut to keep the air out. No need to chill it.
Cereals will not only absorb the moisture in your fridge, but they will subsequently absorb the smells in it, too. So keeping this in your fridge will actually affect all the other foods, and not just this one. If you want your cereal chilled, simply rely on the milk!
Carrots are similar to cucumbers in their genetic makeup and how they react to the chilling process. Like cucumbers, the cold air of a fridge will speed up the rotting process. This is because of the amount of water naturally found in these vegetables.
If you keep your carrots at room temperature, you’ll start to see them last longer by storing their water more comfortably. Again, if you want to eat your carrots chilled, there is no harm in cooling them for a few hours first.