When you bring a pile of groceries home your first instinct is always to get the perishable items to the fridge as quickly as you can. However, despite popular belief, there are some food times that you should never store in the refrigerator.
Refrigeration goes a long way towards preserving food but for some perishable foods, refrigeration can actually lessen the flavor, change the texture, and occasionally even cause the food to spoil at a faster rate. Here are some of the items that you should never refrigerate.
Bread – There are some people who hold fast to the belief that bread will keep longer in the fridge. These people are also eating some very dried out bread. It is perfectly fine to freeze bread, but keeping it in the freezer or anywhere in your refrigerator will cause it to very quickly dry out.
Onions – Onions need to be kept in an area that allows air circulation. Needless to say the refrigerator does not fit that description. You should also keep them away from the potatoes as this will cause the onions to rot.
Potatoes – Refrigeration is a sure-fire way to kill the flavor of potatoes. Instead you want to store potatoes in a dry paper bag, but not a plastic bag as this promotes moisture and mold. Potatoes have a long shelf life so it should not hurt to keep them outside the fridge.
Avocado – Avocados need to be ripe before they are refrigerated. Once ripe, they will last for up to about a week in the fridge. It is best to refrigerate the whole whole avocado, to keep it from browning when exposed to air.
Hot Sauce – You can actually store hot sauce, along with various other condiments such as Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and sriracha, outside of the fridge and in a pantry for up to three years.
Tomatoes – If you want to obliterate all of the flavor and texture of a good tomato then refrigerate it. Keep in mind that keeping fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator speeds up the ripening process. If you want your tomatoes to ripen faster, keep them stored out of the fridge in paper or plastic bags.
Coffee – When you refrigerate or freeze coffee you are actually going to get a drastically different flavor. This is due to condensation. This is true for both coffee beans and coffee grounds. The best way to store coffee is in an air tight container in your pantry.
Winter Squashes – Whether it is an acorn squash, a butternut, or a spaghetti squash you will get far more flavor and enjoyment if you leave it in the pantry. On top of that the squash will last about a month or longer out of the fridge.
Oils – When you put oils, whether it is olive oil or vegetable oil, in the fridge they will actually get thick and begin to look murky and cloudy. In fact, the only oils that you must refrigerate are nut based oils. You are best simply keeping your oils in room temperature at the pantry.
Garlic – If you keep garlic in the fridge then you are drastically reducing the lifespan of that garlic’s usability. This is because refrigeration reduces the flavor of the garlic and the refrigerated environment can actually cause mold to develop. You want to store garlic loose. After you break the head of the garlic you want to use it within ten days.
Honey – If you store honey in the fridge you are going to end up with a thickened, hardened, crystallized mess. You can store honey outside of the fridge and it will stay good for almost indefinitely.
Melons – If you want to give melons the best possible flavor then you need to store them out on the counter at room temperature. This helps to keep the antioxidants intact. It does need to be said, however, that you can store melon in the fridge for three to four days after it has been cut into pieces.
Fruits – Many other fruits such as berries, bananas, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and apples should be left out of the fridge and kept on a counter in order to let them ripen. If you refrigerate these fruits you will find that the flavor is greatly diminished.
Non Food Items
Oddly enough there are plenty of non-food items that can be preserved through refrigeration as well. However, as with food, there are some items you should never have refrigerated.
Batteries – There is a myth that storing batteries in the fridge will help them last longer. However too much of cold temperatures and too much heat can both cause batteries to actually lose power at a faster rate.
Nail Polish – Refrigerating nail polish will actually cause the polish to thicken. It also changes the chemicals. The best way to store nail polish is always at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.