27 Foods That Should Never Be Put In The Refrigerator

Not All Foods Need To Be Kept In The Refrigerator, And In Some Cases, They Can Lead To Health Problems.

Some Foods Should Never Be In The Fridge

nutella in bowl with wooden spoon

Some foods taste better when not kept in the refrigerator, but that’s not always why they should be left out!

Some foods can be completely ruined when placed in the cold environment of the fridge and can subsequently harm your health.

How you store your groceries is of the highest importance, and each food has its unique criteria for storing.

Let’s take a look at how to keep your foods fresher for longer by not keeping them in your refrigerator.

Avocados

Avocados are fruits and as such, need to ripen to become tasty and edible.

Keeping them in the fridge inhibits the ripening process, and they should therefore be kept at room temperature at all times.

lots of avocados

If you want to ripen your avocados, quickly place them in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for a few days.

The additional fruit releases ethylene gas which causes the avocados to ripen quickly.

Follow this tip, and you’ll be posting that Avocado on toast picture on Instagram in no time.

Donuts

Mmmm…Donuts.

The smell of freshly baked donuts is one the best smells around but once you have had your fix of this sugary delight, what do you do with the ones left over? (if there are any).

Whatever you do, don’t put them in the fridge.

cream filled doughnuts

By putting donuts in this cold environment, they will go stale and soggy very quickly.

They will last longer if you keep them at room temperature and put a covering over them.

But even this won’t save them for too much longer as the typical donut should only be kept for around two days.

Aged Cheese

Cheese is made from milk, so, similarly to milk, it should be ok in the refrigerator, right?

This is the logic used by novice cheese eaters, so don’t make this mistake.

Hard cheese left in the fridge will turn from hard to rock hard.

aged cheese

Cheese is aged/cured for over six months and over, and after the process, there is no requirement to keep it chilled.

The pantry or the cupboard is the best place for this food item, but only for hard cheeses, some soft cheese may need to be kept in the fridge.

Potatoes

Whether you are making those fantastic golden roast potatoes or having a simple baked potato, you don’t want them to be too sweet and gritty.

That’s precisely what you will get when you put potatoes in the refrigerator, as the cold temperatures turn the vegetable’s starch into sugar.

potatoes

*** Important point: Once a potato has been cooked, you should always keep it in the fridge.

Don’t let baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil leave them out to sit at room temperature as it can develop deadly strains of botulism.

Canned Tuna

Even though it’s stored in the unrefrigerated section of the supermarket, there are still some people who keep canned tuna in the fridge.

It’s in that section of the grocery store for a reason! Keep these cans in the room at all times before opening them.

Canned Tuna

After opening the can and draining the brine/oil, you can keep the tuna in the fridge for preservation.

Put the meaty fish in a sealed container, and it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut makes almost everything taste better.

But it won’t if you keep it in the fridge. The cold temperatures will make the spread solid so that it won’t spread.

Don’t make this mistake.

brown bread on brown wooden chopping board

The sugar in the spread acts as a preservative and prevents bacteria growth, so there is no need to keep it in the fridge for this reason.

Spreads like Nutella go hard when placed in the fridge due to the high-fat content found in the hazelnuts.

Keep it out of the fridge for that smooth texture we all know and love.

Garlic

The optimal place to store your garlic bulbs is in a cool, dry place like your cupboards or pantry. Make sure that they are in a well-ventilated area and that they can keep for months.

If they are kept in a poorly ventilated area, they can develop mold quite quickly.

garlics cloves

If you keep garlic in the refrigerator, it can cause the bulb to deteriorate as it adds moisture to the garlic allowing mold to develop.

Garlic isn’t for everyone (the Queen never has it), but it is a superfood and storing it well can give you access to this powerful bulb for months.

Onions

Similarly to garlic, this bulb should also never be kept in the fridge for similar reasons.

Onions can develop mold very quickly when kept in poorly ventilated areas or in the fridge. They become very mushy and horrible as the starch inside the onion is converted to sugar.

white and red onions

In fact, if you leave them long enough in the fridge, the onion will turn into mush and pure liquid.

Keep them in a cool, dry place, and they can keep for 10 – 14 days.

Eggs

Eggs offer so many health benefits to you that they should always be part of a balanced diet. But storing them correctly can be tricky.

Eggs can be kept at room temperature and last for at least a week when kept in a cool, dry place.

brown egg on brown nest

However, if you buy eggs that are kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, then you should keep them in the fridge.

It’s OK to even put eggs that were not in the chilled aisle of the supermarket in the fridge, but you don’t have to.

Coffee

Is there a better smell in the morning than fresh coffee?

But how you store your coffee beans can impact their fantastic aroma and your morning coffee taste.

coffee cup and coffee beans

We all know a coffee aficionado who can talk all day about which region in South America they buy their coffee from, but you don’t have to be an expert on coffee to know that you should never keep it in the fridge.

The humidity in the fridge can ruin the coffee beans and make them tasteless and less aromatic.

Honey

Whether you use it as a sweetener for your favorite hot drink or add it to your home recipes, honey makes pretty much everything taste better.

The smooth, sticky texture of honey can be entirely ruined by putting it in the refrigerator as it begins to crystallize and become a clumpy sugary nightmare.

honey jar

The best place for honey is in your pantry, away from extreme temperatures. Honey can be dangerous due to botulism and should NEVER be fed to children under 12 months old.

If stored correctly, honey will never go bad. Whilst the consistency and color may change over time, bacteria and mold can’t develop in honey because of its high sugar content.

Butter

Butter is a controversial entry to the list.

Butter is pasteurized and salted, which helps prevent it from going bad over time, which means it can be kept outside the fridge.

But that is not the only reason you should.

butter cubes

If you use butter on toast or bread, you will know that room-temperature butter spreads beautifully, whereas butter from the fridge doesn’t.

In fact, it can be quite a job to spread cold, hard butter evenly, try it.

Keep it in a cool, dry place and not in the sun, and it will be fine. If you live in a hot climate, perhaps keep it in the fridge intermittently, so it doesn’t melt.

Melon

Melons are one the juiciest fruits that tantalize your taste buds when served at room temperature.

Whether it’s watermelons, cantaloupe, or honeydew, they are all at their tastiest when served at room temperature rather than from the fridge.

melon slices

In addition to the better taste, the melons retain more nutrients in their flesh when kept at room temperature.

However, once you have cut open the melon, you should keep it in the fridge, wrapped in cling film. Do this, and it should last for around three days.

Basil

Some herbs actually keep well when placed in the cool environment of the fridge, but this leafy herb is not one of them.

When basil is kept in the refrigerator for extended periods, things can get ugly. They will rapidly wilt and turn into brown mush. Yuck.

basil leaves

Keep your basil at its aromatic and flavorsome best by placing it in a glass/vase of water on the window sill, just like you would for flowers.

Not only will it be kept in its most fresh state, but it will add some color to your kitchen and is a nice decorative piece.

Eggplant / Aubergine

If you plan on using your eggplant in the first two days of purchasing it, then it’s best to keep it out of the fridge and in the pantry.

By doing so it will be at its most tasty and nutritious.

eggplant

However, should you wish to use the eggplant after two days, then it is best to keep it in the crisper of your refrigerator to increase its longevity and prevent it from going stale.

Be sure not to place the eggplants next to any bananas, tomatoes, or melons, as they produce ethylene gas when eggplants are sensitive to them.

Peanut Butter

Like butter, no one wants rock-hard peanut butter that won’t spread. It’s already hard to manage because it’s so thick, so give yourself a chance and avoid putting this tasty spread in the cold environment of the fridge.

Natural peanut butter is a different story, as that should be kept in the fridge as recommended on the labels of these products.

peanut butter

Natural peanut butter can separate if left out of the fridge, and peanut oil can even go rancid over time.

Check those labels!

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a staple for most kitchens, so how you store it is essential.

Keeping olive oil in the fridge is not a good idea as the humidity and temperature can dramatically affect its flavor.

olive oil poured into jar

Over time the olive oil will become cloudy and even solidify, rendering it useless.

Keep it in the pantry or just a cool, dark place, and it will keep for over a year, sometimes even two.

Pickles

Some pickles are stored in the chilled section of the grocery store so they can be kept in the fridge, but for the majority of use cases, pickles are at their best at room temperature.

The practice of prickling was to act as a preservative and extend the life of the food in question.

pickles in jars

Pickling involves putting food into jars of vinegar and salt, and these ingredients make it impossible for harmful bacteria to live and grow.

Therefore putting pickled items in the fridge won’t extend their life and may even ruin the taste of the pickle.

Vinegar

As mentioned with pickles, vinegar is a preservative and makes it nearly impossible for bacteria to live. The acetic acid in the vinegar wards off any harmful micro-organisms looking to settle in this fairly potent liquid.

Because of this, there is no reason to keep vinegar in the fridge and is best kept in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight.

vinegar bottle next to apples

Other condiments like vinaigrettes which contain herbs, onions, and garlic, should go in the refrigerator as they can go off over time.

Berries

Storing berries can be a tricky problem to solve as they tend to develop mold and become soggy very quickly.

Because of this, berries of best enjoyed when you consume them promptly from their purchase as they are at their tastiest and juiciest at this time when served at room temperature.

rasperries and blueberries in hands

Don’t rinse the berries until you are about to eat them. When rinsing, use a colander and avoid submerging them in water.

Berries are pretty sensitive, and as such, mold can appear quicker than you think.

Storing berries in a fridge can extend their life but make sure they are not in an air-tight container. One thing for sure is that they won’t taste as good as when fresh from the store.

These rules apply to all types of berries, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

Ketchup

Ketchup contains several ingredients, including tomatoes, corn syrup, and onions but the reason why this tasty condiment doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge is because of its high amounts of vinegar and salt.

These two ingredients act as natural preservatives primarily due to the acetic acid in the vinegar.

heinz tomato ketchup bottle on brown wooden table

It’s hard for those harmful bacteria to grow in this acidic type of environment and therefore keeping it in the refrigerator isn’t a good idea.

If, however, you live in warm climates, it may be an idea to keep the condiment in the fridge after use to extend its life.

Mustard

Just like the acidic ingredients found in ketchup, mustard also has an array of powerful ingredients that have the ability to ward off any bacteria.

Ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, and salt form a potent mixture that no harmful microorganism can withstand.

colemans mustard tins

This self-preserving nature means that mustard doesn’t have to go in the refrigerator, but it can be if you think it improves the taste.

Mustard is usually served at room temperature in most restaurants and is best enjoyed this way.

Stone Fruit

Peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums are all best enjoyed when they are at room temperature. It is when they are at the juiciest and tastiest.

However, if you want to preserve them and make these delicious fruits last that little bit longer, then place them in the fridge to extend their life.

peaches

If the fruits are not ripe, let them ripe at room temperature for a couple of days before placing them in the cold temps of the fridge as it will inhibit the ripening process and sometimes even stop it altogether.

Don’t leave it there too long, as the fruit will lose its taste and become flavorless.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another fruit to add to the list of foods you should not put in the refrigerator.

Research has shown that it not only delays or even stops the ripening process, but it can make the fruit, in this case, tomatoes, less tasty as the cold temperatures severely impact the flavor-enhancing cells of the fruit.

tomatoes on the vine

While storing some fruits in the fridge can marginally extend their life, if it comes at the cost of their taste, is it really worth it?

Put those tommies in a cool, dry place instead, and if they are still unripe, put them on the window sill.

Nuts And Dried Fruit

It is necessary to keep nuts and dried fruit in the cold temperatures of the refrigerator.

The low temps can smother the nutty flavor and make dried fruits too firm and tasteless.

dried nuts and dried fruits

The best place for these snacks is in the pantry but in an air-tight container to preserve them as long as possible.

If you do have nuts in the fridge, make sure to give them a quick toast in the oven before you use them for anything.

Bananas

Sometimes the only bananas that are left in the grocery store are unripe ones. You can tell they are unripe because they have a green color and are very firm.

If that is the case, when you get home, the last place you should put them is in the fridge as it will hinder the ripening process.

three banana fruits on white background

Leave them in a cool, dry place, and as they ripen, they will become softer and more yellow in color.

Once ripened, if you then want to extend their life, you can try putting them in the refrigerator but don’t keep them near fruits or vegetables as the ethylene gas they emit can ruin them.

Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, there is no hard and fast rule, as some people prefer to keep this sugary treat in the fridge.

But be warned that doing so can ruin the texture of the chocolate and its taste.

chocolate slabs

When you store chocolate in the refrigerator, a phenomenon called ‘sugar bloom’ occurs, which means that the moisture in the air collects on the chocolate and draws out the sugar.

When the moisture then evaporates, it leaves behind white sugar crystals on the surface, making the chocolate grainy and gritty.

Bread

Bread is a big no-no when it comes to storing it in the fridge.

The humidity in the refrigerator means that your loaf will become stale and hard very quickly.

numerous loafs o f bread

Make sure you store bread at room temperature in a dark place for it to keep fresh the longest.

If you have too much bread, you can always put it in the freezer for later use and defrost it later on when you need it.

Cucumber

This is quite a surprising one, but cucumbers are a vegetable that is best served and at its juiciest when eaten at room temperature.

Studies have shown that keeping cucumbers in temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit can actually cause damage to the cucumber.

sliced cucumber on white surface

Keep your cucumbers in the pantry or cupboard (away from apples and bananas) and they will be tastier for longer.

Pumpkins

If you have gone a bit crazy with the Halloween celebrations and bought too many pumpkins, you may want to keep some of the surpluses for later use.

Don’t put them in the fridge.

First, they will take up too much room, but the cold environment will actually damage the pumpkin rather than preserve it.

numerous pumpkins together

Guess where you should store the pumpkin?

Like most things we have mentioned, that’s right in the pantry.

As we have seen, most things can be stored safely in the pantry except most dairy products.

Not Everything Has To Go In The Fridge

Fridge with different vegetable in modern kitchen

The refrigerator has transformed how we live and has allowed us to plan and eat healthy meals more effectively.

However, not everything has to go in the refrigerator.

Sometimes for health reasons, it can be the wrong place to store food, but more often than not, it is for taste reasons, especially when it comes to fruit.

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