Ketchup is cool to be kept in the refrigerator, right? And garlic and onions stay fresher for longer if they’re allowed to chill, don’t they? Well, no! Sometimes your food actually turns bad because it’s too cold. There are so many items best left in a cupboard, on a shelf, or the counter. And if you know what goes where, you may just save your dinner from being spoiled — as well as a little money in the process...
It may seem a good idea to place your fresh bananas in the chiller — but think twice before you do! If they’re still a bit green, then refrigerating them will not allow them to yellow and ripen. Instead, they’ll turn black and go mushy. Once they’re a healthy yellow, though? Putting them in the refrigerator is totally fine.
Most of us are sweet on a bit of honey spread onto a warm piece of toast, or perhaps a generous spoonful on top of a hearty bowl of oatmeal. But there are few things more calamitous in the kitchen than honey gone granular and gritty. To avoid this horrible fate, keep your sweet stuff away from the refrigerator. Then, hopefully, things should run smoothly!
Want to ruin a perfectly good piece of chocolate? Try putting your favorite bar on a shelf in the fridge. Leave it long enough, and the chocolate can develop a strange coating once it’s at room temperature again. The change in atmosphere may even cause your candy to have a weird new texture and taste. A cool cupboard is best for your secret stash instead.
You should face a dressing down for even thinking about putting olive oil in the fridge! At low temperatures, it becomes cloudy and its texture turns thicker — almost butter-like, in fact. But this won’t taste nearly as good as butter, so don’t chance it. Instead, you should keep your olive oil somewhere dark and cool. A cupboard is perfect!
We don’t want to worry you, but putting potatoes in the fridge could make you seriously sick. The starch in potatoes can turn to sugar when the vegetables are too cold. And when these taters are baked, roasted, or fried, a worrying chemical reaction occurs. The refrigerator-generated sugar mixes with an acid to create the chemical acrylamide — a substance considered harmful to humans by the World Health Organization.
This nuttily enjoyable treat is another food that needs to be kept in the kitchen cupboard. Yep, as you may have already found out, peanut butter can turn hard and become very difficult to spread if it’s put in the fridge. But it can be a balancing act. Some totally organic peanut butter actually tends to separate if it’s not kept cool enough.
There’s a serious reason why you should avoid keeping your joe in the cooler. You see, while coffee beans may taste great, they’re also great at absorbing the aromas of whatever is close to them. To avoid the beans becoming too much like any other strong flavor in the fridge, then, they need to be stored in an airtight jar in a convenient cupboard.
A little garlic goes a long way! But if you can’t get enough of the stuff, listen up. Although it may seem like a good idea to store your cloves in the fridge for freshness, it’s really not necessary. All you need to do is keep your garlic somewhere well-ventilated and dry. That could be on the kitchen counter if you like!
The same goes for garlic’s big brother, the ever-dependable onion. Ideally, you should keep onions in the dark so that they don’t begin to sprout. But no, that doesn’t mean the refrigerator when the light’s off! As you may know if you’ve had onions in the fridge for any length of time, they can make all the other chilled contents taste a little, well, funky.
Just like coffee beans, basil also takes on smells from surrounding food — and that may affect its flavor. With that in mind, it’s best to keep the sensitive herb away from anything with a strong aroma — like the stuff you keep in the fridge! The chill of a refrigerator can also make basil leaves a little droopy.
Blame scientists for this one, as research shows that storing eggplants at cooler temperatures can badly affect the vegetable’s taste and texture. And who wants a too-hard or too-mushy moussaka? To keep your eggplants deliciously excellent, the purple produce should stay at room temperature only. That means on the counter — or maybe even some kind of veggie bowl?
Next time you consider packing your soy sauce bottle into your overcrowded fridge, think again. There’s absolutely no reason for the condiment to occupy premium space inside your chiller. Soy sauce only needs to be stored somewhere relatively cool, which could mean a cupboard. And avoid keeping it in direct sunlight, too, as this can dilute the flavor.
It’s still up for debate, but oranges are probably best left out of the fridge. After all, they don’t tend to grow in cold places, do they? Low temperatures can damage oranges, too, and those thick skins will help keep them from being bruised if you decide to leave them out on the counter or in a fruit bowl.
If you want your avocado to ripen, then keeping it in the refrigerator won’t do you any favors. The cool interior of the fridge actually slows the ripening of the fruit. Instead, you should bag up the avocado in brown paper to speed up the process. Better still, leave it next to a bunch of bananas and watch Mother Nature work her magic.
Don’t know what to do with pickles? Well, the clue is kind of in the name... Pickling produce was actually one of mankind’s earliest methods of preserving food. The amount of salt in the jar alone means that pickles will be perfectly fine stored at room temperature. All you need to think about is how many to add to your next sandwich...
If you’ve got a fruit bowl, then keep your apples there rather than in the fridge. Apples emit a natural gas, which, if it’s trapped inside the refrigerator, can make all of your other produce ripen way too fast. That lettuce can go from crisp to mushy in a flash! On the counter, however, apples’ enzymes can go wild and really boost the flavor of the fruit.
This one may come as a surprise, but tomatoes are far better off outside of a refrigerator. Leave them on the kitchen counter, and they will retain all their delicious flavor and mouth feel. Cast them into the fridge, and the poor tomatoes will wind up all watery and tasteless. We know what we’d rather have on a BLT!
If your melon’s still intact, there’s actually no need for it to take up valuable space in the fridge. Mother Nature has already wrapped it up for you! If you’ve already cut your fruit, though, then it is a good idea to keep it refrigerated. For extra freshness, cover your slices or chunks of melon in plastic wrap, too.
Forget the pineapple on pizza debate, as we have perhaps the most divisive food-related question of them all! Ketchup — to fridge or not to fridge? Well, you really don’t need to worry! There are plenty of preservatives packed inside ketchup — more than enough to keep the red stuff from going bad when it’s not in the refrigerator.
One of the most satisfying things about bell peppers is their signature crunch. The only problem with storing them in the fridge? They can lose their texture all too quickly. If you’re going to use your peppers within a few days, keep them out of low-temperature environments. Otherwise, they can go in the crisper drawer — especially if they’ve already been sliced.
When life gives you lemons, don’t put them in the refrigerator. Unless you like your citrus fruits hard and maximally sour, it’s a better idea to shove them in the pantry and give them some time to finish ripening. That way, people will be coming back to your kid’s lemonade stand for more... and more... and more. Just don’t forget the sugar!
Carrots may be okay in the fridge, but they shouldn’t be in there too long. Otherwise, they’ll become soggy and damp. They may even rot! Try storing the veggies in a dark corner of the pantry instead. If you do this, though, make sure you keep them away from apples, or they’ll lose their sweetness and turn bitter.
Hot sauce is another beloved ingredient that doesn’t require refrigeration. Like ketchup, you see, it has enough vinegar inside to prevent bacteria from growing. Oh, and that spicy flavor is even more potent at room temperature! That’s great news if you’re a chili addict who just can’t stock up on your sauce fast enough — or need more space in your fridge.
It’s pretty difficult to find a way to ruin Nutella. It’s pretty difficult not to eat it by the spoonful, too... But one way to make it less enjoyable is by putting it in the fridge. There, its creamy consistency will harden and its signature flavor will become much blander. And is there a worse crime than wasting Nutella? We think not.
Leftover cake is definitely the best part of any celebration. But to keep your dessert as moist and flavorful as possible, skip the fridge and keep it instead in an airtight container. You won’t regret it — especially when you need a sweet midnight treat. Just make sure to shut that lid again when you’re done scarfing your slice!
Love chowing down on pistachios? Well, think like a squirrel and be careful where you stash your nuts, as they’re capable of picking up the odors of other foods. So, unless you want your healthy snack to taste like whatever leftovers are in your fridge, it’s better to store them in a dry, airtight space — a container in a cupboard, for instance.
Refrigerating cucumbers helps keep them cool and make them refreshing to eat, right? Wrong! If they get too cold, their outer layers — that green skin — may be damaged. In any case, keeping cucumbers out of direct sunlight will give them about a week of being at their best — which is definitely more than enough time to eat them.
Ugh, it’s so disappointing when you reach for the bread in the morning — only to find that it’s way too stale to eat. But don’t be fooled: keeping your bread in the refrigerator won’t make it last longer. fact, the cool temperature of the fridge interior dries a loaf out far quicker than in any bread bin.
Store bread in a paper bag
If you must store your bread in the fridge, however, keep it soft and not hard as a baseball bat by wrapping it in a kitchen towel and placing it in a paper bag. This should stop the bread from drying out but still lets the loaf breathe. No more morning disappointment for you!
Add apples to potatoes
And a gnarled sprout coming off a potato can spoil any spud lover’s appetite. So, why not try tossing a few apples in with your potatoes for storage? That should keep ’em growth-free! Yup, an apple a day keeps the sprouts away. Keep them all in a cool, dark place — a pantry, for instance.
Place spring onions in water
There’ll be no need to cry over stale onions ever again when you store your scallions in a glass of water. This will not only keep them crisper, but you’ll be able to employ your green thumb and grow new onions from the bulbs! More food for free? Definitely sounds like a win to us.
Preserve fresh herbs in oil
Wanna moonlight as a Chopped champion? Ration out your freshly picked herbs by placing them in an ice cube tray and adding a bit of olive oil to each compartment. Now all you need to do is to freeze the tray, and you’ll have pre-prepared seasoning cubes for your skillet! This cuts down on food waste, too.
Use bread to keep cake fresh
If you’re lucky enough to have cake to spare — and you just have to store it in the fridge — keep it from drying out with bread. Yes, really! Cover the exposed areas with sliced bread held in place by a few toothpicks. The slices will get stale well before the cake goes bad.
Portion ground beef in sandwich bags
Beef may be what’s for dinner, but you can have it tomorrow for lunch, too. Separate your meat into several sandwich bags, roll them flat, and freeze. The beef will last longer and thaw quicker, which can only be good things. The only thing left to do is to decide which tasty meal you’re going to whip up next...
Store onions in nylon stockings
This tip may sound weird, but trust us: it works. Put onions in a stocking and tie a knot between each one. Why? Well, storing onions separately rather than in a bunch keeps them fresher longer! Make sure you wash your stocking beforehand, of course. After, too, if you don’t want your legs smelling like onions all day...
Keep eggs in the freezer
Using a dozen eggs before they expire can feel impossible. So get creative. Crack open those eggs and place them in an ice cube tray before sprinkling with sugar or salt to avoid graininess. Then just freeze ’em! That last-minute dash to the store before dinner will become a thing of the past.
Soak berries in vinegar
This may sound counterintuitive, but don’t worry, as it won’t turn your berries unbearably sour. Using a 9:1 ratio of water and vinegar, soak and then drain your fruit before letting it dry. Not only does this make berries last longer, but it also kills off any nasty microorganisms lurking within that could lead to an upset stomach.
Keep broccoli and celery in aluminum foil
What’s the point of eating celery without that satisfying crunch? Well, if you don’t want soggy sticks, we have the hack for you. Simply wrap your celery in aluminum foil — do this for broccoli, too — and place it in the fridge to make that satisfying snap stick around for weeks!
Freeze brown sugar
Have you ever tried to bake but discovered your brown sugar turned into a bulletproof lump? It’s the worst — and it takes forever to bash back into some kind of useable shape. Next time you bring home brown sugar from the store, then, you should simply toss it in the freezer. That way, it’ll keep permanently soft!