We all want our food to be tasty, but a lot of what determines how delicious our meals are happens before you even turn on your stove. Knowing how to properly store kitchen staples like onions, garlic, and potatoes can greatly improve your food’s taste — and it all starts with not mindlessly tossing produce in the fridge. Did you know that most of your fresh fruits and veggies don’t actually need to go in the refrigerator?
Dozens of ingredients that you cook with often last longer outside the fridge or freezer. In fact, cold temperatures and moisture inside your appliances can cause your produce to ripen slower and mold faster. To get the most from your farmers market finds, it’d be best to let them sit and do their own thing.
Keep scrolling to discover the kitchen items most people mistakenly put in their fridge.
Should You Put Bread In The Fridge
You probably know plenty of families who kept their bread in the refrigerator. Maybe you keep your bread in the refrigerator, too — but you really shouldn't. Storing bread in the fridge dries out your loaf faster, which isn't good (unless you're making croutons). Instead, you should take out the bread you know you and your family will eat within a week and freeze the rest.
Onions In The Fridge
Instead of storing onions in your crisper drawer, you'll want to leave them somewhere cool and dry. Your fridge is a naturally moist environment, which isn’t ideal for onions. In fact, excess moisture can cause your onions to become mushy and moldy. However, once the onion has been cut and tears have been shed, it's OK seal it in a plastic bag and toss it in your fridge.
Coffee In The Fridge
Coffee Beans and Grounds
Caffeine junkies, listen up: Coffee beans and grounds should not — we repeat, should not — be refrigerated. At first, it makes sense to store beans in the fridge or freezer. Coffee beans need to be somewhere cool, and what's cooler than your fridge? In reality, though, the fridge and freezer are terrible places to store coffee beans and grounds because of one thing: moisture. Constantly opening your appliance's doors creates temperature fluctuations that lead to condensation. In the end, you'll wind up with bad beans and dull-tasting java. Coffee is full of health benefits, but don’t you want to actually enjoy each sip?
Do Eggplants Go In The Fridge
Eggplants are a delicious meat substitute, but they require a bit of preparing. If you don't have time during the week to cook your eggplants, let them sit out rather than putting them in the crisper. These purple fruits last longest in cool places out of direct sunlight.
Avocado In The Fridge
Figuring out how to ripen avocados quickly is a science, and step one is to make sure you're not storing it in the fridge. Unripe avocados will take longer to reach peak deliciousness if you put them somewhere cold. Instead, put your avocado in a paper bag with an unripe banana. The banana will release ethylene gas, which will speed up your avocado's ripening.
Does Melon Go In The Fridge
During the high heat of summer, a slice of juicy melon is the perfect way to cool down. So it seems counterintuitive that you'd want to store your melon outside of the fridge to get the best-tasting fruit. But putting uncut melon in the fridge means you have to wait longer for it to ripen. However, feel free to cover your leftovers and leave them in the fridge once the melon has been cut.
Olive Oil In Fridge
It's fine to leave your olive oil on the counter as long as your kitchen doesn't regularly get warmer than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you store olive oil in the fridge, you run the risk of it hardening, similar to coconut oil. Refrigerated olive oil may also turn cloudy.
In the end, it’s easier to keep olive oil in its liquid form so you can use it not only for cooking, but also for mixing with coconut oil to make a hydrating hair mask.
How To Keep Basil Fresh
With so many creative uses for basil, you'll want to stock up on the herb as soon as possible. But where should you store said basil to keep it fresh longer? Not in the fridge, that's for sure! If you do, basil leaves will blacken. Instead, submerge the stems in room-temperature water and enjoy this flavorful meal enhancer all summer long.
Keeping Potatoes In The Fridge
There are so many ways to enjoy a spud (melting potatoes are our favorite!), but you'll never get to enjoy its soft, fluffy goodness if you store it in the fridge. Potatoes in the fridge will develop a sweet, gritty flavor as the cold temperatures cause the starch to break down — yuck! The proper way to store potatoes is to put them is in a well-ventilated container in a cool, dry part of your home. A paper bag or a cardboard box in the basement should do the trick.
Should I Keep Honey In The Fridge
Honey will basically last you forever (archaeologists found a 5,500-year-old jar of honey a few years ago). Over time, though, honey will begin to crystallize. Leaving honey in the fridge can speed up this crystallization process, so while the honey is still technically edible, it doesn't taste, smell, or look the same. And because honey — especially manuka honey — is great for healing wounds, you'll want to keep it from crystallizing so it's slightly runny and easier to use. Trying to spread crystallized honey on cuts sounds painful!
Should You Put Chocolate In The Fridge
The best-tasting chocolate is a bar that's been left sitting out. Wait, but what if I like cold chocolate? That's all well and good, but leaving chocolate in the fridge is a surefire way to end up with a dull-tasting, grainy, chalky, brown hunk. Room-temperature chocolate is best, and if you have any leftover, make sure you store it somewhere dry and cool (like your desk at the office, maybe).
Should You Keep Strawberries In The Fridge
There's nothing worse than digging into a bowl of fresh berries (add whipped cream and we're in heaven!) and biting down only to feel soggy, squishy mush. You want to feel the skin break and the juices squirt out when you bite into a freshly picked strawberry, blueberry, or raspberry. A crunch is one of the telltale signs that you aren't eating something that's been sitting out for awhile. But you won't get that delightful crunch if you keep berries in the fridge. That's because the moisture inside your machine will soften the berries, leaving you with a big, gooey mess. If you're afraid that storing the berries outside will attract fruit flies, don't worry, because they're easy to prevent.
Tomatoes In The Fridge
When it's peak tomato season, you have no excuse to not stock your kitchen with the biggest, juiciest, most delicious tomatoes. But if you want to enjoy them at their best, don't store tomatoes in the fridge. This slows down the ripening process, meaning you have to wait longer to dig into your favorite cauliflower "dough" pizza and fat-blasting tomato juice.
Peanut Butter In The Fridge
After slapping together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you may accidentally throw your peanut butter in the fridge along with your favorite jelly, leading you to wonder, "Should I refrigerate peanut butter?" It's actually not necessary to refrigerate peanut butter, according to the National Peanut Board. Peanut butter that's stored in the pantry should last you two to three months, after which point you shouldn't have anything left in the jar, because peanut butter is so gosh darn delicious (and not bad for you like everyone says).
Should I Keep Apple Cider Vinegar In The Fridge
Apple Cider Vinegar
Is there an end to the laundry list of uses for apple cider vinegar? It doesn't seem like it! Not only can you cook with apple cider vinegar, but you can use it as an all-purpose cleaning product, too. Add it to your laundry to get rid of stubborn odors, or mix up an apple-cider vinegar solution to regrow thinning hair. Considering all the magical ways in which you can use apple cider vinegar, you probably have a few bottles at home. Which may have you wondering, "Do you need to refrigerate apple cider vinegar?" The answer is no. Because of apple cider vinegar's high acidity level, mold won't grow in the liquid. That said, you should store your bottles somewhere cool and dark — like a pantry — if you want to keep it in tip-top shape.
Can You Keep Spices In The Refrigerator
Spices are a great addition to any dish and will instantly amplify delicious flavors, so it's definitely worth knowing how to store spices properly. You might have heard that the fridge or freezer is the best place to store spices, but that simply isn't true. Every time you take your spices out to season a dish, the temperature change can cause condensation and moisture to build up inside the container. This will shorten your spice's shelf life.
Do I Have To Put Donuts In The Fridge
On the off chance that you have some leftover donuts, the best place to store glazed donuts isn't the fridge. The inside of your refrigerator is full of moisture, which your bready donut will absorb, leading to a sticky, soggy mess — yuck! Instead, store your favorite donuts on the counter in a plastic bag so they don't dry out.
Do Cucumbers Go In The Fridge
Cucumbers are another surprising addition to the list of produce that last longer at room temperature instead of in the crisper. The problem with keeping your cukes in the fridge is that they're more likely to develop "chilling injuries," which include "wateriness, pitting on the outside, and accelerated decay."
Does Molasses Need To Be In The Fridge
Molasses is a by-product of cane sugar, which makes it hygroscopic. That basically means it's really good at sucking in moisture, which actually reduces the likelihood that molasses will mold and spoil. Essentially, molasses can absorb so much moisture that it suffocates the bacteria. As a result, molasses is one of those foods that will seemingly last forever. However, it becomes thick, gummy, and hard to use if kept in the fridge. And really, no one's going to want gummy molasses on anything.
Cheese In The Fridge
While soft cheese should be refrigerated, their hardier counterparts are perfectly fine if left out on the counter — which is the perfect striking distance for a late-night snack. "All cheeses, besides fresh cheese, should be served at room temperature for optimum flavor," said Adam Brock, the director of technical services at Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Garlic In The Fridge
The easiest way to keep garlic fresh is to leave it unbroken until you need it. Once you've cracked it open, you need to store it somewhere dark and dry so it lasts as long as possible. Avoid keeping it in the fridge, as this will cause it to mold prematurely or sprout, which can give the cloves a bitter taste.