The invention of the refrigerator was a game changer in our ability to conserve food. It prevents many foods from becoming laden with disease-causing bacteria, as well as helps us save money buying food that goes bad before we can eat it all.
Most of us use a refrigerator with little knowledge about the types of food that should be stored in it and what should not.
Here are the top 10 foods that you should never keep in the refrigerator.
Do not store whole onions in the refrigerator. Due to moisture, whole onions will turn soft and moldy. However, you can store chopped or sliced onions in a sealed container in your refrigerator for a few days. Keep the temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
Whole onions should be kept in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area in the mesh bag they came in. Do not store them in plastic bags, as lack of air circulation can affect their shelf life.
Plus, never keep onions alongside potatoes, as the moisture and gas emitted from them can cause both onions and potatoes to spoil quickly.
The fridge (and the freezer) create condensation, which can affect the flavor of both ground coffee and coffee beans. Coffee fares best in an airtight container in the pantry.
3. Olive Oil
Storing olive oil in the fridge will make it condense and turn into a harder, butter-like consistency.
It’s better to keep basil sitting out in a fresh cup of water, like cut flowers. It wilts faster in the refrigerator and absorbs the smells of all the food around it.
There is no need to store honey in the refrigerator, but you don’t want to keep it near your stove or oven either. Extreme cold or hot temperatures can spoil its taste and texture. When exposed to cold temperature, honey may begin to crystallize.
Room temperature helps preserve your honey’s natural goodness. To keep honey fresh, store it in an airtight, glass container.
Avoid storing it in metal or non-food-grade plastic containers, as they can cause oxidization of the honey. Keep the container in a dry, cool place out of direct sunlight. A cupboard or pantry is best.
Do not use honey if it smells sour or has visible mold growth. Properly stored honey may naturally solidify and crystallize as it gets older.
It will do well for two months in the pantry. Store loose, so air can move around it.
Bread also should not be stored in the refrigerator. Wheat flour, the primary ingredient in bread, is packed full of granules of starch.
When exposed to moisture, the starch breaks down and becomes increasingly amorphous. This causes the bread to dry out quickly. Plus, it actually gets stale faster.
Keep your bread in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight, such as in your pantry or a bread box. This will help maintain the proper crumb and crust texture.
You can keep bread wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil at room temperature for no more than two days. Or, you could wrap an entire loaf in plastic or aluminum foil and store in the freezer to arrest starch retrogradation and hold the bread in a stable state.
If there is high humidity, buy fresh bread as needed and avoid storing it for next day. Before using partially stale bread, heat it in the oven.
Trying to ripen your avocados? Definitely don’t put them in the fridge. However, already-ripe ones that you aren’t going to use right away can go in there.
Refrigeration adversely affects their flavor, so store in the pantry in paper bags (plastic bags trap moisture and speed decay). Most varieties should last three weeks.
Tomatoes are very delicate in nature, and they lose their flavor and texture when refrigerated. Cold temperature damages the membranes along the fruit’s walls, making them lose flavor and become mushy. Plus, cold air stops the ripening process.
One of the best places to store unripe tomatoes is on the counter at room temperature. To speed up ripening, put them in a paper bag. Also, keep them stem-side down.
Ripe tomatoes are meant to be eaten within a couple of days, so buy them in small amounts as needed. Keep them at room temperature stem side up, away from sunlight. Room temperature, here refers to a temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius.
However, if you have overripe tomatoes, you can store them in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before they go bad completely.
To “recondition” the refrigerated tomatoes, take them out and leave them at room temperature for a few hours. To get the best flavor, pick your tomatoes from a local farmer’s market.