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20 Foods you Should Not Keep in the Fridge

Did you know that there is quite a list of foods you should not keep in the fridge?

The storage of foods is one the most-discussed topics in the food industry.  After all, we want to make sure that the money spent is not wasted and that our food is as fresh and tasty as possible when eaten. 

We all know that most foods last longer if they are kept in the refrigerator, but some foods just don’t well when stored this way.

20 Foods you Should not store in the fridge

My List of Foods You Should Not Keep in the Fridge

My list shows which foods should not be stored this way, and how to store them in other areas of your kitchen.  If you are wondering how to store, take note of where the grocery store keeps these items.  Not one of them is kept in their cold areas.

1.  Coffee

Ground coffee and coffee beans simply need airtight containers and a cool, dry and dark spot to retain their flavor and to keep fresh.  Don’t put it in the fridge though (it acts a bit like baking soda when you do and it will also take on odors in the fridge).

Coffee needs a dry spot and the fridge can have a great deal of humidity in it . Also, room temperature coffee adds more flavor to a cup than cold coffee does. 

Freezing large amounts of coffee that you won’t be used immediately is fine though.  Just wrap it in airtight bags, and store it for up to a month in the freezer.

20 foods you should not store in the fridge. Coffee is best kept in the pantry2.Stone Fruits

Peaches, apricots, and mangoes and other stone fruits keep their nutrients better if kept out of the cold fridge. They are better stored on the counter.

Once ripe you can keep them in the fridge for a few days but be sure the crisper is very clean. Any mold can turn stone fruits into a mess.

3. Whole Tomatoes

We probably all keep tomatoes in the fridge, but it is really not the best place for them. First, cold air stops ripening of tomatoes and ripe tomatoes are good because of their sugar content.

Keep them on a basket or bowl on the counter for best taste and texture.

fresh tomatoes4. Honey

 Honey will crystallize if kept in the fridge.  It is best kept in a cool, dark place like a cupboard or pantry shelf.

5. Garlic

Store garlic in a cool, dry pantry.  Garlic is a cold weather crop and will sprout if you keep it in the fridge. Cold can also turn it to a rubbery mush.

garlic6. Potatoes

Potatoes love to be stored in a cold, dark place.  A root cellar is best, but we don’t all have one of these!

A dark area of your pantry or under the sink will work best. If you store potatoes in the fridge, the starch turns to sugar and you’ll end up with a gritty and sweet potato.

Also be sure to store them unwashed (moisture causes decay) and in paper bags, not plastic ones which will sweat.

7. Pastries and cookies


pastries8. Spices

Spices will keep for years in spice jars so there is no real benefit to storing them in the cold. Also. keeping them in the fridge is detrimental to their flavor because of the humidity.

They are called dried spice for a reason. They like to be kept that way.

9. Most oils

 Most oils, including olive oils will start to condense if kept in the fridge.  You don’t want your olive oil to have the consistency of butter, do you?  Keep it in the pantry or a cupboard.

don't store oils in the fridge10. Bananas

This is a two part message.  Keep them on the counter (I use a banana holder for mine and LOVE it.) to ripen them, and then, if you wish, you can put them in the fridge to slow down the ripening process.

Be aware that bananas will develop brown skins if you keep them in the fridge.  Frozen bananas are great if yours are too ripe.  They make super home made ice cream!

11. Whole Melons

Every time I keep a whole melon in the fridge, it gets dimpled and develops rotted spots.

Whole melons are best stored in a cool, dark place until they are cut, at which time you can put them in the fridge, but will need to use them in a few days.

cantaloupe12. Hot sauce

This one makes sense. Putting hot sauce in the fridge affects its heat!  And we use hot sauce for the heat, after all.  It can be kept for long periods of time in the pantry.

13. Real Maple Syrup (and agave syrup)

Like honey, these syrups will begin to crystallize in the fridge. Keep them on a shelf in the pantry or in a cupboard.

Maple syrup14.Basil

Basil goes moldy very quickly in the fridge.  It is better store in a glass of water on the counter.

If you won’t be using it all, basil freezes well in olive oil and water in an ice cube tray for later use.

15. Avocados (and slimcados)

If you want your avocado, or slimcado, to ripen, keep it on the counter. If you store it in the fridge, you will come back in a week to a rock hard avocado that will have little chance of ripening.

After ripening, they are fine to store in the fridge for a few days.

avocados16. Onions

Onions will go soft and moldy if you keep them in the fridge. (Scallions and chives have a higher water content, so they are fine to store in the cold.)

Keep onions in a cold, dry place.  Be sure to store them apart from potatoes, or both will deteriorate more quickly if stored together.

17. Bread

Like pastries, bread will dry out and go stale very quickly if kept in the fridge.  Keep it in a bread box, on the counter, or in the freezer if you will not be using it soon.

bread18. Peanut butter

 Commercial peanut butter keeps best in the pantry and will keep for several months without losing its flavor.

All natural peanut butter is a different matter though. The oil in it will rise and go rancid if you keep it in the pantry, so it’s best stored in the fridge.

19. Apples

Freshly picked apples do best (and taste best) when stored on the counter.  If you can’t eat them within a week or two, you can keep them in the fridge to make them last a bit longer.

apples20. Fresh berries

 Don’t store those farmers market berries in the fridge. They taste so much better if kept at room temperature.  Eat them as soon as possible.  Raspberries, especially, go moldy if refrigerated and should be eaten within a few days.

These are my 20 foods that should not be stored in the fridge. Can you think of some more?  Please leave your comments below.  I’d love to add them to the list if I have forgotten a food that should not be kept in the fridge.

Also see my list of 25 surprising foods that can be you may not know you can freeze.

20 Foods you should not store in the fridge

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Thursday 1st of January 2015

This has nothing to do with food that doesn't belong in the fridge, but it's nonetheless important information: keep apples separate from other fruits, since apples speed the ripening process of other fruits and vegetables. Especially bananas go bad quicker that way


Thursday 1st of January 2015

thanks for the tip Birgit. It is always helpful to know what foods to keep away from each article. I may research that topic to see if there are others as well and write it up as an article. Happy New year! Carol

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