Self Help

Did You Know That You Are Refrigerating Completely Wrong?

By Psquared - February 26, 2019

The refrigerator is a marvelous invention, isn’t it? This wondrous ice box keeps our food cool and therefore fresher for a longer period of time. This truly revolutionized the world. Humans were suddenly able to store food in greater quantities without having to worry about scarfing it all down before it spoiled. Plus, it’s an easy invention. You just open it up and throw the food in. That’s all there is to it, right?

Turns out, it’s actually not that easy. Sure, you can throw anything in there. Heck, some folks even throw in an opened box of baking soda to keep things fresh. But did you know that there are certain things you should not keep in your fridge? In fact, if you keep these things in your refrigerator, why, you’re refrigerating completely incorrectly, my friend. You may be shocked to learn about this, but these items are best stored somewhere else.

Pitted And Stone Fruits

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This first one may come as a shock, but you should never keep pitted or stone fruits in your fridge.

This includes apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums. You might think that since they’re produce, they belong in the crisper.

Turns out, that’s a bad move. These fruits tend to do better at room temperature. If the temperature is too low, then they can develop a mushy texture. And the last thing you need is a mushy stone fruit, pal.

Citrus Fruits

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Shockingly, citrus fruits are also better stored somewhere other than the refrigerator. Is this some kind of a joke?

Our whole lives, it was common knowledge that you throw fruits and veggies in the fridge. What is going on here?

It turns out that citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits have thick skins for a reason. They’re meant to help them tolerate warm environments. So as long as they’re kept at room temperature, they’ll be just fine.

Jam

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Jeez, with all these foods that don’t need to be in the fridge you’re gonna have more space in there than ever.

Fruit preserves don’t need to be stored in the fridge because they’re created to be preserved. That’s why they’re called “preserved foods.”

All that sugar in them helps keep them from going bad even if they’re not in arctic conditions. So no need to worry. They’re just as safe on the counter as they are in the door of your fridge.

Butter

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Okay, fruit is one thing. They have skin and the explanations make sense. But this seems crazy.

Can butter actually be stored at room temperature? Is that even safe? What kind of an explanation is there behind this?

Well, keeping butter in your fridge can limit its spreadability. You don’t want to grapple with your margarine while spreading it on your toast, do you? Butter lasts for up to a week outside the fridge, so assuming you eat it in that time span, you’ll be fine.

Bread

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You know what you don’t see in kitchens that often anymore? Breadboxes. That’s a shame, because it’s the best way to store them.

Keeping bread in the refrigerator is a great idea… if you want your rolls and loaves to get dry and crusty.

It’s better to store them more at room temperature. If you’re afraid your bread, butter and jam are going to expire, not to worry. This gives you an excuse to combine all those ingredients and have the best breakfast ever.

Avocados

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There are only a few instances where placing an avocado in the fridge is a good idea.

If you’re afraid the fruit (yup, it’s a fruit, deal with it) is on the verge of becoming overly ripe, you can throw it in.

You can also throw it in if it’s already halved, although that will only help it last for a day or so, tops. Otherwise, keep the avocado out. Keeping the avocado in the fridge too long will cause it to lose its taste and texture.

Onions, Garlic And Potatoes

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At this point is there anything we even should keep in our fridge? What’s the point of it all?

You should absolutely keep meat and dairy and many other things in there, but onions, garlic and potatoes aren’t in that list.

When potatoes are left in cold conditions for too long they become starchy and hard to eat. As for onions and garlic, they can become soft. You don’t want to let these delicious ingredients go to waste, now do you?

Tomatoes

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Okay, so it’s becoming apparent that we may have been needlessly worried about our produce spoiling if not refrigerated.

Tomatoes are best left on the counter. If they are stored somewhere cold, it can cause a loss of flavor and ruin the texture.

That’s good to know, isn’t it? If you’re planning on throwing tomatoes at a terrible comedian, make sure they’re left at room temperature so they’re nice and firm, unless you want a solid splat, in which case keep them chilled. Solid life lesson.

Bananas

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Finally, a fruit most of us know not to refrigerate! Many of us keep our bananas on top of the fridge, not in it.

Keeping them chilled is only a good idea if you want them to bruise and turn brown quicker than usual for some reason.

If you want them to last longer, here’s a helpful hint: Separate the bananas and cover each of the stems with a tightly wound plastic wrap. Nothing worse than wasting 11 cents a week on spoiled bananas.

Hot Sauce

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This one doesn’t make much sense. Why would anyone store their hot sauce in a place that’s cold?

Maybe they think it’ll make it easier for them to handle the spice? That’s actually somewhat true, but not in a good way.

The key element to a hot sauce’s durability is its acidity. This is ruined when it’s stored in the fridge. So unless you’re trying to ruin it so you have an excuse to not burn your tongue, it’s best keeping them in a cabinet.

Soy Sauce

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Here’s another type of sauce that doesn’t need to be left in the refrigerator: soy sauce.

We understand the compulsion. “It’s always better to be safe than sorry,” right? Sure, that’s true. But when you understand science, you can relax.

There’s simply no need to keep soy sauce chilled. It’s fermented. That means at a chemical level, it’s composed and designed to withstand warmer temperatures. Heck, billions of people cook with it. If those temperatures don’t ruin it, you have no need to be concerned.

Honey

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Look, more bees than you’d be comfortable knowing worked countless hours and sacrificed a lot to produce the honey you bought.

The least you can do to show your gratitude is not let this precious nectar go to waste.

Keeping honey in your refrigerator will only ruin it. The cooler temperature causes it to congeal or crystalize. The honey will be a better consistency and even taste better if you just keep it on the bottom shelf of a cabinet instead.

Maple Syrup

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Is there anything better than some flapjacks, French toast or (wait, why “or?” Let’s say “and”) waffles?

Those breakfast treats just covered in butter and maple syrup? There is: butter and maple syrup that’s been stored in correct conditions.

We know how to store butter now, and maple syrup also doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Like honey, it will also congeal and crystalize in there. It can also become gritty. Just leave it out. Trust us, it’ll be better that way.

Pickles

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This is another instance where you don’t have to be such a worry wart. Fitting for this food, really.

This food contains warts on them. So it doesn’t need anymore, especially of the worrying variety. Listen to some reason here.

Pickles are meant to be preserved. That brine that transforms them from a cucumber into the perfect sandwich companion gives them a much longer life. It’s like a vampire transformation. A fridge won’t ruin them per say, but it’s totally unnecessary.

Cake

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Finally, you can have your cake and eat it, too, but if you can’t eat it in one sitting, where do you store the leftovers?

If you’ve been paying attention, by now you know you don’t have to store it in the refrigerator.

Simply cover it and leave it on the counter and it’ll be good for up to a week. Has a cake ever lasted a week in your house? Didn’t think so. So no need to worry, and no need to subject yourself to the dry and crusty mess it becomes when chilled.