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15+ Things You Should Not Refrigerate



There are certain items, even against popular belief, that should not be stored in the refrigerator. By refrigerating many items, the flavor can be lessened or change the texture, and in some cases, even make it spoil faster because of condensation from the refrigerator. 

I am all about how to store food so that it lasts as long as possible. There is nothing that I hate more than throwing away good food that just didn’t last as long as it should and wasting money. If you have not checked them out already, be sure to read:
How To Store Fruits and Vegetables To Keep Them From Spoiling 
How To Freeze Food: Timeline, Tips and Don’ts

 
Hot Sauce
It can live happily in the pantry for up to three years and this includes Tabasco and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. You can also include 
WorchestershireHeinz 57Soy Sauce and Sriracha as all non-refrigerated items!

Potatoes
The refrigeration affects the flavor of all potatoes and that includes all kinds; white, baking, red, purple, fingerling etc. Store in dry pantry in a paper bag. Plastic bags promote moisture and mold.

Bread
The refrigerator dries out bread very quickly. Keep what you will eat within 4 days in a dry pantry at room temperature and freeze the rest. 


Onions
Try to keep in their original mesh bag or any other that allows circulation and keep in the pantry. Keep away from potatoes which causes onions to rot. 

Tomatoes
Refrigeration kills the flavor of tomatoes and causes them to be mealy. Keep them out of plastic bags. To ripen faster store in paper bag. 

Avocados
Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. If you are refrigerating a whole avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air.

Coffee 
Surprisingly to me, you should not refrigerate or freeze coffee because it causes condensation and changes the flavor. Goes for beans and grounds. Keep in airtight container in pantry. 

Garlic
It will last in the pantry for two months. Refrigerating garlic can reduce the flavor and actually cause mold. Store loose and once head is broken should use within 10 days. However, you can put minced garlic in the fridge as long as used as soon as possible. 

Honey
Placing honey in the refrigerator will thicken and crystallize the honey. Honey is all-natural and can stay good almost indefinitely in the pantry. 



Winter Squashes
Any type of winter squash from acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash will taste better and last about a month or more in the pantry. 

Melons
Keep whole melons on the counter to achieve the best flavor. Research has found that storing at room temp helps to keep antioxidants better intact. Once cut you can store in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

Oils
Oils get thick and cloudy when you place them in the refrigerator. The only oils that must be refrigerated are nut oils. Otherwise keep them in the pantry. 




Fruits
Certain fruits like apples, berries, peaches, apricots and nectarines should be placed on the counter until ripe. It can change the flavor of the fruit so that it is not as flavorful if refrigerated.

Non-Foods

Batteries
It is a common myth that you should store batteries in the refrigerator, but extreme heat or extreme cold actually diminishes their performance. 

Nail Polish
The only thing that refrigerating nail polish does is thicken it and change the chemicals. Keep at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. 



Have any other tips of what should not be refrigerated? Leave a comment below! I would love to know and add to my list!

 

117 thoughts on “15+ Things You Should Not Refrigerate

    1. Anonymous

      Take the containers of used oils, bacon fat, fats from meats, store in fridge, so they set and harden…much easier recycle

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      I have kept potatoes in the crisper drawer to prevent them from spoiling. I didn’t notice any change in taste or texture. Just sayin’. :)

      Reply
    3. Anonymous

      We should assume that all that is natural can be kept out of the frig… I have never seen a hen with a frig… have you ??? One thing is that we should use our common sense and not presume that “all natural” stuff can stay outside for ever….

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Onions absorb bacteria and become toxic to the body. They should never be refrigerated, especially after cutting them open. They are the reason for most cases of food poisoning, because they absorb all the harmful bacteria and when you eat them you get food poisoning. Look it up online, it is very true, God bless

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      I’ve been leaving cut onions in a Ziploc baggie, and we have never been sick. So, it’s definitely a myth.

      Reply
    3. LK

      I make a spicy onion salsa that is really cooked but in lots of fresh lime juice. I keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I also have always kept sliced onions in a zip lock bag all my life and I’m OK

      Reply
    4. LK

      I make a spicy onion salsa that is really cooked but in lots of fresh lime juice. I keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I also have always kept sliced onions in a zip lock bag all my life and I’m OK

      Reply
    5. Anonymous

      I always refrigerate my onions and cut onions and I haven’t died from food poisoning yet and no one in my family has ever gotten sick from it.. I say that is a total myth. Refrigerated onions don’t make you cry when you cut them.

      Reply
    6. Anonymous

      If that were true about an onion, I should have been dead, or very sick for the past 50+ years because I and my mother ALWAYS refrigerated cut onions!

      Reply
    7. Anonymous

      Me and all my family have put cut onions in baggies in the fridge, I love hearing from people who do t cook that its toxic once you put it in the fridge. Yet I’m still alive and every one else I know who does it is too, and all the kids that have been fed these “toxic” onions.

      Reply
    8. Anonymous

      All of you have said they are in a baggie and that’s why they are ok. If they are left open is when they absorb bacteria and that part is not a myth.

      Reply
    9. Henry Hercules

      Any fruit or vegetable can absorb bacteria after being cut and not stored properly, not just onions. So, it’s not exactly a myth but applies to other foods to. That’s common sense.

      Reply
    10. Anonymous

      If you have a recipe that calls for sweet onions, and all you have are regular, putting one in the fridge overnight will take most of the bite out of it.

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Real maple syrup must be refrigerated after opening. I don’t remember the details but it forms some type of toxin.

      Reply
    2. Kimberly Jakeman

      Real Maple Syrup can stay out at room temperature after opening if you consume it gast enough. If it’ll take longer than a month then put it in the refrigerator. Non-opened syrup can stay at room temperature with a ‘best before’ of 3 years. You can also put syrup in the freezer if you buy in bulk.

      Reply
    3. Anonymous

      I didnt refrigerate pure maple syrup and went to pour it on ice cream and it was green with MOLD all through it. Gross. Log Cabin type syrup dont do this due to preservatives.

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Some of this depends on where you live. There were items nit refrigerated when we lived in England that must be refrigerated in Alabama, even with air conditioning.

      Reply
    2. Jessica Shiger

      No!! The eggs that are refrigerated in store don’t have the protective covering surrounding the egg anymore and the shell is porous so they will go bad if kept at room temp. The eggs that can be left on the counter still have there protective coating around the shell.

      Reply
    3. Anonymous

      Mineral oil??? Chemicals can be absorbed through egg shells. That sounds like a terrible idea!

      Let eggs warm to room temperature before using them to get fluffier cakes and batters.

      Reply
    4. Anonymous

      In the US eggs are washed and need to be refrigerated. In England they are not washed (don’t need to be) and are left out. If you have hens, don’t wash the eggs and leave them out.

      Reply
    5. Cera

      If they are straight from a farm and not washed, then they can be stored on the counter. If you still wish to use store-bought eggs and keep them on the counter, then yes, rub mineral oil on them. It is actually a food safe oil used when other oils would contaminate food or go rancid. Otherwise, store washed eggs in the fridge.

      Reply
    6. Kristin

      The eggs you buy at the store in the USA have been washed. Straight from the hen, there is a coating called bloom on them. If they have the bloom on them, eggs are safe at room temperature. Otherwise, the shells are porous and will allow bacteria to grow in the egg. If you buy straight from a grower, keep them on the shelf in your pantry in a basket. Store bought eggs must be refrigerated.

      Reply
  1. tkajgray

    Eggs in the states that are purchased at a store must be refrigerated, but farm fresh eggs do not need to be, I believe it’s due to the process the FDA makes them go through when washing.

    Reply
    1. TracyH

      UNWASHED, fresh eggs can be stored outside of the fridge for up to a month; though I’ve heard of people that have stored them longer a chick-to-bend had no issues. Eggs come from the hen coated with what they call the “bloom;” a natural coating that protects the egg from bacteria invading through the porous shell wall. Washing eggs removes this. The FDA requires the big egg production farms wash all eggs so they have to be refrigerated. I simply wash my hen & duck eggs in warm water before using them.

      Reply
    2. brazosxxx

      Ever hear of buttered eggs?🍚in the old days sailors used to cover their eggs with butter for long voyages. Seemed to work back then, no reason the same wouldn’t not i guess.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Apples will get mealy and soft if left out of the refrigerator too long. I always refrigerate them, and they’re always sweet and crisp.

    Reply
    1. Rae Chidlow

      I think it is determined by your environment and climate within the type of home you live in. I have to put apples and a few other things in my frig to prolong the life of it. I’ve tried not refrigerating and they didn’t last as long.

      Reply
    2. Rae Chidlow

      I think it is determined by your environment and climate within the type of home you live in. I have to put apples and a few other things in my frig to prolong the life of it. I’ve tried not refrigerating and they didn’t last as long.

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I am from South FL and now live in East TN. I would buy tomatos down there and would always put in the fridge. However here I dont. However I am always having to remove them from the fridge as my son in law seems to think he knows better and says that they have to be refrigerated no matter what I tell him he will say by the way you forgot to put the tomatoes away so i put them in the bottom drawer so I go and take them back out.

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      We never put our catsup in the fridge. No problems at all. In fact, we don’t put most vinegar based items in the fridge after opening.

      Reply
    2. Polish Momma

      You must also read labels about refrigeration. Many of these bottled products are not organic and contain chemicals. Follow the labeling, there could be active ingredients you are not aware of.

      Reply
  3. Posh Totes

    Potatoes and onions get along well in the pantry if you Stow an Apple in the bag with onions willl keep them from rotting. It helps to neutralize the gases that escape from produce. This has worked well for me!

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    My Dad used to keep His maggots for fishing at the bottom of the fridge, the cooler temperature stopped them turning into casters / flys so kept for quite a while longer.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    bananas are okay to refrigerate once they’re ripe. the refrigeration stops them from ripening further so they’ll last longer than when left on the counter.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Separating bananas will help them stay fresh longer as well instead of leaving them in a bunch.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      I just finished reading on a different site to tightly seal bananas in a plastic bag to help them from ripening so quickly. I have not tried it yet, but will when I go grocery shopping.

      Reply
    1. Jeanie Jones

      I’ve frozen coffee and it’s fine – so long as you don’t later decide that you want to keep that same coffee in the cupboard. When it’s brought back to room temp and allowed to sit, is the point at which it becomes nasty tasting. A Starbucks manager once explained to me what, exactly, takes place with frozen coffee.

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    You are not supposed to freeze coffee. I worked at a gourmet locally owned coffee shop for four years and again at a Starbucks for a year. A pound of coffee should be stored in a cool dry area (pantry) for one week once opened.

    Reply
  7. Anonymous

    Cheeses dont necessarily need it. We never put grated parmesan (like Kraft) in the frige. Also, I buy mild cheddars and leave them out to age for several months before removing them from their original packaging. Then, just rinse the separated oils off, pat dry with a clean paper towel and repackage as you wish. I store in the fridge after repackaging, or mold will start to grow.

    Reply
  8. Alicia

    You are 100% wrong about berries. Berries start the dying process as soon as they are picked. When the farmer picks them, they are brought into cold storage of about 34 degrees to bring the heat off the berry and slow the dying process. The berries have the best flavor right off the plant but most of us do not have access to fresh picked berries. Your berries will rot if they are left out of refrigeration. Here is a good guide to care and handling of your berries.

    http://www.driscolls.com/berries/care-handling

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I disagree…partly. Fresh berries should not go in the fridge becauseiit kills alot of the enzymes and other things that make them so good for you. But if you get them from somewhere that has already cooled them like you said, I’m not sure..

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Completely agree….berries need refrigeration….we sell Driscoll’s and I feel ALL fruits except for bananas should be refrigerated. Melons are fine out of the refrigerator, until CUT. But who wants to eat a warm watermelon??

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Butter can be either way. I keep mine in he frig until I need it…only so it doesn’t melt or to soft. Once I open it it stays out. If it gets to hot in the house. I found a dish that you put the butter in with cold water underneath keeps soft but not hard…..that I use in the summer only.

      Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Sorry, have to disagree with the bread, melons, fruits, and tomatoes. For those of us who have lived in Southern, humid climates where everything rots faster, it’s okay to refrigerate these things. Yes, coldness kills flavor and makes bread a little drier (helps to keep it sealed in a bag), but I’d rather not waste money on good, whole wheat bread that literally molds within 3 days in the pantry in NC. Same goes for berries.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Please. I’m from New Orleans- way more humid than anywhere in NC. Almost nobody here refrigerates sny of this stuff. It only makes bread go stale faster. I’ve also been a baker for 35 years so I know one or two things about bread.

      Reply
  10. Julie Fox

    As I understand it, generally cucumbers last longer if they are kept at room temperature or in a pantry, but once you have cut into them, they do need to be kept in the fridge.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    Most of the american food is GMO, so heavy chemicals don`t allow it to spoil even if you keep it out of the fridge.

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    I never refrigerate bananas, avocados, oranges, or apples. Onions I refrigerate after I’ve peeled & cut then. I always wrap it in plastic wrap, then put it in a glass jar with a lid. That way it doesn’t stink up the fridge & actually lasts longer. I just don’t feel comfortable leaving things that I was taught to refrigerate, out of the fridge! Especially with our triple-digit Summers. It’s just barely the middle of April & we’ve already had temps over 90 degrees here. I would much rather be safe, than sorry. Not to mention, there is nothing quite as refreshing on a hot Summer day than ice cold water melon, grapes, & cantaloupe! :)

    Reply
  13. Anonymous

    Alkaline batteries should be stored cold. Freezing can damage the seal, but anyone that has ever tried to use a flashling on a cold winters night knows that alkaline batteries do not work well when cold, they must be warmed. As a result, the internal resistance of the cell changes and self-discharge is reduced, allowing longer shelf life. One myth that can be disproved is the myth at batteries recharge themselves, they cannot recharge themselves.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    What about peanut butter. I have heard that you should refrigerate peanut butter because of bacterial growth. Also the same applies to catsup after opening.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I use only all natural PNB. I scrape it out into my kitchen aid and mix it till all the oil is mixed in then I put it in a refrigerator dish that is big enough to hold all of it and put it in the refrigerator. Refrigeration keeps the oil from separating.

      Reply
  15. Anonymous

    I wash all the Fruit and Berries in the sink with White Vinegar to help them last longer – I have kept Strawberries for 2 weeks, and they stay sweet.
    Also keep ‘Super Glue’ in the fridge once it has been opened – Stops it hardening before it can be all used up.

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    A good rule of thumb with condiments and other things is, if you buy it room temp, it can stay room temp. That applies to most things- including mayonnaise- but if it is in a jar (salsa, other things where the “button” pops) it should probably be refrigerated.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I always refrigerate mayo. I don’t think that mustard needs to be refrigerated because it has so much vinegar in it.

      Reply
  17. Anonymous

    I always refrigerate my apples. I love Galas and they taste so much better cold than room temperature, refreshing on a hot Arizona summer day. They’re usually gone within two days anyway. One thing that REALY bugs me, when guests store my bred and tortillas in the fridge. They dry out and go stale quickly when stored there. Bread in a bread box or pantry/cupboard and tortillas in a cupboard as well. Major pet peve of mine :)

    Reply
  18. pete

    For u info I am an over the road truck driver and I haul a reefer unit I pu fresh proudce all the time all proudce is kept refridgarated berries 33degrees melones 35 bannanas35 tomatoes lettuce etc etc it extends the life take it out of the fridge for awile before u use it but it is all kept refridgarated

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    If i kept everything listed here out of the fridge, i wouldn’t be able to get into my kitchen. Not everyone has a big country kitchen with plenty of counter and cupboard space. As for watermelon, on a hot summers day i want it cold.

    Reply
  20. Anonymous

    Well, most fresh vegetables are refrigarated by the wholesalers anyway.. Even the markets keep them cool.

    Reply
  21. Michael Andrade

    Sorry guys, but the fact that oils get thick and cloudy in the refrigerator is irrelevant. Any oil that contains omega 3 or omega 6 fats will oxidize. Oxidized fats are carcinogenic. Heat and light speed up the oxidation process. Any fat that comes from a plant needs to be kept away from air, heat and light. That means the refrigerator.

    Reply
  22. sunny

    1. I disagree about the oils. Oils become rancid if not kept cool after opening in a sealed or unopened bottle.

    2. Eggs – if they have NOT been washed, they do NOT need refrigeration.

    Reply

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