20 Foods You Should Not Refrigerate

Cold storage is a necessity for many foods, but the chilly air of the fridge can have a negative effect on some healthy favorites. Keep these foods at their best by keeping them out of the fridge.

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Berries

Fresh berries from your local farm taste amazing at room temperature, so it's the sooner, the better for munching. For long-term storage, keep them in the fridge. To avoid soggy or moldy berries, rinse just before eating.

Melon   

Keep whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew on the counter for best flavor. USDA research found that storage at room temp might even help keep the antioxidants more intact. Once they're cut, store them in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Potatoes

Cold temps will break down the starches in potatoes, making them unpleasantly sweet and gritty. Cool and dry darkness is a spud's best bud.

Honey

Honey can crystallize and seize up in cold temps. Room temperature is ideal to keep this natural sweetener perfectly gooey.

Coffee

Humidity in the fridge can cause a buildup of watery condensation, which is no good for the flavor of ground or whole bean coffee. Store yours in an airtight container in the pantry instead.

Tomatoes

The chill of the icebox makes tomatoes dull and mealy. Store on the counter (under-ripe ones can go on the windowsill). If they begin to get too ripe, it's time to make tomato jam or roasted-tomato sauce.

Onions

Uncut onions are happy out of the cold. The humidity of the refrigerator makes them moldy and mushy. Avoid direct sunlight, and once they're cut open, place them in a resealable bag in the vegetable drawer.

Garlic

Preserve the powerful flavor of garlic by storing it in a cool, dry and ventilated container. Once the head has been broken open, use the cloves within 10 days.

Hot Sauce

There's no need to stash this spicy sauce in the fridge. There's plenty of vinegar to prevent bacterial growth, plus the heat of the peppers is more potent at room temp.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread

This beloved condiment is super-spreadable when left out of the fridge; the distinctive chocolate flavor is more intense when not chilled.

Bread

It might keep mold growth at bay, but refrigeration can dry out bread. Keep your loaves on the counter. If you've got more bread than you need, store it in the freezer and toast as needed.

Nuts

Colder temps help prevent the natural oils in nuts from going rancid, but the cool environment can stifle the nutty flavor; shelled nuts can also absorb other odors lurking in the fridge. Store nuts in an airtight container in the pantry. If you do have a large amount stashed in the fridge, toast the nuts in a dry pan before using.

Apples

Freshly picked apples will do well (and look pretty) on your counter. If they aren't eaten after a week or two, make them last a little bit longer by then chilling them in the fridge.

Avocados

The creamy goodness of this fruit is best enjoyed at room temp. If you've got a bunch of ripe ones around and no plans to use them, they can be placed in the fridge to keep them good for a few extra days.

Stone Fruit   

Allow peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums to ripen at room temperature. If you can't gobble 'em up right away, place them in the fruit bin of the refrigerator for a few extra days.

Olive Oil

Olive oil will solidify in the fridge requiring ample time on the counter after removal. Impatient folks may attempt to microwave or run under got water to achieve oil state more quickly. The constant changes in temp will alter the delicate flavor of your beloved EVOO so for best results, keep that oil in a cool, dark place, away from your stove.

Baked Goods

Nothing ruins a soft and fluffy doughnut like sub 40-degree temps. The fat in baked goods hardens in colder temps which can mute the flavors as well as stiffen the texture. Keep those cookies in the cookie jar!

Vinegar

No need to clog up the fridge with bottles of vinegar. The high acidity levels means it’s perfectly safe at room temp. Get longer shelf life out of homemade vinegar infusions by storing those in the fridge.

Bananas

You knew this but it’s worth explaining why this occurs: The cold temps of the fridge breakdown the cell walls of the banana peel, quickly turning it brown and increasing the rate of ripening. If you are looking to make banana bread ASAP this hack can help, but for snacking, keep those bananas on the countertop.

Citrus

Citrus is grown in hot environments and the juicy goodness of lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit thrive in the warmth. Cold citrus may be easier to zest but if you choose to go this route, gently press and roll the fruit on the countertop prior to help get the juices flowing.