What’s not to love about a refrigerator and freezer? It’s the place to stash your leftover pizza, the jam your mom made, the ice cream no one is supposed to know you have. It’s a miracle of modern home life.
But a few foods might disagree with you, and we’ve got the wasted groceries to prove it. Want to skip the frustration (and the unwelcome fridge surprises)? Read on to know when to skip the cool-down and stick with the counter and pantry.
Bananas need room temperature for two reasons: The warm temperatures help the fruit finish ripening (in case you pick up any still-green pieces) and the light and air slow down decay.
Stored in the fridge, your coffee is more likely to pick up other flavors around it. Instead, keep it in a sealed container, in the pantry away from sunlight.
The countertop, not the fridge, is the best spot for this summertime bit of goodness. The cold temps in a fridge mess with the deliciousness of their texture.
Ever forget a jar of honey in the back of the pantry for, oh, a really long time? Stash a jar in the fridge, and that process speeds up, quickly making honey unpalatable. Instead, keep it in its original container, in a cool, dark pantry spot.
- Fresh herbs
A fridge saps basil, rosemary, thyme, and more of their flavor punch and dries them out, too. Instead, tuck them in a small glass, stems down and in a little room-temperature water, and stash them on the countertop, out of direct sunlight.
Unless you prefer stale, dried-out slices on your favorite sandwich, stash loaves of bread in the pantry.
Much like honey, vegetable, olive, coconut, and other cooking oils will quickly solidify in the fridge. Keep them on a cool, dark shelf in the pantry instead.
In the grocery store, you’ll find cantaloupe, watermelon, and other similar fruit not in cold cases—so use that rule of thumb when tackling kitchen food storage conundrums, too. For melons, the counter is the best spot until you cut them up; then store them in the fridge.
Super-unripe avocados have a hard time finishing the ripening process in the fridge. Instead, leave them on the countertop (and use them as motivation to make a bowl of guacamole).
Unless cut up, onions should go in the pantry. But never store them next to . . .
Which also need to live in room-temperature storage to maintain their texture. These two are not happy pantry bedfellows; the gases released by the two tend to accelerate spoilage.
Again, think about how you buy garlic: on a shelf in the grocery store—and remember that when you store it.