an open refrigerator full of food

Refrigerate Me Not

Most fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses and other foods can be stored safely and happily in the fridge. But there are some foods that should never touch the inside of your refrigerator!

  1. Potatoes: Spuds don’t belong in the fridge! The cold air breaks down the starches, making your ‘taters sweet and slimy. Try storing them in the pantry instead!  (Grab more info at Potato Goodness Unearthed by the United States Potato Board)
  2. Garlic: Always store garlic on your countertop, in a dry container with good ventilation.
  3. Tomatoes: Ever noticed tomatoes taste better at room temperature? It’s not a trick; they may go bad faster on the counter, but are so much more delicious while they’re ripe!  Refrigeration can also alter the texture causing them to become grainy.
  4. Onions: Uncut onions can taste moldy out of the fridge. Keep them on the counter, or in a dark cool place!  (Moisture is another onion spoiler, best not to store them in a plastic bag.)
  5. Melon:  According to USDA research, the antioxidants in melon stay intact better at room temp.  Once cut store them in the fridge but as long as they are whole, counter top it is.
  6. Bread: Ick, cold, dry bread! I know many of you keep bread in the fridge but this causes it to dry out.  If you peek at the storage directions on any almost any bread website, they will tell you this is the worst place to keep bread.  Either keep it out, in a bread box, or in the freezer.
  7. Coffee: (This one actually shocked me…  but it’s true according to National Coffee Association USA)  Neither beans nor ground coffee should be stored in the fridge or freezer! (Extreme heat or cold is not good for coffee!).  The cold may cause condensation in your joe, which will wash the flavor away. Keep it in a pantry or on the counter out of direct sunlight instead.  I’m guilty of this one, I’ve always stored it in the freezer!
  8. Winter squash: Despite their name, the winter squash do not like the cold. Keep them in a pantry or cabinet and they’ll last about a month or so.
  9. Honey: The refrigerator will harden honey, and not make it last longer. Honey lasts a long time as it is, keep it in the cabinet!
  10. Oils: Olive oil and other other cooking oils hate the cold. Keep them room temperature.
  11. Ripen me at room temperature: Anything with a pit should be stored on the counter until they ripen. Only move peaches, avocados, and other stone fruits to the fridge once they’re ripe!

Can but don’t need to be refrigerated items:

Hot sauce: If you’re short on space you can keep your hot sauce in the cabinet, not in the refrigerator!  Refrigeration can alter the taste.  Because of the salt & acidity in hot sauce it can last years in the cupboard!

an open refrigerator full of food



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. We keep all of our bread, buns, etc. in the fridge. To me frozen bread dries out and is nasty but our refrigerated bread never is. It must have to do with climate. I grew up on non-refrigerated bread and we constantly had to check to make sure it wasn’t moldy. Like someone else mentioned, within a week, the mold begins to grow. But we rarely have mold with refrigerated breads.

    Apart from not storing onions and tomatoes in the fridge, I have also been told that you should not store onions and potatoes near each other because it will cause them to go bad faster. And cucumbers should not be stored with fruit due to off-gassing of ethylene that fruit gives off.

    1. We have to keep our bread in the refrigerator because there are only two of us in the house and it gets moldy before we finish a loaf. Actually we have found that if you set the loaf out about 30 minutes or so before using, the bread softens a little.

  2. Can any bag of raw whole grain rice get bugs after , becuz, I usually leave it in my pantr, but, someone had told me if I kept it there, it would go bad with bugs in it? I’ve seen opened bags of flour do get bugs in them when stored in pantry but not rice yet. Is this true?

    1. It potentially can. If storing it’s always best to keep in an airtight container. Space doesn’t allow for me to keep rice in my freezer.

  3. PS to my earlier comment – the advantage to refrigerating onions is that they won’t bother your eyes nearly as much when cutting.

    1. PS – the advantage to refrigerating onions is that they won’t bother your eyes nearly as much when cutting.

  4. I disagree on bread. You can put a loaf of bread in the fridge indefinitely and it will not mold or get dry. It can warm up at room temp of 10 seconds in the microwave.

  5. I disagree with number 6. If you live in a place where your bread molds fast, like Colorado you’ll want to keep it in the frig.
    I grew up in Colorado and I’ve noticed that any time I left my bread out of the refrigerater, even in a bread box, there it molds with in a week. Don’t know why, but it does. So I started storing it in the fridg, and it lasts much longer, doesn’t mold, plus I’ve never had it dry out in the fridg, unless I didn’t close the bag the bread was in.

  6. There are some climates where it’s ok to put coffee in the fridge, but in general it’s a bad idea and a personal pet peeve. Coffee has four enemies: light, air, moisture, and temperature. The best place to store it is in an airtight dark colored container in a dry place around 66-74 degrees. If you buy it in a bag, storing that bag inside a lock and lock type of container is ideal. My husband keeps throwing out the coffee bags, so I covered the outside of a lock and lock container with duct tape to keep it dark and then it lives in the pantry away from the stove and sink plumbing.

  7. I never realized that you shouldn’t actually refrigerator onions nor tomatoes. I guess that you learn something new every day. The other items on the list pretty much seem like common sense. I would never put my bread in the fridge.

  8. I keep oils (vegetable, olive, sesame, etc.) in the fridge, because I don’t use them fast enough and they go rancid. Oil lasts much longer in the fridge–the only drawback is that they do not remain liquid at 40 degrees. I simply squeeze out what I need like ketchup or have transferred oil to a mason jar to be able to scoop out what I need quickly. Small amounts of oil reach room temperature, liquid states in little time.

    1. I’ve been told that you can put a banana in the fridge just as it reaches its peak ripeness and it won’t ripen any further (even tho the peel turns black). This preserves the ‘shelf life’ of the fruit!

  9. I keep my bags of flour, pancake mix, oats, cornmeal, etc in the freezer. This has helped sooo much in preventing these items from getting bugs in them!

  10. I put bread in the fridge during hot summer months so it doesn’t get moldy. The rest of the year, it stays on the counter.

  11. For space. If I have space in the freezer, I put cereal, potato chips, boxes of hamburger helper or rice in it.

  12. My sister-in-law does not refrigerate mayonnaise that has never been refrigerated. It sits on her pantry shelf. I figure the vinegar keeps it from spoiling, but I cannot bring myself to leave mayo out of the fridge. What about this?

    1. I would have to agree with you, I wouldn’t eat mayo that hasn’t been in the fridge (unless of course it hasn’t been opened yet).

    2. Are you talking about open or not opened mayo? Not opened mayo I keep in the pantry, just like the store, but once opened it needs to be refrigerated (or at least in my house it does) lol

    1. I think it depends on where they came from. if they have been washed, the protective coating has been removed subjecting the eggs to salmonella bacteria. Home grown eggs could be left out if not washed. Wash before using.

      1. If the bloom has been washed off the eggs, it can be replaced by damping a cloth with mineral oil and rubbing it on the egg.

  13. honey NEVER goes bad but in the fridge it will crystalize more quickly. they have found honey in the tombs of pharaohs that has been there thousands of yrs and its still good, honey is the only food that never spoils

  14. Hmm, interesting. I don’t keep most of these in the fridge. However it explains my problems with onions. I cut up my onions and freeze them because I apparently am keeping them in the wrong place!

  15. We store our bread in the fridge and it’s fine. We eat it fast enough and I don’t want it cluttering my counter. I’m also not going to thaw it every time we want some (which is several times a day). My mom also stores hers in the fridge. To each their own I guess ;)

    1. Why would you bother of “thaw out” your bread…make the sandwich with the frozen bread (peanut butter spreads easy on frozen beead) by the time you get your chips and drink or any other sides in about 5 minutes your bread is thawed. If your packing it for a lunch it’s thawed by that time for sure. She is right frozen is the way to go..especially when you find it on sale!!