Keeping it simple

30 Foods That Should Never Be Placed in the Refrigerator

We all understand that chicken and most milk items need to be kept in the fridge. But, there are some foods you’ve probably not been keeping in the right place all this time.

1. Watermelon

pre-cut watermelon

Once you’ve cut a watermelon, it should go in the fridge. But until you cut it, it’s totally okay to leave it on the kitchen counter. In fact, the USDA says that doing this helps watermelons keep more of their healthy stuff, like antioxidants.

But, when you do put it in the fridge after cutting, make sure to wrap it up. This way, it won’t pick up the flavors of other foods.

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2. Honey


If you enjoy honey that’s sweet, fluid, and silky, then it’s best not to store it in the fridge. When honey gets cold, it can crystallize and may even harden like a stone over time. The tiny sugar particles stick together, forming a solid, whitish clump that’s not exactly appealing if you’re not after a chunky honey piece.

Honey is a wonderful sweetener, but the next food item we’ll discuss is an absolute delight in its own right.

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3. Coffee


The ideal method to keep coffee fresh is to store it in a sealed container at room temperature. Chilling coffee can lead to loss of flavor and even cause moisture buildup which could spoil the coffee grounds. Humidity is a coffee ground’s or bean’s worst enemy.

Luckily, the next food item we’ll talk about doesn’t require refrigeration!

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4. Pumpkin


If you keep pumpkins in the fridge, they can absorb moisture and start to decay. Pumpkins need to stay cool, but also dry. Hence, use a piece of cardboard (since a rug could get damaged and concrete might retain moisture) and place your pumpkin in the basement or kitchen.

The next food item we’ll talk about is often mistakenly stowed away in the fridge.

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5. Onions


Before you cut onions, it’s best to keep them at room temperature. Cold onions can become soft and lose their appeal. Plus, humidity can make them age faster. Once you’ve cut them, though, they do need to be stored in the fridge to prevent drying out. Just ensure that they’re in a plastic bag and placed in the vegetable drawer, where they’re supposed to be.

The 6th item on our list absolutely ‘nut’ needs to be stored in the fridge!

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6. Nutella


This widely adored and talked-about delicacy should never find its way into your fridge. If it’s chilled, it becomes far less easy to spread and also loses a significant amount of its chocolatey flavor. So, keep it tightly sealed and stored in the pantry to enjoy its creamy, chocolaty delight. That’s surely a reason to beam with joy!

The upcoming food item might raise your eyebrows, but there’s a perfectly sensible reason for it.

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7. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Did you realize that olive oil prefers darkness? That’s one of the reasons why it’s frequently sold in dark jars or bottles. Although the refrigerator provides the darkness, the cold temperature can make the oil harden. For extra virgin olive oil, keeping it in the fridge can actually change its flavor, something you certainly wouldn’t want.

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Up next, we have another item that’s often stored incorrectly.

8. Herbs


It’s a common misconception that herbs should be stored in the fridge to prolong their freshness. However, this isn’t the case. Herbs need to remain dry, and refrigeration tends to make them moist. For optimal freshness, trim the ends of the herbs and place them in a jar filled with water.

Most of the time, the next food item is incorrectly stored in the fridge.

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9. Tomatoes


Absolutely! Tomatoes should never be stored in the fridge. Doing so can actually harm them. Not only will they lose their flavor, but the cold temperature will break down their molecules, resulting in a grainy texture. For best results, allow tomatoes to ripen on windowsills and enjoy them while they’re fresh.

Did someone mention tomatoes? Click “next” to find out more!

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10. Ketchup


You might assume that the reason for not storing ketchup is similar to tomatoes, considering it’s tomato-based. However, that’s not the case. The actual reason is that ketchup contains a significant amount of vinegar, which acts as a natural preservative to keep it fresh, regardless of storage conditions.

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11. Tuna

Canned Tuna

When the word “tuna” comes to mind, you might assume it belongs in the fridge because it’s fish. However, canned tuna should actually be stored in the pantry or a cabinet. If you refrigerate it, the can is prone to rusting. By storing it in a dry place, you can extend its shelf life for up to five years! Nevertheless, once you open the can, it’s necessary to transfer the tuna to a container and keep it in the fridge.

Next up is another food item that should be kept in a dry environment!

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12. Bread


The reason bread should not be refrigerated is quite ironic – it tends to dry out! Yes, you heard it right. Unlike most foods where moisture is the issue, the problem with bread lies in its tendency to become stale when stored in a cold environment. However, if you don’t plan to consume it immediately and intend to toast it later, freezing is an option.

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13. Potatoes


Whether you prefer tomatoes or potatoes, one thing they have in common is the need to be kept out of the fridge. You might have noticed that potatoes are often stored in basements or at the bottom of pantries. The reason for this is that refrigeration causes them to become mushy and grainy, as the starches break down. Not a pleasant texture to encounter!

Now, let’s move on to another similar food item, which is typically stored in cold conditions more frequently.

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14. Apples


While cool apples may seem appealing, the reality is that they can last for weeks when left on the counter. Cooler temperatures and high humidity actually accelerate the ripening process of apples. However, after a few weeks, it can be advantageous to transfer them to the fridge. Of course, the simplest option is to enjoy them by eating them!

Now, onto the final food item that you wouldn’t want to overlook!

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15. Avocadoes


Here’s a handy tip for avocados: place them on a windowsill to allow them to ripen. As time passes, the creamy flesh will reach its peak perfection, making it the ideal consistency for preparing guacamole. So why make things difficult by refrigerating them? Give it a try and enjoy the delicious outcome!

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16. Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

If you want your hot sauce to retain its maximum flavor and spiciness, avoid refrigerating it. The cold temperatures tend to diminish its taste. Instead, opt to store your vinegar-based hot sauce in the pantry, allowing it to maintain its natural punch!

Now, let’s move on to another food item that also relies on vinegar. Keep reading to find out!

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17. Pickles


Similar to ketchup, pickles are infused with ample vinegar content, enabling them to remain preserved for years when sealed properly. Hence, the decision is yours: you can either store them in the fridge or indulge in the pleasure of savoring a warm and juicy pickle whenever you please!

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18. Garlic


Garlic has a tendency to age more rapidly in the fridge, and if stored there, it can inadvertently impart its flavor onto other foods. To prevent this, garlic bulbs require proper air circulation, as confinement can lead to the spread of its potent aroma. So, unless you’re aiming for garlic-infused cheese (which actually sounds quite delicious), it’s important to keep this in mind.

Now, get ready for the next item on our list—a fruit! Keep reading to find out more.

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19. Bananas


It’s no wonder that most people refrain from refrigerating bananas, and for good reason! When bananas are placed in the fridge, not only do their peels turn brown, but the ripening process also slows down significantly.

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20. Spices


Just like other delectable foods, spices can suffer from the effects of cold and humidity. These conditions can cause the flavors of the spices to deteriorate, resulting in a loss of their vibrant taste. To ensure the best results, it is advisable to store spices at room temperature!


21. Melon


To maintain the delicious flavor of melons, it is recommended to keep them on your kitchen counter. Storing melons at room temperature not only helps preserve their taste but also maintains the integrity of their antioxidants. On the other hand, refrigerating these fruits has the opposite effect. This is undoubtedly a valuable piece of advice, if you ask me.


22. Nuts


A refrigerator’s cool atmosphere may help keep the natural oils in nuts from becoming too rancid, but it also has the effect of dulling their flavor. In addition, nuts will take on whatever scents are lying in your fridge.


23. Stone Fruit

Stone Fruit

Stone fruits, such as peaches, nectarines, and plums, require a different approach to storage. If you place them in the fridge, they will take longer to ripen. Ideally, these fruits should be stored at room temperature to allow for proper ripening. However, if you’re unable to consume them immediately, it is acceptable to transfer them to the fruit bin in the fridge for a couple of days.

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24. Herbs


Fresh herbs earned their title for a reason. To put it simply, placing fresh herbs in the refrigerator accelerates their wilting process, resulting in a loss of flavor. Once they wilt, their taste is just not the same. Like the other foods mentioned in this article, it is advisable to store fresh herbs at room temperature for optimal freshness.


25. Apricots


To extract the utmost flavor from your apricots, it is recommended to keep them outside the fridge, preferably on the kitchen counter or in a dry location. Refrigeration can cause apricots to lose their delightful flavors and textures.


26. Salad dressings

Salad dressings

The primary purpose of salad dressings is to enhance the flavor and add zest to sometimes lackluster salads. Just like any other condiment, salad dressings reach their optimal performance when stored outside the fridge, such as in a cupboard.


27. Cereal


Cereal tends to have a more enjoyable taste when stored in a dry environment. Storing your morning cereal in the fridge alongside the milk may potentially cause stomach discomfort. However, if you reside in a humid climate like south Florida, it is advised to store your cereal in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.


28. Peanut butter

Peanut Butter

While keeping peanut butter in the fridge doesn’t cause any harm to this beloved food, it tends to have a more delightful taste when stored in a cool and dark location for some time. Similarly to cereal, if you reside in a region with high humidity, it can be a wise choice to store your peanut butter in the fridge to maintain its quality.


29. Winter squashes

Winter squashes

Markets worldwide offer a variety of squashes, including butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash, among others. These nutritious vegetables are packed with vitamins. To preserve their valuable vitamin content, it is highly advisable to store squash in a location outside of the refrigerator.


30. Pastries


Cookies, cakes, and all sorts of pastries are best stored outside of the fridge. Those of us who love baking are well aware that these delightful treats tend to become stale more quickly when refrigerated.

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