Refrigerators revolutionized the kitchen like no other appliance. When they were invented, foods like raw meat and milk could be kept in the home for much longer periods. This meant that you didn’t need to get a fresh batch of food each day to prepare your meals. However, as great as they are at keeping your food fresh, fridges can actually have the opposite effect on some items. It may come as a complete surprise, but here are a list of food items that are better kept at room temperature than inside of a cool refrigerator:
It’s logical to think that keeping bread in the fridge will make it last longer, but the opposite is actually true. Cold temperatures will make the fluffy insides dry out and cause it to go stale more quickly than if you leave it on the counter.
Similar to bread, garlic dries out when kept in the fridge. It will also seep odors into other food items, and absorb odors and flavors of foods that are kept around it.
The cool temperature of the fridge has an adverse effect on the starches found in potatoes. Cold turns starches into sugars, and this will result in your potatoes having a different flavor when you take them out and cook them.
Tomatoes will begin to turn to mush more quickly if you keep them stored in the fridge. Keep them on your counter if they are ripe, or on your windowsill if they are under ripe.
Onions are great for adding flavor to your favorite dishes, but keeping them in the fridge is detrimental to their flavor. Unless the onion is halved or chopped up, storing it at room temperature is perfect.
As some of you may know, honey does not expire. Though it may crystallize over time, all you have to do is heat it up for it to be as good as new. Refrigerating honey only serves to speed up the crystallization process.
Basil thrives in warmth, and keeping it the fridge will mute its flavor. To properly keep basil in your kitchen, place it in a jar of water and change the water every two days.
Storing whole melons in the fridge is completely unnecessary. As long as they aren’t cut, melons can last a very long time just sitting on your counter. In fact, storing them in the fridge causes them to lose their age-defying antioxidants. After they are cut, it is a totally different story, but whole melons should not be kept in the fridge.
A lot of people like to buy apples in bulk and store them in the fridge. Though this does make them last longer, they will not be as crispy and will lose some of their rich flavor.
Spices will lose their flavor if stored in the fridge. The vast majority of spices come dry as it is, so storing them in the fridge is only detrimental to their longevity.
Ground coffee is best kept in a sealed container outside of the fridge. Coffee is particularly good at picking up and absorbing odors from the fridge. So, unless you want your coffee smelling and tasting like week-old lasagna, store it in a cool, dry cupboard.
Baked goods tend to go stale really quickly. Your first instinct might be to help preserve them by sticking them in the fridge. However, it actually speeds up the process of moisture leaving the food.
Cold temperatures can have an adverse effect on your favorite hot sauces. When kept in the fridge, the flavor, texture, and viscosity of the sauce will change over time, and you’ll end up with a condiment that is nothing like what you originally bought.
Fruits With Stones
Fruits with stones – like peaches, plums, and nectarines – should not be kept in the fridge after you purchase them from the grocery store. Fruits like these are often sold slightly underripe in stores, so they need to be kept at room temperature until they are able to reach the perfect level of sweetness.
With the exception of oils that are derived from nuts, oils generally don’t need to be refrigerated. This includes vegetable, corn, olive, rapeseed, and canola oil.
Even though some bottles of soy sauce have a label saying to refrigerate after opening, the large amount of salt they contain gives them an impressively long shelf life without the need to stick them in the fridge.
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