Foods That Should Not Be Refrigerated


Eating well can be expensive, and the last thing we want to do is waste a $4 avocado. When most of us think about keeping food fresh, we mostly believe putting it in the refrigerator is the best way to do it. However, there are a number of foods that should not be refrigerated because they actually go bad more quickly if they are in the refrigerator!

We have compiled a list of 15 foods that should not be refrigerated in order to help you avoid the very disappointing reality that something you bought at the grocery store yesterday has already perished.

#1. Potatoes

We generally think of potatoes as sturdy, solid foods that can withstand a lot of pressure from outside sources. Well, they are, unless you put them in the fridge. The cold temperatures will break down starch, making the potatoes gritty and unusually sweet. You certainly will not want to use these potatoes in any of your next meals.

#2. Honey

We tend to think that honey never goes bad. And truly, it doesn’t. But when it is exposed to cold temperatures, it can crystallize, and make it nearly impossible to get it out of the bottle.

The place to keep your honey is in a cabinet or other space that is room temperature.

#3. Tomatoes

This one really goes against what you would consider being common sense when keeping vegetables fresh, but it’s true.

The cold temperature of a refrigerator makes the tomatoes get wrinkly and lose the flavor. Their texture can also turn quite mealy, which is certainly not desirable for the well-loved fresh vegetable. This could make you miss out on the amazing health benefits of this fruit.

#4. Onions

Are we starting to see a trend with vegetables? Uncut onions should always be stored someplace cool and dark. The cold temperatures and potential humidity in a refrigerator can make onions moldy very quickly.

If you have cut unions, seal them in a plastic bag and put them in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

#5. Bread

Bread might feel like the most sensitive food in your kitchen. If it is left unsealed, it could dry out. If it’s too warm, it could grow mold. So, why not keep it in a cool, dark place?

The refrigerator might seem like an obvious choice, but the refrigeration can actually dry out the bread as well.

The best way to help bread maintain its shelf life (no pun intended) is to keep it on the shelf or in a cabinet out of sunlight and at room temperature.

#6. Nuts

This may be an unusual one to find in a refrigerator, but there are certainly people who do it. Unfortunately, the cold temperatures inside the refrigerator can actually diminish the flavor. Additionally, the shells on nuts can also absorb odors in the fridge, making the nuts taste much worse.

Nuts should be stored in an airtight container in a cabinet.

#7. Avocados

Ah, the bane of existence for millennials who attempt to keep cut avocados fresh and fail quite often. Uncut avocados are best kept at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Ripe,  uncut avocados can last for a couple of days in the fridge, but once an avocado is cut, the oxidation process begins immediately.

One way to avoid this is to put the cut avocado in a bag with cut onions, to help slow down the oxidation.

#8. Olive Oil

Olive oil belongs in the cupboard with your other cooking supplies so that it can maintain its consistency and flavor. A cool, dry place is best for olive oil and is, therefore, definitely one of the foods that should not be refrigerated.

#9. Chocolate

Many people enjoy their chocolate cold, instead of room temperature. While this may appeal to some, it’s worth noting that the cold temperatures of the refrigerator are drastically changing the makeup of the chocolate, altering its taste and texture.

If you have ever forgotten a bar of chocolate in the fridge and found it months later, you’ll notice it’s almost turned white and tastes gritty and terrible. This is why! Take your chocolate out of the fridge and keep it someplace at room temperature.

#10. Bananas

Bananas are very tricky. One second, they are too green to eat, the next they are brown and rotten. How can you find that sweet spot (pun intended) for fresh bananas?

Those green, unripe bananas should be kept at room temperature, while yellow bananas should be moved to the fridge in order to prevent the browning.

#11. Watermelon

You should keep unripe and uncut watermelons in the cupboard. Besides, leaving such a fairly large fruit out of the refrigerator is indeed a real space-saver. There’s literally a little impact when it comes to freshness.

On the contrary, cut melons are one of the foods that should be well covered and refrigerated.

#12. Aged Cheese

For the everyday consumer of cheese, this makes no sense. Cheese is always kept in the fridge! Well, aged cheese has very specific chemical makeup, and if it is exposed to cold temperatures it seizes up and becomes completely solid and inedible.

While it seems counterintuitive, keep your aged cheese in a dry, cool place.

#13. Coffee

This is an age-old kitchen habit of many coffee lovers who think keeping their coffee in the fridge, or even the freezer, will help extend its life.

Unfortunately, just the opposite is true. Coffee is highly vulnerable to humidity, and any humidity found in the fridge or freezer will take the aroma and flavour out of the coffee, turning it into just ground beans. So just like tomatoes, onions, and bread, coffee is another one of the foods that should not be refrigerated.

#14. Pumpkins

In order to toughen their skin and retain freshness, pumpkins should be left in sunlight to cure, preferably on a well-lit windowsill. Afterward, store them in a well-ventilated and dry area not colder than 50°F (10°C).

Keeping them in the refrigerator actually causes them to turn faster. Otherwise, they can stay up to six months if they’re cured and well-stored.

#15. Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Think of this as you would peanut butter. Most people keep peanut butter in the cabinet, and it maintains its spreadable consistency.

The same goes for chocolate hazelnut spread. These types of spreads solidify in the fridge and become impossible to spread on bread (which is the ideal way to eat it).

Final Thoughts….

Certain foods that should not be refrigerated will maintain their flavour and freshness longer.  This will not only save you money on groceries but also allow you to enjoy these foods more.

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