Life can be busy and stressful. Thanks to technology, we now have ways of making everyday living that little bit easier. The fridge is a wonderful invention and means that we can keep food cold, preserving the life of the food we buy.
This ultimately saves us money and means we can buy in bulk rather than purchasing food each day. This saves a lot of time.
Should you refrigerate everything? Absolutely not! Some foods don’t do well when kept in the fridge, so if you are in the habit of throwing everything in the fridge,
you should investigate what effects it has on certain food. In this article, we will look at foods you should never put in your fridge.
Many people think the best way to store herbs is to refrigerate them… wrong! Herbs tend to wilt easily, and they actually decay faster when at low temperatures.
Instead, for soft herbs, you could keep them immersed in water outside the fridge to help them keep their texture.
If you have hard herbs such as rosemary or thyme, you can wrap them in a moist paper towel and place them in a sealed container or glass jar.
This keeps them moist and prevents drying them out, whilst also keeping oxygen out.
Another trick for preserving herbs is to chop them up and place them in an ice cube tray. That way, you can freeze them and bypass the fridge.
Before you freeze them, cover them in oil or broth. They can then be added directly to cooking when needed.
Bread is notorious for going off, so it may seem logical to keep it refrigerated. But don’t be tempted, the quickest way to ruin your lovely fresh loaf is to relinquish it to the cold temperatures of the fridge.
Your bread will dry out quicker than you can say ‘fried toast’ and you will wish you hadn’t been so foolish.
However, if you struggle to get through a whole loaf of bread before it starts to go stale you can cut out the middle man and freeze half the loaf,
this works much better than refrigeration and won’t affect the texture and consistency once defrosted.
Onions are a definite no no when it comes to refrigerating food. They swiftly lose their flavour when exposed to low temperature, and it’s better to store them in paper bags away from light and in a different area to potatoes.
This is because potatoes have some moisture and odour, the combination tends to rot the onions when kept together.
If you want to speed up cooking processes, then you can cut up the onion and store it in the fridge if you are going to use it quickly.
Certain fruits such as peaches apples, apricots and crunchy juicy fruits do not tolerate refrigeration well.
A better way to consume them is after a brief 30 minutes in the fridge before serving, as It helps to bring out their crunchy texture. Oranges and lemons you can keep in a fruit bowl and are protected by their skins.
Tomatoes are best kept outside the fridge. If you want to ripen the tomatoes, you store them in paper bags and then place them in the fridge.
But normally they can be kept on a sunny windowsill in a bowl. In the fridge, they lose all flavour, which is part of the joy of good tomatoes.
Honey doesn’t do well in direct sunlight, which is why some people think it’s best kept in the fridge. However, if honey is kept at low temperatures, it will go hard. When honey hardens, it loses its taste and nutrients.
Garlic is best stored in a dry and cool area of your kitchen. A pantry, cupboard or shady corners on your countertop are good options.
Many people falsely think that refrigerating bulbs is the right thing. Refrigeration will cause them to go off, and the extra moisture may cause them to become moldy.
Ketchup And Sauces
There’s no need to refrigerate ketchup. It contains vinegar which is a preservative, but also tomatoes are acidic which naturally helps to preserve it when at room temperature. The same goes for most sauces and dressings.
Potatoes should never be kept in the fridge as they completely lose their flavour. They are better stored in paper bags to retain freshness. It’s best to avoid plastic however as it increases moisture, which decays potatoes.
Butter is mostly fat and doesn’t have much protein, which is the main element in the growth of bacteria. Salted butter can last even longer.
There is no need to refrigerate butter unless you’re following a recipe that requires cold butter. Peanut butter can go rock hard if kept in a fridge, so as long as it is kept in a covered butter dish it’ll be okay on a kitchen counter.
Oils go rancid if exposed to light, heat, and oxygen So you shouldn’t store cooking oils near an oven however, refrigerating them isn’t needed. In the case of many oils, they will go cloudy or even harden in the fridge.
You should keep oils tightly sealed in a dark, cool cupboard and be sure to use them within three months. Having said that, nut oils such as walnut, hazelnut, or sesame tend to go rancid easily, so refrigerating them is a good idea.
It’s true to say unless part of fondue chocolate should not get too warm, but it’s ok to store it between 65 & 70 F, as long as it is kept away from direct sunlight and sealed tightly to avoid moisture.
Fridges tend to cause condensation to form on the chocolate, which results in the sugar blooming and making white blotchy patches that alter the appearance.
Chocolate should ideally be kept at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.
Bananas are best kept at room temperature. The warmer temperatures help the fruit ripen. Also, exposure to light and air slow down decay, helping you keep your bananas for longer.
When you purchase avocados it’s best to keep them at room temperature until they completely ripen as they may never ripen if they are refrigerated too soon.
However, it’s a good idea to refrigerate them after they ripen, which can extend their lifespan for a few days. A good tip If you’ve cut into your avocado but don’t want to eat a whole one is to squeeze it with a small amount of lemon juice.
Place it into an airtight container before putting it in the fridge.
Melons And Squash
Most melon and winter squash varieties, such as butternut, acorn, delicata and kabocha, don’t need to be refrigerated once they’re cut.
However, if you enjoy your melon cold, you could pop it into the fridge beforehand. Thankfully, the hard skin prevents them from drying out.
Learning how to store fresh food will make life easier and enable you to prevent unnecessary wastage. Some food may benefit from freezing or canning to help your food go further.
Nearly every fruit or vegetable can be preserved in one way, but it’s useful to know that sometimes refrigeration can have the opposite effect.
If you’re prone to forgetting things (which we all sometimes do) then place a list of food that you know shouldn’t be refrigerated on your fridge for reference.