Refrigeration increases the growth of harmful bacteria on many types of prepared and cooked foods. Food is best when refrigerated at a temperature between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit (between 1 °C and 3 °C). While refrigeration can decrease spoilage on many different kinds of foods, it is not recommended for every edible item in the kitchen. Colder temperatures can change the texture and taste of many foods, and sometimes even the nutritional value. The following information describes 35 foods you should not put in the fridge and the reasons why they are best left out at room temperature.
Coffee needs a dry, cool area to remain as fresh as possible. Refrigerator temperatures are normally too cold. Coffee should also stay in an air tight container to retain a high quality. The National Coffee Association states that coffee beans should be stored at room temperature and kept away from heat, moisture, and light.
Cold temperatures tend to have a drying effect on many items. Bread is a food that will become dry and stale if refrigerated. Bread may also be chewy in texture if kept for very long in a cold environment.
Tomatoes will lose much of their rich, tangy flavor if stored in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures will also change the texture of tomatoes as well as break down certain membranes on the inside. They can ultimately become mealy, mushy, and tasteless. Tomatoes will ripen at a steady rate and maintain their delicious flavor if kept on the counter at room temperature.
Basil has a tendency to absorb other smells that may be in the refrigerator. Not only can refrigeration destroy the flavoring power of basil, but the leaves may begin to wilt. Cooking experts site Epicurious.com suggests treating basil like you would cut flowers. Keeping the basil in a glass of water on the counter is sufficient for keeping it fresh.
Eggplants are vegetables that are temperature sensitive, and extended periods in the refrigerator may actually be harmful. Below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10°C) can damage the texture as well as the flavor of the eggplant. Eggplant should be stored at room temperature and away from other fruits and vegetables.
Avocados almost always need to ripen after they are purchased. Storing them in the refrigerator will slow down the process. Avocados will remain delicious and ripen naturally when kept in a dry spot on the counter.
Onions will often turn soft, and even moldy, when kept in the refrigerator. They last longest when kept out on the counter. Onions do need some air circulation and can be kept in the mesh bag they are often purchased in.
Garlic is a food that definitely should not be refrigerated. Garlic can become rubbery and grow mold in the fridge. It may even begin to sprout. Garlic is another food item that benefits from circulated air. They will stay good for over a month in an open area on the counter in a basket.
According to the science section of Business Insider, storing honey in the refrigerator can cause it to crystallize. It will also get extremely thick and difficult to pour or spoon out. Honey is a food that has the ability to naturally preserve itself and can stay good at room temperature for an indefinite amount of time.
10. Peanut Butter
Unlike the jelly or jams that go so well with it, peanut butter should be kept at room temperature. It will likely get dry and hard if stored inside the fridge. For creamy, spreadable peanut butter it’s advised to keep it in a dark, dry place. The exception is all-natural peanut butter which can separate if not refrigerated.