55 Foods You Should Never Put in the Fridge

Coming home from the market and putting food in the refrigerator seems like the normal thing to do, right? Especially fruits and vegetables.

Naturally, many people think that keeping your food cold preserves it longer. But, keeping certain foods out of the fridge will help them ripen properly and prevent them from spoiling too fast. You may even save others perishables in your fridge from ripening, or even worse, spoiling prematurely.

Before you put those groceries away take a look at this list…

Tomatoes

tomatoes
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A reaction that produces the characteristically tart taste of tomatoes is interrupted when stored in cold temperatures ruining their flavor. The cold will also give them a grainy funky texture.

Avocados

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The cold air causes avocados to ripen more slowly. This also prevents the avocado from completely ripening even when removed from the fridge.

Garlic

garlic
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Garlic bulbs can become soft and moldy when left in the fridge and contaminate other products with its flavor. They can also sprout and become bitter.

Olive Oil

olive oil
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Olive oil gets cloudy and solidifies when placed in the fridge.

Potatoes

Potatoes

Keeping potatoes in the fridge will turn their starches into sugar. Doing this will make potatoes discolored and taste sweet once cooked. Unpack them from plastic bags to let them breathe and keep them in a cool dry place.

Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes

Refrigerating sweet potatoes will make them harden and take longer too cook.

Bananas

bananas

As a tropical fruit, the peel of the banana isn’t able to protect it from the cold. The cold will trigger the release of enzymes that will turn the bananas black.

Whole Melons

watermelon
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Storing whole melons in cold temperatures can destroy almost 50% of the vital antioxidants (lycopene and beta carotene) naturally created by the melons.

Apples

apples

Apples can emit a type of gas that will make other nearby perishables ripen more quickly. The cold also prevents healthy enzymes in apples from developing.

Berries

Putting berries in the fridge won’t do anything to prevent spoilage. In fact, the moisture in your fridge will accelerate the growth of mold.

Peaches

peaches

Cold temperatures break down the membranes in peaches and destroy nutrients.

Kiwis

kiwis

Kept in the cold, kiwis begin to lose their nutrients and turn into mush.

Plums

plums

Store plums at room temperature, away from sunlight until they are soft to the touch and have a sweet aroma.

Pears

pears

Pears will not be able to ripen properly when placed into the fridge.

Apricots

Apricots

Apricots should be stored at room temperature until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma.

Grapes

Grapes

Grapes are never kept in the fridge in supermarkets. They benefit most from warm climates so room temperature will keep them alive for longer.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus Fruits

Refrigerating citrus fruits can disrupt the ripening process resulting in chill damage which leads to dull-colored and tasteless fruit.

Papaya

Papaya

Papayas won’t ripen properly if kept in the fridge. Keep them on the counter and turn them occasionally instead.

Pineapples

Pineapples

Once they are harvested, pineapples do not continue to ripen.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

Pumpkins need to be stored in a cool and well-ventilated area.

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Moisture in your fridge can speed up the spoiling process of butternut squash.

Onions

Onions

Onions have a tendency to go soft in the fridge and make everything around them smell like onions. Also, keep them away from potatoes since onions release a gas that accelerates the potatoes’ aging process.

Coffee

Coffee

Coffee absorbs moisture and aromas from the foods around it spoiling its flavor.

Dried Fruit

Dried Fruit
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Putting dried peaches, cranberries, dates, raisins, etc. in your fridge is pretty pointless. The cold will also make the fruit hard and tough to eat.

Nuts

nuts

Keeping nuts in your fridge will ruin the texture and flavor of the nuts.

Honey

Honey

Honey can last for thousands of years if left in an airtight jar. Storing honey in the fridge tends to lead to crystalization ruining the texture.

Molasses

Molasses

Putting molasses in the refrigerator will make it hard.

Chocolate

Chocolate

Most chocolates will keep their shape and creamy texture at room temperature. If you put chocolate in the fridge it will become hard and brittle.

Bread

Bread

Bread stored in the refrigerator will harden and become stale much faster.

Cake

Cake

Frosted cakes and cakes containing cream should be kept in the fridge. But other types can be sealed in an airtight container and kept at room temperature.

Donuts

donuts

Keeping donuts in the fridge will make them hard, slimy, and stale.

Cereal

Cereal

The low temperature and moisture will make cereal less crunchy.

Crackers

Crackers

Putting crackers in the fridge will allow them to soak up the moisture and make them quickly become soft and stale.

Peanut Butter

peanut butter

Placing peanut butter in the fridge can eventually turn it hard and dry.

Nutella

Nutella

Nutella doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge, doing so will make it hard and difficult to spread. Just keep it in a cool dry place with the lid tight.

Jam

Jam

Jam is typically made with preservatives making refrigeration unnecessary.

Ketchup

Ketchup

Ketchup is loaded with vinegar and salt which help create bacteria detering acids.

Mustard

Mustard

Mustard can last even longer than ketchup outside the fridge because it contains a natural acid that acts as a preservative.

Tabasco

Tabasco

Tabasco does not require refrigeration. Just keep it out of sunlight in a cool place.

Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is created with vinegar and preservatives that prevent bacteria and mold growth. Storing hot sauce in the fridge will dampen the sharp, spicy taste.

Soy Sauce

soy suace

Soy sauce is already fermented so it usually doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge.

Vinegar

Vinegar

Vinegar is self-preserving. The acidic nature of vinegar makes its shelf-life almost indefinite.

Basil

Basil

Cold temperatures will wilt basil much faster than normal. Basil also easily absorbs aromas from any foods surrounding it altering its flavor.

Mint

Mint

Like basil, mint doesn’t do well in the cold. Low temperatures plus humidity will accelerate the growth of mold on mint sprigs, quickly making them unusable.

Dried Spices

Dried Spices

Dried spices can be kept for a long time at room temperature. Putting spices in the fridge has no benefit and is simply a waste of space.

Flour

Flour

You won’t damage your flour if you leave it in the fridge, just know that this basic ingredient will do just fine in an airtight container in your cupboard or pantry.

Eggs (Europe)

Eggs
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Most eggs in European countries are not pasteurized so they won’t need to go in the fridge. Eggs will last up to a couple of weeks in a cool dry place. Doing so will make them retain some of their natural taste and flavor.

Butter

butter

Salted butter can last up to a week outside the fridge which also makes it easier to spread. But if your kitchen is over 70F degrees, you should refrigerate and just take it out in advance of meal prep to let it reach room temperature.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Placing cucumbers in the fridge can make them watery and speed up decay.

Carrots

Carrots

Carrots start to retain water when left in the fridge after a few days making them more rubbery and less crisp.

Eggplants

Eggplants

Temperatures below 50F degrees can harm the flavor and texture of eggplants.

Pickles

Pickles

The vinegar used to brine pickles acts as a preservative. Leaving sealed pickle containers in a cabinet won’t ruin them, but who likes warm pickles? Ewww!!!

Peppers

Peppers

Cold temps will reduce the spice factor in peppers and won’t improve its snap.

Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky

Placing jerky in the fridge will introduce moisture back into this dried meat, changing its texture and taste.

Canned Tuna

Canned Tuna

Tuna is packed with preservatives to make it last years in the pantry without the need for refrigeration.

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Most vinaigrette salad dressing’s main ingredients are oil and vinegar, two ingredients that can do fine outside of the fridge. 

Any surprises? We had a few when putting this list together. If we missed any foods be sure to ping us and let us know.

*DISCLAIMER: when in doubt, follow manufacturer recommendations on the label of any packaged foods.