25 foods you don't need to keep in the fridge

Before you sentence your fresh tomatoes to a chilly hell, read this.


Leslie Gornstein

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Alina Bradford

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1 of 25 Jack Kurtz/ZUMAPRESS.com


We've got news for you: You're using your fridge wrong, at least when it comes to these foods.

For example: Bananas. Big bananas, little bananas, doesn't matter. If they're unripe, they should be hung on a banana hook on the counter to ripen. Once they're ripe, feel free to put those bananas in ol' Samsung, Whirlpool or LG; that'll prevent further ripening.

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Expert coffee brewers loathe the idea of you putting their babies in the fridge. A dry, airtight container is just fine.

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Treat it like onions, unless it's peeled.

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Cake is delicious; it's not a lie. It's even better if you keep it out of the refrigerator, which can dry it out or make it taste funny. Your typical ganache or buttercream cake lasts around three days at room temperature, in an airtight container.

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Keeping an avocado in the fridge is a great way to keep it from ripening. Keep it out of the cold until it's ripe.

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Got a massive onion? Or even a bunch of smaller ones? Don't let them take up room in the fridge. They actually do better in drier, more ventilated areas. Also, be sure to keep them away from...

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Want to turn your tomatoes into paste-like, tasteless shadows of their former selves? Put them in the fridge. The best home for a tomato is a kitchen counter.

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Hot sauce

Got hot sauce in your bag? Good. Keep it there. There, or in the cabinet, or on the counter; it stays fresh up to three years without refrigeration, even after opening.

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Both ketchup and its soulmate, mustard, can survive in a cabinet for about a month without refrigeration; the acids in these foods slow bacteria growth.

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... these guys. They make onions rot faster. Also: Keep potatoes in cool, dry places rather than in the fridge, which can alter their taste.

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Peanut butter

Unless it's organic (no judgments), PB doesn't need to be chilled. It can be kept in the cabinet for months. If you even take that long to eat your peanut butter. Which you do not.

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Cooking oils

This one is a little tricky. If you have a nut oil (and you should, especially hazelnut oil for amazing salad dressing), keep those in the fridge. Otherwise, no need.

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Many fall and summer fruits, including apples, peaches, nectarines and pears, last around a week with no refrigeration.

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This food has, literally, an eternal shelf life. There's no need to keep it in the fridge, where it could crystallize rather quickly.

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Some berries just go rotten whether they're refrigerated or not. But sometimes, chilling them can make the rotting process happen even faster. It's best, instead, to keep them in a bowl on the counter...and eat them pronto.

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Basil, of course, is a summer plant, so it's no surprise it hates the chill of the fridge. Also, it absorbs fridge smells. Keep it -- and most other herbs, come to think of it -- in a bud vase on the counter.

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Nothing dries out a fresh bread faster than putting it in the fridge. Keep it out of the chill for better taste.

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If your melon is uncut, its thick skin will keep it fresh on the countertop.

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Got batteries in your fridge? Grab those suckers and put them somewhere that's room temperature. The cold can actually be bad for them.

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If your squash has a thick skin, it can live for months with no help from your refrigerator whatsoever.

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Dried rice needs to be kept in the pantry where it's, well, dry.

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Dried beans

Like rice, dried beans need to be a pantry staple, not hogging space in your fridge.

bell pepper
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No matter if you like your peppers mild or caliente, keep them out of the fridge.

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No matter what granny told you, makeup won't stay fresher in the fridge. In fact, it was formulated to be stored at room temperature.

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In text messages, placing an eggplant in the wrong place can cause problems. (Sorry, Granny!) Life mimics tech, in this case. Keep real eggplants out of the fridge and on the counter until you're ready to whip up a culinary sensation.

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