What are the 50 foods that should never be put in the refrigerator?

In this article, we will answer the question “What are the 50 foods that should never be put in the refrigerator?”

What are the 50 foods that should never be put in the refrigerator?

  1. Melons 

Whole melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are better off stored on the counter. Once cut, wrap the exposed flesh of the melon with cling film and refrigerate for up to 3 days. 

  1. Tomato 

To prevent the tomatoes from going mealy, store them on the counter in a well-ventilated environment for no more than 2 days.

  1. Apples 

Apples can last for up to a week in a cool, and dry place, away from direct heat, without refrigeration. 

  1. Avocado 

Whole avocados should always be kept at room temperature to preserve their creamy texture. Once cut, wrap the exposed flesh with cling film and refrigerate.

  1. Bananas 

Store the bananas in a cool and well-ventilated place or on the counter for optimal freshness or freeze for extended shelf life. 

  1. Oranges 

To preserve the juiciness and tangy flavor of oranges, store them on the counter in a well-ventilated space.

  1. Berries 

If the berries are not to be consumed within 12 hours of purchase, refrigerate or freeze them. Prolonged refrigeration makes the berries mushy and reduces their natural sweetness. 

  1. Peaches and apricots 

Room temperature storage allows the stone fruits to ripen naturally and become sweeter. When the ripening is completed, stone fruits can be refrigerated for up to 5 days to avoid rot.

  1. Onions 

Store the onions are best stored in a cool, dark, dry, and well-ventilated place to preserve their crispy texture and prevent mold growth. Once cut, onions should be refrigerated for 7-10 days.

  1. Garlic 

As long as the peels are intact, garlic cloves can sit on the counter for up to 10 days without going bad.

  1. Squashes 

Squashes such as Butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and pumpkins can be stored on the counter for about a month or even longer.

  1. Potatoes 

Refrigeration tends to reduce the starch content of the potatoes due to which they lose their desirable texture and flavor. For optimal freshness, potatoes should be kept in a cool and dry place, away from sunlight and direct sources of heat.

  1. Bread 

Refrigeration does prevent the bread from becoming moldy but it also speeds up the staling process. If the outside temperature is cool and the bread will be consumed within the best-by date printed on its package, it is better off kept on the counter.

  1. Hot sauce 

Hot sauce contains a rich amount of vinegar that itself acts as a preservative. Even after opening the hot sauce bottle, it can be kept safely on the counter. Moreover, refrigeration tends to reduce the hotness of the hot sauce.

  1. Herbs 

The cold and dry environment of the fridge tends to make the herbs wilt faster. The best way to store fresh herbs and preserve their crispness is by placing them in a glass jar filled with water.

  1. Spices 

Spices are best stored in a cool and dry environment. Refrigeration is unnecessary for spices. Moreover, the humidity inside a refrigerator may lead to the lumping of spices. 

  1. Coffee 

Coffee is best stored in an air-tight container in the pantry. The humid environment of the fridge destroys the flavor of the coffee due to condensation. 

  1. Honey 

Due to a rich amount of sugars, honey has a pretty long shelf-life. What mostly happens is that honey substantially loses its quality before ever going bad. 

The refrigeration environment promotes crystallization in honey and ruins its natural texture and flavor. For optimal freshness, store honey on the counter.

  1. Nuts 

Although nuts do not go rancid in the fridge, they lose their nutty flavor instead. Moreover, shelled nuts easily pick up undeniable odors during refrigeration. For optimal freshness, store the nuts in a cool, dark, and dry place such as the pantry or a kitchen cupboard. 

  1. Nutella 

Refrigeration hardens the Nutella and reduces its spreadability factor. To make sure the Nutella remains silky and smooth, store it at room temperature.

  1. Oil 

Store the oil in a dark cupboard or pantry, away from sunlight. Refrigeration solidifies the oil and frequent reheating and refrigerating destroys the oil texture.

  1. Pumpkin 

Moisture and extreme temperatures spoil pumpkin. Store the pumpkins at room temperature for optimal freshness.

  1. Peanut butter 

Store the peanut butter in the pantry or a dark cupboard to preserve its creaminess and spreadability.

  1. Flour 

Flour is best stored in an air-tight container inside a dark and cool cupboard. Flour needs to be at room temperature for correct baking.

  1. Ketchup 

The vinegar in the ketchup does not hold up well in the fridge. To prevent your ketchup from becoming runny or watery, store it in the pantry.

  1. Soy sauce 

If the soy sauce is used up within 6 months of its opening, it can safely sit on the counter without going bad or losing its flavor.

  1. Canned tuna 

An unopened can of tuna is air-tight and does not need to be refrigerated. Store the unopened cans of tuna in your pantry for optimal freshness.

  1. Cucumbers and pickles 

To preserve the crisp texture of the cucumbers, store them in a cool place instead of the fridge. Vacuum-sealed pickles do not need to be refrigerated. Refrigerating an opened jar of pickles does not impact its shelf-life significantly so it is unnecessary.

  1. Butter 

To make sure the butter is spreadable, it needs to be stored in a cool pantry instead of the fridge. Butter lasts about 1-2 weeks on the counter.

  1. Cereal 

Cereal tends to absorb moisture and pick up unwanted odors from the fridge. Therefore, it is best kept on the counter.

  1. Donuts 

Donuts are best consumed when freshly baked. Refrigeration tends to make the donuts soggy and stale. Your best bet is to store the donuts at room temperature for no more than 2 days.

  1. Aged cheese 

Unlike other types of cheese, hard cheese does not require refrigeration. When refrigerated, hard cheese turns too hard like a rock.

  1. Eggs 

When bought from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, eggs should always be stored in the fridge. Free-range eggs or eggs bought at room temperature can be stored on the counter.

  1. Basil 

Unlike cilantro and parsley, basil does best on the counter. Refrigeration tends to wilt the basil leaves.

  1. Eggplants 

If the eggplants are to be consumed within 2 days of their purchase, they can safely be stored on the counter.

  1. Olive oil 

Refrigeration alters the flavor of olive oil due to the solidification and condensation that leads to a cloudy appearance. A cool and dark pantry or kitchen cupboard is the best storage site for olive oil.

  1. Vinegar 

Vinegar does not go bad unless you help it because it has excellent self-preservation properties. Store the vinegar in a cool and dark place. However, other condiments, like vinaigrettes containing herbs, garlic, onion, or other add-ons, must always be refrigerated. 

  1. Mustard 

The high acidity of the mustard makes it a self-preserving condiment that does not need refrigeration. Feel free to refrigerate if you like your mustard chilled.

  1. Molasses 

The thick consistency of the molasses only becomes thicker when refrigerated. To avoid the molasses from solidifying in the fridge, store it in a cool and dark place such as the pantry.

  1. Chocolate 

Unlike the convention, storing the chocolate in the fridge is not a good practice. A bar of chocolate stored in the icebox will undergo several irreversible changes in its texture and flavor.

  1. Peppers 

As long as the peppers are uncut, they can sit on the counter without losing their heat and crispy texture.

  1. Rice 

Dry rice or uncooked rice does not require refrigeration. Uncooked rice is best stored in a cool, dark, and dry place, away from direct sunlight. You can go the extra mile by keeping an oxygen-absorbing packet inside the dry rice package to keep the rice dry.

  1. Cookies and other baked goods 

Cool air strips the cookies and brownies of their moisture. Most baked products including cakes are best stored in an air-tight container at room temperature. This does not apply if the cakes or cupcakes are frosted.

  1. Dry beans 

Just like dry rice, dry beans should not be refrigerated. Even the original plastic bags of the beans are not reliable in terms of long-term storage. Dry beans are best stored in an air-tight plastic container in a cool and dark place.

  1. Salad dressing 

Unless the salad dressing contains a perishable ingredient, it can safely sit on the counter even after the bottle is opened. This applies to most oil-based dressings, such as most vinaigrettes.

  1. Jam 

Even after opening the jar, you do not need to refrigerate jam. As long as the jam is stored in a cool, dark, and dry place such as the cupboard or the pantry, it won’t go bad. This is because of the high concentration of the sugar in jam.

  1. Tropical fruits 

Tropical fruits grow in warm climates and do not do well when stored in the fridge. For optimal freshness, tropical fruits should be stored on the counter at around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Jerky/Biltong 

Jerky is dried meat and it does not like the moist environment of the fridge. Refrigeration will make the jerky lumpy. Therefore, store your jerky at room temperature, away from mixture and sunlight.

  1. Pears 

The cold and dry air of the fridge strips the pears of their juiciness and damages their delicate skin.

  1. Papaya 

Papaya is a tropical fruit and does not like the cold refrigerator environment. The fridge stops the ripening process of papaya. Moreover, papaya tends to pick up unwanted odors from the fridge. 


In this article, we answered the question “What are the 50 foods that should never be put in the refrigerator?”



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.