30 Foods You’ve Been Storing All Wrong – Let’s see what conditions best protect some common products in the kitchen, and save you some money! And if you have some examples of your own, leave them down below!
Farmers will tell you that tomatoes get even more flavorful and fragrant if you keep them at room temperature or above. If you put them in the fridge, they lose their best qualities, and the taste changes. It’s much better to buy small portions of fresh tomatoes you can eat within a day. If you’ve grown them yourself, keep them on the low shelf of the fridge. Also, ripe tomatoes make other fruits and veggies ripen faster or spoil if they’re ripe already. If you don’t want black bananas or rotten cherries, store the products separately.
2-3. Onion and garlic
These vegetables prefer warmer temperatures. They’re also afraid of light and won’t like being kept in a sunlit kitchen. You’d better put them in a cool dark pantry or cellar. They also shouldn’t be kept in the fridge. Cold and condensation can rot them.
French fries, or any fried potatoes for that matter, contain a substance that can become toxic when kept in low temperatures. So don’t keep fries in the fridge!As for raw potatoes, they like a dark, dry, and spacious place. Potatoes put off carbon dioxide, so if you keep them in a spot with poor ventilation, they’ll start to wrinkle.
If you’re going to cook them later, justput mushrooms in a paper bag and keep them in the fridge. If you need to store them longer, first wash them, and then dry or freeze them. It’s not good to store fresh mushrooms in the fridge longer than 1 day, especially if you’ve picked them yourself. They’ll rot or become grubby.
6. Fresh greens and herbs
A lot of people put greens in a jar of water like you would a bouquet of flowers. Sounds like a useful tip, but this is actually a bad idea. Fresh herbs will last longer if you put them in a paper bag and store it in the fridge. The paper will absorb extra moisture and won’t let the greens wilt.
7-8. Chilled poultry and meat
It’s better to buy them right before cooking. If they won’t be your dinner tonight, then freeze meat and poultry immediately. If you need to store them in the fridge, first wrap them in 2-3 layers of plastic film and put them on the lowest shelf. Don’t forget that meat is a possible source of different infectious bacteria. It can be stored in the fridge no longer than 2 days, while it’s ok to keep it in the freezer for 4-5 months.
9-10. Bananas and other tropical fruit
If you remember how they’re grown, you’ll understand that the cold of the fridge won’t do tropical fruits any good. To slow the ripening process down and keep the skin from darkening, put each fruit in a separate paper bag or wrap it in plastic film. Then keep them it in a cool dark place.
Honey should be stored in a glass, ceramic,or metal container. The ideal place is dark and dry, so a shelf will do just fine as long as the cabinet has a door. If you keep honey where sunlight can reach it, it’ll lose its antibacterial properties. Honey can absorb fragrances, so it should be stored away from garlic, onion, and other infamously odorous products. If you make your own honey, don’t use an old pickle jar for the same reason.
Contrary to what refrigerator manufacturers seem to think, it’s not a good idea to store eggs in the fridge door. Each time you open it, the eggs get exposed to lower temperatures in the air. That constant change makes them spoil faster. Keep them in the carton, and store them on the upper shelves further back in the fridge. The carton prevents them from absorbing odors through their shells, and the back of the fridge won’t be as vulnerable to temperature fluctuations.
13-15. Milk, yogurt, and hard cheese
Milk and yogurt also shouldn’t be kept in the fridge door – they spoil there faster than anywhere else. The best place for their storage is the middle shelf. The less milk or yogurt is left in the package, the farther to the back wall of the fridge it should be since it’s colder there. As for your cheese, wrap it in plastic film or foil to prevent mold from growing. This will also keep the product from drying out.
16-17. Grapes and berries
The best place for grapes is a ventilated plastic bag like the one they’re kept and sold in at the store. The same is true of other berries. But before you put them in the plastic bag or fridge, be sure to dry them off with a paper towel. Getting rid of that moisture will prevent fermentation and rot. If you want to save cherries, don’t remove and throw away the stems. Otherwise, the berries will start leaking juice and spoil sooner.
Apples shouldn’t be refrigerated. They’re also pretty finicky, so keep different kinds of apples separate from each other and put them in the pantry or cellar. They’ll stay fresh through fall and winter if you put them in boxes full of wood shavings or onion skins. They’ll absorb moisture, so the fruit won’t rot. If you’ve started eating an apple but want to finish it later, dab the rest of the fruit with a few drops of lemon juice and put it in the fridge. It won’t get dark or spoil.
19. Vegetable oil
Don’t store it in the fridge – that’ll ruin its taste. Oils should be kept in a dark place at room temperature. If you can’t find a dark place in your kitchen, wrap it in foil.
Young carrots can be kept in a dark cool place where they’ll stay fresh and crisp for a long time. You can even store them like that for the whole winter!It’s a bad idea to store carrots in the fridge, especially close to tomatoes or other fruit, because they’ll get bitter.
21-22. Grains and flour
The first thing you need to do after picking up some flour or oats is to take them out of the packaging they’re sold in. Transfer them to a glass or ceramic container with a tight lid to keep bugs out and prolong their freshness. You can put them in the fridge or another cool dry place. Rice can be kept in such conditions for years, buckwheat – for 3 years, and oats – for about 6 months.
Watermelon will keep better if you store it at room temperature. Not to mention, it’s better for you that way too. When stored in the fridge, melons lose the antioxidants that are found in them naturally. If you want to serve them cold, just put them in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Bread should be stored in a plastic ventilated bag, a cloth, or a paper bag, where it can stay soft for 5 days. If you’ve bought a lot of bread and need to leave for a couple days, you can put it in the fridge. Low temperatures save it from mold, and it’ll stay fresh and tasty.
25. Pet food
Yes, pet food can go bad, and it should be thrown away when it does. So, let’s try to prevent that waste by storing it properly. Keep dog or cat kibble in a closed container in a cool dry place. If you’ve opened canned food, keep it in the fridge and use it within 2 days.
26-27. Coffee and tea
Store tea and coffee in a dark dry place in a nontransparent container. Keep them away from food with a strong odor. Avoid damp and sunlit places, and don’t store tea and coffee close to sources of warmth such as a microwave or oven.
The main enemy of sugar is humidity – dampness will cause clumps to appear. That’s why it’s important to store sugar, both white and brown, in an airtight container in a dry place. Sugar absorbs odors, so make sure the container you store it in doesn’t smell of anything.
Chocolate should be stored at room temperature in a dry place that’s exposed to sunlight because, well, obviously. If you put it in the fridge, a white film will appear on it. No worries, though – that’s just cacao butter.
It’s a big mistake to make soup or hamburgers for a whole week unless you’re going to freeze them. The longest time leftovers can be stored in the fridge is 5 days. But it’s not a universal rule. If there’s mayo in a meal, it should be eaten in 2 days max. Meals containing milk, eggs and yogurt can’t be eaten after the expiration date of any of these ingredients. It also works only if you’ve put the meals in the fridge no later than 2 hours after cooking.