Location is important, in the right environment, oil in an opened bottle stays fresh and antioxidant rich for up to a year. But leave it on a sunny windowsill, and the healthy fats turn rancid in half that time. Most food stays fresher, tastes better, and delivers more health benefits if it’s kept in the right place. Here are ideas about what goes where:
Avocados- fridge or counter
If you have a rock-hard avocado, put it in a brown paper bag on the counter; it’ll be good to go in two to five days. If you need fast guacamole, add a whole apple or banana to the bag and it will ripen a day or 2 sooner. Once it’s ripe, you can keep it that way for up to three days by moving it to the fridge.
Fruit, part one- fridge or counter
Peaches, plums, pears, honeydews, cantaloupes, mangoes, bananas, and tomatoes always keep on ripening whether they’re on the tree, in the store, or in your fruit bowl. Fact is, most produce sold at grocery stores is not fully mature when you bring it home, says Robert L. Wolke, PhD, author of “What Einstein Told His Cook.” To help these fruits ripen faster, keep them on the counter for two to five days. Fruit that starts turning soft — or you’ve sliced it should be put into the fridge or it will spoil, and banana skins will turn brown in the fridge but the banana is still fresh.
Fruit, part two- fridge
Citrus fruits, pineapples, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, watermelon, and cherries stop ripening after they’ve been picked — they just go bad. Slow down spoiling by putting these fruits in the fridge as soon as you get them home.
Bread- counter or cabinet
Most breads stay fresh for up to 4 days at room temperature — depending on humidity — keep it sealed and in its original wrapping. Bread dries out faster in the fridge than the freezer and can be kept in the freezer for up to three months, so if you’re not going to eat the whole thing freeze half right away while you’re eating the rest.
This is the expert opinion: Depositing your coffee in the fridge or freezer exposes it to fluctuating temps and therefore condensation. “It’s like your coffee is brewed a little each time it’s exposed to water, and that diminishes the flavor,” says Johnny McGregor, PhD, chair of the department of food science and human nutrition at Clemson University. For a better brew, keep coffee in an airtight canister in a cabinet. That being said- I keep mine in the freezer and fridge!
Potatoes, onions, garlic
Keep potatoes, onions and garlic in cool, dark places, in the fridge or not — but not together, or everything will smell like garlic, and the moisture in potatoes will make onions rotten.
Olive oil- fridge or cabinet
Since olive oil should be placed away from light, the fridge is fine. The important thing is that oil spoils when exposed to heat and oxygen. Fridge cold temperatures may solidify the oil, but they won’t affect its quality, Wolke says. If your cabinets are cool, oil should be fine there, too. In a fridge or a cool cabinet, oil keeps about 1 year opened and 2 years unopened.
Flour- fridge or counter
Flour in an airtight container is best in the fridge. In the cool temperature white flour stays fresh for 2 years; whole wheat flour lasts for about six months. If you’re going to keep white flour for less than a year, you can keep it on the counter in an airtight jar or canister. But keep wheat flour in the fridge no matter how fast you use it. The oils it make it spoil faster.
Don’t use the top of the fridge to store food, it’s warm up there, which is not a good thing for almost any food or wine
BEST PLACES IN THE FRIDGE TO PUT THINGS
These are recommendations from foodies, I don’t agree with all of them so pick and choose which ones you like and ignore the rest:
- Fruits and veggies will be the first things you see — and the snacks you’re most inclined to grab. Storing high keeps them at the right temperature.
- Experts say forget the door for butter — it’s too warm, but why did they make that butter door? They say keep it on a top or middle shelf and in the same area, keep cheese tightly sealed in foil or plastic wrap.
The bottom shelf
- Store all meats on bottom shelf; it’s the coldest spot in your fridge. Low placement will also keep juices from dripping onto other foods.
- Some experts say to keep eggs fresher longer, keep them low and in the carton they came in. And keep the carton shut to avoid odor absorption from other foods. I have also heard just the opposite, never keep eggs in the carton that they came in and the door is fine, so you decide.
- Separate large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers. The less food in each, the faster they cool — that helps prevent the growth of harmful whatever.
- Don’t put milk containers in the door, because since the door opens and closes a lot and milk is especially sensitive to temperature changes, put it on a shelf as close to the bottom as it will fit.
- Leafy vegetables, broccoli, celery, or any veggies with lots of surface area tend to lose moisture quickly. The crisper keeps water vapor in.
The other crisper
- Apples stored at room temperature deteriorate 10 times faster than when they’re refrigerated. Apples are best in the humid-enough crisper, away from anything else. Apples give off a natural gas called ethylene that can wilt, spot, or rot other food.
- Condiments are high in natural preservatives, and fit perfectly in the door, btw reduced-sodium soy sauce has to be refrigerated because there’s not enough salt to keep it from spoiling, regular is ok on the shelf.
- OJ is pasteurized and citric acid hinders bacteria growth so the door is fine.
- Recorked white wine will stay fresh in the fridge door for three to five days. (For unopened wine, lay the bottle down so the cork remains moist.)
I got most of this information from the following sources: