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Garlic

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Placing garlic in the refrigerator can actually accelerate its deterioration due to the increased moisture. It’s best to keep garlic in a dry environment with good air circulation at room temperature for optimal storage. Additionally, storing garlic in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or a well-ventilated cabinet, will help preserve its flavor and extend its shelf life.

Bananas

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When it comes to still-green bananas, refrain from placing them in the refrigerator. The ripening process benefits from a warmer room temperature, allowing them to reach their peak flavor. Moreover, refrigeration can adversely affect the fruit’s cell walls, diminishing the fruit’s overall quality and taste.

Eggs

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It may come as a surprise, but eggs don’t need to be refrigerated in certain circumstances. In Europe, where eggs are typically not sterilized, they can be stored elsewhere, as the eggshell acts as a reliable barrier for protection. In fact, refrigerating eggs can cause the growth of bacteria on the shell, which, in turn, enters the insides of the eggs.

Tomatoes

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Refrain from refrigerating tomatoes, as the delicate membranes can easily suffer damage, leading to a loss of flavor and a soft, unappetizing texture. Instead, consider canning or roasting any excess tomatoes you have on hand to save them from going to waste, making the most of their deliciousness.

Bread

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Avoid storing your bread in the refrigerator if you plan to consume it within a few days, as the cold temperature can quickly deteriorate its texture and cause it to taste stale. Instead, store bread at room temperature in a bread box or a paper bag to maintain its freshness and preserve its delightful taste and aroma.

Coffee beans

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Avoid keeping your coffee in the refrigerator as it tends to absorb other flavors in its vicinity. Moreover, the excess moisture in the fridge can compromise the freshness of the coffee. Opt for a sealed container stored away from sunlight in a dry location to maintain the optimal flavor and quality of your coffee beans.

Avocado

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Avocados struggle to ripen when they’re placed in the refrigerator, with the colder temperature hindering the process. However, once avocados have reached their desired ripeness, they can be stored in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy them – helping to keep them fresher for longer.

Cucumbers

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In fact, cucumbers tend to deteriorate more quickly when stored in the refrigerator. To extend their shelf life, consider storing them at room temperature instead, which can help preserve their freshness for a longer period. For added longevity, you can also place cucumbers in a cool and dry location, such as a pantry or a well-ventilated countertop, to maintain their crispness and quality.

Potatoes

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If potatoes are exposed to the cold temperatures of a refrigerator, their starch can convert into sugar, resulting in discoloration and loss of flavor. To preserve an abundance of potatoes, it is advisable to store them in a location shielded from sunlight and refrain from washing them.

Melons

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While an intact melon can be safely stored in a cupboard without significantly affecting its freshness, a sliced melon should be covered and placed in the refrigerator for preservation. This is because refrigeration helps maintain the sliced melon’s quality, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and prolonging its shelf life.

Basil

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Ever notice that basil is never in the refrigerated section at the store? That’s because unlike most leafy herbs, basil should never, ever be put in the fridge. The cool temperatures will turn the leaves black – making the plant inedible. Instead, store basil in a cupboard or pantry at room temperature.

Onions

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Avoid storing whole, unpeeled onions in your fridge, as their skins will soak up any moisture, leaving the onion soggy and borderline unusable. Peeled onions, on the other hand, can be kept in the fridge – with a shelf life of two weeks, while diced onions will last around seven days.

Butter

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There’s no need to keep butter in the fridge. Not only does chilled butter turn rock-hard, making it impossible to spread, it can also pick up nearby food flavors. The best way to store butter is to place it in a covered butter dish on your kitchen counter.

Honey

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Honey has a seemingly never-ending shelf life, meaning there’s no real reason to store it in the fridge. In fact, if honey is placed in cold temperatures, its life is drastically shortened. Colder temperatures alter the chemical structures of honey, causing it to seize up and crystallize.

Oils

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As a general rule, you only want to store oils with high polyunsaturated fat content, such as olive oil, in the fridge. You want to avoid chilling oils made from coconuts and avocados – the cold temperatures may make their consistency gloopy and muddled. Instead, place these oils in a dark cupboard. Ensure you always chill nut-based oils.

Peanut butter

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Keeping peanut butter in the fridge can turn the tasty treat hard, making it difficult to spread. Peanut butter keeps just fine at room temperature – even when opened. Skip the 20-minute wait while the spread softens and keep it in your cupboard for quicker, easier access.

Mature white wines

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White wines are best served chilled, so it’s only natural to think bottles of white are best kept in the fridge. Complex – and usually expensive – white wines are better enjoyed at ever-so-slightly warmer temperatures, creating a richer taste. A dedicated wine fridge is the most ideal place to store your wine, set to around 50-55°F.

Lemons

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Okay, you can store lemons in the fridge. However, a way to enrich their zesty flavor and extend their shelf life is by preserving your lemons. Grab a mason jar, fill it up with water, cut your lemons into quarters, then add herbs to the mix. Leave the jar on the side for four weeks, then place it in the fridge for longer-lasting lemons.

Hot sauces

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Keeping hot sauces in the cold can actually lower their spice levels. Most hot sauces contain traces of vinegar and preservatives, helping to keep bacteria and mold at bay – without the help of a fridge. Keep your sauces in the cupboard and see if you can handle the heat.

Chocolate

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Keeping your chocolate in the fridge can tamper with its texture, taste, and color. The cocoa butter in particular can soak up the smell of surrounding food, leaving your sweet treat tasting pretty strange. To prevent your chocolate from melting – and to maintain its sugary taste – keep it in a cool, dry cupboard.

Peaches

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The cool embrace of the fridge can hinder the ripening process of peaches, meaning you’ll be waiting much longer to tuck into the juicy fruit. Instead, peaches are best kept in a fruit bowl at room temperature. Only put them in the fridge if they’re ready to be eaten and you want that cool, refreshing edge.

Aged cheeses

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Soft cheeses – such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and goat’s cheese – must be kept refrigerated to fend off mold and bacteria. Hard cheeses – particularly aged, specialty cheeses – keep just fine outside of the fridge, maintaining a richer flavor. For added longevity, rub the cut side of the cheese with white vinegar, then wipe it off, before wrapping it in butcher’s paper.

Cake

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Cakes with large amounts of frosting are best kept in the fridge, keeping the sweet glaze fresh. Frosting-free cakes, however, are best kept in an air-tight container on the side, preventing the fridge’s moisture from interfering with your cake’s texture. Better still, cut your cake into slices and freeze them, ensuring a long-lasting treat that can easily be defrosted.

Nuts

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This one is divisive. Some claim that nuts are best kept in the fridge in an airtight container, while others claim they’re best kept in the pantry to preserve their flavor. The best thing to do? Buy them in small quantities and leave them in your pantry – they’ll taste great, and you won’t have the fear of the snack taking a turn for the worse.

Dried fruits

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Dried fruits do not need to be refrigerated, lasting up to a year in cool, dry conditions. However, once opened, dried fruit may last longer in your fridge – albeit at the cost of the fruit’s taste and texture. The best course of action is to keep dried fruit in your cupboard, sealed in airtight containers.

Maple syrup

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Unopened maple syrup can be safely stored in your pantry – lasting up to a whopping two years. Once you’ve removed that bottle lid, however, keep it in the fridge to fend off mold. In short: If your syrup is unopened, put it in the pantry to save on precious fridge space. If not, keep it chilled.

Plums

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Whole plums should be kept at room temperature until they’ve ripened. Ripening them in your fruit bowl instead of your fridge will allow the fruit to maintain its juicy flavors. Once they’re ripe and ready to eat, move them to the fridge to extend their shelf life by a few days.

Dried herbs

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It’s not recommended to keep your dried herbs in the refrigerator. Fridges have high levels of moisture, which can alter both the freshness and the taste of your herbs. Storing dried herbs in a cupboard will keep their flavor and color for up to three months, which should be more than enough time to get some use out of them.

Seeds

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Seeds are a great addition to your diet to bring a little boost of nutrition. Chia and flax seeds have been shown to bring an array of positive benefits – but you may be left wondering where’s best to store the superfood. A cupboard will do just fine, keeping for up to two years at room temperature.

Pears

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Storing your pears in the fridge can stunt the ripening process, leading to the fruit having a sandy, grainy texture. Furthermore, pears that are kept in the fridge are likely to be less flavorsome, the cold zapping the zest from the fruit. Leave pears in your fruit bowl to ensure a tastier snack.

Peppers

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Bell peppers will lose their crunch if you carelessly store them in the fridge. This doesn’t mean there’s an absolute ban on peppers in the fridge, however, you just need to be smart about it. Ensure there’s no wetness on the pepper and store it in a ziplock bag. Once sealed, you can place it in the fridge.

Dried beans

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Dried beans can have a long shelf life – if they’re stored properly. In fact, they can last for years if you keep them in a dark, room-temperature cupboard. The only time you should place beans in your fridge is once they’re cooked – where they’ll last for around four days.

Soy sauce

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If you’re short on fridge space, move your soy sauce bottle to the pantry. An unopened bottle can last for at least a year at room temperature, while a bottle that’s been opened can be used for several months – mainly due to its high sodium content.

Ketchup

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The endless debate – should ketchup be kept in the fridge or in the pantry? The answer? It doesn’t matter too much either way, but the sauce is filled with compounds that are highly resistant to bacterial growth, meaning that keeping it in the fridge is relatively unnecessary.

Dried spices

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Your fridge’s humidity levels will tamper with your spices – altering the way they taste and shortening their freshness. For best results, avoid the fridge and store your dried herbs in a cool, dark cupboard within airtight containers – where they’re expected to keep for several years.

Butternut squash

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If you’re not going to use your butternut squash right away, store it whole (don’t peel it!) in a cool, dark place. Squashes can last for months being stored this way, so you don’t have to worry about it going off. If you’ve already peeled the vegetable, cut it up into small chunks and store them in plastic bags in the fridge.

Apples

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Although apples will last longer in the fridge – it comes at a cost: The cold air from a refrigerator can break down apples’ crisp texture, leaving them soggy and tasteless. For a better taste, simply leave your apples in a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter.

Pastries

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Unless you’re a fan of watery, tasteless pastries, avoid the fridge at all costs. The moist air inside your fridge will affect the pastry’s crust, turning a firm bite into a soggy mess. Keep your baked goods in a dry cupboard or wrapped in plastic in a bread bin to prolong their freshness.

Rice

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If you keep cooked rice in the refrigerator, it’ll become dry and tough, making it unpleasant to eat. Rice can house an array of different types of bacteria, making it a prone cause of food poisoning. The best recommendation is to avoid leftover rice entirely, cooking only what you need.

Cookies

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Let’s be real – how likely is it that any cookies are going to be leftover? If you manage to practice some self-restraint, however, the best place to store cookies is in a cool, dry place – like the back shelf of your pantry, for example. A fridge will only pack them full of moisture and erode their crunch.