Food Items That You Don’t Need to Keep in Your Refrigerator

Are you finding less free space in your refrigerator again and again? Even after careful organization, you can face this problem. The reason might be that you are storing food items in your refrigerator that doesn’t need to be chilled.

A refrigerator has one job to do. It has to preserve your cooked or uncooked foods and keep them fresh for longer. That’s why we store food items in the fridge until we consume them or use them in our recipes. While doing so, we usually don’t check if all those food items need to be stored in the refrigerator or not.

And as a consequence, the food items lose their flavor, and we lose the necessary shelf and drawer space. So, here is a list of the food items that you don’t have to store in your refrigerator.

Potatoes and Tomatoes

Potatoes are popular food items in everyone's diet. But keeping them in the cold temperature of the fridge turns their starches into sugar quickly. As a result, they lose their flavors and turns sweet. It also turns gritty in texture.

Tomatoes are also another food item that stays fresh and tasty for longer if kept at room temperature. They can turn mushy if stored in the fridge for longer. 

Instead of putting tomatoes and potatoes in your fridge, just put them in a paper bag. Create some holes on the bags to provide air circulation.

Onions and Garlic

Onions lose their natural flavor when refrigerated. The cold, humid temperature of your refrigerator turns the starch into sugars as it does to potatoes. As a result, onions turn soggy and soft faster. Onions can also make the inside of your fridge smell like them.

Garlic also loses their flavors if kept in the refrigerator. Garlic with the whole bulb usually stays fresh in the room temperature for several months. So, store them in a paper bag with holes on it. It will provide them with air circulation and a dark environment. Never put garlic in plastic bags. It would get moldy.


Cooking oils do not need to be refrigerated. It would harden and lose its texture. Some oils can turn back to smooth, but you have to keep them in room temperature for long enough. If you have nut oils, you can refrigerate them.

Fruits (the ones with hard seeds)

Fruits with hard seeds should never be refrigerated. For example, berries, peaches, oranges etc. must be stored in the room temperature. These fruits need air and natural light to ripen.

However, you can keep them in the fridge for 30 mins before eating cause that would make them crispy.


Remember not to store apples after your grocery runs. Just keep them on the counter in a fruit basket, and it will stay crisp and juicy.

Sweet potatoes

Just like potatoes, keeping sweet potatoes in your refrigerator is a bad idea. It would turn their starch into sugar and ruin their natural taste. Instead, store them in a paper bag.

Honey and peanut butter

You should always keep honey outside. Keeping it in the refrigerator would only make it hard and crystalize.

Same goes for peanut butter. Don’t make the mistake of storing it in your fridge. You can keep it in your cabinet for months.

Chocolate hazelnut spread and jam

If you regularly consume chocolate hazelnut spread with your bread, then you mustn’t ruin it by storing it in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, it loses its chocolatey flavor. So, keep it outside and enjoy.

Store your jam on your counter or in your pantry. Jam has lots of preservatives and sugar. So, never keep it in your refrigerator.


Avoid keeping bread in your refrigerator. The cold temperature would only speed up the process of dehydration, and the bread would go stale much faster.


Peppers usually end up in our crisper drawer. You can save some space by not keeping the whole ones in there from now on.

Soy Sauce and Vinegar

Soy sauce has sodium content in it. It is fermented, so you don’t have to keep it in your refrigerator unless it is more than one year old.

You can stop storing vinegar in the refrigerator. It is self-preserving because of its acid nature and can be kept for months in a dark place like a cupboard. Just remember, vinegar loses its flavor over time regardless of environment or temperature. 


When stored in an airtight container, butter can last for two weeks. You can store it in your refrigerator but it would become tough to spread on your toast. So, if you are planning to use up your butter within two weeks, just keep it outside and have some free space in your fridge. 


In addition to fruits with hard seeds, bananas must not be kept in your refrigerator. They can’t ripen naturally within the cold temperature. Moreover, the skin would turn brown prematurely.

Mint, Basil and Spices

Mint is one of the herbs that stays best at room temperature. For best results, trim the stems and put them in a jar with cool water. Place the jar where it would get sunlight.

Another herb that doesn’t need storing in a cold place is basil. So, get into the habit of keeping it outside. Better if you can place your basil in water. It will keep them fresh. Just change the water every three days.

Keeping your spices in your fridge to preserve their flavors is a wrong idea. The cold temperature destroys their flavors.

Baked Goods and Nuts

If you have leftover baked goods, store them outside rather than keeping them in your refrigerator. The cold temperature of your fridge will make them go stale.

Do remember not to store nuts into your fridge. They can be kept in a cool, dark place but the temperature inside a refrigerator will be too chilly for them. Just keep them in your pantry or your cupboard.

If you think you will have difficulty remembering all the food items, just write down the list and stick it on your refrigerator. That way you will know what food not to store in there without any hesitation.