Which foods should you store in your refrigerator, and which are better off out of it? Find out the best ways to store these 15 food items.

1. Keep Avocados at Room Temperature

Avocados are awkward to keep, but they should be kept out of the fridge until they’re at the peak of ripeness. Once ripe they can go in the fridge for around 5 to 10 days. If you keep the stone in the half you’re not eating, it will keep for longer. Give it a splash of lemon juice too, to stop it from browning.

2. Keep Nuts in the Fridge

Nuts keep better in the fridge, as the oils in them can become rancid after a few months at room temperature. You can also freeze nuts because they only have a small water content.

3. Keep Watermelon at Room Temperature

Keep the whole fruit out of the fridge until cut. Once sliced, wrap up and place in the fridge to keep it fresh.

4. Keep Cured Meats in the Fridge

Salami, cured ham and pepperoni should be kept cold in the fridge once opened. The cut ends of a salami can become vulnerable to bacteria if left at room temperature.

5. Keep Pure Maple Syrup in the Fridge

Real maple syrup has no preservatives, and can get moldy after opening if not chilled. If you’re using commercial maple syrup, you can keep it in the pantry or a cupboard. If you don’t want cold maple syrup, pour out what you need and give it a blast in the microwave for 30 seconds.

6. Keep Ripe Bananas in the Fridg

Once bananas are ripe, they stay at perfect ripeness for around a week if put in the fridge. You can’t refrigerate green or unripe bananas though, or they’ll never ripen!

7. Keep Garlic at Room Temperature

You can keep entire bulbs of garlic on the counter for up to 3 or 4 months, but individual cloves will last for around 10 days. You can store whole, unpeeled garlic in the freezer and take cloves off as and when you need them.

8. Keep Potatoes at Room Temperature

The moisture in the fridge makes potatoes go off quicker. Store in the pantry or on the counter for up to three weeks, or store with apples to make them last up to eight weeks! Apples give off ethylene gas, which helps to keep potatoes from going bad.

9. Keep Natural Peanut Butter in the Fridge

peanut butter

The oils present in natural peanut butter can go rancid if left out at room temperature. If you have commercially made, processed peanut butter you can keep it in the pantry for up to a year as it has preservatives added.

10. Keep Hot Sauce at Room Temperature

Acidic, vinegar based condiments like hot sauce are fine kept at room temperature.

11. Keep Bread at Room Temperature


Putting bread in the fridge makes bread go stale very fast. Freeze what you can’t eat within a few days of buying it. You can toast bread straight from the freezer if you can’t wait for it to defrost.

12. Keep Coconut Oil in the Fridge

Oils will become rancid if kept out at room temperature, especially oils that are only used occasionally. Microwave it for a few seconds to bring it to its liquid state when you want to use it.

13. Keep Cake at Room Temperature

Cake dries out in chilled air, no matter how it’s wrapped. If your kitchen is hot and humid, though, you would be better keeping it in the fridge.

14. Keep Tomatoes at Room Temperature

Tomatoes turn mushy and taste bland when they’re stored in the fridge, so keep them on the counter.

15. Keep Butter in the Fridge


Butter can be kept unrefrigerated according to USDA, but it will last a lot longer if kept in the fridge, especially during hot weather or in a hot kitchen.