20 Foods You Don’t Need to Refrigerate

Free up some precious refrigerator real estate.
Free up some precious refrigerator real estate. / Bogdan Kurylo/iStock via Getty Images

Unloading your groceries can feel like solving a puzzle. When every inch of your refrigerator has been packed to capacity, you may start to wonder if that last bunch of bananas really needs to be chilled, or if your empty countertops can start doubling as storage space. There's no need to invest in a bigger fridge to fit your produce hauls; if you look inside the one you currently have, you'll likely find many items that can be stored at room temperature.

According to Food Network, many of the fruits, vegetables, and condiments people refrigerate are better off on the pantry or counter. Bread, for instance, actually dries out more quickly at colder temperatures and loses its fluffy texture. Refrigeration also has an unappealing effect on the tastes and textures of produce like onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. Other foods, like condiments, won't suffer damage from being refrigerated, but due to their high salt, sugar, or vinegar contents, they tend to be shelf-stable. Even some items found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, like butter, are perfectly fine outside your fridge at home.

You can check out the list of foods that don't need to be refrigerated below. Here's some more insight into which ingredients go where in your kitchen.

  1. Onions
  1. Tomatoes
  1. Potatoes
  1. Garlic
  1. Avocados
  1. Bananas
  1. Melons
  1. Bread
  1. Butter
  1. Lemons
  1. Fresh basil
  1. Hot sauce
  1. Soy sauce
  1. Mustard
  1. Ketchup
  1. Fish sauce
  1. Honey
  1. Coffee
  1. Olive oil
  1. Peanut butter

[h/t Food Network]