People have been tweeting their amazement after discovering that you can store butter outside of the fridge – for some, it’s proved “life-changing”.
With the recent release of Good Housekeeping’s sauce-storing chart (ending the age-old debate of where’s best to store ketchup) and the latest butter-related epiphanies on social media, we decided to pull together a handy list of foods that you can store outside of the fridge.
If space is minimum, here are the things you can transfer to the cupboard or counter.
General guidance around butter is that you can store it in or outside of the fridge. If you store it at room temperature, you’re advised to only store small amounts at a time (keeping the rest in the fridge) as it will go off quicker.
Salt in salted butter makes it less susceptible to bacterial growth, so it should be fine out on the kitchen counter.
Consider keeping butter in an airtight container like a crock, as it will increase the time it will last for.
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Melons should be stored on the kitchen counter or in a cupboard. Once sliced, you should keep the remaining pieces in the fridge.
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While hot sauce like Sriracha keeps for longer in the fridge, there’s no reason why you can’t keep it out on the kitchen side or in a cupboard. On the bottle itself, it says: ‘Store in a cool dry place.’
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Chocolate spreads like Nutella should always be stored in the cupboard. In fact, on the packaging, it specifically says: ‘Do not store in the fridge.’ This is because the chocolate solidifies and becomes no longer spreadable.
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Storing apples in the fridge will help them keep for longer, however if you plan on eating them within a week then the kitchen counter is the perfect place for them.
It’s worth keeping apples in a separate area to other fruits and vegetables, as they give off ethylene gas, which makes surrounding produce ripen more quickly.
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According to Buzz60, most cakes are best stored outside of the fridge, in an airtight container.
Stella Parks, pastry chef at US-based restaurant Table 310, told The Kitchn that cakes which are both frosted and unfrosted, cut and un-cut, are perfectly fine at room temperature for several days. She added that refrigeration is only necessary if your home gets very hot during the day or if you’re making a cake that won’t be served for more than three days.
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Basil is sensitive to the cold and produces ethylene gas, which is what ripens fruit but deteriorates leafy greens. So putting it in the fridge probably isn’t the best idea.
To keep it fresh for more than a few meals, Bon Appetit recommends trimming the stems to remove any dried-up ends and then popping the basil in a tall glass of water. Loosely cover the basil with a plastic bag and keep it on the counter.
Honey will never spoil, which means you can keep it in the kitchen cupboard until it’s all used up.
Plus, sticking it in the fridge will make it harder.
Soy sauce should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight. This is to preserve the flavour.
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Avocado should actually be stored in an open brown bag, outside of the fridge for best results.
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When an onion is chilled in the fridge, the cold, humid temperatures convert the starch to sugars, which means they often become soft or soggy a lot faster. They are also prone to making everything else in your fridge smell like onion.
To tackle the issue, keep onions in the mesh bag they came in (or in a bowl) in a cool, dry, ventilated place.
Bread actually goes stale faster if stored in the fridge, so you should keep it wrapped in its original packaging, in a bread bin or cupboard.
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If you store coffee in the fridge, it will absorb the smells of the foods around it. Alternatively store in a cool, dry place.
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While peanut butter keeps fresher for longer in the fridge, it can also be stored in a cupboard.
According to PureWow, you should store it upside down to keep it fresh, as otherwise the oil tends to gather at the top of the jar.
The colder tomatoes are, the more taste they lose.
According to Food52, they need to stay at room temperature, ideally in a single layer out of direct sunlight. To keep them fresher longer, store them stem side down while they finish ripening.
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Garlic doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge and can quite happily live out its days in a cool dry place.
Avoid storing fresh garlic bulbs in plastic bags or sealed containers, as this can cause mold and sprouting.
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The best place to store potatoes is in a cool, well ventilated place. If you store them in the fridge, the cold temperatures begin to convert the potato starch into sugar, resulting in a sweet taste and discolouration when cooked.
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Bananas grow in hot climates, so they are not used to cold temperatures, such as the fridge. General advice around storing bananas is to keep them in a fruit bowl, out of direct sunlight. If you want to ripen them quicker, store next to other fruit such as tomatoes.
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While some people keep chocolate in the fridge, it’s actually best to store it at room temperature, as that is when the flavour tastes best according to Mondelez chocolate tasters.
Surprisingly, jam and marmalade is best stored in the kitchen cupboard, not in the fridge. This is because, thanks to its fruit content, it is naturally acidic and therefore less likely to grow any unwanted bacteria.
Dr Peter Barratt, a microbiologist for Initial Hygiene, previously told The Daily Mail: “Normally jam does not need chilling if it is consumed within three to six months. However, always use clean utensils to remove jam from the pot. Dirty knives or spoons can spark mould growth – which, even if removed, can diffuse into the jam beneath, leading to stomach upsets or, in some cases, an allergic reaction.”
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While refrigerating oranges can extend their shelf life, they’re better off being stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight – preferably in a fruit bowl or net bag, so air can circulate freely around them.
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The divisive spread is best stored in the cupboard, as otherwise it goes quite hard. It contains salt, which helps to preserve it.