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Chilling out

Does anybody know of a list of foods that should not go in the fridge?

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  1. I'll start. Honey, Iberico ham, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, red wine.

    23 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      At least for me....I'll add potatoes and onions.

      1. re: Veggo

        I keep butter and eggs in the fridge, but I noticed that they stay out in Italy and they were fine. It takes me a week or more to use up a stick of butter or a dozen eggs so I'm torn about whether to keep them on the counter (the advantage of having soft butter is obvious) or refrigerate them.

        1. re: chicgail

          Eggs can stay out quite a long time provided they are not fertilized, cracked or washed.

          1. re: chicgail

            When butter is purchased, it goes directly into the fridge, but unless it's summertime, once a stick of butter is removed for use, it always stays out in a butter dish until finished. I always toyed with the idea of purchasing this item strictly for keeping butter on the counter.

            https://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/but...

            1. re: fourunder

              My mom totally loves the Butter Bell! She first saw one at a friend's house. I wouldn't mind one myself.

              1. re: kattyeyes

                I have one. I always forget to use it though!

            2. re: chicgail

              You can get a butter keeper that will keep butter safely on the counter (sort of suspended upside down with a thin layer of cold water to seal the jar), but I've been keeping mine on the counter for years (in a regular covered butter dish) with no problems. It doesn't last long - I buy it, put it in the refrigerator, and leave about half a stick at a time on the counter, so I go through it quickly.

              I generally refrigerate any produce that is refrigerated when I buy it...otherwise it stays on the counter. That tends to work as a pretty good general rule. I don't refrigerate coffee (I know a lot of people keep it in the fridge or freezer).

              1. re: foodpoisoned

                For most of my childhood we did not have a fridge. Butter was kept in an unglazed covered ceramic (think brick) container with water. Evaporation from the ceramic kept is reasonable cool - at least below melting point.

              2. re: chicgail

                I much prefer butter at room temp and keep it in a butter dish on the counter except in the hottest summer days. Hard butter is no fun.

              3. re: Veggo

                I think it must be a myth that you shouldn’t refrigerate avocados. I do it all the time to no ill effect. I refrigerate them to delay ripening, then put them on the counter two or three days before I think I’ll need them. If they ripen too quickly, or if I don’t need them when I thought I would, I wrap them in plastic and refrigerate until needed. Some spoiling does result after about a week, but even then I just cut off the bad spots and the rest of the avocado tastes fine.

                1. re: JoanN

                  I do too. Though I seldom do, I see no reason not to put onions and potatoes in the fridge, if you have the room.

                2. re: Veggo

                  If bananas are totally ripe but I'm not ready for them, I refrigerate them. The outside will get black but the inside remains "correct" longer than if left out.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    HA HA! My mom recently threw ripe bananas in our freezer to "save" them for later. No word on how good they are post-thaw, though I imagine they'll be OK. They're still up there. They look so weird hanging out in the deep freeze!

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Friends did it all the time for smoothies, later. It does kind of look like a fruit graveyard, does't it? But what's the diff? I've got dead animals in there already.

                      1. re: Scargod

                        'tis the season for a fruit graveyard after all. That's funny. Good point about the dead animals (from the supermarket, anyway!). Good idea re smoothies. We usually make banana bread or muffins.

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          "We usually make banana bread of muffins."
                          Is that like twice-cooked pork or just efficient recycling of muffins?

                          1. re: Scargod

                            Proof that when multitasking, people are usually doing more than one thing ineffectively. Corrected to say "banana bread OR muffins"...though your comment was amusing. ;)

                      2. re: kattyeyes

                        I love eating frozen bananas (they have to be peeled before you freeze them) and frozen grapes. Both treats have a rather obscene nature to eating them, but they are delightful.

                        1. re: chicgail

                          One of our local chocolate stores (Munson's in Connecticut) offers chocolate-covered frozen bananas as a specialty item. :) That would be a fun and rather easy thing to do at home (not with black bananas, of course, which are reserved for baking).

                        2. re: kattyeyes

                          They will be completely much. They'll taste the same but not good for eating.

                          There are however plenty of recipes (such as banana bread or ice cream) which tell you to freeze the bananas to get that custardy texture.

                          DT

                          1. re: Davwud

                            Yup, that's exactly what my mom was saving 'em for (banana bread). She said it came out great! :)

                            1. re: kattyeyes

                              I just noticed my typo. Completely mush is what I meant. But I guess you got that.

                              DT

                      3. re: Veggo

                        If I'm organized enough, I put red wine in the refrigerator 15-20 minutes before serving, especially in warm weather. I like it slightly colder than room temperature, especially warm room temperature.

                      4. A wedge of nice brie on a plate with a glass cover is good for at least 3 days on a counter. I have never had one make it to day 4.

                        1. Perhaps the refrigerator does no *harm,* but olive oil's rendered solid by time in the fridge. I keep mine in the pantry.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shaogo

                            Never heard of olive oil in the fridge, although some people do worry about oils going rancid and the colder temperature helps delay that process.

                          2. Honey, pepper jelly, mustards. My grandmother keeps her mayo in the pantry and has for her 88 years...I always have a stick of butter in a butter keeper for use....in 20 years I have only had one stick go bad, and it was very apparent.

                            1. I keep my mustard & jellies in the fridge once opened. I live where it's humid most of the year and if I didn't keep most things cool, they'd rot including tomatoes, potatoes & onions.

                              Peanut butter shouldn't go in the refrigerator!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Cherylptw

                                i put my natural peanut butter in the fridge. what's the problem?

                                  1. re: chowser

                                    Just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until it's spreadable.

                              2. I think OP is asking about foods that SHOULD NOT go in the fridge rather than those that don't have to go in the fridge.

                                42 Replies
                                1. re: c oliver

                                  You keep 'em straight CO! Add canned foods, dried pasta and rice to the list.

                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    Smarty britches! I'm still confused about the whole avocado issue. I never heard about not refrigerating them so then I stopped. Now some say, once ripe they CAN be chilled. Inquiring minds want to know... WTF?????????????????????

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Well, wouldn't putting it in the fridge (once ripe) prolong freshness if you couldn't use the avo right away--kinda like the bananas in the freezer trick?

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        That's what I always thought. Even if I'm giving up some flavor (am I?), I figure that's better than letting it rot outside the fridge. Vegoo, please elaborate :

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          JoanN who posted above is exactly right that refrigeration will delay the ripening of avocados. All fruiterias in Mexico have avocados "para hoy" ( for today) ,but often manage the ripeness of the following days' produce with refrigeration. There is no loss of flavor, just serve them at room temp, same as tomatoes. It's nice to have Haas year round, but they are sometimes pricey here.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            In Brazil, it's "para hoje." Hass are expensive here also. Anytime I can find for under $1, I buy. In Rio I saw them for $5 each. I DID NOT BUY.

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              CO, could the avacados have been (past perfect tense) out of season? In Bolivia, we had a big tree, just ouside our kitchen door. They were dirt cheap, 10 for a dollar at the open air markets.
                                              Garlic, melons until cut, vinegar based sauces, soy sauce, oils, stay out of the fridge. Ours is small, by American standards.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                I bought nice and tasty avocados this weekend at a local Mexican market in Dallas six for a dollar. I was amazed.

                                                1. re: DallasDude

                                                  hass avocados are on sale this week here in arlington, virginia at 4/$5 (at giant, for you locals who are interested).

                                                  dallas dude, you are lucky! 6 for a buck? wow!

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    I found them at Safeway (I think it was Safeway) 2/$1 the other day.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      I just got them 4 for $3.50, the price is coming down finally. When I was in California, my sister and I bought some off the back of a truck, 10 for $1, but BIL got mad because he said those are the ones they pick up off the ground. So she went back to swiping them out of her neighbors yards (they live in an ex-avocado farm and she swears they don't care!) Those free ones are the best tasting of all, for several reasons ;-)

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        Avocados are unusual in that they only ripen when they are detached from the tree. There is one other common fruit that does this, and there is a special name for it.

                                                        Both of which I have forgotten.

                                                        Edit: Bless little google's heart. Banana and Climacteric.

                                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                                          climacteric (i thought of menopause) and non-climacteric fruit are listed here: http://www.quisqualis.com/Climacteric...

                                                          """"In very general terms a climacteric fruit can be picked from the tree at full size or maturity but before it is 'ripe' and allowed to ripen off the tree. Generally there is an increase in flavor quality, juice, sugars and other factors. Again, in general terms, non climacteric fruits tend to maintain what ever quality they had at harvest without many beneficial changes.

                                                          More technically, in climacteric fruit 'ripening' is controlled by the fruits production of Ethylene and a significant increase in CO2 production. Non climacteric fruit produce little or no Ethylene and no large increase in CO2 production. Some fruits are picked full sized and green in color and held under refrigeration with Ethylene gas added to make them suitable for sale. It seems that much of what we know about the ripening of non climacteric fruit remains poorly understood.""""

                                                        2. re: coll

                                                          What's the problem with picking them up off the ground? Seriously. If she's "swiping" then they probably DO care, don't you think?

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            When you pick them off the ground, you can get salmonella.

                                                            The neighbors told her she could help herself but she liked to act secretive about it anyway. It was a fun game for her, it's not like she couldn't afford to buy all she wanted.

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              i was wondering when you said salmonella....how could that work? then i wiki'd and saw that salmonella can live in dried excrement for weeks. hence, avocado under tree -- if pooped on by an infected animal -- could be very bad news.

                                                              couldn't you just wash it really well? i mean, we pick up key limes from under the tree. and mangoes, iirc. certainly some oranges, if they look ok.

                                                              i guess i just never entertained the idea of salmonella from this vector.

                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                I learned about this when organic apple juice that wasn't pasteurized some years back caused several deaths. You will probably be OK if it's your own backyard, but big open fields with wild things roaming at night....and another concern is when there are no outhouses in the fields for the workers.

                                                                I don't remember if we washed those avos, but I do know we ate them and didn't get sick. I did start thinking about how high off the ground things grow and washed accordingly. But anyway the thing is, those avocados we bought were illegal, there was a law prohibiting avocados that had touched the ground from being sold, and that's why the ones off the back of the truck were so cheap.

                                                                Here's a little more info I just looked up http://www.foodsafety.ksu.edu/en/arti...

                                                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                    Speaking of past perfect; para ayir es gratis? "For yesterday is it free?"

                                                    Uncut onions.
                                                    Avocados in the fridge: no problema. Warm them back up to room temp...

                                                    1. re: Scargod

                                                      Not quite following the Spanish reference. Is it the equivalent of 'free beer tomorroww' or 'jam tomorrow'?

                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg

                                                      They have other avocadoes that are the size and shape of large grapefruit which are everywhere and I assume to be local. I'm guessing the Hass ones were imported but I don't know that.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        I believe Haas is from Mexico and California, and the giant ones are from Florida. I think they call them Alligator Avocadoes?

                                                        1. re: coll

                                                          there are different varieties of avocado in florida, just as there are different varieties of mango. as to the size of the florida avocados, yes, in general, they are larger than the typical hass i'm seeing lately in the grocery (btw, are these seeming to get smaller?).
                                                          the varieties in florida derive from west indian, guatemalan and mexican stock: http://www.avocadosource.com/CAS_Year...

                                                2. re: kattyeyes

                                                  Avocados also freeze well for use in guac or just to smear.

                                                  1. re: just_M

                                                    Really? What's the texture like? I like chunky guac.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      I like chunky guac too and this spreadable like the bagged stuff from the grocery. I've only done this twice once on the *final*, final check of the house before a trip and once when I came across the produce guy pulling a bunch of overripe ones and I got the box for $2; at that price I'm willing to deal. Adding fresh chunks to the creamy base was a good compromise.

                                                      1. re: just_M

                                                        Thanks. There are those times when I've had to throw some out. Sacrificing texture is worth it.

                                              2. re: Scargod

                                                Add canned foods...
                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                Does Tomato or V-8 Juice count as a food or simply a beverage?

                                                :-)

                                                1. re: fourunder

                                                  Both, and also ketchup should never go in the fridge in case anyone does that.

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    If ketchup gets too hot, it will burst through the top and create a heck of a mess. I've seen it happen in restaurants with no AC.

                                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                                      I've worked in many restaurants and never saw anything like that. Ketchup was always stored at room temp, and often in the kitchen area, which is pretty hot. I can't even imagine how that would happen!

                                                    2. re: coll

                                                      Why should ketchup not be refrigerated?

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Mainly because room in my fridge is limited, but also room temp you can taste it better. Ice cold doesn't do it for me.

                                                      2. re: coll

                                                        Doesn't the bottle say "keep refrigerated?" Is that just a legal/corporate CYA?

                                                        1. re: chicgail

                                                          I totally ignore most "Keep refrigerated" and also "Best By" dates, I figure they're just marketing tools to make you think the stuff's gone bad and you have to throw out and buy more. I trust my eyes and nose.

                                                          Here's lots of different opinions
                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589501
                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/620786
                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/520008
                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/348668

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              I never thought of that. Good point. I have a can of Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough that's probably months past its date. I won't hesitate to fix.

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                speaking of refrigerated dough, i've been trying to really clean out my fridge, and use up stuff, so i used a roll of very out-of-date pillsbury crescent buttery rolls to make little pouches full of smoked salmon, cream cheese, and minced chives.
                                                                quite good -- except i'm tired of the "sweet" flavor in the pillsbury dough.
                                                                ~~~~~~
                                                                ps, c, good deal on the avocados. guac it is?

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  Yes it is stuff guacamole is made from, and great sliced on sandwiches and just about anything else.

                                                                  New ad has em at 7 for a buck, Let the guac wars begin!

                                                                  1. re: DallasDude

                                                                    dallas dude, i grew up in sw florida, so am quite familiar with our friend, the avocado.

                                                                    ps: my latest fave sandwich is avocado, turkey, bacon salt, mayo on white.

                                                          1. re: coll

                                                            Sometimes I prefer my ketchup cold, esp. on a plate of scrambled eggs.

                                                    3. Winter squashes should not be refrigerated. The refrigerator does a good job of mimicking the conditions squash has evolved to begin to rot under. They keep a lot longer under any conditions, even hot weather, high humidity, and sunlight, but the best conditions for them are in a root cellar.

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