View Full Version : How do you store your fruits and vegetables?

06-25-2003, 11:24 PM
I was just wondering, which of your fruits and vegetables do you keep in the refrigerator and which do you keep at room temperature? I usually refrigerate all of my fruits (except for bananas) and all of my veggies (except for potatoes and onions). Also, which fruits and which veggies shouldn't be stored together? I know that some fruits and veggies make others spoil quicker.

Please share your storage tips with me. Thanks! :)

06-26-2003, 02:06 AM
I don't know the correct answer to this question. What I personally do, though, is keep my bananas, oranges, apples, lemons, and limes, and garlic and shallots in a fruit basket on the kitchen counter. I store my potatoes in the fridge, as they last longer that way. I put all my veggies in the fridge, even onions. They just seem to last longer that way. I do use my veggie crisper. I also find that if I put items, such as green onions, into ziplock bags right when I get home from the grocery store, they last longer.

I'm interested to see how others respond, as I think there may be room for improvement on my storing of fruits/veggies. :)

06-26-2003, 03:21 AM
Interesting question. I don't know the "right" thing to do, either. I keep bananas, tomatoes, stone fruit, potatoes, onions and garlic on a three-tiered plate thing on the counter. Everything else goes into the fridge.

06-26-2003, 05:11 AM
Didn't realize my produce storage was so complicated until I started to think about it.

Bananas on a "banana hook" on the kitchen table.

Tomatoes on a bowl on the counter. (Never in the fridge! Makes them mealy).

Stone fruit and melon in a basket on the counter when I first bring them home and they're hard. Once they start to soften up, they go into the fruit crisper.

potatoes in a paper bag in a corner of the pantry, so it's dark. During the summer, I'm thinking about keeping them in the basement, where it's cooler most of the time, but I'm worried I'd forget I have them down there.

garlic in a little ceramic "garlic keeper" on the counter.

berries in the fridge at first, but, since I don't like biting into them when they're really cold (sensitive teeth), I try to take them out and let them warm to room temp before I eat them. I think it also helps the flavor.

asparagus in the fridge, upright in a tall container with a little water at the bottom.

herbs wrapped in damp paper towels inside a plastic bag, in the fridge. (I tried one of those "herb keepers," but it took up too much room in the refrigerator.

All other stuff that I can think of, including onions, scallions, shallots, etc., in the fridge, in the crisper unless I can't fit it all. I keep winter squash in the fridge, too, although I've heard you don't have to.


06-26-2003, 05:25 AM
I am not an expert on this topic, but I know one thing for sure:

NEVER store potatoes or tomatoes in the fridge!!!

I have read this MANY places. In the refrigerator, tomatoes lose their taste and become mealy. And the starch content of the potato changes so that its taste and texture suffers.

06-26-2003, 05:46 AM
I keep just about all my veggies, except onions, shallots, garlic, potatoes and tomatoes in the fridge.

I keep almost all my fruit on the counter in a basket. I do keep berries and grapes in the fridge. I think fruit tastes much better at room temperature and we eat it so fast I don't need to refrigerate it to make it last.

I believe apples give off a gas that ripens other fruits faster. I remember reading somewhere in the last month what fruits and veggies to keep apart from others, but I can't remember anything beyond apples! It might have been in Shape.


06-26-2003, 06:44 AM
Depends on how much room I have in the fridge :eek: :D

I pretty much follow HRJ's methods except I like cold berries so can eat them out of the fridge :)
Apples get stored on the counter in a bowl...unless DH is slow in eating them...then I stick them in the fridge to extend their little lives.

Potatoes are on the steps down to my basement, as are my onions (but not in the same bin). Lately I haven't been buying a lot of potatoes, but my sweet potatoes are on the steps down to the basement :p

And Val is right...but if my little grape tomatoes have been hanging around too long, I do toss them in the fridge to extend them for a day or two :rolleyes:

06-26-2003, 07:14 AM
I don't think there is necessarily a "right" answer...I think it will depend somewhat on the eating habits of your family (how fast you go through things), where you live in the country and if you like something cold or warm. :)

Myself, I store the banana's, stone fruits, avacado (till ripe), melons (till ripe) in a bowl on the table. Tomatoes/grape tomatoes sit on the microwave.

Apples, cherries, grapes and all berries are a fridge item (I like my apples cold).

Onions, shallots and garlic are in the crisper.

If I had potatoes, they would also be in the fridge. My basement is too moist during the summer (even with a dehumidifier) and I don't have a good drawer to tuck them into. They just age to quickly otherwise.

06-26-2003, 07:53 AM
There was an article in this month's Real Simple about storing veggies and fruits...some give off ethylene, others are affected by it; it suggested storing them separately. I have yet to implement this advice. I will type up the list when I get home tonight.

I keep tomatoes, bananas, potatoes out of the fridge. Everything else goes in the crisper drawers. I do also store my asparagus upright and in water.

06-26-2003, 09:40 AM
I don't have air conditioning in my kitchen, so I store everything save tomatoes and bananas in the refrigerator. Everything else goes in there, even potatoes and onions. I can't buy 20 lbs of potatoes, because the texture will be off by the end of the bag, but this works fine for a week's worth.

In the winter, I store potatoes and onions in the garage (it's so cool out there), as well as apples. They last forever that way.

06-26-2003, 10:13 AM
Thanks for all of the posts!!! I was looking at my countertops last night wondering if I should put anything in the fridge or keep them where they are.

I did read something a while ago about why you shouldn't store onions and apples with certain other fruits and vegetables because they will spoil faster. I should have kept the article because I forgot what it said not to store with either of those. I still keep my apples in the fridge, but keep my onions away from everything.

I guess there really isn't a 100% right way to store your fruits and veggies. I was just wondering what everybody else does to make sure I get the longevity out of them if I don't use them up as fast as I thought I would.

06-26-2003, 10:39 AM
As far as fruit goes, I keep bananas, stone fruits, citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges), and melons (until I cut into them) on the counter. Apples, grapes, cherries (sometimes) and berries go in the fridge - I MUCH prefer these fruits cold.

And for veggies: potatoes/sweet potatoes, tomatoes, squash, onions, and garlic on the counter and pretty much everything else in the fridge.

06-26-2003, 11:34 AM
I do my fruits asbackwards! When I come from the store or farmers market, I put them in the fruit drawer in the fridge. DH is in charge and he takes out several pieces of each variety and puts them in a bowl on the table. When ripe, we eat them and if there are too many ripe, put them in a bowl in the fridge for snacking. Then repeat the procedure. Tomatoes, on the counter, onions in the onion keeper (red clay with holes on the sides and the matching garlic keeper). Potatoes in a bin in a pull out drawer in the laundry (adjacent to the kitchen).
Works for us. Melons stay on the counter until ripe, also avocados, then put in the fridge. Oranges and lemons in the laundry on the counter. Since I have orange and lemon trees I only harvest enough for a week. Sometimes too many, and I put them in the garage,

06-26-2003, 12:04 PM
I keep my fruits, includint apples in the fridge. Melon, peaches, pineapple, etc, I keep out until they're ripe then they go into the fridge. Tomatoes are in a basket on the counter, potatoes and onions, shallots and garlic are in separate baskets in the pantry. Berries are stored in the fridge. Herbs, most of them are wrapped in damp paper towels and stored in one of the vegetable bins in the fridge. I put them, wrapped, in zip bags and leave them slightly unzipped. Parsley goes into a glass of water with a baggie loosely covering it and I store asparagus the same way, only with a lot less water. Veggies like lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc, I put into loose fitting baggies in the veggie bins,same with celery and carrots. Squash and peppers I just throw in. Lemons, limes, oranges go into the fruit drawers.

06-26-2003, 01:58 PM
I have never heard of not putting tomatoes or potatoes in the fridge! I've been doing it for years and have not had a problem, so I will probably keep doing it this way. Kinda inherited these habits from my mother. Very interesting to hear how everyone stores their fruits/veggies.

06-26-2003, 02:28 PM
I always keep some onions on the fridge-I am convinced that you cry less when cutting cold onions as opposed to those at room temp. Try it!:)

You have your own lemon and orange trees Curleytop??? This northern girl is very envious!:)

06-26-2003, 03:35 PM
Fascinating. I am pretty much with Helene on everything. I have noticed a big difference in keeping my tomatoes in the fridge as opposed to the countertop, and now keep them on the counter. Here in cool Seattle I have kept tomatoes on the counter for more than two weeks!

Peaches, too, should never be cold. They are Southern belles! I read somewhere that they should never be exposed to below a certain temperature (can't remember what the temp was but it's above most fridge temps).

It seems okay to keep berries in the frige (they keep longer) but as I like them at more room temperature I take them out a couple hours before eating.

Just learned that potatoes shouldn't go in the fridge, thanks to Valchemist. Am now keeping them in a cool pantry but I must say I haven't noticed much of a difference. I may be a philistine, potato-wise.

Cantaloupe---at room temperature (until ripe) but not on the counter. In the microwave! If I leave it out our cat will eat it. Yes, right through the rind and into the fruit. Learned this the hard way. Our cat ADORES cantaloupe.


06-26-2003, 04:32 PM
It gets too hot here in the valley to keep things out of the fridge, IMHO. If I'm not going to eat my tomatoes right away, I put them in there, but only for a day or two. Potatoes go in the outside fridge crisper in one bin, onions in the other. Everything else is either in Tupperware FridgeSmarts (which DO work) or in the crisper. I have heard the apple having gas thing ;) .