Do you store your bread in the fridge or cupboard? Should eggs really be stored on the kitchen worktop? And where do you keep bananas?
There’s always been debate around where common foods are stored and now online healthy food retailer, MuscleFood.com have stepped in with their definitive guide on what should go where.
They’ve looked into the debate, and settled it by revealing where you should really keep fruit, veg, bread, confectionary and condiments.
The experts have discovered tomatoes, cucumbers and chocolate should never be stored in the fridge, but all condiments except for peanut butter and soy sauce should be.
The findings also looked why bananas should not be kept in the fruit bowl, and why bread should never be chilled.
Darren Beale from MuscleFood.com said: “There’s always debate around where you should store food. Much of it comes down to personal preference and what we’ve picked up from parents and other family members. But believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong place to store kitchen essentials.
“This ranges from the perishable items like fruit and veg, to jarred preserves and sauces. By getting it right, you can preserve the taste and quality of the food for longer – so it’s worth taking the time and effort to find out where’s best.
“We’ve picked out 12 foods we’ve all stored in the wrong place at some point and have cleared up where they should go and why.”
Bread should be stored at room temperature, enclosed in a plastic bag. Two days after opening, move to the freezer wrapped in plastic freezer bags or foil. NEVER store bread in the fridge. This makes the bread go stale quicker.
Most of us store tomatoes in the salad draw of the fridge but if you want them to taste their best, leave on the kitchen worktop. If they start to become too soft, move them into the fridge.
Leave you cucumber in the fridge and it could end up with chill injuries, which makes it go watery and mushy. The best place for it is the kitchen worktop. If you like your cucumber chilled store at the very front of the fridge to avoid it becoming too cold.
Bananas never go in the fridge, unless they’re over ripe and you want them to last a little longer. The best place for them is in a fruit bowl by themselves. Banana’s ripen quickly and let off a gas called ethylene. This causes other fruit to spoil. So unless you’ve got other fruit that you want softening up, bananas are out of the fridge and by themselves.
For short-term storage, butter is fine kept in a butter dish on the kitchen counter. But if you want to preserve it for longer, it is recommended that you keep it in the fridge. If you like smooth butter that’s easily spreadable, a great tip would be to cut small sections off for the butter dish, and keep the rest of it in the fridge.
Eggs can go in the fridge but never in the egg rack inside the door. Put them on the rack and the constant changes in temperature, as the door is opened and closed, causes them to go off quicker. Instead keep them in the main body of the fridge.
Never refrigerate chocolate. Chocolate absorbs odours from the fridge and moisture in the fridge can discolour it. Store chocolate in a cool, dry place, away from anywhere it could melt.
8. Red wine
Although many people prefer to store red wine in the cupboard after opening, it is better to keep it in the fridge. Storing red wine at warmer temperatures slows down chemical reactions, including oxidation, which is bad for an open bottle.
Ketchup should be stored in the fridge. Storing it at room temperature can damage the quality of the product. The high acid content means the appearance and texture will begin to deteriorate if not left in the fridge.
Commercially produced mayonnaise should be kept in the fridge. The product contains eggs and cream, which wouldn’t be best to store at room temperature.
11. Jarred preserves
Jams, marmalade and pickles should also be put in the fridge once opened. Prior to opening, they’re fine in a dark, cool kitchen cupboard.
12. Peanut butter and soy sauce
These can be safely stored in a cupboard even when opened. Peanut butter lasts up to three months and soy sauce three years.
13. Apples and grapes
Most of us put them straight in the fruit bowl but apples and grapes should both be left in the fridge. Don’t wash them before putting them in – the excess water speeds up the fruits decomposition.
14. Potatoes & onions
Vegetables such as potatoes, onions and winter squashcan all be stored in a cool, dry place. Shallots and garlic can be left out of the fridge for around two weeks.
Despite many people storing cordials and fruit squash in the fridge, they are fine left in the kitchen cupboard. Most fruit cordials contain preservatives such as potassium sorbate or sulphites, which are designed to be stored on shelves.