10 Fruits You Should NEVER Refrigerate


Cheapism/Serhii Khrystenko/travenian/banjongseal324/istockphoto

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Cheapism/Serhii Khrystenko/travenian/banjongseal324/istockphoto

Certain Fruits Really Don't Need That Fridge Time

It's surprisingly not as intuitive as you might think to know which fruits you should and shouldn't store in your fridge. It’s natural to automatically want to toss it all in your fridge. The last thing you’d want is for them to go to waste because they were left out for too long. After all, there are some foods that you definitely want to store in the fridge.

However, certain fruits spoil more quickly or lose their quality in the refrigerator’s colder environment. We’ll take a look at the fruits you shouldn’t ever store in your fridge.

Organic tomatoes sale on market stall
Mehmet Hilmi Barcin/istockphoto

1. Tomatoes

Of the fruits we’ll cover on this list, tomatoes rank right there at the top in terms of how much they can be affected by the fridge. Tomatoes stored in a fridge will rapidly lose flavor and become unappetizingly mushy. The surefire way to ripen your tomatoes as quickly as possible is to store them outside the fridge and in a paper bag. Once they’ve ripened they’ll last for around three days. 

(All that said, Serious Eats points out that several factors, including the temperature of your kitchen and if they were previously refrigerated can influence how tomatoes will hold up on the counter vs. the fridge.)

Related: From Bruschetta to Salsa, Here are 10 Ways to Preserve Tomatoes


2. Bananas

Bananas thrive in warmer temperatures. Specifically, the target temperature range for bananas is between 56-58 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S.Department of Agriculture. If you were to store your bananas in the fridge the whole ripening process would be substantially slowed down. Outside of slowing down the process, your banana skins could end up blackening with a bitter flavor due to the fridge’s colder temperatures (a condition known as "chilling injury," according to the USDA). So, aim to store your bananas outside of the fridge and away from sunlight with plenty of air circulation to avoid the build-up of ethylene gas, which can cause them to ripen too quickly.

Related: 27 Things You Didn’t Know About Bananas

Melon wallpaper

3. Melons

Melons put on their best performance when stored outside of the fridge According to a 2006 USDA study, storing melons at room temperature seems to help increase the fruit's antioxidants lycopene and beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A) for a longer period. Meanwhile, storing seeded and seedless melons in the fridge can cause them to decrease the level of those antioxidants.

Related: From Rind to Seed: How To Use Every Single Part of a Watermelon

Dicing a Mango
Candice Bell/istockphoto

4. Mangoes

Take it from the National Mango Board, an industry group of growers, grocers, and shippers, who point out that it is always best to hold off on refrigerating mangoes until they’ve ripened. If you store your mangoes in the fridge too soon you can slow down their natural ripening process. Once your mangoes have ripened, store them in the fridge for up to five days.

Related: Which Fruits and Veggies Go Bad the Quickest and Which Last the Longest?

Colorful pumpkins and squashes collection. Autumn background.

5. Winter Squash

While you should always store summer squash such as zucchini in your fridge, thicker-skinned squash such as butternut or acorn squash should be stored at room temperature. This will help preserve the squash's texture which would otherwise quickly lose its quality if exposed to prolonged colder temperatures. As pointed out by urban homesteader blog Garden Betty, you only need to refrigerate hard squash if it's been cut or cooked. Iowa State University recommends storing winter squash in a dry and well-ventilated area, ideally between 50 and 55 degrees Farenheit. 

Avocado halves

6. Avocados

Like mangoes, avocados are another fruit that are typically harvested before they’ve actually ripened. The ripening process ideally happens during their time on the store shelf and when you bring them home. Glad points out that it's best to store your avocados at room temperature until they've fully ripened. If you're eager to eat them, you can speed the ripening process by placing the avocados in a paper bag. Once they've fully ripened, you can store them in the fridge to extend their shelf life.

Related: Creative and Delicious Recipes for Avocados, According to Redditors

Sliced up cucumbers on wooden board

7. Cucumbers

While it’s a popular choice to enjoy cucumbers when they’ve been chilled, you can end up overdoing it. Take it from Root Simple, who points out that if you store your cucumbers in your fridge for too long they can end up with undesirable watery spots, and even spoil at a quicker than normal rate. If you do need to store them in the fridge, three days is the recommended time period before they start to turn.

Related: Bizarre New Fruits You're Suddenly Seeing at the Grocery Store

Persimmons - Fall
Stefan Tomic/istockphoto

8. Persimmons

The key to enjoying your persimmons is keep in mind that they’ll continue to ripen after they’ve been harvested. According to Epicurious, you should store them at room temperature. Should you decide to store your persimmons in your fridge before they fully ripen, the actual ripening process can take up to one month.

For more smart kitchen tips, sign up for our free newsletters.

Apricots harvest

9. Peaches

While chilled peaches are a perfectly enjoyable dish, you should avoid storing your peaches in the fridge for extended periods of time. This can end up dehydrating the peach, which can noticeably diminish the flavor of the fruit. Allrecipes points out that your peaches are perfectly fine being left on the counter, and especially if they're firm to the touch. Similar to avocados, you can speed the ripening process by storing peaches in a brown paper bag for one to three days and remove them when they've ripened.

Collection of Baby Eggplant on Rustic Wood Table