7 Foods You Don’t Have to Refrigerate (PHOTOS)

Adriana Velez | Aug 7, 2014 Food & Party

apple in refrigeratorWhere do you keep your pickles -- in the refrigerator, right? What if I told you that you don't have to do that? You can keep them in your pantry at room temperature instead.

Is your mind totally blown, or did you know that all along? This is according to microbiologist Dr. Peter Barratt, who spilled the beans to the Daily Mail on what typically refrigerated foods are perfectly safe stored in the cabinet instead. We were curious and went poking around to find what other foods don't really require refrigeration.

More from The Stir: 9 Things in Your Fridge You Should Throw Out Now


Image © Neville Mountford-Hoare/PhotoAlto/Corbis

  • Pickles



    You'll want to keep your pickles refrigerated if you like them crisp and chilled. But Dr. Barratt says that some commercially produced pickles have so much acidity (with vinegars, lemon juice, and salt) that it kills off any bacteria. This does not go for your homemade pickles, unless you're using insane amounts of vinegar and salt.

    Hot sauce is safe without refrigeration as well, for the same reason.

  • Peanut Butter


    As long as you eat your peanut butter within three months, Dr. Barratt says, it should be safe without refrigeration.

  • Strawberry Jam



    "Thanks to their fruit content, jams and marmalades are naturally acidic. This helps to inhibit the growth of any bacteria that might cause a mild stomach upset or allergic reaction," Dr. Barratt says. Jam is safe to keep without refrigeration if you consume it within 3 to 6 months, he says, and if you're careful to scoop only with a clean knife.

  • These Fruits and Vegetables


    Potatoes, onions, tomatoes, bananas, stone fruit (like peaches), garlic, apples, and uncut melon are mostly better off not refrigerated, according to RefrigeratorsReviewed.com. The ripening of bananas is slowed in the fridge, and the skins can turn brown. Being chilled dulls the flavor of some of these foods as well.

  • Bread


    Bart Everson/Flickr

    Refrigeration alters the texture and taste of most bread. It will mold after a few days, depending on how many preservatives it contains.

  • Coffee


    Umer Shabib/Flickr

    Condensation in the refrigerator can alter the taste of coffee beans and ground coffee. Keep it in an airtight container in a cabinet instead.

  • Vegetable Oils



    Nut oils need to be refrigerated. Otherwise, vegetable-derived oils are easier to use and perfectly safe if you don't refrigerate them -- yes, even olive oil! It can go rancid if you take forever to finish a bottle, but that takes a very long time.

food safety

More Slideshows