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Foods That Should Not be Chilled
Basics of Cooking Lesson Series
Related Resources
All Busy Cooks Cooking Lessons
Always Chill
Always Freeze
Chill After Opening
Refrigerator Tips
Chilling Not Recommended
Do Not Freeze
Freezing Tips

These foods should not be refrigerated because they will lose quality. Food safety will not be compromised, but the character, texture, or taste of the food will be adversely affected by chilling. In fact, in the case of some foods like tomatoes or potatoes, I think they become inedible when stored in the refrigerator.


FOOD SPECIAL TIPS
POTATOES AND SWEET POTATOES When potatoes are chilled, the starches in the flesh change to sugars. This will make the potatoes taste sweet when cooked.Make sure to keep potatoes and onions separate when stored.
CANNED PARMESAN CHEESE If you buy the finely grated Parmesan cheese in the green can, take a look at the label. It says do not refrigerate - even after opening!
HONEY Honey will thicken and crystallize if stored in the refrigerator, even after opening. If this does happen, you can place the opened jar of honey in a pan of hot water and it will return to a pourable, smooth texture.
OILS EXCEPT NUT OILS Most oils will thicken and turn cloudy if stored in the refrigerator. The exception is nut oils, which can turn rancid very quickly and should be stored chilled.
BAKED COOKIES Do not refrigerate cookies unless they contain a cream or custard filling. They will go stale much faster and lose quality quickly if stored in the refrigerator.
PEANUT BUTTER Read the label on the peanut butter you buy. Some fresh, organic brands do require refrigeration. But most ordinary peanut butters should be stored, tightly covered, in the pantry, even after opening.
TOMATOES Tomatoes do not like cold temperatures. You can store them in the refrigerator, but the cell structure will break down, resulting in an unpleasant mushy texture.
BREADS The starch in breads will change structure under refrigeration (called retrogradation), making the bread texture tougher. Breads also lose moisture faster in the dry refrigerator environment. Do not refrigerate breads until the label says to.
CHOCOLATE When chocolate is kept too cold, and is then brought to room temperature, condensation can make sugar condense on the top of the product, forming a rough surface called sugar bloom. Unless directed on the label, store chocolate, tightly wrapped, in a cool cupboard.
ONIONS Do not store onions in the refrigerator. They should be stored in an open container in a cool, dry place - away from potatoes, because they each emit a gas that makes both of them mold and rot more quickly!


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