Where to Store Produce

Pantry Produce

Different types of produce have different storage requirements; some need to be placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator, some need humidity, and some don’t need to be chilled at all. Storing your produce under the appropriate conditions is the key to prolonging its shelf life.

In the Front of the Fridge

These items are sensitive to chilling injury and should be placed in the front of the fridge, where the temperatures tend to be higher.

  • Berries
  • Citrus
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Peas
  • Melons

In the Crisper

These items do best in the humid environment of the crisper.

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chiles
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Green Beans
  • Leafy Greens
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Summer Squash
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

Chill Anywhere

These items are not prone to chilling injury and can be stored anywhere in the fridge (including its coldest zones), provided the temperature doesn’t freeze them.

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes

On the Counter

Some produce is sensitive to chilling injury, making it subject to dehydration, internal browning, and/or internal and external pitting if stored in the refrigerator.

  • Apricots
  • Avocados*
  • Bananas*
  • Kiwis*
  • Mangos
  • Nectarines
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Tomatoes

*Once they’ve reached their peak ripeness, these fruits can be stored in the refrigerator to prevent overripening, but some discoloration may occur.


In the Pantry

The following produce should be kept at cool room temperature and away from light to prevent sprouting (in the case of potatoes) and to prolong shelf life.

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter Squash

You may also enjoy: 10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze


The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
The The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen not only includes 650 kitchen-tested recipes but also a 25-page manual teaching the basics of cooking for two. You’ll have more than 20 years’ worth of test kitchen wisdom at your fingertips. Topics include:

  • How to Shop Smarter
  • How to Store Smarter
  • Emergency Substitutions
  • Putting Leftover Ingredients to Work
  • Handy Equipment for Two
  • Kitchen Essentials Everyone Needs
  • Faster, Easier Ingredient Prep
Advertisements