How to correctly store your food: counter, pantry, fridge or freezer?

Recently, we talked about the best way to store food in your fridge. Remember? Well, today, we come back with more kitchen chapters with tips on where you should store your favorite ingredients. A great part of treating food correctly is knowing the best places to store it and for how long, so here we go!

What should you keep in the counter?

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Garlic, onions and shallots can be stored in the counter for up to two weeks. Tomatoes, potatoes and winter squash should also be kept in a cool and dry place, instead of the fridge. The right place to keep bananas, citrus and melons is the counter, as well (but, once they are cut, they must be stored in the refrigerator or they will begin to dry out). Bread, cakes and pies must also be kept at the counter (wrap them in plastic after one or two days) for a few days and then moved to the fridge.

What should you keep in the pantry?


Dry goods can usually be stored in the pantry for up to six months, but once a package is open, it’s best to move it to a different and closed container. In this room you can also store nuts in air-tight containers, if possible (for ultimate freshness, keep their shells on), and spices (whole spices can be kept for up to two years in airtight tins or small spice jars, while ground spices should be refreshed every six months).

What should you keep in the fridge?


The fridge is a little bit more complex. So, most dairy products should be stored on the upper shelves, where the temperature is more constant. However, each type of cheese should be wrapped in a porous material (waxed paper or parchment paper) individually and marked with the name and date of purchase.

Eggs also belong in the fridge, but not the door: keep them in the original cartons on one of the upper shelves. All vegetables (minus the ones that you can keep on the counter) and mushrooms must be kept in the fridge. Keep the vegetables in the drawer, stored in perforated plastic bags and away from ethylene-producing fruits like apples or mangoes, and the mushrooms wrapped in plastic (wild mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag). Fruits must also be kept in the fridge (except melons, citrus and bananas) in a separate drawer for the vegetables. Remember: don’t wash your fruit until you are ready to eat it, since water quickens decomposition.

Meat must be stored in the bottom of the fridge, the coldest section, but remember you must consume it within four days of purchase. Fish can also be stored in the same place for two days, after being dried and wrapped in waxed paper. Pies containing eggs (custard or cream-based pies) should also be stored in the fridge, loosely covered. Yeast can last in the pantry, but it’s best stored in the refrigerator (or freezer, for long-term). Harvested fresh herbs last longer if they’re kept in the fridge.

What should you keep in the freezer?


Meat and fish can be frozen uncooked in its original packaging. According to the USDA, the maximum recommended freezer storage time for beef and lamb is six months; four months for veal, pork, and poultry; and two months for seasoned sausage. Fish can last in the freezer for up to 6 months, but fattier fish should not be frozen for over three months. Pies and pies crusts, cakes and stock can also be kept in the freezer for a couple of months. The freezer is also the best place to keep your grounded coffee.

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