Did you know that some foods should be stored in the pantry instead of the fridge or freezer? While many err on the side of caution and stick their fresh produce in the fridge, foods like garlic, onions, and potatoes last longer when stored in the pantry.
According to the USDA, a pantry should be a “cool and dark place,” preferably between 50 to 70 degrees fahrenheit. In addition, a pantry must be well ventilated and relatively dry.
Store Garlic in the Pantry
Garlic is best stored at room temperature in the darkest part of the pantry. It should be kept away from direct sunlight as that may cause it to sprout.
Garlic kept in the fridge is susceptible to sprouting. Sprouting may give a sharp and bitter taste to the garlic.
Garlic can be safely stored with onions in the pantry or on the counter top.
When stored correctly, fresh garlic can last for months inside of the pantry.
Store Onions in the Pantry
Onions can be stored in a breathable part of the pantry or on the counter top. Onions should never be kept inside of a secured bag, as this locks in moisture and can cause them to rot.
The fridge is too moist for onions. When exposed to moisture, onions become soft and rot from the inside out.
While onions and potatoes can be stored in the pantry, it is best to keep these foods separate from each other. As they are stored, onions emit a gas called ethylene which causes potatoes to rot faster.
When stored correctly, onions can stay fresh for an entire month.
Store Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes in the Pantry
It is best to store potatoes in the darkest part of the pantry, as potatoes sprout when exposed to light. Store potatoes in a breathable bag or box. It is recommended to store in the bag or box they were bought in.
Potatoes should never be washed before going into the pantry. The dirt on potatoes serves to protect the skin of the potato and keeps it fresh longer. In addition, washing a potato may expose it to moisture, which in turn will cause it and other nearby potatoes to rot.
According to the Mirror, potatoes stored in the fridge or freezer may be a potential health hazard. When stored in a cold environment, the starch in potatoes is converted into sugar. When cooked, these sugars can produce a chemical known as acrylamide, which may be a cancer causing agent.
When stored correctly, fresh potatoes can last up to two weeks in the pantry.