33 Fruits and Veggies You Should Refrigerate and 7 You Shouldn't

Help your produce last as long as possible, with our list of where to store your produce—including what you should chill and what should be left on the counter.

There are quite a few contradicting ideas out there about how you should store your produce. Some keep their apples in the pantry instead of the fridge, some refrigerate whole pineapple, and others are fully against storing tomatoes anywhere but on the counter. But in some cases, it's not just a matter of personal preference——your produce will last longer and taste better if it's stored one way over another. To help settle the debate once and for all (and help you reduce food waste), we put together instructions for storing some of the most controversial pieces of produce and included helpful lists so you'll know where to store all your fresh produce.

tomatoes in a yellow bowl

BHG/Michelle Parkin


We know there are differing opinions out there about where to keep your tomatoes, but (trust us) they belong in your pantry or on your counter. When you store tomatoes in the fridge, they take on a mealy texture and lose some of their flavor. Whether you bring them home from the store or pull them off the vine in your backyard, tomatoes will stay juicier and tastier if you leave them out of the fridge.

Variety of citrus fruits including grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, and kumquats on white-gray counter
Blaine Moats

Citrus Fruits

Leave your lemons on the counter, and you'll have to restock sooner. Lemons, limes, and oranges all do best in the fridge because the cooler temperature prevents them from drying out. They'll keep for up to two weeks when chilled and about one week at room temperature. If you're not a fan of cold fruit, you can leave your lemons out on the counter for a couple hours before eating them. Additionally, you'll be able to squeeze out some extra juice if you reduce the chill first.

variety of mushrooms on a cutting board

BHG/Michelle Parkin


If you've ever brought home a container of mushrooms and left them on the counter for a few days before using them, you might be surprised to learn that they belong in the fridge. Except for morel mushrooms, which you should keep on the counter, unwashed mushrooms belong in the fridge in a paper bag, which will keep them from quickly going bad. If you want to leave them in their original container, remove the plastic wrap from the top first to help prevent them from becoming slimy after a day or two.

person slicing zucchini

BHG/Michelle Parkin


When it comes to storing squash, it all depends on which type you brought home. Winter squash, like acorn and butternut squash, should stay out of the fridge and be kept in a cool, dry place for up to two months (though once it's cut, leftovers should go into the fridge). Zucchini and summer squash, on the other hand, should go in the fridge where they'll last up to four days. Make sure you clear out some extra space in your fridge before bringing in that bumper zucchini crop!

How many calories in an avocado
Andy Lyons

Most Fruits (Including Avocados)

Fortunately, most fruits can go either way. Apricots, avocados, star fruit, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, peaches, nectarines, plums, and pears can all be stored on the counter or in the fridge. However, they won't ripen in the fridge, so we recommend storing them on the counter until they're ripe, then moving them to the fridge if you're not ready to eat them yet. If you use them as soon as they're ripe, there's no need to put them in the fridge at all. Storing fruit in the fridge won't make it last forever. In most cases, it'll buy you a couple of extra days to make that avocado toast or peach crisp.

Fresh cauliflower
Kritsada Panichgul

Produce to Keep in the Fridge

Skip the counter. These fruits and veggies will stay fresh and last longer if you keep them in the fridge:

  1. Asparagus
  2. Beans
  3. Beets
  4. Bok Choy
  5. Broccoli
  6. Brussels Sprouts
  7. Cabbage
  8. Carrots
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Celery
  11. Cucumbers
  12. Eggplant
  13. Fennel
  14. Greens
  15. Leeks
  16. Mushrooms
  17. Okra
  18. Peas
  19. Peppers
  20. Root Vegetables (Turnips, Rutabagas, Parsnips)
  21. Spinach
  22. Summer Squash/Zucchini
  23. Apples (They'll do best in the crisper drawer.)
  24. Berries
  25. Cherries
  26. Cranberries
  27. Grapefruit
  28. Grapes
  29. Lemons/Limes
  30. Oranges
  31. Pineapple
  32. Rhubarb
  33. Watermelon
bananas, onions and potatoes in a bowl

BHG/Michelle Parkin

Produce You Shouldn't Store in the Fridge

The list of fruits and veggies you should keep out of the fridge is surprisingly short! Here are the seven that keep best at room temperature:

  1. Onions
  2. Potatoes
  3. Winter Squash (like Butternut and Acorn)
  4. Sweet Potatoes
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Bananas
  7. Persimmons
Blaine Moats

Produce That Can Go Either Way

Some fruits and veggies can be stored both ways, either depending on your preference or how soon you plan to eat them. We mentioned that most of the fruits on this list can be ripened on the counter and then stored in the fridge, but there are a few other special cases:

  1. Corn (Leave it out of the fridge if you're eating it within a day. Otherwise it can be refrigerated for up to seven days.)
  2. Apricots
  3. Avocados
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Carambolas (Star Fruit)
  6. Figs (They should be used right away, but can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  7. Honeydew Melon
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Papayas
  11. Peaches and Nectarines
  12. Pears
  13. Plums

While putting most of your produce in the fridge will help you save it for a few extra days, you can stretch your fruits and veggies even further by freezing or canning them. Almost every fruit or vegetable is a good candidate for one or the other (or both). So if you find yourself with more zucchini than you can eat in three days, start clearing out some space in your freezer. Don't forget to wash them thoroughly before eating, and it's a good idea to keep your fruits and veggies stored separately.

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