Ask Amelia Tips

Fruits & Vegetables: What to Store Where

how to store fruits and vegetables

Properly storing fresh fruits and vegetables can make all the difference in how your produce tastes. And of course, serving the best-tasting fruits and vegetables possible will increase the quantity that you and your family members are able to eat. Below is a chart of what to store where.

On the Counter

Keep the following fruits and vegetables at room temperature, on a platter or in a container that allows for air circulation – like a wire basket or colander.

Apples Peaches*
Apricots Pears*
Avocados* Peppers
Bananas Pineapple
Citrus Fruits Plums*
Eggplant Pomegranates
Kiwi* Pumpkin
Mangoes Tomatoes
Nectarines* Watermelon & Cantaloupe
Papayas Winter squash (squashes with a thick skin)

* Refrigerate after ripening to prolong the shelf-life

In the Fridge

Keep these items in their original packaging or in cloth/perforated plastic bags in the produce drawers.

Artichokes Carrots Grapes
Asparagus Cauliflower Green onions/Scallions
Green Beans Celery Lettuce/Leafy Greens
Beets Cherries Leeks
Berries Corn Peas
Broccoli Cucumbers Radishes
Cabbage Figs Summer Squash (zucchini)

Remove fruits an hour or so before serving, since flavor is often better at room temperature.

In the Pantry

Store these items away from light and in a well-ventilated area, like a cupboard or pantry.


 Tip: Store onions and potatoes away from each other, as they tend to make each other go bad more quickly.

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  • shelley
    August 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I see several items on your “leave on the counter” list that I routinely refrigerate. Are there any detrimental effects to refrigerating those items? I just like my fruit to be cold when I eat it…

    On an unrelated note, what should I do with fresh basil when I get it home? I find that if I don’t use it right away it goes bad.

    Thank you!

  • Amelia
    August 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    There’s nothing detrimental about refrigerating the fruits/veggies you like to eat cold, as long as you don’t mind the taste change. Tomatoes are one I’d say taste completely different (awful) when refrigerated – everything else is just whatever you prefer!

    As for fresh basil, that’s a tough one because it does go bad quickly no matter what you do. Increasing circulation, making sure it’s dry, and keeping in a place that’s not too cold (when it gets cold it browns more quickly) is best — so if you have a fridge drawer that gets extra cold, avoid that one. You can also try keeping it on the counter with the stems in water, like you would flowers.

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