Questions about how to store food so as to preserve its freshness and overall quality.

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80
votes
11answers
35k views

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature?

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature? If so, how long is it safe to keep it out?
62
votes
10answers
29k views

Is it safe to put hot food in the fridge?

I heard that putting really warm food in the fridge right after cooking it is not the right thing to do. It might cause bacterial growth? Is this true?
51
votes
1answer
13k views

How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

How do I know if a given food or ingredient I have is still good, or if I should discard it? How can I best preserve a food or ingredient? This broad question is intended as a "general reference" ...
45
votes
9answers
2k views

Once a month cooking

I've heard of "once a month cooking" or "freezer cooking," where you basically spend a day cooking and fill your freezer with the next month's worth of food. This could especially come in handy when ...
38
votes
7answers
4k views

Why do some foods taste better the next day?

Many people think that certain foods, like lasagna, many stews and hearty soups, tomato sauce and so forth taste better the next day. My question is, is that really true, and if so, why? The ...
35
votes
11answers
59k views

How long can I keep eggs in the refrigerator?

To keep eggs useful and healthy, what is the average time I can keep them in refrigerator? Can I freeze, and re-use them after melting, or will they be useless or not healthy to eat?
34
votes
17answers
2k views

How to Store Fresh Herbs

What is the best way to store fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro? I find I have about the same luck with them whether they are left in a plastic bag or I put them in a cup of water.
33
votes
5answers
28k views

Why does a brown paper bag speed ripening?

I often see this technique suggested as a way to speed ripening. Why does it? Also, is there any data available on how fast it ripens comparatively?
32
votes
12answers
10k views

Should I refrigerate eggs?

I've read a lot of conflicting advice on whether it's advisable to store eggs in the refrigerator. The case against seems twofold: (1) that eggshells are porous, and eggs can take on unwelcome ...
27
votes
13answers
2k views

Good ways to store coffee?

What are some key points to store coffee to preserve freshness? Different methods for whole beans vs ground?
27
votes
5answers
1k views

Shelf life of spices

The common wisdom I've heard is that dried herbs and spices: have a shelf-life of about a year or 2 keep best in a cool dark place will release more flavor when crushed That's fine but some spices ...
23
votes
7answers
16k views

How to store brown sugar without it becoming hard?

I put a clothes pin on my opened bags of brown sugar and keep them in a dark pantry at room temperature. Since I don't use it very often, it becomes hardened. My work-around is to use a grater to ...
21
votes
10answers
13k views

What are the pros and cons of storing bread in various locations?

Why should/shouldn't I store my bread in the fridge/freezer/breadbox/plastic bag/etc?
20
votes
11answers
26k views

Should tomatoes be stored in the fridge?

Storing tomatoes in the fridge tends to make them last a bit longer, but I've heard that the flavor is negatively affected. What is the best way to store them?
18
votes
9answers
6k views

Can raw eggs be frozen?

If raw eggs are nearing their expiry date, can they be preserved in the freezer? Would there be any issues with them after taking them out of the freezer?
17
votes
8answers
4k views

Does putting knives in a wooden block blade down wear out the blade?

I'd always wondered. The blocks usually seemed designed to have the knives go in blade down, so that the blade touched wood coming in and out. But I know that when I whittle, cutting the wood wears ...
17
votes
11answers
42k views

What's the best way to store rice long-term?

I have purchased a rather large bag of rice long-grain white rice (25 lbs) and need to know the best way for storing it long-term. This rice will be used as both a food-storage food source and as my ...
17
votes
6answers
4k views

Storing knives: wood block or magnetic stripe?

What's better for storing your knives? Wood block or magnetic stripe? And why?
17
votes
9answers
14k views

Fresh basil storage

How should fresh basil be stored? The packaging suggests that the optimal temperature is around 50°F, but I can't think of anywhere in an average kitchen at that temperature. A pantry is too warm, and ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

What can I do to help my avocados ripen?

I bought some avocados recently, and one of them was rock hard when I tried to cut it. I left it out for a couple days hoping it would ripen, but it didn't help. What can I do to help my avocados ...
17
votes
4answers
729 views

Is there any way to remove stains (e.g. from curries and pasta sauces) from plastic containers?

I like using microwaveable plastic containers to bring my lunch in as they are my lighter than the Pyrex/glass versions. However, reheating my food up creates unsightly stains.
17
votes
2answers
12k views

Can heavy cream be frozen?

Sometimes, I want to try a recipe that calls for a small amount of heavy cream. Can the remainder be frozen and then used to make whipped cream? If so, how long will it keep in the freezer?
17
votes
6answers
19k views

Is it safe to reuse loose tea leaves the next day? What precautions need to be taken for storing tea for reuse?

I'm a fan of green tea and I find myself reusing the tea leaves 2-3 times a day. Sometimes I'll just store the leaves and reuse them the next day but it got me thinking if what I'm doing is actually ...
17
votes
3answers
9k views

Does polenta freeze well?

Does freezing polenta substantially change its consistency? I like polenta but would prefer to make it in batches instead of every time I want to eat it. After I make it, I usually let it cool, cut ...
16
votes
13answers
861 views

Recommendations for spice organization strategies

Spices have always been the hardest thing for me to keep track of in the kitchen. I'm interested in specific recommendations for hardware (containers, labeling, shelving, etc.) and organization ...
16
votes
6answers
22k views

How can I store chopped onions in the fridge without the smell?

I am cooking for a large group and am trying to do as much as I can in advance. One thing I would love to do in advance is chop several onions. I have done this before with a single onion; I stored ...
16
votes
1answer
5k views

Is it better to store chocolate in the fridge or at room temperature?

What is the best way to store dark chocolate to preserve chocolate and flavour?
16
votes
4answers
15k views

how to store lettuce

what is the best way to store letuce in the fridge? should I store it in a air thight bag on in an open bag? should I wash and cut it first? should it be stored wet or patted dry? thanks
15
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I organize my fruits for storage?

As I learnt from this post, there are some fruits that should not be kept together with the others (e.g. watermelon and apple). Which fruits should be kept separately in order to prevent rotting?
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Storing Pizza Stone in Oven

I have heard that you can leave a pizza stone in the oven all the time, essentially storing it there. What are the considerations to keep in mind when doing this (type of oven, placement of stone, ...
14
votes
1answer
9k views

How should I deal with blood released while thawing meat in the refrigerator?

Saturday I pulled a package of venison from my freezer to thaw and hope to make stroganoff with it tonight. However, this morning I noticed that the package (in a bowl) had really released a lot of ...
13
votes
5answers
15k views

What's the purpose of a bread box?

For some reason I always thought bread boxes were supposed to be wood, and that some property of wood helped keep bread fresh. Like a cigar box, perhaps. But after looking for a bread box, I see ...
13
votes
3answers
66k views

Will avocado stay fresh longer if stored in the refrigerator?

Should I store avocado in the refrigerator or will it make no difference for how long they stay fresh?
13
votes
6answers
9k views

Can I prevent honey from congealing/hardening in the pantry?

This question is inspired by this answer suggesting that honey lasts a long time. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to last so long in my cupboard. I make sure it's sealed tight, but usually after only ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do bananas turn black in the refrigerator?

I've noticed that a banana in the refrigerator will turn pitch black in just a few hours. Why is this?
13
votes
1answer
8k views

How long can I store soaked beans before cooking?

I've soaked some beans in room temperature water overnight, since 6pm (white navy beans). How long can I keep them in water before I must use them? Will they last a day or so at room temperature ...
12
votes
6answers
10k views

Botulism, Garlic, Cold pressed Olive oil and mason jars

I make a product I invented called Maybe It's Marinade. Cold pressed extra virgin olive olive, pressed garlic as the base in three varieties, AoliOliO, Dill and Cayenne Pepper, garlic powder, and ...
12
votes
6answers
37k views

What is the best way to store carrots?

The carrots that I buy come in a sealed plastic bag. In the store they are not refrigerated. I've tried keeping them in the bag in the place where I keep things like onions, garlic, and potatoes (a ...
12
votes
6answers
5k views

dry garlic in oil --> botulism risk?

My girlfriend and I are thinking of preparing some flavored oils for Christmas presents this year (don't tell anyone!). We've read online that fresh garlic presents a health hazard when stored at room ...
12
votes
4answers
10k views

Is it okay to keep flour in the freezer?

Years ago I noticed I was getting little bugs in the flour that I kept in the pantry. To prevent this, I started keeping my flour in the freezer. I don't do a lot of baking, but I was wondering what ...
12
votes
3answers
8k views

What's the best way to store potatoes and maximize their shelf-life?

What's the best place and way to store potatoes so they keep fresh longest?
12
votes
1answer
12k views

Does ketchup belong in the fridge, or the cupboard?

I'm hoping this will solve a biiig long-running debate I have with my friends. Heinz Tomato Ketchup (The UK version contains sugar from beets, rather than HFCS like the US version) I tend to think ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How to store garlic?

When I buy garlic, I normally put it in a bowl on the kitchen counter or in the pantry, and then pop off cloves as need. Sometimes, if the garlic has been around for a while, I find what looks like ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

How to dry oregano?

I have oregano in my garden. But I only use it fresh. How should I properly dry the oregano so I can get something similar to oregano found in the stores?
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it worth roasting my own red peppers?

I recently realized roasted red peppers make so many of my dishes pop, but it's a pretty pricey ingredient. A small jar costs three bucks and a big jar is seven. At my local grocer I can get red ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the best way to store stock in the freezer?

What is the best way to store stock in the freezer? I can think of ice cubes and plastic bags, but am looking for other ideas. Also, what would be the optimal portion size?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Does white whole wheat flour need to be refrigerated?

I know that regular whole wheat flour needs to be refrigerated, but does white whole wheat flour also need refrigeration? I hate to use up the space in the refrigerator if I don't have to. I have 5 ...
11
votes
5answers
15k views

Preventing white sugar from clumping in the canister

We store sugar in a ceramic canister, and we get some clumping. Restaurants in humid areas that will often add grains of a rice to a salt shaker to stop clumping. (The rice acts as a desiccant and ...
11
votes
1answer
494 views

Refrigerating olive oil

I made some mojo de ajo using Rick Bayless’s recipe. He says that it will keep for up to 3 months in the refrigerator, so I stored it in the refrigerator. The oil seems to have solidified in the ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Storage life for goose fat

When I roast a goose, I decant the fat, strain and freeze it. I typically get a pint or more. This seems to work well, I can chip off suitably-sized pieces from the frozen block and use them as ...