Everything You Need to Know About Storing Vegetables

All of the answers for questions you might have about vegetable storage, including storing specifics, keeping fresh, and increasing longevity, in these 10 essential veggie storing tips. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

Which Vegetables You Should Refrigerate

Most vegetables will last longest if you store them in your fridge, including lettuce and other greens, beets, radishes, cabbage, carrots, celery, mushrooms, scallions, and broccoli. Unless your home is particularly warm, store bell peppers, eggplant, and squash like zucchini outside of the fridge unless you’ve cut into them; store potatoes and onions in a cool, dry place outside of the fridge.

Use Separate Drawers

If possible, store fruits and vegetables in separate drawers in your fridge. Even when chilled, fruits give off ethylene gas that shortens the shelf life of vegetables (and other fruit) by causing them to ripen more quickly.

Separate Your Onions and Potatoes

Potatoes hate onions…at least until they’re cooked together. Onions should never be stored with potatoes because moisture from the onions can cause potatoes to sprout. Onions also release gases that will alter the flavor of a potato.

Keep Onions Fresh

The sugar content of yellow onions makes them spoil quickly if they are stored closely together—who knew? The solution is to store your onions in an old (clean) pair of pantyhose, making knots in the legs so the onions can’t touch. It might look a little weird, but it works!

Make Celery Last Longer

Keep celery lasting even longer in your refrigerator by wrapping it in aluminum foil! It will stay crisp for weeks, rather than going limp in the bag.

Mushroom Storage Tip

The best way to store mushrooms in the fridge? Leave them in their original container, uncovered except for a single layer of cheesecloth on top.

Give Them a Drink

Keep scallions lasting practically forever by placing their roots in a glass of water (then cover the green parts with a plastic bag). They’ll stay fresh and crisp as they drink the water! This also works for herbs like cilantro and parsley.

Leave the Seeds

When using only part of a red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cut it from the bottom or the sides, leaving the seeds attached, and it will remain moist for longer. Store it in a sealed plastic container in the fridge.

Give Your Veggies a Haircut

If you’ve purchased vegetables with leafy tops, such as beets or carrots, remove the green tops before you store them in the fridge. The greens will leach moisture from the root or bulb and shorten the vegetable’s shelf life.

Warm as a Cucumber?

You may have heard the expression “cool as a cucumber,” but did you know that cucumbers should be stored in the warmest part of the refrigerator? If they get too cold, they can get mushy, but if they stay at room temperature, they will go bad quickly (their ideal storage temperature is actually somewhere around 50ºF). Keep them in the warmest part of your fridge (which is often the vegetable drawer) for best results.

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.