Tomatoes are a classic summer staple in the United States, especially for dishes like pasta salad or BLTs.
If these types of foods are something that regularly graces your table during the warm months of the year, then this blog post is perfect for you.
Read on to find out all about whether or not tomatoes belong in the refrigerator.
Should tomatoes be refrigerated or not?
The answer is it depends. Tomatoes need to be at room temperature for as long as possible. When they get close to their peak, you can either eat them or refrigerate them. If you refrigerate, they will stay longer before they spoil.
If you refrigerate a tomato, it will stay good for a long time. And if you let the refrigerated tomato sit at room temperature before eating it, then it won’t taste as good.
The refrigerator, in general, is not good for the texture of your tomatoes. It can affect the flavor of the tomato as well. It is worse when the tomato is not ripe or of lower quality. If it’s in season, picked straight from the vine, and top quality, then it will be ok in your fridge.
Best ways to refrigerate your tomatoes
For tomatoes that have never been refrigerated before, put the stem side down on a plate or cutting board at room temperature. Let them ripen until they are fully ripe.
Then eat them right away if you want, or put them in the fridge if you don’t want to eat them all now. But be sure to let them come back up to room temperature before serving them!
You can speed up this process by slicing the tomatoes before they go into the fridge. Some people say that it’s best to keep tomatoes in the refrigerator for no more than three days, but there is some disagreement about this issue.
On the other hand, if you got your (already refrigerated) tomatoes from somewhere other than your backyard or the farmers market, leave them at room temperature until they are fully ripe. Then store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.
How to keep your tomatoes in good quality longer
To keep your tomatoes in good quality, wait for them to ripen before keeping them in the fridge. Then store them on the top shelf of the fridge where it is warmer.
Cut the big stems off before you store your tomatoes. The tomatoes should be stem side down.
This will keep air from getting inside and it will also help them stay juicy longer because they won’t lose as much moisture. Use the bruised or smashed tomatoes first because they will rot before others.
Wine fridges and cool cellars are great places to store ripe tomatoes. If you have lots of ripe tomatoes that will not be eaten right away, put them in the freezer.
But make sure you use them in something like sauce or soup because when they thaw, they might look and taste a little mushy. They’ll last about 2-3 months in the freezer.
Will refrigerating tomatoes ruin them?
It’s best not to put them in the fridge. The cold temperatures will slow down the ripening process and they won’t rot. But it also changes how they taste.
Why shouldn’t you refrigerate tomatoes?
You should not refrigerate tomatoes. This is because the cold temperature kills their flavor-producing enzymes and their texture. Refrigerating them will make them last longer with 5+ more days.
How do you store tomatoes in the refrigerator?
Do cherry tomatoes need to be refrigerated?
Cherry and grape tomatoes should ideally be stored at 45-60 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 95%. You can store them at room temperature for the best taste.
If they are refrigerated, remove them from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving so they regain some of their original flavors.
Why do tomatoes ripen slowly in the refrigerator?
Tomatoes ripen more slowly in a fridge because there is less oxygen. When they are on the table, there is more oxygen and that helps them to ripen.
There are enzymes in the cell which help them to do this. But when they are in a fridge, it’s too cold and there’s not enough air for them to change. The enzyme maltase breaks down maltose into glucose molecules.
What happens if you refrigerate cherry tomatoes?
If you put cherry tomatoes in the fridge, they will not have much flavor. They can change color if they are not fully ripe. Also, when you take them out of the fridge, they will not be as firm because of lower enzyme activity.
How do you store tomatoes without a refrigerator?
It’s best to store them on the countertop, at room temperature. You should put them in a single layer so they don’t get damaged. They actually continue to develop flavor until they are ripe.
Should you refrigerate tomatoes after slicing?
Store them in an airtight plastic container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator. Use them as soon as possible, within 2-3 days. But remember to refrigerate any time you cut into a fresh tomato!
Why is it bad to refrigerate tomatoes?
Tomatoes are not good to put in the fridge because they will go bad. Putting them in the fridge kills their flavor-producing enzymes and makes them go bad.
But it does not make a difference if you throw away the whole tomatoes or just cut up tomatoes.
Plus, if you put them in the fridge, it will keep them fresh for five days longer than without refrigerating.
Will refrigerating tomatoes affect taste?
Yes, keeping them in the refrigerator slows down the ripening process and prevents them from rotting, but it also interferes with chemical compounds that give tomatoes their taste.
How long do tomatoes last in the refrigerator?
They last about one week on the counter and two weeks in the fridge. But there are things you can do to make them last even longer: wait until they’re fully ripe before refrigerating them and store them in an air-tight container.
How do you preserve tomatoes and peppers without refrigeration?
The best way to store tomatoes is at room temperature, but if you can’t do that (or don’t want to), refrigerate them. If they are stored in the fridge for too long their skin will turn brown and soft spots may form on the tomato.
You’ll know when it’s time to eat or refrigerate your tomatoes by looking out for these signs of spoilage.