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Should you refrigerate tomatoes?

Should you? You shouldn't right? But what about those reputable articles that say "DO IT!" http://www.seriouseats.... Or it is false, and we should just listen to our hearts, and Alton? I know season is at a close and it's cruel to bring up, but I'm so tired of arguing about this with my friends and relatives.

asked by K.Mihalo about 1 year ago
29 answers 782 views
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sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

This has always been a debate. Follow the advice with a blog/chef you trust and have had consistent results. FWIW - I don't refrigerate.

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added about 1 year ago

I don't either; I just needed to ask my most trusted community so if it comes up again I can say "Food52 says no thank you." Because who can argue with that?

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cv
added about 1 year ago

I don't understand why this is such a debate. Just do the experiment yourself and decide for yourself.

As I've said in other conversations, some people are happy with plastic box supermarket sushi that was prepared 2-3 days ago. Others won't touch sushi that isn't made in front of their eyes.

This is a judgment call by the consumer.

Hell, there are people who think In-n-Out Burger is great.

Just run the experiment yourself with a couple of tomatoes and decide for yourself.

It's not like you have to sell the farm, take out a second mortgage or give up your first-born child to figure this out.

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PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added about 1 year ago

Chill.

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cv
added about 1 year ago

LOL, you really don't get it, do you?

What is a tomato worth? A quarter? Sure, you can ask ten thousand people about what they think, but ultimately it comes down what YOU think.

This is a great example of how the Internet fails in certain situations.

So funny.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

CV, this is a discussion forum. We are discussing. You often complain about the discussions, the internet in general and people who think differently than you do.

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PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added about 1 year ago

I....would.....never.

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added about 1 year ago

I enjoy over-zealous punctuation in every. case. imaginable.

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cv
added about 1 year ago

I don't.

I leave them out on the counter and will give them a visual inspection almost every day. The ones whose quality level has peaked I use first, either cooked or fresh.

I typically buy enough tomatoes at the farmers market to last me for a week and usually there are a couple on the counter/kitchen table on market day.

Rarely do I feel that I need to refrigerate a tomato (unless it's a partial tomato). I have noted that much of the flavor does return with ample time to return to room temperature.

Some people are perfectly happy eating a tomato that was picked two weeks ago, spent ten days in the wholesale produce distribution process, and three days in the grocery store refrigerated produce case.

It's not like it's a major investment for you to experiment and decide for yourself if you prefer tomatoes stored on the counter or in your fridge.

In the end, it's up to you. After all, you have to eat it.

Voted the Best Answer!

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added about 1 year ago

I don't think it is a debate with a right or wrong answer. I think it is a discussion with the questioner asking the rest of the hotline regulars to weigh in with their thoughts. This is a group that is concerned about tasty and nutritious food with a lot of collective experience. Different opinions can be both instructive and interesting.

I don't think anyone of us considers these to be life altering questions but rather a chance to learn from each other's experience.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

Rarely, but if I have a choice of it going beyond okay, I do. It's usually a cut tomato that this happens to. I also will chill cherry tomatoes that are heading for a salad on a hot night because I love the cold explosion when they pop.

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added about 1 year ago

I love the imagery here! Thanks for the great response!

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inpatskitchen

Pat is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

I leave them outside with the stem side down and use them as they ripen more ( and pray that the squirrels don't take a bite!).

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added about 1 year ago

My mom will pull whole branches down and leave them in snow sleds in her house until the minute it's time to say goodbye. Ripen or die trying right?

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

I don't refrigerate, unless they're cut. If they're whole and getting past their prime, I freeze them for later use in cooked preparations.

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added about 1 year ago

Do you stem them or peel them before freezing? I've never frozen and I've always wondered.

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added about 1 year ago

No, it demonstrably ruins the flavor.

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Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

added about 1 year ago

I was always in the never ever refrigerate camp too, but Harold McGee has convinced me that refrigeration is okay for fully ripe tomatoes, if you allow time for them to return to room temperature before eating: https://food52.com/blog...

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

Yep. He convinced me to try it and it's absolutely true.

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added about 1 year ago

If we were in distance of each other, we'd high-five. Harold McGee man.... He's our Bill Nye of Food.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

K.Mihalo, definitely high five. Okay to wash mushrooms in water, ok to refrigerate tomatoes. Life just gets better and better.

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added about 1 year ago

usually my answer would be no. But I had a case of fruit flies this summer so I am reluctant. I usually take them out an hour or two before serving. Good luck!

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added about 1 year ago

Thanks for your positive answer!

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HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

Serious Eats did an experiment with tomato storage and they found that the better tasting tomatoes were the ones that were refrigerated, http://www.seriouseats...

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Cav
added about 1 year ago

After reading the Serious Eats article, I experimented with my garden San Marzano and Sungolds. Absolutely no discernible difference. Longer preservation time, no fruit flies, no counter top being taken up with tomatoes.

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added about 1 year ago

Wow! I think if I had my own garden, I'd be more courageous. There's something about special farmers market haul that makes you overly protective. I promise I'll try it someday! Thank you!

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added about 1 year ago

No. Let the produce section of your grocery store be your guide. If something is not refrigerated there, it should not be at home. That said, the store's turnover is likely significantly greater than yours at home. Purchase a sane amount that your can consume within, say, 3 to 4 days.

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added about 1 year ago

My local grocery store is amazing, but out of season, I just never buy. Your advice is solid. The bad news is that I live with one other person, and I'm a lunatic at buying beautiful produce. It's an exercise in self-control, right? We can't eat Merrill's salad every day right? (Or can we?) Thank you!

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

No, I don't stem or peel before freezing. Freezing them is actually a good method for peeling tomatoes; when they thaw the skin slips right off.