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Condiments: Fridge or No Fridge?

Condiments to keep in the Pantry vs the Refrigerator

Fact: not all condiments belong in the fridge. To make sure you're getting the longest shelf life (and the most flavor) out of common condiments like ketchup, maple syrup, and hot sauce, be sure to refer to this list of products you should — and shouldn't — store in a cold fridge. Some of them might surprise you and remind you to check yours to see if they're in the right place!

In this edition of "random facts you may not know," we bring you 5 condiments you should refrigerate — and 3 that you shouldn't...


Do Refrigerate

  • Maple syrup. Maple syrup belongs in the refrigerator because mold can grow inside the bottle if it's left out.
  • Mayonnaise. This one is a no-brainer! Mayo is made with eggs and needs to be kept in the refrigerator once opened.
  • Nut-based oils. Oils like sesame or peanut that aren't refined and are made with nuts should be refrigerated to keep from going rancid. Pro tip: nuts should also be refrigerated to maintain their best flavor.
  • Ketchup. Refrigerating ketchup is up for debate depending on what kind you have and how quickly you plan to use it. Open ketchup can be stored in the pantry for up to one month, but if you won't use it by then, keep it in the fridge.
  • Mustard . . . sometimes. Dijon and horseradish-based mustards should be refrigerated, but others are OK to leave out if you prefer them at room temperature. Refrigerating yellow mustard will help maintain its flavor, but it doesn't contain any ingredients that spoil.


Don't Refrigerate

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  • Soy sauce. Ever notice that soy sauce stays out on the tables at restaurants? That's because it's fermented and doesn't need to be refrigerated.
  • Hot sauce. Vinegar-based hot sauces have a shelf life of about three years and don't need to be chilled to stay fresh.
  • Honey. Honey will crystallize and become impossible to use if it's hardened in the fridge. Keep it stored away from direct sunlight.
Vanessa Loomie