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Old 12-13-2011, 08:43 AM   #11
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Soy sauce, fish sauce, ponzu, vinegar live outside the fridge. Plus I have so many in such big bottles they'd never fit. My worcestershire, gazzillion hot sauces live in the fridge, though they probably don't need to. Hot sauces darken if left out, though.

Olive oil and sesame oil out, as they are used frequently. 100% peanut oil in the fridge as I find it goes rancid faster than other oils. Canola oil in fridge since I hardly ever use it.

Mustard and ketchup in fridge. Real maple syrup in fridge - it grows mold. Prepared horseradish is sold cold so I keep in fridge. Wasabi, anchovies, sambals, curry pastes, hoisin, porcini mushrooms, kecap manis, HP sauce and other stuff of the like I keep in the fridge after they are opened.
I keep quinio (sp?), farro and arborio rice in fridge, but red rose rice outside since we go through a lot of it. I also keep supermarket bread crumbs and panko in the fridge but keep homemade bread crumbs in the freezer.

I'd pull the soy sauce, fish sauce and vinegar out if i were you. You get more room and they don't need to be in.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:06 AM   #12
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A lot of that doesn't need to be in there, but I know what you mean. Worch. sauce is fine outside, as is soy sauce, vinegars, and most mustards. Fish sauce should be refrigerated, I think. Some makers recommend it. It's got enough salt to keep it safe, but the flavor can go off. Maple syrup can get moldy. Often, it is the preservation of flavor, rather than safety, that decides. Hot chili sauces do get dark when left out, but I burn through them pretty fast, so they don't get the chance.

But, yes. The refrigerator can slowly fill up with partially used condiments, sauces, and such. Some of it's unavoidable. If you don't cook Thai a lot, Thai sauce is going to be around a while. A jar of ginger slices is going to be a permanent guest, unless you go wild on sushi. And then you find whole shelves dedicated to them and their friends.

I just make myself clean them out periodically. If I haven't used the other half of a bottle of mango sauce in months, (1) I probably won't use it in the next few months, and (2) it's not at its best. Either way, it goes. Sometimes, you have to just admit that you're a victim of makers' packaging decisions, and the cost of the whole jar is just the cost of making the dish. It's bad kitchen juju to let the refrigerator stay packed with stuff like that and to have to dig for things you're no longer even sure are in there. The kitchen is like a workshop. You won't do good work when it's disorderly.

Now, if we step over to the spice cabinet, we find the real dilemmas.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:17 AM   #13
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I like the bottles that are almost finished. You don't want to use them, but you don't want to throw them out. So, they sit there......
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:51 AM   #14
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Okay--quinoa is going in the freezer. The worch. and soy are out, the sesame oil is out, the fish oil is in. Baker's chocolate is out. What about tabasco?
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:57 AM   #15
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Tabasco-out! As a general rule, red the label. If it says to refrigerate after opening, I do so.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:09 AM   #16
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What about Baker's chocolate? My mom always kept that in the fridge, is that necessary?
There is no reason at all to keep baking chocolate in the fridge.

Unless you are using organic ketchup, you don't need to keep that in the fridge. I don't know why or when most folks started doing that. There is SO much sugar in ketchup (well, hfcs, really ) it will never spoil. And I heard that from someone from the Heinz test kitchen.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:20 AM   #17
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I keep all condiments in the fridge, whether they say to refrigerate or not. I buy mostly organic, and those types of foods tend to have shorter shelf life. As I buy them, I write the purchase date on the lid with a sharpie pen. Every couple of months I go through and anything with a date older than a year or that looks dodgy gets tossed - or, if it's something I feel bad about tossing, I'll try and make something that week that uses the ingredient (and then maybe toss it afterward).

I keep small quantities of lard and butter in the fridge. The rest goes in the freezer. Oils like Canola, Olive, Flaxseed, Avocado, and nut oils I also keep in the fridge because they can go rancid. I don't refrigerate vinegar, though. Just hold it up to the light before using. If it's clear, use it. If it's oxidized or cloudy, toss it.

If I didn't have my periodic cleanings, I don't think I would have room in my fridge for actual food.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:38 AM   #18
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There is no reason at all to keep baking chocolate in the fridge.

Unless you are using organic ketchup, you don't need to keep that in the fridge. I don't know why or when most folks started doing that. There is SO much sugar in ketchup (well, hfcs, really ) it will never spoil. And I heard that from someone from the Heinz test kitchen.
It is organic ketchup!
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:39 AM   #19
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I keep all condiments in the fridge, whether they say to refrigerate or not. I buy mostly organic, and those types of foods tend to have shorter shelf life. As I buy them, I write the purchase date on the lid with a sharpie pen. Every couple of months I go through and anything with a date older than a year or that looks dodgy gets tossed - or, if it's something I feel bad about tossing, I'll try and make something that week that uses the ingredient (and then maybe toss it afterward).

I keep small quantities of lard and butter in the fridge. The rest goes in the freezer. Oils like Canola, Olive, Flaxseed, Avocado, and nut oils I also keep in the fridge because they can go rancid. I don't refrigerate vinegar, though. Just hold it up to the light before using. If it's clear, use it. If it's oxidized or cloudy, toss it.

If I didn't have my periodic cleanings, I don't think I would have room in my fridge for actual food.
That's my problem--I don't have room for real food! The DH is complaining that all that is in the fridge is condiments...it was okay with 2 fridges, but with only one fridge, there's no room for the real food!

I'm worse than you Steve, I print LABELS and put those on the bottles with the purchase date AND the date opened.
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:49 AM   #20
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Tabasco-out! As a general rule, read the label. If it says to refrigerate after opening, I do so.
That's what I do also, Andy. As paranoid as food manufacurers are about making anyone sick, I figure they will tell me if it needs refridgeration. I just read the label.

Plus, in Florida, there are so many damn bugs. They get in your house, no matter what you do. If you have anything to eat out, they will come in droves. That's one of the drawbacks to living in the Sunshine State. It's the bug capital of the world.
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