The Best Way to Store Whole Tomatoes

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Tomato storage can be quite controversial. Many hold on to the belief that tomatoes should under no circumstance be stored in the refrigerator. Some have never heard such advice. Some keep their garden tomatoes on a kitchen windowsill and, while it is incredibly charming, it might not be the best way to store whole tomatoes. The best way depends a bit on temperature and timing.

The best way to store whole tomatoes is in a single layer in the coolest spot of your kitchen, away from other ethanol producers such as apples. Tomatoes’ optimal storage temperature is 55°F. Few home kitchens hit that frigid temperature, though — especially in peak tomato season — so the best place for storing your tomatoes depends on the tomatoes’ ripeness.

Not Quite Ripe

Store unripe tomatoes at room temperature, but out of direct sunlight. The myth that they should be stored stem-side down while ripening has not been proven truthful, but it doesn’t hurt the tomatoes either.

Fully Ripe

Fully ripened tomatoes can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but try to find a cool spot in your kitchen, away from harsh sunlight. Fully ripened tomatoes can also be stored for a day or two in the fridge — just be sure to bring them back to room temperature before enjoying.