Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Top 10 Tuesdays: Top Ten Items That Do NOT Need Refrigeration


Living on a boat without refrigeration might just be the one thing that really does people's heads in.  They can wrap their minds around us living aboard our boat indefinitely, swimming with sharks and taking thirty-plus days to cross an ocean; but tell them we have no refrigerator on board and their jaws drop as they go silent. Even other cruisers are in awe when we tell them this fact and many give us a nod of respect as if to say, "Wow, you guys are hard core!".  I don't know that we're "hard core" but I do know life is much easier without one at the moment and I think you'd be surprised by the number of food items in your fridge that do not, in fact, need to be there...

With no further ado, here they are:

1)  Eggs - Many of you are aghast at the thought of this - but, honest to God, eggs do NOT need to be refrigerated.  If you buy them from a store refrigerated they'll last at least 10 days if you turn them daily (so the yolk doesn't settle) and if you buy them unrefrigerated they'll last up to three weeks.  We have heard of people putting Vaseline on their eggs to help them to last longer, but honestly - we are way too lazy to do that and have done just fine without the need for petroleum jelly.  Put that in your shoe and beat it!

2)  Butter - my mom is European and my grandmother always kept her butter tin on the counter so I've always known this one.  Americans, however, don't seem to believe it, but then again we refrigerate everything because the FDA tells us we should.  It's true though, we've been eating unrefrigerated butter and margarine for over nine months now.*

3)  Kraft Cheese Singles - Grilled cheese sandwiches are heaven.  They always have and always will be a favorite food of mine.  I wasn't sure if they needed to be refrigerated (even though the packaging tells you they do) so I took a gamble.  It paid off in many a grilled cheese dipped in ketchup...which reminds me...

4)  Ketchup - no need to refrigerate.  Ever.  We had a mega bottle and I think it lasted at least four months without ever being cold.

5)  Jam - Jams (and most condiments) do not need refrigeration.  Yes, even after opening.  We enjoy toast with unrefrigerated butter and jam regularly and are alive to tell the tale!

6)  Cheese - I'm not talking Velveeta here (though that, I am certain, could outlast nuclear war) - I am talking real cheese.  The only way it will keep, however, is if it's in wax.  Once open you must eat it within a day or two, but when is that ever a problem?!

7)  Oil based salad dressing - Thousand island and Balsamic need not be refrigerated.  You don't have to say bye bye to salads!

8)  Relish - pickles, relish, capers, and other things of that nature also do not need to be refrigerated.  No big surprise here, but I needed an even ten.

9)  Juice - we have boxes and boxes of juice aboard Rasmus.  Once they are opened, however, they need to be consumed within a day or two which is why we buy smaller packets and/or cans of juice.

10) Mayonnaise - I know, I know...most of you just made a face and a noise and maybe even wretched a little.  But I promise you - mayonnaise does NOT need to be refrigerated.  As long as it stays uncontaminated (meaning you don't use a dirty knife or spoon to get it out and it stays free from other food particles) it will last for months and months.  I buy the squeeze bottles if I can; because of the nature of the bottle, the risk of contamination is almost none.  I know so many of you still don't believe me, but if you ever have a tuna salad sandwich aboard our boat, it will have been made from unrefrigerated mayo!  Dun, dun, dun...

There's so many more food items that don't require refrigeration and so many other ways to treat foods (fresh produce included) so that they last longer without having to be chilled.  Even if you have a refrigerator aboard, space is at a premium so why take up real estate when you don't have to?  You can find more great info here.  Do you have anything you'd add to this list?

Who's coming over for lunch??

Love,

Brittany & Scott

* It will go bad eventually.  And if you eat rancid butter you will have instant diarrhea.  Don't ask how we know this.  Just trust us.

Thank you to my sis-in-law, Julie, for inspiring this post!

36 comments:

Sabrina and Tom said...

Thanks for this posting. I have heard all of these but never together. Good stuff.

Fair Winds from a new follower
~~_/)~~_/)~~_/)~~
Sabrina & Tom
s/v Honey Ryder Caliber 40 LRC
our sailing blog http://www.wildcatsailorgirl.blogspot.com/

Dave said...

I'm also a big fan of UHT milk. Just got back from a week on the boat and we had 3 quarts of it so we'd only have one in our tiny fridge at a time. The rest of the fridge was full of cold beer and an opened container of port wine cheese!
:)

June Bug's Momma said...

If you haven't already invested $10 in Debbie Meyer's green bags, may I suggest those for your fresh produce? They really work. Honest to goodness.

Happy trails!

Beth Anderson said...

I would add tortillas to your list - they last forever and are great to use to make wraps when the bread runs out.

Also very few fruits and vegetables really need to be kept cold. Limes, lemons, peppers, onions, apples and even tomatoes are fine, although the shelf life of each varies.

Beth
North American Sailor

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Great info! I've hinted to my husband that I don't think we need a fridge .. will have to show him this. I've never refrigerated ketchup, as who wants cold ketchup on hot food anyway? How long do the kraft cheese singles last? I love cheese!

Marty said...

Glad you did not put beer on your top 10. I would have stopped reading your blog.

Jill said...

LOL @Marty - But really, What do y'all do about beer? Do you have coolers & get ice for it? I know it's a British thing to drink beer at room temp but I can't imagine having Pacifico or Carib at room temp...nothing is better than ice cold beer on the deck on a hot afternoon. Interested to know what y'all do...

Windtraveler said...

@ Dave - yep, we have UHT milk!! But since it's understood that it's "long life" I didn't include it..but I probably should have because...well, it's MILK that doesn't need refrigeration!
@ June Bug - I have not! But I will now!! THANKS!
@ Marty - really?! Yikes.
@ Jill - we just don't refrigerate it...Scott actually has convinced himself that he likes it room temp (until he has a cold one on a friend's boat!).

bonnie said...

PRINGLES! :D

William Neal said...

Um Pringles never go in the frig. And why should they? I have never put chips in. The frig..

Laurie said...

You can also pack cheese in oil (and re-use that oil) - learned that one from the Pardeys.

Dana Cohen said...

3-2-1 Pizza is microwaveable and doesn't need refrigeration. www.321-pizza.com

Anonymous said...

Few things taste worse than warm kethcup.

Mama Anderson said...

Soy sauce are peanut butter are two more things I keep finding in people's refrigerators that definitely don't need to be there!

The Chick Pea and Me said...

also pancake syrup...no need to refrigerate any of it.
And no need to warm it up
warming up plastic bottles in the microwave is not good.

Anonymous said...

i never refrigerate mustard

Anonymous said...

chocolate syrup

Anonymous said...

bread

Anonymous said...

Even after they are opened: pickles, sweet and dill, Sriracha and similar hot sauces, olives, sauerkraut, BBQ sauce, tortillas, pies and pastries, non-dairy creamers. Some of these items last for many months without refrigeration.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that food items that contain vinegar do not require refrigeration.

Anonymous said...

Actually the egg thing is totally NOT true at all. In Europe eggs can be stored at room temperature, but not in American. Eggs MUST be stored in the fridge. Very dangerous inaccurate article.

Anonymous said...

Warm mayo!!! C'mon man, that's just disgusting.

Anonymous said...

This advice depends on the air temperature is. Whilst this may work in colder climates, most of these items will go off in some climates. Our cupboard is often over 40C, so most of our consumables once opened go into the fridge. Nobody likes peanut paste when it's runny :(

vasilis piperis said...

Why is it ok in Europe and not America ? Just curious.

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Good foods said...

Good list. People sometimes forget that preserved foods are actually that- preserved. Butter is a preserved food, so it keeps well out of the fridge. Wine and yoghurt are the same.

Truongduchuu said...

This tiny refrigerator comes with a temperature dial to adjust the temperature according to your needs. No matter, what is the temperature of your room, you can easily adjust its temperature based on your needs. It is based on compressor technology, so it is very easy to control its temperature. Temperature dial is on the backside, so adjust the temperature whether you need to keep your soda stuff cold or you need your food items keep frozen.

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Nichola Tait said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

some countries are required to wash eggs before sale. This process removes the natural layer an makes the shell porous.
U.S. and Japan have this requirement but Europe and Australia don't. I'm not sure about other countries.
Farm fresh eggs don't require refrigeration and if the chooks are fed corn the yolk is a deep yellow. They somehow taste better.

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MiGirl said...

I live in northern Michigan and we never refrigerate our eggs. A lot of people around here don't. I think it's becoming more and more common. They keep for weeks and are completely safe to eat.

ifsjohn said...

It is sort of unfair to call this "dangerous" when in fact it is 100% correct. The primary problem is that most North Americans cant even tolerate unrefridgerated water. I am from Alaska so allow me: There are 4 primary ways to preserve foodstuffs (from meat to cheese). 1 Canning, yep in jars with a pressure cooker, except tomatoes and jams, they just need boiling water. 2. Hard smoking. 3. Salt, ie brining. 4. Freezing. None of these methods will preserve the food forever, but for a looooooong time. Try to understand that just 125 years ago most people did not have a fridge and yet ate eggs and ham everyday. Eggs for example: People used to dip them in wax and then bury them in sawdust.
Any substance with a high enough acid content is good to go. Citrus, tomato based (meaning catchup), anything with vinegar, etc. Who wants warm catchup? Well what do you think happens when you put it on a hot burger? Be careful with fish. Yours, John

Rich Remmy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rich Remmy said...

Thanks for the article, great info. I can personally vouch for each and every one of the foods mentioned and their ability to stay good without refrigeration. In fact, I find that American cheese is much better when kept at room temperature for a while. It tastes better, I'm guessing because it goes through a kind of "aging" that non-processed cheeses go through. I've had my American cheese in my cabinet now for over a week and I just had it on an omelette, delicious!

As for the question about why Americans are so brainwashed into believing that every food in existence must be refrigerated.. I think it boils down to 1 main factor: lawsuits. Americans are so eager to sue over every little thing, often frivolously, that food makers are forced to put the "Must be refrigerated" label on every package to cover their own asses if somebody somewhere in America is dumb enough to get sick on spoiled ketchup. It's the sad reality we live in today. How quickly we have forgotten that humans have lived for thousands of years without refrigeration!

Anonymous said...

Thank you because I really was wondering as the other commenter did why it would be different in Europe. My grandmother said they didn't refrigerate eggs in Italy but I would guess that's because they went through them so often. I've never seen people use eggs (& pasta of course) in a meal in so many ways as Italians.

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