Watch these pro chefs debate how long eggs, butter, ketchup and avocados can be kept out of the refrigerator

Originally published at: Watch these pro chefs debate how long eggs, butter, ketchup and avocados can be kept out of the refrigerator | Boing Boing


So close to Halloween, do I refrigerate a corpse or let it ferment for authenticity?


had me at Brad Leone. love that guy, the big galoot.

that being said, i was basically on the same page as all these chefs, but the USDA is whack about the bread thing, and the room temp eggs. and the refrigerated avocados. i’ve kept ripe avocados perfectly fine, no brown spots, for a week in a ziplock bag (to keep the peel from getting too dry) in the fridge.


Leave the pit in the one side of the avocado :avocado:, keeps it from turning brown and fresh for the next use!


It’s the only way to have ripe avocados: refrigerate them when they are about ready.

I think I learned that here in the course of a discussion on what constituted guacamole.


Butter is room temp stable… for months at a time. Unless I am trying to poison myself.

I know eggs in the US have the natural protective coating scubbed off, so you are supposed to refrigerate them. But European eggs have it on and you can leave them out.


I dunno - are you trying to make kiviak?

Yeah, at some point, wherever it is, the bread’s going to get stale, for one. But even home-baked bread lasts forever (in the sense that it’s going to get inedibly stale, first).

I’ve got a couple different avocado trees, and with one variety, depending on when it was picked, it can require sitting out at room temp for a few weeks before it gets ripe. As long as the skin isn’t compromised, it’s not an issue. (And if the skin is compromised, it can get moldy, but the bad bit is usually localized and can be cut out.) The big problem is the fruit getting over-ripe, so you have to put them in the fridge once they’re ready to eat. Avocados need to be ripened at room temperature, though - refrigerating them before that point often ends up with weird results. But it’s weird to talk about when you “should” refrigerate avocados, especially in the context of things like eggs where there’s a food safety issue - fruit just get inedible, at which point you don’t want to eat them, there’s no hidden threat.

And/or tightly cover the exposed surface with some plastic wrap. (Putting some lemon or lime juice on the cut surface before covering works doubly as well.)


The pit keeping the avocado from oxidizing is a myth. Acid can prevent some browning and putting it in the fridge can slow it.

If avocados get too ripe (or barely ripe if you’re unlucky) on the counter, they get little circular mold colonies right under the skin. I’m always terrified when I see people halve an avocado and scoop it out with a spoon. I always peel it and cut out any moldy spots.


Here in Minnesota, if I leave butter at room temp during the summer it can get moldy, or start to separate. I by a pound and cut fifths or fourths and leave it in tupperware. I usually go through it fat enough that it’s not a problem.

In winter, it’s fine at room temp (65 in my house).


I’ve never tested the durability of an open bottle of wine. It usually “evaporates” by midnight (could be our elevation here in the high desert).

Growing up a 1980’s midwestern-US kid on margarine, that tub of well aged butter that my round little Norwegian (then N Michigan) grandma perpetually had on the counter was heaven. It was like butter-ier than butter. If I kept up with those wonderbread-sugar-butter sandwiches she gave me I’d be shaped like her by now, but also probably in the ground like her too.


Why would you keep ketchup in the fridge? It’s just vinegar and sugar. Also cold ketchup on your hot food? That’s going to make it cold real fast


Here in Europe, we seldom refrigerate either butter or eggs. Though my understanding is that the formulation of our butter is slightly different, and our eggs are handled differently after they are harvested.


My understand of the refrigeration issue with tomatoes is that it denatures enzymes in the tomato that help provide flavor. Refrigerated tomatoes suck.




Less amusing, but we could ask actual food scientists or microbiologists…

You know, the people who actually study this stuff…


I buy eggs from a local farm. Definitely unwashed and sold at a roadside stall. They sit in the sun all day and are fine. I put them in the fridge only because we have more fridge space than counter space usually.


That’s really what the USDA approach is. They are concerned primarily with human pathogens and secondarily with flavor and quality.

Yeah, this is my half-avocado trick. We almost always have half of a lime laying around for some reason and just a dab does the trick. It’s also handy for sending little ones to school with cut fruit like apples that they won’t eat if they’re brown.


Salted butter. unsalted butter, about a week


A breadbox helps.


Half avocados? An apple is half as delicious as an avocado, and who ever doesn’t eat a whole apple? Once that avocado is cut into it’s getting eaten!