This is a basic fact, and it’s the fact upon which the "never refrigerate a tomato" rule is based. Based on my tests, here are some more fully fleshed-out tomato-storage guidelines: My tomato tests were challenging the long-held idea that a tomato should never see the inside of a refrigerator, but I still needed more data. Confused, I sat down at the table and asked my sister to serve me the samples blind. It's also okay to refrigerate half a tomato or whatever is left from cutting into one. I had 10 tasters work their way through the samples, each in a different order, to ensure that no single tomato was disadvantaged due to tasters' palate fatigue. Another example of the misuse of science is in this Alton Brown Facebook directive: "Do me a favor: Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator," he implores. What about all the thousands and thousands of other complex processes that are taking place in a tomato as it ages? University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Tomatoes: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve, and Enjoy, A Web Experience brought to you by LEAFtv. The next day, I took the refrigerated ones out and let them come back up to room temperature. This French study, meanwhile, found that 4°C (39°F) temperatures are much more harmful to volatiles in the tomato than 20°C (68°F), though it also found that letting refrigerated tomatoes sit out for 24 hours at 68°F reversed some of the ill effects. Is this really true? But that last step is the problem: The don't-refrigerate wisdom was good throughout the supply chain and kept the tomatoes in the best possible condition, but it doesn't necessarily apply to the retail customer with different storage conditions at home, or to tomatoes that are picked when ripe—conditions that had not been tested in any scientific study I found. Warming them up will jump-start the enzyme activity again. Here's a good rule of thumb: Store whole tomatoes at room temperature or above 60 degrees. Out of 24 rounds, we'd expect random guessing to be correct eight times (one-third of the total number of rounds). Temperatures above 81°F reduce intensity of red color and reduce fruit shelf-life. Let the tomatoes dehydrate at this temperature for about 4 hours before checking on them. The ideal storage temperature for tomatoes is somewhere between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or between 12 and 21 degrees Celsius, so be sure your kitchen maintains a consistent temperature. When the temperatures drop, for the tomato plant to flourish in cooler weather conditions, you should know how cold is too cold for tomatoes in the first place. Red tomatoes can be stored at 7°C for a couple of days; tomatoes … But I also know that few of us maintain such consistently cool temperatures at home. The Kitchn states that the ideal temperature to store tomatoes at is 55°F. [Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]. He then did his own blind tastings with those tomatoes. Ripe, fresh tomatoes purchased from the grocery store or harvested from the garden are best stored at room temperature and should not be refrigerated. Once they hit their apex, though, you need to either eat them right away or refrigerate them. I'm going to let Kenji tell you in his own words: The tomatoes that I picked were fully ripe. Specifically: How does this wisdom apply to really good, farm-fresh tomatoes that are perfectly ripe and ready to eat, and are there any more useful guidelines for storing tomatoes? Then the produce vendor tells the customer: Don't refrigerate your tomatoes, it's bad for them.