Although we typically recommend storing tomatoes at room temperature as it best preserves their flavor and texture, it's not quite as simple as that. Here are the best practices depending on how ripe your tomatoes are:
- Keep unripe green tomatoes, stem side down, in a paper bag or in a cardboard box in a single layer. Place in a cool area until they turn red in color.
- Perfectly ripe tomatoes should be kept at room temperature on the counter away from sunlight. Make sure they're in a single layer, not touching one another, and stem side up. Consume within a couple of days.
- Overripe tomatoes that are soft to touch with very red flesh are best kept in the fridge. The cold air will keep the tomatoes from ripening more, and they should last for another three days. Before eating refrigerated tomatoes, take them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature. This will allow the fruit to develop some of the flavor it has lost due to refrigeration.