How to Store Kimchi (so your fridge doesn’t smell)

Kimchi smells in the fridge is a common problem in the kitchen. Just check out the Google searches. If you’re like us and kimchi is a regular part of your diet, here’s how you can keep the smell in your kimchi and out of the rest of your fridge.

But first, a quick refresher on kimchi. Essentially it is pickled and fermented vegetables. The most popular type is made with napa cabbage, but there are over 100 different types of kimchi. Most of the banchan (Korean side dishes you get served at most Korean restaurants) include multiple types of kimchi. My favorites are oisobagi (cucumber) and pa kimchi (green onion).

We usually have a 122 oz (close to a gallon) container of kimchi in our fridge. And it doesn’t smell.

Here’s what we do:


  1. Wrap the jar in a plastic bag (in case of leaks). But if you follow #2, you won’t have any. We do this step anyway.
  2. We open the kimchi jar / eat out of it regularly enough that we release the bubbles that collect from the fermentation. The collection of that fermentation is how the smell starts to seep out of the container and into the rest of your fridge. So if you don’t eat kimchi at least 3 times a week, make sure you take it out of the fridge and let it air out a couple times a week.

What are your kimchee smell-proof methods?