How to Store Strawberries So They Won't Spoil Quickly

Plus, tips on how to freeze 'em.

fresh strawberry isolated on 3d pedestal
Photo: Getty Images

Have you ever opened a pint of fresh strawberries only to realize that they're starting to spoil? More often than not, perfectly ripe berries tend to go bad just days after you purchase them, which can be extremely frustrating. Not only are fresh berries costly, but tossing them in the garbage is a disheartening waste of food. Fortunately, there are a few methods to help keep your strawberries fresh throughout the week—and beyond.

Keep reading for some crucial strawberry storage tips!

How to Store Strawberries

When stored properly in the refrigerator using one of the below methods, strawberries should stay fresh for up to one week. Always examine your berries for mold and other signs of spoilage before eating them.

  1. Place in air-tight glassware: Transfer unwashed strawberries into a glass food storage container or mason jar and make sure it's sealed tight.
  2. Paper towel method: Place a clean, dry paper towel in a container and put unwashed strawberries on top. Close the lid and place the container in the refrigerator.
  3. Rinse with vinegar solution: Soak strawberries in a vinegar solution (one-part white vinegar and three parts water) for a few minutes. Then drain them, pat them dry, and place them on a clean paper towel in a glass container. Loosely place the lid on and store in the refrigerator.

How to Store Cut Strawberries

If pre-cutting your strawberries before storing them is more convenient, you can use any of the above storing methods to keep cut strawberries fresh. You can also wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Just know that once strawberries are washed and cut, they will deteriorate more quickly than whole, unwashed berries, and generally only last three to four days in the refrigerator.

How to Store Strawberry Purée

Whipping up fresh strawberry purée is a great use for leftover berries. Store the purée in an air-tight container for three to five days in the refrigerator and use it drizzled on top of oatmeal, ice cream, or in a yogurt parfait. You can also freeze the purée for up to three months. When you're ready to use the purée, simply thaw it in the refrigerate overnight, or heat up in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.

Can You Freeze Strawberries?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze strawberries! And unlike some other foods, strawberries can be frozen in almost any form—whole, halved, sliced, or even crushed.

To freeze pre-cut strawberries, which is ideal if you're using them in anything from a delicious dessert to a healthy smoothie, place the berries cut-side down on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Freeze the strawberries for a few hours, then place them in an air-tight container and put it back in the freezer. When using this method, frozen strawberries should stay fresh for about 10 to 12 months.

To thaw frozen strawberries, simply move them from the freezer to the fridge, where they should stay for at least six hours. You can also defrost strawberries by running them under cold water for at least 30 minutes, or by placing them in a bowl within a larger bowl that's filled with cold water. This method takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

Just note that, once thawed, strawberries will appear a bit darker, and boast a much softer texture, so you might not want to use them to decorate a berry cake or pie. However, they will work just fine in a smoothie or on top of a bowl of yogurt or cereal.

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