How to Store Strawberries So They Won't Spoil Quickly

Plus, tips on how to freeze 'em.

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!

Strawberries in a glass container

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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.
Cut strawberries on a black background

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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.

A glass container of strawberry puree

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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.

Preserved strawberries in a bowl

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How to Preserve Strawberries

There are several ways to preserve strawberries, and one of the most popular methods is to can them. Since it’s preferable to can whole, hulled strawberries, you can also use them year-round in pies, buckles, and more. When picking or purchasing strawberries you intend to can, look for fresh, firm berries without blemishes. 

There are two ways to can strawberries—either with or without sugar. While canning strawberries with sugar helps them retain their natural flavor and texture over time, many choose to omit the sweet additive since it’s not necessary. Whether you preserve your strawberries with or without sugar is really a matter of personal preference, but we recommend using sugar since it helps preserve color and texture.


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To can strawberries with sugar, follow the steps below. You’ll need about three pounds of fresh strawberries to yield one quart of preserved berries.

  1. Wash, hull, and cut the stems off of the strawberries.
  2. Place the strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle them with ¾ cup of white sugar. Stir the strawberries to ensure that they are all evenly coated, being careful not to break them apart.
  3. Cover the bowl and let the strawberries macerate in the sugar for about six hours in the refrigerator.
  4. While the strawberries are in the refrigerator, thoroughly clean your jars and lids, as well as any canning tools you will be using. 
  5. Once the strawberries have rested, transfer them to a pot and heat them over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved and everything is heated through.
  6. Using a funnel, carefully transfer the strawberries to a heated quart jar that’s been warmed in the oven. The funnel will help keep the rim of the jar clean.
  7. Once the jar is nearly filled with strawberries, pour the strawberry juices inside, leaving about ½ an inch of space at the top of the jar. Clean the rim of the jar and loosely cover it with a clean lid.
  8. Process the jar by using tongs to carefully place it in a pot of boiling water so that it is completely covered. Leave the jar in boiling water for 15 minutes. (If you live above sea level, it will take about 20 minutes for the jar to process completely.)
  9. After 15 minutes have passed, use tongs to remove the jar from the boiling water and carefully set it on a dish towel to cool. Allow the jar to cool for 24 hours and enjoy.

Not sure what to do with preserved strawberries? We suggest adding them to oatmeal or a yogurt parfait, or using them to top ice cream or cheesecake. You can’t go wrong!

Can You Freeze Strawberries?

Frozen strawberries in a food storage container

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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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