Let’s just say it together – strawberries are a gift sent straight from heaven!
Fresh strawberries are a juicy delight to have, and I simply can’t have enough of them.
If it were up to me, I’d add strawberries in every sweet dish and beverage imaginable.
However, they are also notoriously known for being one of the most perishable food items out there.
So, how can you enjoy the delightful flavor of strawberries without losing even a single one?
Well, you need to store them properly.
If you are wondering just how to store strawberries, then read on to find out!
Should Strawberries Be Refrigerated?
If you plan on eating strawberries on the very day that you purchased them, then you don’t have to keep them in the refrigerator.
However, if you want to savor them over the next day or two, then refrigerate them right away.
This is because strawberries are extremely perishable and they don’t ripen after being picked – they only grow moldy!
If you leave them at room temperature, they will decay faster.
Should Strawberries Be Kept in an Airtight Container?
If you want to keep fresh strawberries on the counter, then keep them in an open-weave basket or colander to ensure good airflow. Know that moisture is the ultimate enemy of fresh strawberries.
Although you might be inclined to store whole strawberries in your fridge in airtight containers, doing so will only quicken the rotting process as it will trap the moisture inside.
Your best bet is to store them in an open container or colander.
However, unlike whole strawberries, you need to store the hulled or cut strawberries in airtight containers to protect the exposed berries from bacteria and mold.
How Long Will Strawberries Last in the Refrigerator?
If you make sure to properly store whole strawberries in your refrigerator, they can easily last for 3 to 7 days. Make sure to discard moldy and mushy strawberries before refrigerating your batch to extend the life of the healthy ones.
As for cut-up strawberries, they can easily last in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Just make sure to store them in covered containers or wrap them tightly in aluminum foil to extend their life. Also, when you plan to use them, always look for any signs of mold.
Always smell the strawberries before using them– if they have an off smell and weird, mushy look, then discard them.
How to Store Strawberries
There are two simple ways to store strawberries – in the refrigerator and the freezer. If you store them in the refrigerator, then you can enjoy them for up to a week.
Here’s how to store strawberries in the refrigerator.
Store Them in the Refrigerator
You can store whole and cut-up berries in your refrigerator.
For whole berries, follow these steps:
- Arrange the strawberries on a paper towel on top of a tray.
- Cover the tray with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the berries and devour them within a day or two.
To refrigerate sliced strawberries:
- Chop off the stems from all the strawberries. You don’t need to wash them at all.
- Line an airtight container with a paper towel. It will effectively soak up the moisture from the berries.
- Put the strawberries inside the container. Make sure to spread them out nicely.
- Cover the container and tag it.
- Stash it in the crisper compartment of your fridge to prevent the berries from completely shriveling and drying out.
Pro Tip: If your strawberries are slightly wet, make sure to pat them dry with a towel to absorb all that moisture.
Store Them in the Freezer
You can store both whole and cut-up strawberries in the freezer.
For storing whole strawberries, here’s what you need to do:
- Rinse the berries and blot them dry
- Slice off the stems with a sharp knife
- Place the berries, upside down, on a wax paper that is placed on top of a cookie sheet.
- Put the uncovered cookie sheet in your freezer for at least 6 hours. This will allow the strawberries to flash freeze.
- Take out the frozen strawberries and transfer them into airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
- Put the container or bag in your freezer and use these strawberries in milkshakes or smoothies for up to two months.
- Baking sheet
- Wax paper
- Sharp knife
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper
- Wash and dry the strawberries
- Slice off the green stems
- Place the berries stem side down on the wax paper
- Place the baking sheet full of strawberries in the freezer for 6 hours
- Remove the strawberries from the freezer
- Place them in freezer bags
- Place the baggies in the freezer.
Here’s what you need to do for storing sliced strawberries in the freezer:
- Make sure to choose fresh and firm strawberries as they have the best chances of surviving the longest.
- Wash the strawberries and cut off the stems with a sharp knife. Pour them in a bowl.
- Add some sugar to your strawberries. Use 3/4 cup sugar for 1-quart strawberries. This will help preserve the flavor and texture of your strawberries.
- Make sure to gently stir the strawberries and sugar until they melt and take the shape of a thick syrup.
- Dump any excess sugary water.
- Place the strawberries in freezer-safe airtight containers. Use thick plastic containers as they work best.
- Alternatively, you can also throw the berries in heavy-duty freezer bags. Just make sure to pack them in a bit loosely as this will prevent them from forming a giant blob.
- Leave at least 1 inch of space toward the top of the container or bag.
Strawberries stored via this method will easily last in your freezer for 8 to 12 months.
Pro Tip: Thaw the frozen strawberries for a while before using them. Remove them from the freezer and thaw them in the refrigerator several hours prior to using them.
Alternatively, run them under cold water to thaw them a little. Make sure to eat them or add them to your dishes while they are still cold and slightly frozen.
This is because if you wait for them to defrost completely, they will turn into a mushy mess.
Tips and Tricks for Storing Strawberries So That They Stay Fresh
Here are some tips you need to remember when storing strawberries:
- Make sure to wash the strawberries right before you eat them, not when you are about to store them. This is because these delectable fruits are like fast-acting sponges; they soak up every bit of moisture, making them more susceptible to mold and spoilage.
- Leave the stems of the strawberries on for as long as possible. This goes a long way in keeping strawberries fresh and prolonging their shelf life.
- If you spot any moldy or mushy strawberries in your store-bought container, make sure to remove them right away. Mold is notorious for spreading quickly and easily, so if you keep spoiled strawberries with the good ones, they will be ruined too.
The Bottom Line
I hope you enjoyed this article on how to store strawberries. Do try the methods I have mentioned to savor the goodness of strawberries even when they are not in season.
Also, remember the handy tips to prolong their life as much as possible!