Fresh, in-season fruit is one of the best things of the season, and knowing how to store strawberries, so they last longer than just a few days in the refrigerator is essential. There are many different methods claiming to be the best, and here are the proven top three.
How to store strawberries
There is nothing better than eating in-season strawberries and being able to keep them fresh in the fridge longer.
They can be used in many different recipes, as a garnish, or just popped in your mouth as a snack. I love my strawberry lemonade vodka!
It’s frustrating when you open the package after just a few days, and the strawberries are already starting to go bad.
But don’t worry, there are ways to make them last from seven days up to three months!
Should fresh strawberries be refrigerated?
When you get home from the store, field, or farmer’s market it’s important to put your strawberries in the fridge so they can stay fresh longer.
Refrigeration slows the degeneration process of just about anything and is key in keeping your strawberries plump and juicy.
If you're making something right away (hello, strawberry banana milkshake) you can leave them out at room temperature.
The top three methods for storing strawberries
Many methods are floating around out there telling you how to store strawberries. Some of them don’t work at all, but a few really do work.
Here are the three methods that are proven to work by testers:
1. Vinegar bath
Soak the ripe strawberries in a solution of one part white vinegar and three parts water, drain, dry them thoroughly, and store them in the refrigerator.
You can dry them in a paper towel-lined salad spinner or roll them with paper towels and let them sit on the counter at room temperature until they are completely dry.
Place them in a container and set the lid on loosely (don’t seal).
This method will keep your strawberries fresh for up to seven days!
2. Original Carton
This may seem like a bit of a let-down when you were expecting some fancy method, but the food industry has spent millions of dollars developing the best strategy to keep strawberries fresh for the longest amount of time while being transported to stores.
It’s no surprise that storing them in the container they created for this purpose works well!
All you need to do is sort through them when you get them home, pick out ones that are going bad, and place them right into the fridge.
3. Airtight Container
The third best method for keeping strawberries fresh is to line a Tupperware container with paper towels to absorb moisture, lay the unwashed strawberries in a single layer in the container, cover with the lid, and put it in the fridge.
This method is similar to keeping them in the original packaging and works well.
Should you wash strawberries before storing them?
Moisture is one of bacteria’s favorite playgrounds. When you wash strawberries and then put them right in the refrigerator, they will spoil quickly.
The best way to keep strawberries from going bad is to store them unwashed or allow them to thoroughly dry before putting them in the fridge.
How to store strawberries in the freezer
Yes! Freezing strawberries is the best way to keep them fresh for the longest amount of time.
Freezing strawberries is an excellent method for keeping them longer, depending on what you’re planning on using them for.
Since they thaw a bit mushy, frozen strawberries are perfect for adding to desserts, smoothies, or making into jam.
What is the best way to freeze strawberries?
If you plan on allowing the strawberries to completely thaw before using them you can store them whole, without slicing them.
However, the best way to store them in the freezer is to slice them and lay them in a single layer on a silicone-lined baking sheet.
Then put the sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes and move them to a freezer bag to store.
If you don’t allow them to harden on a baking sheet before putting them in a freezer bag, they will freeze into one massive strawberry rock.
You’ll need to defrost the entire bag to use any of the strawberries.
This can be a waste if you only want to make one smoothie.
Conclusion: How to store strawberries
The best method to store strawberries is to rinse them in a vinegar bath, dry thoroughly, and store them in the fridge.
You can also freeze them to make them last for up to three months longer. Ensure they are unwashed or thoroughly dried before storing, so they don’t get moldy within the week.
Strawberries are the perfect summer treat; keep them fresh as long as possible with these tips!