How to Store Strawberries

 

Strawberries are soft, juicy and have a sweet flavor.

They come in handy when baking, making smoothies and even fruit salads. 

But the sad news is…they don’t last very long.

So how can you store your strawberries and enjoy them all year round?

In this post, I‘ll show you the secret to helping your strawberries stay fresh for longer. And even some ways to preserve them for really long-term food storage. 

First up…

How to Wash Strawberries Before Storing Them

I don’t recommend washing strawberries before storage. It’s not a good idea. 

Only wash your berries if you’re going to use vinegar. 

In this case, you’ll have to soak them in a mixture of water and vinegar for about 15 mins. 

And then wash with clean water to remove the vinegar. 

More details on that in a bit because it is a super helpful way to make strawberries last longer.

How to Preserve Strawberries for Short Term Storage

 

1. Kitchen Counter

This is the easiest storage method if you’re going to eat them all in one day.

Just put them in a dish or on a plate and place it on your kitchen counter. Drape a paper towel over them to keep bugs off them.

2. Refrigerator

If you’re not going to eat them right away, you can store them in your refrigerator.

But before you toss them in the fridge, make sure to follow these simple tips:

  • Don’t wash them. If you do, the moisture will make them go bad faster. 
  • Keep your strawberries dry to prevent molding.
  • Wash them only when you’re ready to eat or use them in recipes.
  • Remember not to cut off the stems on your strawberries. Leaving them on will help increase their shelf life. 

Lay a paper towel or kitchen towel on a baking sheet, plate, dish or glass bowl. This will help keep your fruits dry. 

Then put your unwashed strawberries in a single pile on top of the paper towel. 

Make sure they are not packed on top of each other. They’ll get mushy and rot quickly. 

Finally, cover with a lid or plastic foil and place in the fridge. 

You can keep them for up to a week in the refrigerator. 

Watch out for any spoiled fruit. 

Remove any immediately and throw it away (one rotten strawberry spoils the rest).

3. Vinegar Bath

Cleaning your strawberries with apple cider vinegar will help kill off harmful bacteria. 

Vinegar also helps keep fruits fresh for a long time. 

And guess what?

Your strawberries will not taste like vinegar at all!

 

How to Keep Strawberries Fresh with Vinegar

You can enjoy fresh strawberries for a whole week with just one vinegar bath.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Mix water and vinegar in a large container or glass bowl. With a ratio of 1:4 of vinegar and water. Adjust according to the amount of strawberries you have.
  • Soak strawberries in the solution for at least 5 minutes.
  • Pour them in a strainer or colander and rinse with water.
  • Put your strawberries on a clean paper towel and leave them to dry for a few minutes.
  • Next, line your storage container with a paper towel and place your perfectly dry berries inside.
  • And lastly, cover with a lid and keep in a safe place. 
  • Don’t forget to label the container with the storage date. Your strawberries should be able to last for 2 weeks.

4. Storing Strawberries in a Glass Jar

This is another brilliant hack for keeping berries fresh. 

Simply put whole, unwashed strawberries in a clean and dry glass jar. 

Cover with a lid and keep it in the fridge.

In a glass jar, strawberries can last for a week.

Other Strawberry Storage Tips

  • Wash just before eating them (not before storing them). Strawberries soak up easily when placed in water. 
  • Kill two birds with one stone by giving your strawberries a nice vinegar bath. It will keep them fresh up to 2 weeks and also get rid of harmful bacteria.
  • Throw away spoiled berries quickly.
  • Don’t pluck off the stems if you’re not going to eat them immediately. Leaving them intact will prolong their shelf life.

How to Preserve Strawberries for Long Term Storage

 

1. Dehydrating

Drying strawberry slices is one of the best methods for long term storage. You can use dried strawberries in cereal or eat them as a snack – yummy!

You can use a dehydrator, oven, microwave or even sun dry your strawberries.

>> Learn how to dry strawberries here.

Not convinced dried is the way to go? Check out these benefits of dried strawberries.

2. Canning

Canning is a very easy method. All you’ll need is sugar and whole strawberries.

Cut off the stems on your berries and sprinkle sugar on them, then leave them to rest for about 5-6 hours. Sugar helps drain out all the juice. 

Can your strawberries with their own juice to maintain their flavor.

Here’s a guide that teaches you how step-by-step. 

3. Freezer

Freezing is another great option. The only downside is that they’ll not taste as good as freshly picked berries. 

They’ll lose a little flavor, but they should still be delicious.

You can use frozen strawberries later in smoothies, cereal, pies, as toppings etc.

And here’s how to store strawberries in the freezer safely:

  1. Wash them first.
  2. Dry them by laying them on a clean kitchen towel. 
  3. Remove the stems carefully and cut your berries into thin slices.
  4. Line a baking sheet, tray or plate with a paper towel and put your berries on top.
  5. Freeze them for at least 1 hour until they are completely solid. This will prevent them from getting attached to each other.
  6. Remove them from the freezer and store in an airtight container or freezer bag.
  7. Put them back in the freezer. 

You can freeze your strawberries for up to 3 months.

When ready to use them, simply thaw and use or throw them straight in a blender still frozen – makes a great chilled smoothie and usually replaces the need for ice!

Best Strawberry Storage Temperature

Room temperature for more than a day will spoil your strawberries. 

The ideal temperature for storing them is 0-2 degrees Celsius or 32 – 37 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How to Tell if Strawberries Are Bad

If your strawberries have mold, are soggy or mushy, it means they’ve gone bad. Throw them away immediately

How to Keep Strawberries from Molding

Mold thrives in moisture. So make sure your berries are always dry and cold. 

If you store them in the fridge, opt for an airtight container to keep out moisture.

Final Thoughts

Enjoy your strawberries in all seasons by properly storing them.

For short-term storage, the fridge is your best bet, but use that paper towel trick to get the most out of their shelf-life.

Want to store them for 1-3 months? Freeze them

And if you’re looking for even longer storage methods, dehydrate or can them.

Let me know in the comments below your favorite strawberry storage hack!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should Strawberries Last in the Refrigerator?

Around 2 weeks. 

How Do You Make Strawberries Last Longer in the Fridge?

Give them a vinegar bath and pack them in a sealed container, lined with a paper towel.

Should I Cover Strawberries in the Fridge?

Yes. Always pack your strawberries in a closed container before putting them in the fridge.

Should Strawberries Be Stored in an Airtight Container?

Yes. It helps keep out moisture and prevents contamination. 

Can You Store Strawberries in a Ziploc Bag?

Yes. Especially if you’re going to freeze them. 

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