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There’s nothing quite like eating a perfectly ripe strawberry on a hot summer day. The sweet, floral aroma practically screams summer. Every year I look forward to their tart punch that’s perfectly balanced by their alluring sweetness. The mere thought of them is enough to get me through the cold, berry-less winters.
But fresh strawberries are expensive, and there’s nothing worse than buying a pint of perfectly ripe strawberries only for them to go bad within a day or two. It’s a disappointing situation I’ve experienced one too many times, and a problem I was determined to help solve. So in an attempt to never let my fresh strawberries go to waste again, I put seven popular methods of storing them to the test with the hopes of making them last longer. I purchased a flat of fresh strawberries and stored them in seven different ways.
So, What Is the Best Way to Store Strawberries?
Some of the storing methods worked better than others, but there was one clear winner that kept the strawberries perfectly fresh for an entire week: soaking them in a vinegar-water solution. Read on to learn more about why this is the best method, the other methods we tested, and to learn about a super-simple solution that’s almost as good as our top pick if you’re pressed for time.
How We Tested the Methods
The first thing I did was search the internet for the most reliable and trusted methods of storing fresh strawberries. Some methods were all about the containers they get stored in, while others focused on washing and processing techniques that are said to extend their shelf life. After landing on the seven popular methods below, each one was put to the test. I purchased my strawberries (all from the same market and on the same day) and stashed them in my fridge after storing them via their respective methods.
The judging criteria was simple: Each morning I would check in on the berries to see how they were looking. Any strawberries that started to soften, darken, or turn a burgundy/brown-ish color I considered “spoiled” for the sake of the test. (But don’t worry — these ones were put to use in a homemade jam.) At the end of the week I tallied up how many berries spoiled and determined a winner. The winning method has now become my go-to method of storing any variety of fresh berries I purchase.
Storing Method: Pre-hulled and stored in the fridge cut-side down.
- Spoilage:100% of the berries
About this method: In an attempt to make prepping strawberries as easy as possible, I tested the impossible and pre-hulled an entire pint of strawberries to see if they would last. If I could store strawberries already hulled so they were truly grab-and-go, I certainly wouldn’t be mad. To mimic similar experiments online, we hulled the strawberries and stored them cut-side down. I grabbed a pan that allowed enough space to store an entire pint of berries in it and lined them up. I popped it in the fridge uncovered and checked on it daily. Sure, it was a wild idea, but I just really wanted ready-to-eat-strawberries.
Results: After seven days all of the berries went bad. The berries dried up, shriveled, and the cut-end turned a horrible gray color. I knew this test would be a toss-up, but I was disappointed nonetheless.
My takeaway: Hulling strawberries in advance is a bad idea. The cut sides end up turning brown, softening, and looking very ugly. Some methods online recommend storing pre-hulled strawberries in zip-top bags or stored on top of a paper towel, so it could have been a misstep on our part, but either way I don’t foresee hulled strawberries lasting over a week in the fridge.
Storing Method: Dunked in a hot water bath and stored on paper towels in an airtight container.
- Spoilage:About 60% of the berries
About this method: This method came from noted food writer Harold McGee, who focuses on the intersection of food science and cooking. His book On Food and Cooking is hailed as one of the ultimate culinary science resources, so I knew we needed to include his method as part of the lineup. His method includes dunking berries in a pot of 125°F water (which is hot but not quite simmering) for 30 seconds, then transferring them onto a paper towel-lined sheet tray in the fridge. The hot water bath is said to suppress mold growth, thus making the berries last longer.
Results: By day seven a little more than half of the strawberries had spoiled — which was surprising given how much effort (and science!) went into this storage method. It didn’t really seem like the hot water bath did all that much, and the majority of the strawberries looked rather sad.
My takeaway: This method was a bit of a project, and I don’t think it was worth the extra time and effort it took. I didn’t see much of an improvement (if any) in terms of how long the berries lasted and don’t recommend taking the extra time to do this. My guess is that the berries were too wet, which caused them to spoil faster. By the end of the week the paper towel was damp and seemed to be contributing to the spoilage, so it’s possible I didn’t let them dry enough before popping them in the fridge.
Read more: This Nerdy-but-Brilliant Trick Keeps Berries Fresh for Longer
Storing Method: Rinsed and stored on paper towels.
- Spoilage:About 40% of the berries
About this method: One of the most popular methods for storing berries is simply rinsing them off and storing them in a paper towel-lined container. This way you can eat your strawberries whenever you’re craving them without having to wash them off — a meal-prepper’s dream! For this test we sorted through a pint of strawberries (discarding any berries that were on their last leg), rinsed them off, placed them in a container lined with paper towels, popped a lid on, and stashed them in the fridge.
Results: By the end of the week a little less than half of the strawberries had spoiled. The paper towel was wet and the parts of the strawberries that were touching it seemed to be spoiling faster.
My takeaway: Storing wet strawberries in the fridge is proven to be yet again a recipe for disaster. The paper towel ended up getting damp and the berries went bad fairly quickly. By day five I could tell that this method wasn’t working that well. However you store your strawberries, make sure they are completely dry before stashing them in the fridge.
Storing Method: Stored in an airtight glass jar.
- Spoilage:About 30% of the berries
About this method: One method I had seen a handful of experts suggest is storing fresh strawberries in an airtight glass jar (like a Mason jar). You just place your unwashed strawberries straight into the jar, screw the lid on, and pop it in the fridge. Some sources claim this method would keep the berries fresh for up to two weeks (!), so I was excited to give it a try.
Results: By the end of the week only a third of the strawberries showed any signs of spoilage. The airtight jar seemed to keep the berries much fresher than storing them on an uncovered sheet pan. The strawberries towards the bottom of the jar seemed to spoil the quickest, probably because they were bearing the weight of the other berries on top of them, but they overall stayed quite fresh.
My takeaway: Although the berries were a bit hard to get in and out of the jar, this method worked surprisingly well. It kept the berries relatively fresh, but was a bit of a pain. The jar couldn’t hold an entire pint of strawberries, so although it was successful, the method is not that practical.
Storing Method: Unrinsed and stored on paper towels.
- Spoilage:About 20% of the berries
About this method: If we were going to test if storing strawberries on paper towels would help keep them fresh, we needed to try it out on both rinsed and unrinsed berries. This test was the latter method. We simply sorted through the strawberries, picking out any that looked bad from the start, and placed them in a paper towel-lined container with a lid and stashed it in the fridge.
Results: By the end of the week the paper towel had absorbed a decent amount of liquid and was stained red in some places — suggesting that it had absorbed some of the excess liquid that would have otherwise contributed to making them spoil quicker. By day seven only about a fifth of the berries had spoiled. This method worked significantly better than storing rinsed strawberries on paper towels, suggesting that keeping the berries dry plays a significant role in how long they stay fresh for.
My takeaway: This method worked well and only resulted in a small amount of spoilage. About 20% of the strawberries spoiled, which was significantly less than storing them on paper towels after rinsing, but still not a revelation.
Storing Method: Sorted and placed back in their original carton.
- Spoilage:About 15% of the berries
About this method: We included this method as a control to judge the rest of the tests. We simply sorted through the container of strawberries and discarded any that were already going bad, then added them back to the container and stored them in the fridge. That’s it.
Results: To my surprise, by day seven hardly any of the strawberries had spoiled. Almost all of them were still fresh and vibrant, and only a few of them showed any signs of spoiling.
My takeaway: This method was by far the easiest, and the results were pretty great. The container kept the berries much fresher than most of the other storage containers, and it took practically no time. Not rinsing the berries made sure they they were dry, and the container seemed to give them enough air circulation without being exposed. If you’re pressed for time, storing berries in their original containers works just fine.
Storing Method: Soaked in a vinegar solution and dried in a salad spinner.
- Spoilage:About 5% of the berries
About this method: This is one of the most common methods I saw on the internet, and I was eager to give it a try. You dunk strawberries in a water bath made with 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water, drain them, then dry them as thoroughly as possible. Food52 suggested drying them in a salad spinner lined with paper towels for added insurance that they would get dry, so that’s exactly what I did. Once dried, you transfer the strawberries into a paper towel-lined container, loosely place the lid on (do not seal it), and pop them in the fridge.
Results: By the end of the week practically none of the strawberries had gone bad. I didn’t have to discard a single one and the only noticeable spoilage was a few dark spots here and there. And because the berries were thoroughly dried in a salad spinner, the paper towel was still practically completely dry by day seven.
My takeaway: This method takes time and effort to do, but depending on how many strawberries you have (or how expensive they were) it’s definitely worth it. The strawberries stayed fresh, vibrant, and firm the entire week and showed practically no signs of spoilage. They looked as if I had just taken them home from the store and were (almost) as fresh as day one.
The Biggest Takeaways
When it came to storing strawberries, moisture seemed to be the biggest enemy. You want to make sure your berries are completely dry before stashing them in the fridge, so I suggest holding off on washing them until you’re ready to eat them or thoroughly drying them in a salad spinner. If you’re pressed for time, simply storing the strawberries in their original container after discarding any that are on the brink of spoiling is a great option — but if you have extra time, soaking them in a vinegar-water solution and drying them afterwards is a great way to extend their shelf life.
Your turn: What’s your go-to method for storing fresh strawberries? Let us know in the comments!
What is the best way to store fresh strawberries? ›
Place your unwashed strawberries on top in a single layer, then cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, ideally within seven days. If you notice one of the strawberries going bad or turning moldy, immediately remove it and discard.What is the best way to store fresh strawberries and blueberries? ›
Put the clean, dry berries back in the clamshell and store them in the fridge. Make sure to leave ventilation holes in the top uncovered so air can circulate in the package. Otherwise, store the berries in a clean container lined with paper towels, with the lid ajar so condensation can evaporate.Why should you store strawberries in a glass jar? ›
What is this amazing tip? Just keep it in an airtight jar in your fridge. "If you put your fruit, like strawberries, in a glass jar in the refrigerator, they stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks!" This method of storing food is actually pretty popular amongst the zero-waste community.How do you keep strawberries fresh in a Mason jar? ›
How To Do It: Check through your strawberries to remove any that have mushy spots or mold. Place your unwashed strawberries in a glass mason jar, and stack them loosely so that they aren't squishing each other. Tightly fasten the metal lid and band on the jar, then put it in the fridge.How do you keep strawberries from molding in the fridge? ›
Arrange freshly picked strawberries in a single layer on a shallow plate or pie plate lined with paper towels. Cover or fit into a large plastic sealable bag and then seal the bag and refrigerate. Stored this way, strawberries should last at least five-seven days. The strawberries should stay dry and cold.Do strawberries last longer in a glass jar? ›
My tests proved that the best way to store fresh strawberries to make them last longer was to place unwashed strawberries in a glass storage container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate them.How do you store berries so it lasts longer? ›
Store berries in paper towel-lined sealable container, with layers of paper towels between each layer of berries. Keep the lid slightly open to allow excess moisture to escape. Place in the refrigerator to store.Should you wash berries before storing? ›
One of the cardinal rules of keeping berries mold-free is to leave them unwashed until the moment before consumption. But, by washing your berries in a solution of vinegar and water, you can extend their shelf-life by days (sometimes even weeks!).How do you make fresh berries last longer? ›
Make sure you get your berries very dry, either by air drying on a clean towel or by gently patting dry, then store in the fridge in a container lined with dry paper towels.How do you store strawberries in a glass container? ›
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.
Does keeping fruit in mason jars work? ›
Yes! it really works wonders for keeping fruit, and other produce fresher for longer. Taking the proper steps before storing fresh fruit in a mason jar can help it last up to twice as long. Fresh fruit will last longer than if stored in plastic grocery store containers and can even help save space in the fridge!How do you store strawberries in a jar with water? ›
- Place the berries in the water/vinegar solution.
- Soak the berries for 2 minutes.
- Place berries on a large towel to dry (a few hours).
- Set a paper towel at the bottom of a jar.
- Put DRY strawberries in the jar.
- Put the lid on the jar and store in the fridge.
- Next day, check for condensation in the jar.
Moisture is an enemy of the fresh strawberry. The inclination may be to store them in airtight containers, but strawberries will rot more quickly when the moisture is trapped inside. Even the plastic containers in which many grocery store strawberries are packed are a bad choice for refrigerator storage.What kind of container should strawberries be stored in? ›
Line a plastic or glass container with paper towels.
These paper towels will absorb moisture and keep your berries from getting moldy.
As mentioned above, glass jars keep out air, which lengthens the life of the produce. Glass jars are a safer, healthier alternative to plastic.How do you keep strawberries from rotting? ›
Preventing Rotten Strawberries on the Plant
One thing you can do to avoid all this is plant your strawberries with plenty of space between them. This allows for air flow so plants can dry out between watering and rain. Make sure you also plant them in a spot with good drainage.
The most effective way to clean pesticide residue off of strawberries is to submerge them in a vinegar bath. In a bowl, mix four parts water with one part white vinegar, then let the strawberries soak in the bowl for 20 minutes. Rinse the strawberries thoroughly with fresh cold water to clean off the vinegar.Do strawberries last longer in Tupperware? ›
Tupperware is far more durable. The plastic containers won't let in any air and will make the strawberries spoil faster.How long can strawberries sit out in container? ›
Strawberries should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cutting them. If they are left out for more than 2 hours, throw them away.Does washing berries in vinegar really work? ›
The vinegar destroys bacteria and mold spores on the berries, helping them stay fresh longer. According to Lifehacker, this method extends the shelf life of berries by days, sometimes even weeks.
How do you store berries so they don't mold? ›
As our own Kat Kinsman explains, "To prevent mold growth and extend berries' freshness, rinse them in a mixture of one cup white vinegar and four cups of water, then drain and dry them thoroughly." Store them as you would unwashed berries, on top of a dry paper towel in an open container in the fridge.Why do berries last longer in mason jars? ›
Because mason jars are air tight, they keep the produce from spoiling as quickly.Can dogs eat blueberries? ›
Yes, dogs can eat blueberries. Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike. They're packed with fiber and phytochemicals as well.Can dogs eat raspberries? ›
Yes, raspberries are safe for dogs to eat, but they should be given in moderation. The fruit contains antioxidants, which are great for dogs, especially senior dogs due to anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate joint pain.How do you keep berries fresh for 2 weeks? ›
Once your berries are fully dry, place them in the container on top of the paper towels. Line a fresh sheet of paper towels on top of the berries and place the lid on the container. Store your berries in the fridge, and they should stay good for up to two weeks!Why do my berries mold so fast? ›
Why do berries go bad so fast? It comes down to moisture… and mold. Berries tend to be quite porous, water-rich and delicately skinned, meaning they soak up excess moisture in their environment very easily. They also pretty much all carry mold spores, which grow rapidly when moisture is plentiful.Do berries last longer in Tupperware? ›
The container kept the berries much fresher than most of the other storage containers, and it took practically no time. Not rinsing the berries made sure they they were dry, and the container seemed to give them enough air circulation without being exposed.How do you keep fruit fresh longer in Mason jars? ›
Leave the fruit out to dry on a tea towel or paper towel. Once dry, transfer the fruit to mason jars and seal up those lids. This is the best way to make your fruit last, particularly berries, which tend to be very prone to mold and bacteria buildup.How do you wash fruit with vinegar? ›
To make a vinegar soak; start with a clean sink then fill it with cold water (alternatively this can be done in a large bowl). Add 1 cup of white vinegar and submerge your fruits and vegetables in the water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Drain the water and give the produce a quick rinse.Can you freeze mason jars with fruit? ›
Freeze individual foods first: When you're freezing foods such as berries, vegetables, or meatballs, we recommend freezing them first before placing them in a Mason jar. This step will help ensure they won't clump together in the freezer.
How do you keep fruit fresh without a refrigerator? ›
Don't refrigerate. Store in a cool, dark place with relatively high humidity. Allow air circulation. Keep separate from onions, bananas, and other ethylene-producing items.How long can strawberries stay in ice water? ›
When your strawberries start to look kind of mushy or bruised, you can soak them in a bowl of ice water for 20 minutes to revive them. After 20 minutes or so in an ice water bath, the strawberries plump back up and turn bright red again.How long should strawberries stay in water? ›
For optimal flavour, the fruit should be removed after a maximum of twelve-hours or so – longer and the water begins to turn bitter. It's possible to re-use the fruit for more than one batch of water, but obviously, if it starts to look a little weary, it's time to replace it with fresh infusion ingredients.How long keep strawberries in water? ›
Pour three cups of cold water and a cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar into a bowl, then submerge your strawberries for five to 20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the strawberries with cold tap water and drain them to keep them from tasting acidic.Should strawberries be stored in an airtight container? ›
Colanders are perfect for strawberry storage, allowing air to circulate freely. Unlike whole berries, once strawberries have been cut or hulled, they should be stored in an airtight container to protect the exposed flesh from mold and bacterial development, significantly reducing shelf life.How do you store strawberries long term? ›
If you're pressed for time, simply storing the strawberries in their original container after discarding any that are on the brink of spoiling is a great option — but if you have extra time, soaking them in a vinegar-water solution and drying them afterwards is a great way to extend their shelf life.Can you store fresh strawberries in a Ziploc bag? ›
Place the strawberries in a bowl, and sprinkle some sugar on them (about 1 part sugar for every 6 parts strawberries). Stir them a bit to spread out the sugar and wait 5-10 minutes for the strawberries to absorb the sugar. Then, place them in a large zip-lock bag and store it in the freezer.How do you make berries last longer in the fridge? ›
Store berries in paper towel-lined sealable container, with layers of paper towels between each layer of berries. Keep the lid slightly open to allow excess moisture to escape. Place in the refrigerator to store.How do you store strawberries in a plastic container? ›
Transfer the unwashed strawberries into a tight-fitting container with a paper towel-lined bottom and lid on. The paper towel absorbs excess moisture. Keep the strawberries on a shelf in the refrigerator. Leave green caps on, and wash when ready to eat.Does storing fruit in mason jars work? ›
Yes! it really works wonders for keeping fruit, and other produce fresher for longer. Taking the proper steps before storing fresh fruit in a mason jar can help it last up to twice as long. Fresh fruit will last longer than if stored in plastic grocery store containers and can even help save space in the fridge!
How long do vacuum sealed strawberries last in the freezer? ›
Vacuum sealing then freezing your strawberries is a great alternative to store them for use at a later date. This method will preserve your strawberries for well over a year without ice crystals forming and freezer burn setting in.What are different ways to preserve strawberries? ›
Freezing, drying, and making jams and jellies are some of the best ways to preserve strawberries. Select firm, fully ripe, red berries, preferably with a slightly tart flavor. Wash and sort berries according to the method described under “Washing Strawberries” above, and remove the caps.How long can you store fresh strawberries? ›
I have some time saving tips that will make sure your strawberries stay fresh in the fridge. Strawberries can last easily 2 weeks and even a little longer depending on when they were picked. However, you have to take a couple of easy steps to make sure they stay fresh and don't turn moldy.