The Best Way to Store Strawberries
Keep those spring favorites from getting squishy and spoiled.
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By Amanda Neal for Food Network Kitchen
Those first fresh, vibrant strawberries of the season are like little edible gems telling us that winter is over. Though hardier than some other berries, soft and sweet strawberries do require some special care and safe keeping to help them last.
If you’re planning to eat your strawberries right away, storing strawberries at room temperature on your kitchen counter is the best option — they’ll lose a bit of luster and flavor in the fridge. However, if you want to prolong their lifespan for use in baked goods and other recipes, the refrigerator will become your best bet. Here are some tips for storing strawberries in your refrigerator to keep them fresh throughout the season. When stored properly, strawberries will stay firm and fresh for about a week.
Here are a few important tips for how to store strawberries in the refrigerator:
Don’t Pre-Wash Your Strawberries
Strawberries will stay their freshest when dry and cold, and any added moisture will soften the strawberries and encourage mold growth. So instead of washing all of your berries right when you get home from the store, wash them as you plan to eat or prepare them.
Leave the Stems on Your Strawberries
Keep those little, frilly green stems on your fresh strawberries when storing in the refrigerator. Having the stems intact will protect the interior of your berries and prolong their shelf life.
Keep Them in a Single Layer
Your strawberries will stay best when not crushed by layers of berries on top of them.
How to Store Strawberries in the Refrigerator
As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to keep strawberries very dry and cold. To do this, line a plate, baking sheet or shallow glass bowl with a couple paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. 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. Mold spreads easily and quickly, so it’s crucial to keep an eye on your strawberries for any spoilage. You don’t want one bad berry to ruin the whole bunch!
How to Freeze Strawberries
If you’re planning to keep your strawberries for a longer period of time, your best bet is to freeze them. Remove the stems, then quarter or thinly slice the berries. Place the strawberries on a parchment paper-lined plate or baking sheet, then freeze until solid, at least 30 minutes. Transfer to a resealable freezer bag, and store for up to 3 months. This method will allow you to easily thaw and snack on your in-season strawberries, or simply throw frozen berries into smoothies and frozen beverages.
Strawberry Recipes to Try: