How to Store Strawberries in the Fridge to Maximize Their Lifespan
Our Test Kitchen pros separate fact from fiction about Mason jars, vinegar washes, and more.
Whether you grow strawberries, snag a basket at the farmers market, or stock up at the grocery store, little can beat the sweet flavor of a perfectly-ripe strawberry. That being said, like with all berries, the lifespan of a strawberry can feel very short. So with that in mind, we tapped our Test Kitchen experts to help us create the ultimate guide for how to store strawberries in the fridge for maximum freshness. Then, we’re sharing tips and busting myths. Plus, we’ll reveal how to store strawberries if you would like to use them more than one week from now.
How to Store Strawberries in the Fridge
Many of the berry storage guides you’ll find online share advice about how to clean and store strawberries and how to store cut strawberries. But we’ll cut to the chase: That’s not your best strategy if you’re seeking ways to keep your berries beautiful as long as possible.
“We've found that it’s best to store the strawberries, unwashed and whole, until you are ready to use them,” advises Lynn Blanchard, Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen director. “It’s important to not wash berries before storing. They tend to absorb water, and that shortens their shelf life.”
The berry company Driscoll’s echoes this sentiment, and recommends that you keep your berries as dry as possible as during refrigerator storage. Either store in the container you purchased the berries, or transfer dry berries to a shallow storage with a paper towel. Scatter the dry berries on top in a single layer. Cover with a lid and place on a shelf inside your refrigerator, Blanchard suggests.
Test Kitchen Tip: To potentially tack on a couple more days to the lifespan of your fresh berries, employ Mason jars if you own them, Blanchard says. The airtight nature of the jar seems to keep the strawberries fresher for slightly longer. Here’s how to store strawberries in Mason jars: Pat the berries dry, if any moisture remains, then gently drop them into a Mason jar. Add the lid and twist to seal tightly. Place on a shelf inside your refrigerator.
“Depending on the freshness of strawberries when purchased—which is the biggest factor in how long your berries stay fresh—they’re typically best within 3 days when stored in the refrigerator in a shallow container. But I have kept them for up to one week in a glass jar,” Blanchard confirms.
To maximize flavor, take your strawberry container out of the fridge an hour or two before you plan to eat them; strawberries tend to taste best at or near room temp, Driscoll’s fruit experts add. Just before you plan to eat or use the fruit in a strawberry recipe, rinse the berries under cool water, then use a knife to carefully remove the leaves and stems. Slice as desired and enjoy.
Related: 26 Sweet Strawberry Dessert Recipes Perfect for Summer
Tips For How to Properly Store Strawberries to Keep Them Fresh Longer
We’ve seen countless social media videos promising that the creator has the secret for how to store strawberries in the fridge so they last for weeks on end. There’s no need to over complicate things!
As you prepare to graduate from how to store strawberries 101, we wanted to share a few more best practices to clear things up:
Choose wisely. As we mentioned, the largest determinant in the lifespan of your berries is the freshness when you purchase or pick them. When selecting strawberries, look for firm, brightly-colored fruit. The green tops also provide an indication of freshness; avoid strawberries with dark colored and shriveled tops, Blanchard advises.
Skip the vinegar wash. One popular online hack promotes rinsing berries in a mixture of 3 cups water and 1 cup cider vinegar, then using a salad spinner basket lined with paper towels to spin the moisture away. While this is a good idea to keep washed berries fresh as long as possible if you want to snack on them straight from the refrigerator, you’ll still sacrifice shelf-life if you store them post-rinse, Blanchard says. “Since they store longer without being washed, I would not recommend a vinegar wash.”
Save the stems. Allowing the stems and leaves to remain intact will protect the flesh of the berries and lengthen its storage time.
Harvest any spoiled strawberries. “Signs of a ‘bad’ strawberry, or one that’s past its prime, include softening texture, shriveled appearance, and mold,” Blanchard says. If you notice a small amount of mold on one berry, remove and discard that berry and any that came into direct contact with it. Wash the other berries well before using.
How to Store Fresh Strawberries For More Than One Week
Like raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, strawberries freeze well. Follow these steps for how to store strawberries in the freezer to prevent freezer burn and to preserve them for up to one year to use in smoothies, cake and pie recipes, muffin batter, summery drinks, and dessert sauces.