Fresh strawberries are costly, and nothing is more frustrating than purchasing a bunch of perfectly ripe strawberries only to have them spoil within a day or two. If you want to consume your strawberries straight away, keep them at room temperature on your kitchen counter; they’ll lose some of their shine and flavor if kept in the fridge. The refrigerator, on the other hand, will be your best choice if you want to extend its shelf life for use in baked products and other recipes. Strawberries will keep firm and fresh for about a week if kept correctly.
There are multiple perspectives regarding the methods to preserve strawberries, each with its own rate of success.
8 Methods Of Preserving Strawberries And Their Effectiveness
Each preservation method is different in both the results and the time and effort it takes. Understanding multiple commonly used methods will give you an idea about which one is right for you. We tested out of few methods, and the results for many of these would be gauged for a one-week timeline.
Method # 1: Paper Towels In A Container
Simply washing berries and putting them in a paper towel-lined container is one of the most popular techniques for preserving them. This way, you can enjoy strawberries anytime you want without having to wash them – perfect for meal preppers! We sifted through a pint of strawberries for this test, removing any that were past their prime, washed them, placed them in a container lined with paper towels, covered them with a lid, and stored them in the fridge.
A bit less than half of the strawberries had deteriorated by the end of the week. The paper towel was damp, and the strawberries that were touching it appeared to be deteriorating more quickly.
Putting damp strawberries doesn’t work quite as well. The fruit went rotten soon because the paper towel became moist, and you could see strawberries going rotten by the fifth day. Make sure your strawberries are fully dry before storing them in the fridge, regardless of how you store them.
Method # 2: FreshPaper In The Container
FreshPaper is a product that helps products stay fresher for longer. Spices infuse the biodegradable paper sheets, naturally inhibiting the bacterium that causes fruits and vegetables to deteriorate. (Also, the sheets have a wonderful scent!)
It’s simple: just toss a sheet in with your berries wherever you’re storing it, whether it’s in the fridge or at room temperature. In the original container containing our strawberries, we inserted a sheet.
The effect is comparable to what happens to crisper drawer strawberries, but there were a few extra mushy strawberries towards the bottom of the carton. The bulk of the berries remained solid and delicious.
Because there was no mold on the strawberries, FreshPaper seemed to meet its promise of preventing microorganisms. Because the berries were heaped in a carton, there was less airflow to the berries towards the bottom, causing soft areas to appear. We estimate the berries would last seven days in the fridge if they were put out in a single layer, with the paper covering the top.
Method # 3: Using The Crispr Drawer
Crisper drawers in refrigerators are designed to store vegetables and fruits. The crisper drawers contain vents to assist the produce in surviving as long as possible by creating high or low humidity conditions.
Fill a tray with entire strawberries and clean paper towels or reusable refrigerator liners. The paper towels will collect and retain moisture from the strawberry surfaces (or any leaking juices, if it’s placed under the berries). This helps because moisture speeds up the deterioration of strawberries, and if it’s absorbed away, the berries remain safe. Open the vents in the drawers also help in this regard. They allow moisture to escape and maintain the desired humidity level.
In these drawers, the strawberries looked excellent even after seven whole days. Most of the strawberries were in good, edible condition, despite the limp leaves and one fruit that was beginning to sprout mildew.
The crisper drawer performs its job: it keeps the strawberries fresh by preventing moisture from accumulating on them. It was also important to spread the berries out in a single layer on absorbent paper towels to keep them dry. If you haven’t been using your crisper drawer for fruit, now is the time!
Method # 4: Using A Vinegar Bath (The Bad Vinegar Method)
Mold spores naturally exist on freshly harvested berries and are a default cause of deterioration in the berries. Strawberry spores can be killed by rinsing them with vinegar, so they can’t harm the fruit.
The ratio is supposed to be one to two cups of white vinegar to the water. Stir it for better mixing. Strawberries should be moved and swished inside the mixture for about sixty seconds. A clean water bath after that to rinse the berries is essential, lest you want the vinegar taste to linger. Use a dish towel to dry the berries. Once you are sure that not a drop of moisture remains, store them in the original container and refrigerate them.
We were startled by the results, as other publications extol the virtues of this storing approach. The beautiful berries ended up withered and dark. Further aggravating the decay was with mushy patches and leaves that had already wilted. Despite the absence of mildew, the strawberries didn’t offer an “appetizing” front, and we didn’t feel like eating them at all.
Washed strawberries absorb water, which accelerates the natural decomposition process. It seemed the method of drying them with a dish towel and spreading them out on a try didn’t do the trick, and berries retained more moisture than it would have been ideal. We can conclude that waiting until the last minute to wash strawberries might yield better results.
Method # 5: Vinegar Solution And A Salad Spinner For Drying (The Amazing Vinegar Method)
Another popular (and viable) method we’ve seen on the internet, and we are excited to test it out. Strawberries are dipped in a water bath containing 1-part white vinegar and three parts water, then drained and properly dried. We followed a bit of smart advice and dried them in a salad spinner loaded with paper towels to ensure that they were completely dry. After the strawberries have dried, place them in a paper towel-lined container, loosely close the lid (but not seal it), and store them in the refrigerator.
Almost none of the strawberries got rotten by the end of the week. We didn’t have to throw any away, and the only blemishes were a few dark patches here and there. The paper towel was almost entirely dry by day seven, thanks to the berries being fully dried in a salad spinner.
This approach takes time and work, but it’s well worth it, depending on how many strawberries you have (or how costly they were). The strawberries remained fresh, bright, and firm throughout the week, with almost no indications of deterioration. They appeared as if We had just brought them home from the store, and they were (nearly) as good as new.
Method # 6: Mason Jar/An Air-Tight Glass Jar
One suggestion we had seen from a few experts was to keep fresh strawberries in an airtight glass container (like a Mason jar). Simply pour your unwashed strawberries in the jar, screw on the top, and store them in the refrigerator. According to some reports, this approach can keep berries fresh for up to two weeks.
The strawberries don’t seem to rot since no air can get inside the sealed mason jars. The fruit has just enough natural moisture to keep the berries solid and the leaves bright. It’s critical that the strawberries aren’t cleaned before putting them in the jar and that any questionable berries be removed, so they don’t contaminate the others.
Despite the difficulty in getting the berries into and out of the container, this approach performed remarkably effectively. It kept the berries fresh for a while, although it was a hassle to do. The jar couldn’t accommodate a whole pint of strawberries, so while the approach worked, it’s not really practical unless you use a sizeable jar.
Only about a third of the strawberries had spoiled by the end of the week. The berries seemed to stay fresher in the sealed jar than on an open sheet pan. The position of the berries had an amazing impact, and the ones at the bottom of the jar seemed to deteriorate most quickly, perhaps due to the weight of the other berries on top of them, but they remained rather fresh overall.
Method # 7: Sticking To The Original (Container)
This approach served as a check against which the other tests were judged. We simply sifted through the strawberries in the container and eliminated those that had already gone bad, then returned them to the container and refrigerated them. That is all there is to it.
Surprisingly, just a few of the strawberries had deteriorated by day seven. Almost every one of them was still fresh and vivid, with only a few showing symptoms of deterioration. They had some squishy areas and a few small particles of mold developing after seven days. The leaves appeared to be wilted as well. The strawberries were somewhat edible, and it would be better to chop them up for a dish so that the nasty areas could be removed.
This was by far the simplest approach, and the results were excellent. The container held the berries fresher for longer than most other storage containers, and it just took a few minutes. The berries were kept dry by not washing them, and the container seemed to provide enough air circulation without exposing them. If you’re short on time, keeping berries in their original containers is a good option.
Method # 8: Freeze The Berries
Fresh berries are frozen in freezer bags, where they will survive for months rather than days.
Rinse and dry entire strawberries, then use a knife or a hulling tool to remove the stem and leaves. (This makes it easier to utilize the berries once they’ve thawed.) Place the strawberries in resealable freezer bags and squeeze out as much air as possible. Once the strawberries are frozen in a flat, single layer, you may relocate the bag to wherever you need it in your freezer.
The strawberries freeze nicely, allowing you to enjoy their summer flavor for longer than you might if you kept them in the fridge. The main drawback is that when strawberries are thawed, they lose their firmness, but there are lots of ways to use them.
Freezing strawberries is a fantastic option. The berries can be stored for several months if properly wrapped. To prevent your strawberries from absorbing smells, use thicker, freezer-safe bags. Also, press out all of the air to prevent freezer burn. Because freezing breaks down the cell walls of the berries, when you defrost them, they will be soft and delicious. Use the thawed or partially frozen berries in smoothies and milkshakes, as well as in baked goods such as cobblers or muffins and strawberry sauce.
Now that you know how to store strawberries and how time-consuming and effective different methods are, you can enjoy these natural delights for longer periods of time. You can also explore alternative ways of utilizing strawberries (like creating a jam), which can help you “use” them for a relatively long time.
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