The Best Ways To Keep Strawberries Fresh

Finding a container of beautiful, ripe red strawberries that are bursting with juicy flavor is often too tempting to pass up. But if you don't plan on eating the strawberries right after you buy them, you need to know the best ways to store them so they keep fresh. Whether you plan to eat them on their own or fresh on desserts like cheesecake or pound cake with whipped cream, there's ways to keep strawberries just about at their best for as long as you need to.

There are quite a few options to prep and store strawberries to extend their shelf life for as long as possible. Depending on how long you plan to keep your strawberries before using them, you can resort to your countertop, the fridge, or even the freezer for long-term storage. But many of these methods require leaving the strawberries un-rinsed because washing them shortens the length of time strawberries are good (via The Kitchn).

Store fresh strawberries on the countertop

Storing your strawberries on your countertop is okay if you plan to use them the same day as you bought them or within two days of placing them there. But there is one thing you should really think through before simply leaving them out on the counter, and that's the ripeness of each individual strawberry inside the container.

There are two ways you can store strawberries on the counter. The first is to remove them from the original packaging while the second is to leave them in the plastic or cardboard box they came in, according to Shari's Berries. But The Kitchn suggests sorting your strawberries before you leave them to sit. Any that are molded will cause the others to spoil faster. So, toss those. Others that are bordering overripe or riper than the rest should be placed toward the top so they can be used first while the others ripen up more.

Keep strawberries in the fridge

Those who plan to use strawberries within a week or two of buying them should plan on keeping them in the fridge. But the method of storing the berries in the fridge will vary depending on how long they need to stay fresh.

To store strawberries for just one week, place them in a single layer inside an airtight container in the fridge. The Food Network suggests placing them on top of paper towels or a clean towel to help absorb moisture and extend their shelf life. Shari's Berries advises cutting the stemmed tops off, but The Kitchn explains that hulling the strawberries may not give good results.

To store strawberries for up to two weeks, you'll need to give them a vinegar wash. Simply soak them in a mixture of one and a half cups of water and a quarter cup of white vinegar for five minutes. Wash off the vinegar bath and dry the strawberries before placing them on a towel in a container with some airflow.

You can freeze strawberries

Those who need to keep strawberries fresh for the longest period of time will need to utilize the freezer. Depending on how you plan to use your strawberries, there are two methods for storing them in the freezer. One option is better when strawberries will be used in things like smoothies while the other is great for ice cream or topping desserts. But both will keep strawberries good for two months to a year, respectively, according to Shari's Berries.

The shorter-term option is to cut the caps off of the strawberries and freeze them whole in an airtight resealable container. You might even want to wrap them in cling wrap before placing them in an airtight container to help prevent freezer burn. Using this method, strawberries will keep for up to two months.

For more preserved frozen strawberries, you can macerate them. Simply rinse the berries and remove their caps. Next, halve or slice the strawberries and add a quarter cup of granulated sugar for every 10 ounces of strawberries you have. Once they are coated well, scoop the sugared strawberries in an airtight container and freeze for up to a year.