Biting into a garden-fresh strawberry is a sure sign that summer has arrived. Celebrate by picking your own or grabbing a cardboard pint (or two!) from your local farmers market. If you can resist gobbling them up in one go, reserve them to make one of our most irresistible recipes. (Hello, creamy, dreamy shortcake!)
But what to do once you’ve had your fill? Surely, you wouldn’t want any of these summer glories go to waste! That’s where the Taste of Home Test Kitchen can help. We’ve seen our fair share of strawberries and have devised the best tips and methods for keeping them fresher, longer—because no one wants to open the fridge to a science experiment instead of fruit!
How to Keep Strawberries Fresh
Before you put them away, follow these tricks to keeping strawberries farm-fresh for as long as possible.
When buying strawberries, search for the plumpest and most fragrant berries you can find. They should be firm, bright and fresh-looking, with no mold or bruised spots.
Don’t wash them (yet).
Save the washing until you’re ready to use them. Strawberries stay fresh longer if unwashed, with stems on, in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator. Strawberries soak up moisture from washing, which can make them spoil in a hurry. It’s not a long way from wet berries to moldy berries.
How to Store Strawberries
Stash berries in the fridge, preferably in the crisper—yes, it’s time to learn the right way to use your crisper drawer. This drawer controls moisture, so berries won’t dry out. To keep them from going the other direction and getting too damp, tuck a paper towel in the container of berries to absorb excess moisture.
The best way to prevent strawberries from spoiling? Enjoy them while they’re fresh! If you’re going to use your berries right away, leave them at room temperature for the best flavor.
If you got quite the haul from a local U-pick farm, here are the best ways to freeze strawberries.