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How to Store Strawberries Including in the Fridge After Washing

how to store strawberries and extend their shelf life

There are many things to consider when it comes to strawberry storage and shelf life. What is the best way to keep strawberries once picked, or do you bring them home from the store?

This post will help answer most of your questions on how to store strawberries including in the fridge after washing.

Proper Storage Techniques for Fresh Strawberries

When learning how to store strawberries in the fridge after washing, it’s essential to ensure they stay fresh and mould-free. Start by washing the fresh strawberries in a vinegar solution made from one part white vinegar and three parts cold water.

This helps eliminate bacteria and mould spores. After washing, rinse them thoroughly with cold water to remove any vinegar taste. Use a salad spinner or clean paper towels to dry the strawberries completely, as excess moisture can lead to mould growth.

Optimal Storage Containers for Freshness

Once your strawberries are dry, place them in a storage container lined with paper towels. A glass container or an airtight container works best to keep the berries fresh for an extended period. Ensure the strawberries are in a single layer to prevent bruising and keep the berries firm.

You can also use glass mason jars for smaller batches. Avoid storing them in the original container, as it may not provide adequate air circulation. Regularly check for any mouldy berries and remove them to prevent the spread of mould.

Preventing Mold and Extending Shelf Life

For long-term storage, consider freezing your strawberries. Spread the berries on a baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze them. Then, transfer them to freezer bags. This method prevents freezer burn and keeps the berries nice and firm.

If you prefer to keep your strawberries in the fridge, use a paper towel-lined container. It will absorb extra moisture and help keep the berries fresh longer. Always inspect the strawberries for spoilage signs. These include dark or mushy spots. Do this before storing them.

Storing strawberries in the refrigerator

Strawberries start to spoil after being picked if they are not stored properly. To maintain the freshness and quality of strawberries, they should be refrigerated. They need to be consumed within a few days of picking.

Here are some steps to keep your strawberries fresh:

Inspect and Remove: Before storing, check the strawberries for any signs of mould, bruising, or spoilage. Remove any damaged or spoiled berries to prevent them from affecting the others.

Don't Wash Until Use: Avoid the temptation to wash your strawberries. It's best to wait to wash strawberries until you're ready to eat or use them. Moisture can accelerate spoilage, so keeping them dry is essential.

Ventilated Container: Place the unwashed and dry strawberries in a shallow, breathable container. You can use a container with holes or slots for ventilation or a produce storage bag designed to allow airflow. Keeping them in the plastic punnet is fine if it has ventilation holes.

Paper Towel: Optionally, you can line the bottom of the container with a clean, dry paper towel. This can help absorb excess moisture and maintain the freshness of the strawberries.

Gentle Handling: Handle the strawberries gently to avoid bruising, which can lead to quicker spoilage.

Cool Temperature: Store the container of strawberries in the coldest part of your refrigerator. This is often the crisper drawer. The temperature should be around 0°C to 4°C (32°F to 40°F) for optimal freshness.

Regular Check: Check the strawberries periodically for any signs of mould or spoilage. If you notice any strawberries starting to go bad, remove them promptly to prevent the spread of mould.

Stem On: It's generally recommended to keep the stems on the strawberries until you're ready to use them. This helps minimise moisture exposure and maintain freshness.

Avoid Stacking: Avoid stacking too many strawberries on each other. Stacking can lead to bruising and increased moisture build-up.

Use Quickly: While proper storage can extend the shelf life, strawberries are best enjoyed within a few days of buying. Put them at the front of the shelf where they will catch your eye so you remember to eat them.

Can strawberries be frozen?

how to store strawberries and extend their shelf life

Yes, strawberries can be frozen. This will extend their shelf life and preserve their freshness. Here's a simple process for freezing strawberries:

Selecting Strawberries: Choose ripe, firm, and blemish-free strawberries for freezing. Remove any stems or leaves.

Washing: Gently wash the strawberries under cool running water to remove dirt or debris. Pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Prepping: Remove the green stems from the strawberries. Depending on your preference, you can either hull the strawberries, or leave them intact. Hulling meant to remove the green stem and the surrounding white core.

Slicing (optional): You can slice the strawberries into halves or quarters or leave them whole. Sliced strawberries may be more convenient for specific recipes or serving purposes.

Flash Freezing:

  1. Arrange the prepared strawberries in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

  2. Make sure the strawberries are not touching each other.

  3. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the strawberries until they are solid, usually for 2 to 3 hours.


  1. Transfer the strawberries into airtight freezer bags or containers once fully frozen.

  2. Label the bags or containers with the date and contents.

  3. Remove any excess air from the bags before sealing to minimise freezer burn.

  4. For longer-term storage, you can double-bag the strawberries for added protection.

Freezing Time: Frozen strawberries can be stored in the freezer for up to 8 to 12 months. They are best consumed within the first 6 months for optimal flavour and quality.

Frozen strawberries can be used in smoothies, baked goods, sauces, jams, or thawed and enjoyed as a frozen treat. The texture of strawberries will change slightly after freezing, becoming softer.

Dehydrating strawberries

Dehydrating strawberries removes moisture and extends their shelf life. You can use a food dehydrator or an oven set to a low temperature to dry out the strawberries until they are leathery in texture.

Dehydrated strawberries have a significantly longer shelf life than fresh strawberries. Drying removes most of the moisture that can lead to spoilage. Dehydrated strawberries can last for several months to even a year when stored properly.

Here are some general guidelines for storing dehydrated strawberries:

Dry and Airtight Containers: Use containers like glass jars, vacuum-sealed bags, or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. The containers are completely dry before adding the dehydrated strawberries. This will prevent moisture from causing them to rehydrate and spoil.

Cool and Dark Storage: Store the containers of dehydrated strawberries in a cool, dark place. Exposure to heat and light can degrade the quality of the strawberries over time.

Temperature: The storage temperature for strawberries should be below room temperature. Aim for temperatures around 10°C (50°F) or lower if possible. A pantry, cellar, or dedicated food storage area can be suitable.

Avoid Humidity: This is important. Ensure the storage area is dry and free from humidity, as any moisture can lead to spoilage or mould growth.

Regular Inspection: Even though dehydrated strawberries have a long shelf life, it's a good practice to periodically inspect them. Look for any signs of moisture, mould, or off odours. If you notice any of these signs, discard the affected strawberries.

Label and Date: Label the containers with the date of dehydration. This will help you keep track of the storage duration and ensure you use the oldest strawberries first.

Preserves or Jams

how to store strawberries and extend their shelf life

Another way to store strawberries is by making preserves, jams, or sauces. Cooking the strawberries with sugar and other ingredients can create a tasty spread that can be stored in sterilised jars.


Canning is preserving strawberries in jars. It uses heat to kill bacteria, yeasts, and moulds. This method requires proper equipment and safe canning practices to ensure food safety.

Home-Canned Jams: Jams that have been appropriately canned at home using a water bath or pressure canner can last about 1 to 2 years. They need to be stored in a cool, dark place. Follow safe canning practices to ensure the jars are properly sealed and the contents are free from contaminants.

Opened Jars: Once a jar of jam is opened, its shelf life will be shorter. Most opened jams will remain suitable for 6 to 12 months if stored in the refrigerator. Keep the lid tightly sealed to prevent mould growth and moisture infiltration.

Preserves with Lower Sugar Content: Jams and preserves with lower sugar content might have shorter shelf life than those with higher sugar content. The sugar in jams acts as a preservative, so jams with less sugar might spoil more quickly. Refrigerate these jams and use them within a few months.

Fruit-Only Jams: Jams made solely from fruit without added sugar or preservatives might have a shorter shelf life, even when properly refrigerated. These jams should be consumed within a few weeks to a few months. Keep an eye out for any mould.

Natural Fruit Spreads: Natural fruit spreads made without added sugar rely on natural pectin and have a shorter shelf life. These should also be used and stored in the refrigerator within a few weeks to a few months.

Will strawberries ripen after being picked?

Strawberries do not ripen further after being picked. They should be fully ripe when harvested for optimal taste and texture. Strawberries should be allowed to ripen on the plant before being harvested.

Will strawberries ripen on the counter?

 No, strawberries do not ripen further after they have been picked. It does not matter whether you keep them on the counter or in the refrigerator. Once strawberries are harvested, their level of ripeness and flavour remains stable. If you do leave them out, they will not ripen, but the texture will become less firm. It will not make them sweeter.

Conclusion to How to Store Strawberries Including in the Fridge After Washing

Strawberries can be enjoyed all year round if you know how to store strawberries and extend their shelf life. If all this reading about strawberries has you wanting to cook, read my recipes in the recipe section for inspiration.


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