Freshly picked strawberries pack immense flavor, but they will not last long at room temperature. Learn the best way to store strawberries in your refrigerator.

How to Store Fresh Strawberries

If you want to extend the shelf life of your strawberries, you will need to transfer them to your refrigerator. The best way to do this is to store them in a single layer in an airtight container according to the following steps.

  1. Wash strawberries only when you’re ready to eat them. Washing strawberries immediately exposes them to moisture, and moisture on fresh berries makes them moldy. Refrigerate unwashed strawberries and only wash berries right before eating them.
  2. Keep them as whole berries. Whole strawberries will resist spoilage longer than cut-up strawberry pieces. Keep the whole basket just like you picked them from the field or found them at the grocery store or farmers’ market, and leave their green-leaf tops intact.
  3. Line a plastic or glass container with paper towels. These paper towels will absorb moisture and keep your berries from getting moldy.
  4. Place the strawberries in a single layer inside the container. If you can fit all of your strawberries into one container, that makes things easy. If you need multiple containers to preserve that single layer, don’t hesitate to use more than one. Of course, you can stack strawberries on top of one another (just like they’re found in their original container), but this enables mold to spread rapidly from berry to berry. Consider layering a paper towel between layers to minimize moisture and contact.
  5. Tightly seal the container and place it in the refrigerator. Dry, airtight strawberries should last in the refrigerator for seven days or longer. For the freshest flavor, however, you’ll want to eat them sooner than that.

Does a Vinegar Bath Keep Strawberries Fresh?

Some home chefs believe strawberries hold up best when first submerged in a mixture containing one cup of white vinegar and two cups of water. You then rinse the berries in a colander to remove the vinegar residue and smell. Other chefs claim this method, while good for preventing mold, wilts berries and makes them taste a bit duller. Experiment during strawberry season and see if you prefer this method.

How to Freeze Strawberries

Frozen strawberries taste delicious in ice cream or in smoothies with raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. You can also thaw frozen strawberries and include them in a cupcake mix or bake them into a rhubarb pie. Unlike fresh strawberries stored in the fridge, you should wash berries before freezing them. Let them air dry and then arrange them on a paper-lined baking sheet that you slide into the freezer for initial freezing. After a few hours, take them out and transfer them to freezer bags for long-term storage. Frozen strawberries can easily last six months in the freezer.