The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
How to make strawberries last longer is a post that puts 2 popular Pinterest methods to the test. See which kept strawberries fresh for 3 weeks!
I love using fresh strawberries, especially in desserts like this No-Bake Strawberry Lasagna.
Table of contents
Strawberry season is here! To kick it off, I did a little experiment. For the past month, I have taken strawberries and tested different methods to make them last longer in the refrigerator.
There was one clear winner. Today, I’m sharing my results with you in this post!
Recently, strawberries at my local grocery store were on sale. Scratch that. They were a steal at $0.88 for a 1-pound container! You better believe I stocked up 14 pounds (yes, pounds).
I have big plans for these berries:
- Easy Strawberry Syrup
- Easy Strawberry Lemonade
- Strawberry Cupcake and Buttercream
- Strawberry Pizza with Bacon
- Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
- Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta
- Avocado Strawberry Spinach Wraps
- Strawberry Shortcake Roll Up Cake
- Dark Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Strawberry Smoothie
- Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberry Topping
- Strawberry Cream Cake
- Strawberries & Cream Cheese Blintzes
- Dark Chocolate Pound Cake with Strawberries and Cream
- Simple Patriotic Cake
- Lime Rice Pudding with Strawberries
- Fruit Spangled Cheesecake Dip
I know that I have to pace myself so I don’t overload my family with strawberries! That’s where this experiment comes in.
As a side note, this would be a fabulous science fair project or experiment to do with kids!
How to Keep Strawberries Fresh
Will strawberries keep longer when kept in their original container, in a glass jar, or teated with a vinegar wash when stored in the refrigerator over a 3 week period? Basically, what is the best way to store strawberries?
I researched two popular Pinterest methods for how to keep strawberries fresh. I used strawberries stored in their original container as the control group.
I then gave some berries a Vinegar Wash and stored them in an open container on top of paper towels in the refrigerator.
For the third and final group, I stored unwashed strawberries using the Glass Jar Method. This is where unwashed strawberries are kept in an air-tight glass canning jar.
If I treat strawberries with a vinegar wash, they will:
A- Keep longer in the refrigerator than berries kept in a glass jar or their original container.
B- Not keep longer in the refrigerator than berries kept in a glass jar but keep longer than berries in their original container.
I used berries from the same 1-pound plastic clamshell to test the two variables and the control. Berries were of varying sizes and generally the same ripeness. Any berries that had begun to spoil, I discarded.
Berries were simply placed in a glass jar, unwashed, and placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Berries were placed in a vinegar wash:
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 5 cups of water
They sat in the vinegar wash for 5 minutes. Then I drained them and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Finally, I placed them in a paper towel-lined bowl and left them uncovered in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Berries were kept in the original packaging, unwashed, and placed in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Week 1 Data:
After one week, I placed all the berries side-by-side and compared them.
Original Container: A little shriveled, but very much still edible.
Vinegar Wash: They look nearly perfect. They have ever so slightly started to shrivel, but they’re perfectly fine.
Glass Jar: They look just as good as the day they went into the jar.
Week 2 Data:
Original Container: Severe shriveling has set in. These berries would only be good for making jam at this point.
Vinegar Wash: The berries have started to shrivel significantly. While they aren’t the prettiest berries, they are still ok to eat.
Glass Jar: These berries a still plump and they have yet to shrivel. I have noticed that they have lost some of their vibrant red color.
Week 3 Data:
Original Container: Shriveling has continued even more. I do not recommend eating these berries.
Vinegar Wash: Shriveling has gotten to the point where these berries would only be good for making jam.
Glass Jar: These berries are still plump and juicy, but they have lost some more of their vibrant red color. Most of the berries tart fine, but a couple has a fermented taste to them.
Storing Strawberries Results:
Glass Jar Method:
The berries look almost like they did three weeks ago. The stems and leaves are still bushy and green.
They are plump, and they have not started to shrivel. They taste good, with a few having a slight fermentation taste to them. This would be a good method for storing strawberries in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
The berries look okay. They’re starting to shrivel quite a bit, and the stem and leaves are beginning to dry out.
They taste fine, but they’re not at all pleasing to the eye. The vinegar wash is a good method for keep strawberries for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Control – Original Container:
The berries have seen better days. They’ve shriveled quite a bit and are inedible by week three, and some strawberries are starting to mold.
The stems and leaves have dried out. They taste over-ripe. This is an ok method of storing strawberries for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
The glass jar method is the clear winner. Strawberries that last three weeks in the refrigerator are a total win!
You can keep these berries for up to three weeks in the refrigerator. The vinegar wash method is fine for keeping the strawberries for 1-2 weeks, and the original container is best for keeping the strawberries for one week.
Strawberries are such a fresh and healthy snack and even a treat! They are delicious in salads, desserts, on pizza (yes!), in a smoothie, and the list goes on and on. Additionally, they are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamin B9. They are great for your heart and blood sugar control.
Strawberries can be left unrefrigerated after cutting them for up to two hours. You will want to put them in the fridge after two hours to help the berries stay fresh and be safe to eat.
However, if you have not cut or washed them, they can sit at room temperature for up to two days. However, storing them at room temperature will not stay fresh for as long as they will by storing them in a glass container in the fridge.
Strawberry Storing Tips:
- Do not remove the stem, and do not wash the strawberries before storing them.
- Use a clean glass jar that’s been washed and dried thoroughly. It needs to have a tight-fitting lid. I like using large mason jars. Large jars like pickle jars are perfect for larger quantities of strawberries, too.
- Discard any spoiled or bruised fruit. Do not put the spoiled ones in the jar with the other strawberries.
- Place the jar in the coldest part of your refrigerator.
- The strawberries will not get moldy using this method. They will, however, start to ferment. They may seem fine, but they aren’t edible if you leave them too long in the refrigerator.
***NOTE: The results will vary based on the ripeness of the fruit when placed into the jar, refrigerator temperature, etc.
This post first appeared on FFF in May 2016. I have since updated the pictures and added a video.
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Barbara Schieving says
I think I’m going to buy a big glass jar just for berries. I’ve never heard this tip before. Thanks!
You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by, Barbara!
What if I already took the stems off wash and cut the meat up. Any suggestions ?
Patti, I’m not sure, but I suspect the berries should still last longer–maybe just for not as long.
Cindy @ Hun... What's for Dinner? says
I love that you did this experiment. The vinegar wash never really impressed me all that much. I will be going with glass jars from now on!
I was really surprised by the results. I thought the vinegar was would be the winner, but it was only slightly better than the control.
Steph @ The Silly Pearl says
Thanks for sharing your experiment! I too had no luck with the vinegar. Another reason to love glass jars!
Exactly, thanks for stopping by Steph! 🙂
Love this! Never would have guessed, but so glad to know glass jars are the best!!
Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
marissa | rae gun ramblings says
perfect timing I am so excited for berry season
swell conditions says
Well I had no idea! I’m going to try the glass jar method myself, thanks and perfect timing – strawberries are in the grocery stores now and at a good price too!
Good to know, and thanks for doing that work of experimenting. I have some strawberries languishing in the fridge right now. I think I’ll go pop them in a jar! Thanks!
I’m impressed!!! Heading down to the kitchen to toss all my strawberries into a jar now!!
Eat Like You Love Yourself says
Interesting! Strawberries don’t last more than a day or two in my fridge if I’m honest but this is a really good idea. I guess the lack of air flow stops drying out.
Eleanor Prior says
Thank you for sharing this I love Strawberries and hate when they go bad so fast. Totally didn’t want to do the vinegar thing either.
You’re so welcome! I didn’t want the vinegar method to be the best either, thank goodness it isn’t!
Sheila Roney says
Is glass the relevant part, or is it more keeping the strawberries in a sealed container. Would Tupperware or a ziploc baggie do the same thing?
Sheila, the glass storage is the most relevant part. Plastic bags and containers are too permeable.
Thanks for the question!
I wonder if they’d last even longer if you did the vinegar wash AND stored them in a glass jar instead of leaving them in an open bowl. Just thought I’d throw that out there … 😉
Donna, I thought the same thing. But I think they’ll start to ferment before getting squishy with this method. Either way, tossing them in a vinegar wash and then in the jars will be my next experiment. 🙂
I have never heard of putting the strawberries in a glass jar! Those results are amazing! I will definitely be starting this…I get so frustrated that we have to eat the strawberries within 1-2 days or they are starting to get squishy! I found you at the Do Tell Tuesday Link UP….I will be sharing your post with my readers!!
Thanks for stopping by, Jamie! And thanks for the share!
Wow can’t wait to try this! I recently bought some large jars for storing dehydrated food, but this idea will certainly help. Thanks
are you going to try this with different berries and fruit?
Hi Peggy! That’s a great idea. I’ll have to try it would with other berries.
I was thinking the same thing. Combining both methods might be the best win. I like having them clean and ready to serve out of the fridge. 88 cents a pound is unbelievable. Up here in Canada $2 a pound is a steal
Oh wow, that’s super expensive!
Betty Terry says
March 17 2016 at 9:00pm. Thank you sooo much for this post! I simply love strawberries and now there is a way to keep them longer!! Awesome!
You’re so welcome, enjoy!
Sam Miller says
I recently read a pin that says the vinegar concentration needs to be 3 parts water to one part vinegar in order to work well, even though many pins recommend a lesser concentration. You may want to try that the next time you experiment! Anyway, I’m going to try the glass jars. thanks for the post.
Thanks for the info. When I go strawberry picking in a few weeks I’ll try the 3:1 ration for the vinegar-water soak and compare it to the glass jar method.
anne rutherford says
hi jillian,i live in the land of oz and it gets very hot on the southern queensland coast.food is hard to keep fresh as it is so hot;its the end of fall here and tomorrow will be the beginning of winter.i had two fans going all night and so far its 4.40pm and i still have one going flat out.i was so happy to see your experiment on pinterest.thanks a million for bothering.it helps a lot.regards,anne
Hi Ann, I am SO glad you found this helpful! 🙂
Thank you for posting this! I was wondering which was better.
Did you happen to test out the glass jar vs the vinegar washed berries in a glass jar?
I did, yes! And the results were just about the same as the berries in the jar.