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How Long Do Strawberries Last?

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For many, the best fruit ever is a bright red, luscious strawberry straight from the field.

It’s easy to go crazy and buy too many pints of strawberries during the short summer season, leading to the inevitable questions:

How long do strawberries last?

How can I extend their shelf life?

Unfortunately, strawberries have a short shelf life and should be eaten soon after picking. They can be kept fresh in the fridge for three days at most. 

Buying high-quality berries is essential if you want your strawberries to last as long as possible. Look for sturdy, mold-free, perfectly red berries that still have a green stem.

If you love strawberries as much as I do, here’s all you need to know about how long they last and how to store them so that you may enjoy them to the fullest.

Fresh strawberries with leaves on wooden board on the table

How Long Do Strawberries Last?

The shelf life of strawberries depends on a wide variety of factors; the following is just an estimate (FDA).

At Room TemperatureStrawberries with stems will last for 2 to 3 days.
Strawberries that have been cut only last a few hours.
In the RefrigeratorStrawberries with stems will last for 5 to 7 days.
Strawberries that have been cut only last for 3 to 4 days.
In the Freezer8 to 12 months.
bowl of strawberries in the kitchen counter at a room temperature

How Long Do Strawberries Last at Room Temperature?

Strawberries have the best flavor when served at room temperature, but they last only a short time under these conditions.

If you want to enjoy deliciously ripe strawberries, you should consume them as soon as possible after purchasing them, ideally within a day or two.

Pick berries free of blemishes, mold, and other damage if you want them to last as long as possible. 

If you just got home with a basket of strawberries, check them over and throw out any mushy, browning, or otherwise unhealthy ones. 

If you leave rotting strawberries in the basket, the mold they produce will quickly spread to the other strawberries and ruin them all.

Use These Guidelines to Extend Their Usable Life:

  • Freshly picked strawberries should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent premature spoilage.
  • High temperatures and humidity can hasten the spoilage of strawberries and should be avoided.
man taking a strawberry from a plate of fruit in the fridge

How Long Do Strawberries Last in the Refrigerator?

Strawberries have a typical fridge life of 3–7 days if stored correctly. Low temperatures slow the ripening process, giving you a day or two more than if you left the berries on the table.

Before putting berries in the fridge, you should always check them for mold and other signs of spoilage.

They should be stored on a single layer of paper towels in a low container with the stems still attached and not washed before being placed in the refrigerator.

This will help drain any extra moisture from the fruits and keep them from getting crushed.

Then you can store the container in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

You can also reduce the rate at which your berries spoil by giving them a short rinse in a solution of white vinegar and water (one part vinegar to three parts water) before storing them in the fridge.

When you want to enjoy the full flavor of your berries, take them out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes before using them.

Frozen strawberry with crystals of ice in the freezer

How Long Do Strawberries Last in the Freezer?

Without a doubt, strawberries are freeze-able. Unlike some other fruits, strawberries can be frozen in various forms, including whole, sliced, or crushed.

Strawberries that have been frozen should maintain their quality for 10 to 12 months.

How to Freeze Strawberries 

  1. When freezing fresh strawberries, it’s preferable to remove the green stalks first. 
  2. Wash the fruit and pat it dry with paper towels to eliminate extra moisture. 
  3. Place the berries in one layer on a big sheet pan covered with paper.
  4. Put the sheet with strawberries in the freezer and wait until they are frozen.
  5. Next, place the frozen strawberries in a sealed container and place them again in the freezer.

Remember that thawed strawberries will look darker and have a softer texture, so it’s better not to use them for decoration, but feel free to use them in any other way you see fit!

Instead of freezing plain strawberries, you might freeze strawberries with sugar. 

Prepare the strawberries by washing, drying, and cutting them into slices. Simply toss them in the sugar and place the resulting sugared slices in a freezer-safe container.

Besides giving the berries an extra sweet taste, the sugar crystallizes in the freezer to reduce freezer burn.

frozen strawberries in white bowl with crystal of ice on the background

How to Defrost Strawberries

Frozen strawberries can be used in any recipe that calls for fresh strawberries, including smoothies, milkshakes, cooking, and baking.

However, frozen, hard fruits aren’t always the best option in the kitchen.

Defrost Strawberries in the Refrigerator

Place the container of frozen strawberries in the refrigerator for several hours to allow for a slower thawing process and, therefore, the best flavor and texture.

Defrost Strawberries in Cold Water

Your other choice is to put the berries in a bowl of cold water and leave them at room temperature. If they haven’t thawed after ten minutes, remove the ice and cold water and start over.  

Defrost Strawberries in the Microwave

If you’re in a rush to cook, use the defrost setting on your microwave.

Put the strawberries on a paper towel in a single layer, leaving some space between each one. 

It will take 60 seconds to defrost larger berries and 30 seconds for smaller ones.

Strawberries with mold on the table, rotten strawberries

Why Do Strawberries Mold So Quickly?

Unlike other fruits you may be familiar with, strawberries do not ripen after being picked. Bananas are an excellent example because they ripen on our kitchen counter after being purchased green.

Because of this, once picked, strawberries should be consumed immediately. So, the longer the strawberry waits in the store, the less time we have to enjoy its sweet flavor.

Mold and moisture are the main problems. Strawberries take in a lot of water from their surroundings because their skin is thin and porous.

Also, strawberries are high in water, and their delicate skin bruises easily, making the fruit susceptible to mold.

Final Thoughts

Eventually, all fruits and vegetables go bad, but how quickly they do so varies by type. 

Strawberries won’t last more than a few days at room temperature. Unfortunately, their soft skin will swiftly perish if you don’t store these berries in the fridge or freezer.

Check for white or gray mold, bruises, mushiness, loss of color, or an unpleasant odor as indicators that strawberries have become rotten.

Strawberries can last for up to a week in the fridge if stored properly.

However, fresh strawberries should be eaten promptly after purchase for optimal quality. 

Freezing them is the most effective way to extend the period before they spoil.