Strawberries are an excellent, healthy sweet treat. During the summer months, strawberry picking is a fun family activity.
The problem lies when you get home and realize just how many strawberries you picked and you start to wonder what you are going to do with them before they start going bad.
Strawberries are best eaten within 2-3 days in the fridge before they start getting mushy and moldy. However, the FDA says that frozen strawberries can be kept for 12-18 months if frozen correctly.
Let’s go over how to freeze whole strawberries so that you can enjoy those fresh-picked strawberries even in the off months.
How to freeze strawberries Instructions
It is very easy to freeze strawberries and have freshly picked strawberries at your fingertips all year round.
Frozen strawberries are great for smoothies, overnight oats, strawberry rhubarb pie, strawberry milkshakes, and so many other things. Be sure to check your strawberries for signs of spoilage before you freeze them.
There are a few steps to follow so that you are sure to keep your strawberries from freezer burn.
It is important to note that while they keep their amazing flavor when they are frozen they will not defrost as firm strawberries.
They will be soft and even mushy sometimes, but that flavor is sure to still show up. Be sure that your strawberries are nice and ripe before you start.
Before you freeze your whole strawberries you want to give them a good rinse to get off any dirt or bacteria from them. You want to make sure they are nice and clean so that they are ready to use from the freezer.
Just a quick rinse under cold water is enough. Do not soak them because they will become soft and will take away from the juicy sweet flavor.
Once you have them all rinsed place them on a paper towel or dish towel and pat them dry and then allow them to continue air drying. Freeze wet strawberries are just asked for them to get freezer burn.
2. Trim and cut
Start by getting rid of the hull in the strawberries. This is the leafy stem part. There are a few ways you can do this.
- Lightly pull and twist the hull until it lets go.
- Cut into the top and work your way around the leaves to remove them.
- Slice the top of the strawberry where it starts to curve downward.
- You can buy a gadget just for this called a huller. There are a few different types.
If you know what you are going to be using your strawberries for after they are frozen and you want them cut, now is the time to do so.
It is better to have them cut before you freeze them rather than having to thaw them out to cut them up or slice them.
3. Flash freeze
Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and then lay out all of your strawberries, whole or sliced, so that they are not touching.
If you are freezing them whole, I have found that placing them upside down with the flat-cut side on the pan works best so that they aren’t rolling around everywhere.
This will make it easier down the road when you need a handful of strawberries. They won’t be all clumped together in a solid ball especially if you froze them in slices.
Place them in the freezer and leave them overnight so that they are frozen solid.
Now that they are frozen solid you can bag them up together in a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove as much air as possible so that they don’t get freezer burn and last. Check out my post on how to store strawberries to find out how to properly store them so that they last.
And there you have it, frozen strawberries that will last you 12-18 months in the freezer.
If you are into freezing fruit make sure you read my how to freeze blueberries.
You can always use up strawberries by making your own jelly or jam. Have you ever wondered what is the difference between jam and jelly? You can find out right here!
You can also find out how to tell if jelly has gone bad!
How to defrost strawberries
There are a few ways to defrost strawberries. The most common way is by placing them in a leak-proof bowl or container which has been set in a larger bowl of cold water.
This will help them thaw slowly and evenly. Another way to do it is by leaving them at room temperature on a large plate. They should be in a single layer so that they defrost evenly.
How long can you freeze strawberries
You can freeze strawberries for up to one year. The quality of the strawberry will degrade over time, so it is best to eat them as soon as possible.
If you have a chest freezer, strawberries will be stored in a higher quality when defrosted. Frozen strawberries are easier to store than fresh strawberries in the refrigerator because they last longer.
Which strawberries are best to freeze
Different strawberry varieties have different properties. Some are firm, some are soft, some are exceedingly sweet, and some are quite tart. Some are gigantic, and some are minuscule.
Which strawberries are best for freezing?
When selecting a strawberry variety to freeze, the best ones for this preservation method are those that produce firm red strawberries that have a slightly tart flavor. And, of course, always pick fully ripe strawberries to freeze.
How to Freeze Strawberries (4 Easy Steps)
- 1 lb strawberries
- Wash all of your strawberries under cold water to remove any dirt or bacteria that might be on them.Pat them dry and then allow them to air dry on a paper towel or dishtowel.
- Hull the strawberries by cutting off the tops where the green leafy stem is. There are other ways to do this as well by using a hulling tool or cutting around the stem from the top side. It can also be as easy as giving the stem and leaves a little pull and twist and it will pop right off.
- If you choose to freeze your strawberries sliced or cut up into smaller pieces, it is best to do that now before you freeze them
- Lay out your whole or sliced strawberries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space them apart so that they do not freeze together.Freeze overnight or until they are frozen solid.
- Once they are frozen solid place them into a freezer-safe bag or container. Remove as much air as possible and place them back into the freezer. They will last 12-18 months frozen.