How To Keep Strawberries Fresh

Nothing says summer like a fresh batch of bright red strawberries — bonus points if you picked them up at your local farmers' market! This vibrant fruit is actually a member of the rose family, via The Spruce Eats, and strawberries are typically in season in June but are available year-round in most grocery stores.

No matter what time of year you're purchasing the fruit, you might constantly find yourself running into one problem: It's hard for strawberries to keep fresh for more than a few days. This could be even more difficult with organic strawberries, which don't involve any chemicals and could be more susceptible to quicker rot, per Organic Authority.

Most strawberry containers at the grocery store weigh about one pound, and it can be a struggle to eat them all before they go bad. If you're looking to preserve those berries for as long as possible, there are a few tips and tricks that just might extend the shelf life.

Vinegar bath

The tried-and-true method for getting the most out of those berries is giving them a quick vinegar bath. According to The Kitchn, an experiment of soaking the berries in vinegar, then drying them in a salad spinner, kept nearly all of the berries perfectly fresh for at least seven days.

Here's how to do it: Dunk the berries in a solution made from one part vinegar and three parts water. (So, 1 cup of the solution would equal 1/4 cup vinegar and 3/4 cup water.) Then, drain the berries and thoroughly dry them. The Kitchn suggests adding paper towels to a salad spinner and drying them in that manner to remove as much liquid as possible. From there, simply store the berries in a container with a loose lid (the lid should be on, but not sealed), and enjoy having fresh berries all week. To make sure they're dry, place them on a paper towel in their storage container, too.

Use paper towels or the original container

The paper towel method doesn't only have to be used in tandem with the vinegar method. If you're not crazy about putting vinegar on your berries (though So Yummy suggests it doesn't affect the taste), then using only a paper towel might be the next-best solution. However, if you take this route, do not pre-wash the strawberries prior to storing them, since moisture will help them go bad more quickly, per AllRecipes.

Simply transfer the strawberries from their carton to a container lined with a paper towel, seal it with a lid, and refrigerate. Then, wash them and slice them as needed. Though this method didn't work quite as well as the vinegar method, per The Kitchn, it still kept roughly 80% of the strawberries from spoiling within that seven-day period.

The Kitchn reports that storing the berries in the container they were purchased in might be an even better method than the former (it kept about 85% of berries fresh after one week). The most important step in this method is to first remove any strawberries that have already started to go bad. Keep only the freshest ones, and place them back in their carton and into the refrigerator.