Should Cherries Be Refrigerated
Cherries are a delicious summer fruit, but they don’t stay fresh for long.
Cherries are delicious summer fruits that don’t last too long once they come off the tree. They can be eaten fresh, but because of their high water content, they are best stored in the refrigerator. If you have more cherries than you can eat in a short amount of time, consider freezing some to enjoy later on in the year. Unsweetened frozen cherries work great for making homemade ice cream or smoothies! You can also dry and preserve your own cherry pits for use later on as well—just make sure to keep them away from children and pets at all times!
Proper storage is key to keeping cherries fresh.
If you don’t have an ideal place to store cherries, the freezer is not your best option. While it can extend the shelf life of fruit, doing so will make them taste less fresh and vibrant. If you’d like to freeze cherries, first wash them thoroughly (do not soak) and then pat them dry with paper towels. Spread the cherries in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for at least two hours before transferring them into a freezer bag or container. Once frozen solid, you can transfer the cherries into another container if desired.
- Store your cherries in an area with low humidity and cool temperatures between 32-42 degrees Fahrenheit (0-5 Celsius). A basement may work as well as an unheated garage or other outbuilding if there’s no air conditioning in your home during hot summer months.* Don’t keep them near apples or pears; these fruits give off ethyl alcohol that causes browning when mixed with cherry juice
Keep cherries dry and cold.
Cherries are best stored in a cool, dry place. The refrigerator is not ideal for cherries because they’re sensitive to cold and can develop mold quickly. Keep cherries in paper bags or airtight containers to prevent them from absorbing moisture and odors from other foods. A cardboard box is another good option for storing cherries; just make sure you leave enough room so that the fruit doesn’t get crushed against the sides when it’s transported.
Don’t wash cherries until you’re ready to eat them.
While cherries are the perfect fruit for snacking on during your work breaks, washing them before putting them in the fridge can actually cause damage to their delicate skin. Washing cherries before storing them in the refrigerator will also cause them to lose some of their flavor and texture.
If you want to store your cherries for an extended period of time, it’s best to leave them out at room temperature so they don’t go bad from being refrigerated too soon. They should last up to five days this way without any adverse affects.
Remove spoiled cherries from the bunch.
You can tell whether or not a cherry is spoiled by smell. If it smells bad, discard it.
If you see mold on the cherry, discard it.
If your cherries are mushy, discard them as well.
Use cherries within a few days after purchase.
Cherries are best eaten within a few days of purchase, as they do not keep well at room temperature. If you’d like to keep them longer, store cherries in the refrigerator or freezer. Both options will help prevent browning and bruising, but freezing is especially beneficial for preserving freshness because it slows down the ripening process.
- Refrigerating cherries: You can refrigerate cherries for up to two weeks once they’ve been purchased from the market or picked yourself. Keep them covered with either plastic wrap or a loose plastic bag that allows air circulation so that mold doesn’t grow on them. Try not to disturb your cherries as much as possible during this time; if you only have one day left before you need them again, consider using another method instead!
- Freezing cherries: For long-term storage (upwards of three months), freeze fresh cherries individually on a tray lined with parchment paper until frozen solid; then transfer those frozen pieces straight into resealable plastic bags and return back into your freezer until ready to use!
Keep cherries cool and dry to keep them fresh for as long as possible
- Keep cherries cool and dry. Like other berries, cherries need to be stored in a cool, dry place to prevent them from spoiling quickly. If you don’t have the space to keep them in your refrigerator, try hanging on to them for as long as possible by storing them in a bowl lined with paper towels—that way any juices that drip won’t make your countertop sticky or messy.
- Don’t wash cherries until you’re ready to eat them. Washing your cherries before storing them is a waste of time because they’ll just get dirty again once they’ve been cut open or eaten whole (in which case they’ll also begin emitting an unpleasant odor). Instead of washing off the natural coating that protects their skin from sunlight and pests, try keeping this coating intact by storing your fresh fruits upside down so it doesn’t rub off into other produce during storage.
- Remove spoiled fruit from the bunch immediately after purchase so it doesn’t spoil all of the rest of your groceries too quickly!