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Apr 5, 2006 01:57 PM

Fresh Strawberries in glass jars - two weeks and still perfect

  • r

This really isn't about cooking so I moved it up here to benefit the people who don't follow the Home Cooking board.

I'm not into cooking so I don't follow that board often and I have to think there might be other people like me and would miss this great tip.

A few years ago during the annual post about how to keep strawberries fresh, someone mentioned just putting unwashed strawberries in a glass jar, screwing on the top and putting it in the fridge.

That is it.

I tried it and reported a week ago on Home Cooking that the berries were still perfect. Well, two weeks after purchase, the berries are still perfect.

No, that's not true. The green tops have started to dry out, but other than that ... crispy, sweet berry.

A poster last week said this worked with other berries like raspberries.

I would guess the berries have to be in good condition before going in the jar, no bruised berries.

The caveat is tht these are indestructable supermarket strawberries, but even then, I've never had those berries last two weeks.

Under my old method ... tupperware with berries between two paper towels with the lid sealed ... the berries lasted a week at most before looking tired.

In the glass jars, the berries themselves look as perfect as they did two weeks ago.

I have two berries left, so will report in on week three ... and maybe four?

I did another jar where I put a paper towel on the bottom, but like the tupperware berries, they looked tired after a week, but not as tired as if they were in tupperware.

Again, if this belongs on Home Cooking, I'll be happy to move it there and sorry for the inconvenience, but really this isn't cooking, is it? Although for people like me who have to look up how to boil eggs every Easter, it is as close as I get. Even last week I was a little torn about which board to put it on.

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    Amuse Bouches

    Do you fill the jar with strawberries or only have a single layer on the bottom?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Amuse Bouches

      This is a limited experiment. I thought I would sacrifice eight strawberries if it didn't work out.

      So, I just plopped four strawberries in two jelly jars. No single layer. I don't know why this works. This week the glass jar started to slightly cloud like when your car windshield starts to cloud.

      As soon as it stops raining I'll buy some berries at farmers markets and try this in larger jars ... however, the single serving jelly jars with a half dozen berries might be a good idea.

      The jar is half full now, so it doesn't seem that volume matters.

    2. Do you refrigerate the jar? Thanks.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MMRuth

        Yep. But I might experiment leaving a few on the counter when fresh strawberry season is in full swing and berries are dirt cheap, so to speak.

      2. One strawberry made it successfully three weeks and the other one needed to be tossed.

        However, it seems what happens when strawberries are kept in glass jars is that they continue to ripen.

        The berry that went bad went bad in the way that a strawberry too long on the vine goes bad, not the way that they sort of rot and turn moldy in the fridge.

        This bad berry was just over-ripe.

        This may be the reason that the berries in the jar kept so long. They were early season berries, the type that have spots of white at the top.

        This is just the best way that I've ever found to keep berries. I hope it stops raining someday so I can try it out on farmers market berries. One vendor lost his whole crop because of the rain and hail.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          I will experiment with some fresh berries, 'tis the season, yay! Thanks for posting.

        2. Coming in here years later - I'm trying this method with farmers market strawberries right now, but was wondering if anyone has tried mixing berries, like strawberries and blueberries, say, or if it's best to segregate them. Hope people are still reading this thread - sounds like a great tip.

          4 Replies
          1. re: tvoz

            I've been doing this since the original post and it works wonderfully. Just put a whole quart of strawberries in a glass jar (although I've heard plastic works too, but not taking any chances) and I know it will last for weeks now. I never mix though, but only because I buy everything when it's local and they don't seem to overlap.

            1. re: coll

              Thanks for the reply! I have my beautiful Cape strawberries in the glass jar in the refrigerator and I will be waiting to see what happens. This may be the best food tip I've ever seen!

              1. re: tvoz

                You know, me too. Definitely in the top 10....and it works just about as good with raspberries when the time comes.

                I guess when you seal out the oxygen, it's sort of like a hermetic seal.

            2. re: tvoz

              I've been using Harold McGee's method of giving the berries a hot water bath before storing them in glass dishes. Since the blueberries require a somewhat hotter temperature, I bathe and store them separately. Don't know if the bath versus just storing them in glass prolongs the life of the berries, but I've been having great success with this method so am sticking to it.


            3. Sort of related, if you take your leafy greens and soak them in cool water for 2 hours before putting in the fridge they will last weeks longer.

              I've had lettuce from the grocer go for 6 weeks.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Zalbar

                I get te novelty of all this but buying fresh produce is not meant to be an endurance contest. Even if I could keep strawberries for weeks, why would I want to?

                1. re: ferret

                  So you don't have to throw them out? I buy them by the quart and if I'm not canning them, it takes a while to go through them.

                  1. re: coll

                    I get the not throwing them out part, but it seems to be inconsistent to the fresh produce concept when you're keeping things for weeks at a time.

                    1. re: ferret

                      So should I buy just a dozen strawberries at a time? Or only buy them frozen, since I am not appreciative enough of fresh ;-)?

                      I mostly buy them to make jam, on impulse, then have to keep them in good shape until I get around to it. Meanwhile I love to pick on them too, but can't imagine eating a whole quart in one sitting.

                      They taste as good as the day they were born, by the way, after their glass jar storage. They don't turn into mush or anything. I don't wash them or treat them with vinegar or anything like that either.

                  2. re: ferret

                    I agree, fresh is best, I usually buy several pints at a time and don't hesitate to eat them. Also, I never refrigerate them.

                    1. re: ferret

                      I live alone and buy the large containers of blueberries from Costco. If I don't give them the hot-water bath described above, the berries will start to go moldy after just a couple of days in the fridge. I'm not looking for them to last for weeks, just long enough to eat them all.

                      1. re: ferret

                        for me it's not the novelty. i live alone, so i need my fresh produce to last until i can eat it all.

                        re strawberries: here in massachusetts, the season for native strawberries is short (father's day-4th of july, tops), and rainy (which jepordizes the crop, sometimes wipes it out altogether). so, when i'm able to get native strawberries, storing them in glass jars allows me to get the most out of the.