1 December 2023

This is all about freezing fresh pineapple. Learn how to freeze pineapple, what to expect after thawing it, and the best ways to use it.

Do you have too much pineapple on hand and want to freeze some? Can pineapple be frozen?

the short answer

Pineapple freezes well. It softens and loses some water in the process, so it works best in smoothies and cooked or baked dishes. Cut the pineapple into chunks, pre-freeze on a cookie sheet, transfer to a freezer bag, and return to the freezer.

That is the gist of it.

Want to learn more? Here’s what we cover next:

  • what to expect after freezing and thawing pineapple
  • freeze pineapple step by step
  • defrost the fruit
  • ways to use a frozen pineapple
  • additional questions about the freezing process

Interested? keep reading

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pineapple chunks in a freezer bag

Does pineapple freeze well?

Pineapples freeze well. Like other fruits, they lose some water and become noticeably softer after thawing.

(There’s a photo of what it looks like later in the article.)

Due to the change in texture, thawed pineapple doesn’t work as well in fruit salads, dips, and other dishes that require the fruit to be firm. For them, fresh (or canned) pineapple is a much better option.

But there are also a ton of recipes where you can use both frozen and thawed pineapple. These include not just smoothies, but also most baked goods and even cooked dishes where fruit is part of the sauce.

Every time pineapple is cooked or baked, it loses its firmness anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you use a fresh, firm pineapple or a thawed, soft one. The resulting dish will, in most cases, taste much the same.

And that’s why I recommend using frozen pineapple only in those types of dishes.

Simply put, you can easily find a way to use any pineapple you freeze. And if you’re looking for concrete ideas, there’s a list of recipes later in the article to get you started.

Last but not least, pineapples don’t keep as long, so the sooner you freeze them, the better.

Related: How long does pineapple last?

Now, let’s talk about the whole process.

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pineapple chunks before pre-freezing

how to freeze pineapple

Here’s a quick and versatile process for freezing pineapple:

  1. Homework. Cut the crown and the base, peel the skin and remove the core. Then slice the pineapple and cut it into chunks or whatever is most convenient for you. If you don’t already know how you will use the pineapple, I suggest cutting each slice into 5-6 chunks. If the pineapple is wet (eg, has leftovers from a can), let it dry or use paper towels to pat it dry (reasonably).
  2. Pre-freeze. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and spread out the pieces in a single layer. Make sure the pieces don’t freeze together (ie a little touch is fine, but no big lumps). Then place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours, or until the pieces are frozen.
  3. Transfer to a freezer bag. Take the cookie sheet out of the freezer, break up any pieces that were frozen, and transfer the fruit to a freezer bag. Remember to squeeze out the air before sealing it tight. Feel free to add a name and date tag if you find it helpful.
  4. Freeze. Put the freezer bag in the freezer.

That’s all. The entire process shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, not including the time you wait for the pineapple chunks to freeze.

Now, you may have some follow-up questions about the process. Let’s cover those.

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Pineapple ready for long term freezing

How long can pineapple be frozen?

I recommend using your frozen pineapple within three months of freezing for the best quality.

As you probably know, the longer a food sits in the freezer, the worse its quality will be. And that’s why I think giving a specific period to target is helpful.

Of course, if your pineapple stays in the freezer for another month (or five), it won’t go bad. The worst that could happen is that its quality is a little worse. And if you put it in a smoothie, you’ll never know.

Do you have to pre-freeze it?

No, you don’t.

Pre-freezing is great because it allows you to store all the chunks together and still have as many as you need when you need them. That helps a lot if you don’t have any specific plans for frozen pineapple and want to take it on the go.

But if you already know how much pineapple you’ll use for a specific recipe, feel free to skip pre-freezing. Instead, measure the serving into a separate freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and freeze.

In that scenario, pre-freezing doesn’t help, so there’s no point in doing so.

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Pre-frozen pineapple chunks

How to defrost pineapple

Thaw the pineapple overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer as many pieces as you need to a freezer bag or airtight container and refrigerate for 6+ hours.

There will be some water after the pineapple thaws, so if you’re using a bag to thaw it, make sure it’s leak-proof. Otherwise, you’ll end up with spilled water on a refrigerator shelf. Alternatively, you can put that bag on a plate, just to be safe.

Then remember that the more fruit you are defrosting, the more time you will need. So if you’re thawing a whole bag that you need the next morning, start the process early so the pineapple has plenty of time to warm up.

As I mentioned, after the pineapple is thawed, you will see a lot of pineapple chunks and a bit of water in the container or bag. This is what mine looked like:

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Thawed pineapple chunks: note that there is a lot of humidity

For most dishes, you can drain the water and follow the recipe as if you were using fresh pineapple.

Last but not least, sometimes you can skip defrosting.

In smoothies, for example, frozen fruit works perfectly fine, assuming your blender can handle it. The same goes for many dishes that are cooked on the stovetop, where you simply need to cook them for a few more minutes to allow the pineapple to thaw and heat through.

Knowing all that, let’s talk about how you can use frozen pineapple.

Ways to Use Frozen Pineapple

Here are some types of dishes that frozen pineapples work well in:

  • shakes. There are hundreds of recipes online; use Google if you don’t already have a favorite.
  • muffin. Bagels are probably my favorite way to consume frozen fruit. here is a recipe to get you started
  • pineapple cake. Tarts are also a great option for frozen fruit and (sometimes) vegetables. Here is a recipe for you to check out. As a bonus, many cakes freeze well, for example, pumpkin pie freezes very well.
  • Other baked goods. The two options above are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are hundreds of options for pineapple baked goods. Here is one more recipe.
  • pork chops. Pineapples aren’t just used in sweet baked goods, they work in savory dishes as well.
  • chicken stir fry. Here’s another example of something you could make for dinner using that frozen pineapple.

Of course, the above list is by no means complete. In fact, it’s relatively short with just a handful of examples to get you started.

If you’re looking for more, you can find hundreds of recipes after some googling.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freezing Pineapples

Can you freeze a whole pineapple?

Yes, in theory, but it’s a much worse method than freezing it in chunks. Here’s why it’s bad:

  • the crown takes up a lot of space in the freezer (unless you cut it up)
  • cutting and peeling pineapple after thawing is a pain because everything is mushy
  • you have to defrost everything at once instead of defrosting only what you need
  • defrosting would take more than 12 hours (if not longer) for a large pineapple

As you can see, the recommended method is a much better option, and I suggest you stick with it.

If you don’t have time to cut and freeze the pineapple today, you can always do it tomorrow. Just make sure the fruit sits in the fridge.

Related: How to store pineapple?

Can canned pineapple be frozen?

You can freeze leftovers from a can of pineapple using the same method I described earlier in this article. But if you’re considering freezing an unopened can of pineapple, know that that doesn’t make much sense.

First of all, most canned foods will last for months, if not years, after the expiration date printed on the label, so getting close to the expiration date is not an issue. You still have plenty of time to use it.

Second, since pineapples are always in water, juice, or syrup, you risk the can exploding in the freezer if you freeze it whole. And you probably don’t want to clean up that mess.

If you feel you must freeze that canned pineapple, open it up, remove the liquid (or freeze it separately if you need it for a recipe), and follow the recommended freezing method.

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