2 March 2024

Too many grapefruits on hand and worried that some will go bad?

If so, you’re probably wondering: can you freeze grapefruit?

the short answer

You can freeze grapefruit and they freeze well. Wash and peel the fruit, remove the pith and white membranes, and pre-freeze the sections on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and into the freezer.

That’s the quick and dirty answer.

Interested in the details? Here’s what we cover next:

  • how freezing affects fruit (does grapefruit freeze well?)
  • freeze grapefruit step by step
  • ways to defrost fruit
  • using a grapefruit after freezing

keep reading

pre-frozen grapefruit chunks
pre-frozen grapefruit chunks

Can you freeze grapefruit?

Yes, you can freeze grapefruit and they freeze quite well. However, like most fruits and vegetables, grapefruit softens after thawing, so it might not be the best idea to use it in a fruit salad.

(Unless you don’t mind bland chunks of grapefruit in a salad, of course.)

That being said, frozen grapefruits work well in a couple of situations, like smoothies or pies, or you can just juice them.

The recommended method of freezing grapefruit is to freeze it fully prepared to eat. You take care of all the prep before you put them in the freezer and use them immediately after defrosting. Or even without defrosting them at all.

Lastly, make sure you really need to freeze your grapefruit.

A whole grapefruit can last 2 to even 3 weeks in the fridge, so you may still have time to eat your own. If yours is already cut and sectioned, it will keep for only a few days, so freezing it is an easy fix if you can’t eat within that period.

Related: How long do grapefruits last?

Grapefruit pieces before freezing
Grapefruit pieces before freezing

Can you freeze whole grapefruit?

Technically speaking, you can freeze a whole grapefruit, but it’s not something I would recommend. Whole fruit becomes softer after thawing, making it difficult to peel and work with.

(If you’ve ever peeled a soft fruit or vegetable, you know what I’m talking about.)

This is why freezing it after preparation is the recommended approach. As a bonus, freezing grapefruit in sections allows you to thaw just a couple of them without thawing the rest.

How to freeze grapefruit?

This is how to freeze a grapefruit:

  1. Homework. Wash and peel the fruit, then remove the white pith and membranes lining the sections. You want grapefruit sections (whole or not) that are ready to eat. Finally, let the fruit pieces dry on paper towels, trying to remove as much moisture as possible without damaging the grapefruit (be careful).
  2. Pre-freeze. Spread the grapefruit pieces in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet or silicone mat. Try not to touch the pieces too much so they don’t freeze. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 2 to 3 hours or until the pieces are frozen solid. To keep things simple, leave everything in the freezer overnight.
  3. Transfer. Pour the frozen grapefruit chunks into a freezer bag, then squeeze out the air and seal tightly. If you find it useful, add a name and date tag for future reference.
  4. Freeze. Put the bag in the freezer.

frozen grapefruit chunks
frozen grapefruit chunks

That is the approach I recommend. Having the fruit pieces pre-frozen individually allows you to grab just a couple when needed, without thawing them all.

Of course, you can adjust things to your own needs or preferences. For example, if you don’t mind removing your membranes and you never do it before eating, leave them on.

The important thing here is that the fruit pieces are ready to eat straight from the freezer with no further preparation.


There are several ways to peel and cut grapefruit. If you’re frustrated with your current approach, Google a phrase like “how to peel a grapefruit” to see what other people recommend.

Another freezing option is to juice the grapefruit and freeze the extracted juice.

When it comes to how long frozen grapefruit can stay in the freezer, there’s no definitive answer. 2-3 months should be enough time to use without sacrificing as much fruit quality. But of course, the sooner you use it, the better the quality should be.

How to defrost grapefruit?

There are two ways to thaw a frozen grapefruit:

  1. Thaw overnight in the fridge. Transfer the frozen chunks to the refrigerator the night before you need them. Remember to keep them sealed, so if you’re thawing just a couple of segments, put them in a separate airtight container or freezer bag. Also, expect some moisture in the bag or container after the fruit thaws.
  2. Skip thawing and use frozen. In some cases, such as when making a smoothie, you can use frozen grapefruit as is without thawing it first. I recommend going this way whenever possible.

(Yes, I know that skipping defrost is not a real “defrost method”).

Thawed Grapefruit Pieces
Thawed Grapefruit Chunks – Notice the Water Droplets Inside

While not recommended, you can also thaw grapefruit chunks on the counter. Make sure they don’t stay at room temperature for more than an hour or maybe 2 hours and use them immediately after thawing, preferably in a cooked dish.

Using Grapefruit After Freezing It

Here are a couple of ways you can use frozen grapefruit:

  • shakes. If your blender can process ice cubes, you can add frozen grapefruit chunks and you should be fine. If you are unsure or want to play it safe, thaw the chunks first.
  • cakes. Yes, grapefruit juice flavored cakes are a thing and a good option to use up your frozen grapefruit chunks.
  • muffin. like pies, bagels with grapefruit juice are also an option.
  • Marinades. Anytime a marinade recipe calls for lemon or lime juice, you can replace it with some grapefruit juice for a little variety.
Thawed grapefruit added to a smoothie
Thawed grapefruit added to a smoothie


If you plan to use grapefruit in a cake, muffin, or any other baked good, consider freezing some grapefruit zest as well. Many recipes call for it.

If none of the above work for you, think of ways to use lemons or oranges. In many cases, you can substitute grapefruit without affecting the flavor of the dish much.

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