27 November 2023

Bought a bag of kiwis and aren’t sure the proper way to store them? Do kiwis need to be refrigerated?

the short answer

You should store green kiwis at room temperature until ripe and subject to gentle pressure. Ripe kiwis only last a couple of days at room temperature, and more than a week if you refrigerate them.

That’s kiwi storage 101. Now, let’s get into some details, including:

  • know if your kiwi is ripe or not, and how to speed up the ripening process
  • store kiwis both in the fridge and outdoors
  • handling of cut kiwis
  • choose kiwis when buying

Sounds interesting? keep reading

Kiwi cut in half
Kiwi cut in half

How to know if a kiwi is ripe?

A green kiwi is firm to the touch and is best allowed to ripen before eating. A ripe kiwi, on the other hand, will give a bit if you squeeze it gently.

(The same rules apply to many other fruits, including mangoes or avocados.)

Kiwi (another name for kiwi) is usually harvested unripe, so it’s usually firm to the touch when a new batch arrives at the grocery store.

In addition to allowing more time for fruits to reach supermarkets, harvesting and transporting them while they’re still firm ensures they stay nice and bruised-free at the end of their journey.

Now that you know the difference between a mature and immature kiwi, you may be wondering how to ripen your immature kiwi faster. Let’s address that.

How to accelerate the ripening of kiwi?

If you go with that tactic, be sure to check the kiwi you’re ripening at least twice a day. You don’t want it sitting in that ethylene-rich environment any longer than necessary so that its storage time isn’t significantly shortened.

In general, it’s best to just buy ripe kiwis if you know you’ll need them soon. See the section on buying kiwi for more tips.

Kiwi and apple in freezer bag
Accelerating ripening: kiwi and apple in a freezer bag

How to store kiwis?

Store your green kiwis at room temperature, in a ventilated bag or fruit bowl, away from any ethylene-producing fruit. Once the kiwis are ripe, transfer them to the refrigerator and place them in a freezer bag or crisper.

That’s the best course of action in most cases, but you may need to change things up a bit depending on your needs.

What you need to keep in mind is that storing a green kiwi in the fridge is also an option. Doing so will slow down the ripening process significantly, and such a kiwi could last up to a month in the refrigerator.

Related: How long do kiwis last?

So if you took too much advantage and bought too many kiwis, all is not lost. Just stick those kiwis in the fridge and remove a couple every few days so they ripen quickly and are ready to eat.

When it comes to storing kiwis in a sealed bag or in the crisper, the idea here is simple. Either option ensures that the fruit sits in a moist environment, preventing premature loss of water.

In other words, it helps the kiwi last a little longer before it starts to show signs of moisture loss.

Last but not least, ripe kiwis retain their quality for a few days if you leave them at room temperature. So if you know you’re going to eat them in a day or so, you don’t have to bother refrigerating them.

kiwi container
Kiwi container, check that it is ventilated, so that they do not ripen too quickly

Do kiwis need to be refrigerated?

You should refrigerate your ripe kiwis so that they last as long as possible. The only exception is when you know you are going to use them soon; you can leave them on the counter if that is the case.

For green kiwis, you can refrigerate them if you want to extend their shelf life, but you should leave them on the counter if you want them to ripen.

Now, you may have wondered if you can cut the kiwi ahead of time. Let’s talk about it.

How to store cut kiwi?

If you have cut your kiwi, you should place it in an airtight container or bag and refrigerate it. And if possible, keep the skin thin and brown so the fruit doesn’t dry out as quickly.

If only one side of the fruit is exposed (for example, if you cut it in half), position the kiwi so that the exposed area touches the container or bag. That’s another way to slow down moisture loss.

Alternatively, you can use one of those silicone food covers if you haven’t peeled the kiwi yet.

Lastly, expect that after a day or two in storage, the kiwi will darken and soften where exposed, and you may need to cut off some of the fruit before eating the rest.

How to buy kiwis?

When buying kiwis, consider the following:

  • Choose the ones that do not have wrinkles. Wrinkled skin means moisture loss, which means the fruit is quite old. Obviously, you don’t want to buy old kiwis.
  • Look for bruises. When choosing kiwis, look for blemishes and weak spots. Both are signs that the fruit is overripe and probably not a good buy.
  • Choose ripe or green kiwis depending on your needs. If you need the fruit to be ready for consumption immediately, choose ripe specimens. Otherwise, choose firm kiwis that you can ripen when needed, or choose a mix to have some ready to eat and some that will be ripe in a couple of days.

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