How long do pears last? Should I refrigerate them?
You bought a bunch of pears and you’re not sure how long you can store them until they start to go bad. How long do pears last?
Or maybe you’re not quite sure whether to put the pears you’ve bought in the fridge or leave them in a fruit bowl.
If any sound familiar, this article is for you. In it we cover:
- how many days can you store the pears (hint: it depends on whether they are ripe or not)
- how to speed up the ripening of green pears
- choosing pears at the grocery store based on whether you want to eat them right away or store them for a week or even longer
Interested? Keep reading.
The following information is valid for all types of pears, including Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, and more. It’s okay if you have no idea which one you have on hand.
How long do pears last?
Ripe pears maintain their quality for about 2-4 days in a fruit bowl and 5-10 days in the refrigerator. Green pears generally need 2 days to a week to ripen on the counter. Unfortunately, you never know how long maturation will take.
The most important thing to remember is that pears are picked ripe but not yet ripe ((UP)). And they need some time at room temperature to get ready to eat.
Eating a green pear is not dangerous in any way. The only problem is that your experience may be, well, disappointing.
How do you know if a pear is ripe?
Apply gentle pressure to the neck of the pear (the end of the stem) with your thumb. If it gives in a bit, it’s done ((UP)). If it yields too much, it may be overripe.
This method works because pears ripen from the inside out; if the neck is ready, so is the rest.
Most varieties of pears don’t change much in terms of color during ripening ((UP)), so don’t bother looking for it.
Knowing all that, picking pears at the supermarket or grocery store should be simple.
If you’re looking for one to eat tomorrow (or right after checkout), choose a ripe one. But if you need a couple to eat for the next week, look for ones that are firm or just give a little bit.
|Pear (immature)||2-7 days|
|Pear (ripe)||2-4 days||5 – 10 days|
|Pear (cut)||3-4 days|
How to store pears
Leave green pears at room temperature to ripen. Once ripe, store pears in the refrigerator where they retain quality longer. If you know you’re going to eat that ripe pear in a couple of days, leaving it on the counter is fine.
As I mentioned earlier, the ripening process can take anywhere from two days to a week, or even longer if it’s a super firm pear or it’s relatively cool where you keep it. Fortunately, there is a way to speed up this process.
To ripen pears faster, you can:
- place them in a fruit bowl along with other ripening fruits (eg bananas or apples)
- put them in a brown bag which will help trap some of the ethylene gas (which is responsible for ripening fruits and vegetables)
- combine both
Check the green pears every day or two and take the ripe ones to the fridge.
When it comes to storing cut pears (peeled or not), all you need is an airtight container or freezer bag. Place the fruit pieces in either one, close tightly, and toss in the fridge. They should remain safely there for 3 to 5 days.
How to know if a pear is bad?
Discard pears that:
- They are super soft, wrinkled or oozing water. At this point, the fruit has lost most of its water and is useless. However, you can cut any small soft area.
- They have large brown, rotten or moldy spots. However, feel free to cut the small ones.
- They are cut and refrigerated for more than 5 days. Sure, these can still be good to eat, but doing so is pretty risky. Better safe than sorry.
As usual, going with your gut is the best solution here.
If that pear is on the older side but still looks delicious, go for it. But if you’re not entirely sure the fruit is good, get rid of it.