How long do raspberries keep and what is the best way to store them?
Have you bought a pack of raspberries and wondered how long they will last? How long do raspberries really last?
Or maybe you’re not sure if you should refrigerate raspberries or how best to store them, based on your circumstances.
If that sounds familiar, this article is for you. In it, we will cover:
- the shelf life of raspberries – how long they keep, depending on where you keep them
- storing raspberries: let them sit on the counter instead of refrigerating them
- freezing: when it makes sense to freeze raspberries and what is the easiest way to do it
- signs of deterioration
Interested? Let’s dive in.
How long do raspberries last?
Raspberries keep for a couple of hours on the counter, or 2-3 days if you refrigerate them. If you need more time than that, freezing is your best bet.
Raspberries mold and puree quickly, so you only have one or two ((MF)), sometimes up to three days from the time you get home with the package.
To make sure your raspberries actually last those two days and don’t develop mold overnight, choose the best ones available.
To do that, inspect the top, bottom, and sides of the package, and look for signs of moisture, soft or discolored berries, or mold. If either is present, move to another package.
Clamshell containers allow you to see exactly what’s going on inside, thus allowing you the most control over what you’re buying.
If there’s a single bad (or spoiled) raspberry in the bin, you can still buy it. Just remember to get rid of that specimen once you get home.
|raspberries||eat in a few hours||2-3 days||6+ months|
How to store raspberries
Store unwashed raspberries in their original container in the refrigerator. Avoid letting them sit in the back of the refrigerator because it’s too cold for the fruit. To make sure you eat them before they go bad, keep them at the front of a shelf, where you’ll see them often.
Leaving these berries on the counter is an option only if you are going to eat them in a couple of hours. Otherwise, you should refrigerate the raspberries ((MF, OSU)).
When it comes to packaging, the container they come in is usually the best option.
If you need to package your raspberries, use a shallow container or box with holes to allow air circulation. A shallow container prevents the raspberries on top from crushing the ones on the bottom ((MF, OSU)). If you don’t have one, use a plastic bag and poke a few holes in it.
So that your raspberries last longer, sort fruits once you get home and discard any that are discolored, soft, or moldy. This way the rot will not spread and most of the berries will still be intact tomorrow.
As with strawberries or blueberries, be careful when handling raspberries, as they bruise easily. And berries that are bruised today usually end up in the trash tomorrow.
Do not wash raspberries before refrigerating. Any remaining moisture on the surface of the fruit shortens its life and increases the chance of mold growth.
If you research raspberry storage long enough, you’ll no doubt come across “tricks” like placing a damp paper towel on top of the fruit or soaking it in a vinegar and water solution to kill off spores.
I’m sure they work, but I’m also pretty sure almost no one has the time or motivation to do them consistently. What I recommend, instead, is to be good at the basics:
- Buy the best raspberries available.
- Rank them.
- Keep them breathing and refrigerated.
- Use them as soon as possible.
Can you freeze raspberries?
Freezing raspberries is an easy way to preserve them if you fear they will spoil in your fridge. The process is simple and does not require a lot of time, but it does come at a cost.
Thawed raspberries won’t be as firm as fresh ones, and for some uses (eg, in a fruit salad or if it’s yogurt), that’s a big drawback. For others, like baking or smoothies, the texture doesn’t matter as much and thawed raspberries will work just fine.
How to freeze raspberries
To freeze raspberries, take a large baking sheet or tray and do the following:
- Wash and dry. Washing removes debris and dirt, making it practically a must before eating. We do this now because fresh raspberries are much easier to wash than soft ones that have just been thawed. After rinsing, drain them on paper towels and pat dry. The less moisture remains on the berries, the better.
- prefreeze Arrange all the berries in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray, making sure they are not touching each other. Place that tray in the freezer for a few hours or overnight, allowing the berries to freeze solid. If you don’t want them to stick to the pan, use a silicone mat.
- Freeze long term. Transfer the frozen raspberries to a freezer container or bag. If you go with a bag, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it. Add a name and date label if you like, and place everything in the freezer.
That is. The only annoying part (at least for me) of the procedure is washing the berries because you have to be careful not to bruise them. Once this is done, it will be easy to navigate from there.
Those raspberries can easily keep in the freezer for 6+ months, so you can enjoy them even if they’re not in season.
If there’s a raspberry sale at your local farmer’s market, don’t hesitate and take advantage of it. You can freeze all those berries and have them available all year long. Plus, it’s better for your wallet than buying expensive imports when raspberries aren’t in season.
Finally, let’s talk about defrosting. For some purposes, such as baking or smoothies, it is not necessary to thaw the raspberries. You can throw them out as is, and the dish will turn out just fine.
But if you need to thaw them, do so overnight in the refrigerator, in an airtight container. And expect those raspberries to be runny and soft in the morning.
How to know if raspberries are bad?
Discard raspberries that:
- They have mold. And if the blurred area was quite large, consider throwing away any berries that were nearby, just to keep yourself safe.
- They are soft or discolored. Those aren’t necessarily spoiled, but they don’t taste as good and usually develop mold in a day or so. Alternatively, you can eat them on the spot (don’t forget to rinse them!) so you don’t have to throw them away later.
- Smells. If everything looks good, but the berries smell bad, throw them away anyway.
As usual, if you’re not 100 percent sure those raspberries are safe to eat, it’s best to err on the side of caution and let them go.