This article is about storing pineapples. Learn how to store a whole pineapple and what to do after cutting it.
Purchased your first pineapple and aren’t sure if it needs to be refrigerated or not? How to store fresh pineapple?
You can store your whole pineapple for 2-3 days on the counter, or up to a week if refrigerated. Once you cut it, it keeps for about 4 days in an airtight container or freezer bag in the fridge.
That is the gist of it. Want to learn more?
This is what we discuss below:
- Storing a Whole Pineapple: When to Refrigerate It and When Not to
- store cut pineapples
- choose a pineapple in the supermarket
Let’s jump right into that.
How to store a whole pineapple
A whole pineapple will keep for 2-3 days at room temperature and up to a week if you keep it in the fridge. That means if you’re going to eat it soon after you buy it, you can leave it on the counter.
That’s true, of course, assuming you bought a nice, fresh pineapple, not one that’s sitting in the produce aisle for a couple of days. If it’s the latter, or you’re not quite sure, refrigerate the fruit immediately, just in case.
(I cover how to choose a fresh pineapple later in the article.)
When storing a whole pineapple in the fridge, it is best to choose a relatively warm and fairly humid place. That’s because mature pineapples like humidity and temperatures between 45-50°F (or 7-10°C).
It turns out that the only place that (practically) satisfies both conditions is the crisper drawer, and that’s where I recommend storing whole pineapples.
And speaking of the crisper drawer, remember that while a pineapple looks pretty sturdy, it bruises easily. That means you shouldn’t put heavy vegetables or fruits on top.
Next, cutting the pineapple once you bring it home is also an option.
The main advantage of that approach is that it saves quite a bit of refrigerator space by not refrigerating the crown, skin, and core. The disadvantage is that the storage time is shortened by a couple of days.
Related: How long does pineapple last?
In other words, if you plan to use the pineapple soon, cutting it before storing is fine.
Now, let’s talk about what you can do with the fruit once cut.
How to Store Cut Pineapple
You should store cut pineapple in the refrigerator, either in an airtight container or a resealable bag. Make sure the fruit is tightly sealed when stored and use within 3-4 days.
If you’re storing large pineapple slices, quarters, or the whole fruit without the crown, a freezer bag is the best option. Just remember to squeeze out the air before sealing it.
Of course, you can also wrap the fruit in plastic wrap, but using a reusable bag is a much more environmentally friendly solution.
If you cut the pineapple into small pieces or diced it, a container is usually the best option.
If you need your cut pineapple to last longer than the 4 days mentioned, there are at least two ways to do it:
- Coat the pineapple chunks with simple syrup and store in an airtight container. That should double the storage time.
- Freeze the pineapple. Freezing this fruit is simple but somewhat limits how you can use it after thawing. Here is my Can Pineapple be Freezed? article if you are interested in learning more.
And in case you were wondering, all of the above also applies to an opened canned pineapple.
How to buy a pineapple?
To ensure that your pineapple lasts a long time, you should buy a fresh one. If you buy an old one, its shelf life will be significantly shorter, and you may need to cut off some of the flesh that has already started to brown, soften, or give off a fermented smell.
To begin with, you should know that pineapples are sold ripe. That means you can’t buy a green pineapple that will last much longer than a ripe one.
Next, remember that skin color is not a good indicator of quality. That naturally varies throughout the year, and some pineapples will be more golden while others will look greener. Both can be perfectly good quality-wise.
Knowing that, this is what you should do when buying a pineapple:
- Smell it. The pineapple, especially the bottom, should have a sweet aroma. If there’s no sweetness, or worse, it smells fermented, skip it.
- Asses the leaves. Fresh green leaves mean the fruit is fresh. Dry, discolored leaves mean that the pineapple is nearing its useful life or is no longer good enough to eat. Some vendors sell their pineapples without the tops, so it’s not always possible to check the leaves.
- Look for mold on the bottom. If the bottom is moldy, you only have a few days to eat the pineapple. Assuming you’re lucky and it hasn’t already broken, of course.
- Check the skin for soft spots. The skin should be firm, without bruises or damaged areas.
If everything seems fine, that specimen is a good candidate to buy.