How to freeze strawberries

Ice these seasonal jewels

May 26, 2010

If you’ve admired the spring strawberries at the farmers’ market but have resisted buying a flat because, well, you don’t know what you’d do with an entire flat of berries, don’t despair. Purchase them! Then go home and freeze them. They’ll be great later in smoothies, sauce, or in a crisp.

We recommend freezing the berries whole, separately, so that they don’t become a big red ice block in the freezer. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

Note: On the advice of the Environmental Working Group, you may want to choose organic berries; EWG puts strawberries toward the top of its Dirty Dozen list.


First, place the berries into a colander and run them under cool water to wash them well. Alternatively, if your berries are very ripe and soft, submerge them in a bowl of cold water to clean them.

Next, spread the berries on a kitchen towel, and leave them for at least 20 minutes to dry.

When they’re dry, remove the stems of the berries . . .

. . . and place them on a baking sheet or plate that fits into your freezer. Take care not to let them touch one another. Place the tray in the freezer for three or four hours. You want the berries to freeze thoroughly but not to dry out.

Carefully and quickly place the berries into plastic containers or freezer bags. Press all of the air out of the bags and seal.

Finally, label and date the package of berries, then promptly return them to the freezer. For the best flavor, eat them within six months.

There are 2 comments on this item
Add a comment
1. by ruth_117 on May 28, 2010 at 10:31 AM PDT

I would also suggest lining the baking sheet with a sheet of wax paper or parchement. I have found that it makes removing the strawberries much easier. Or you could dip the bottom of the pan in warm water.

2. by Jean at The Delightful Repast on May 31, 2010 at 6:54 AM PDT

Thank you for clear instructions on how to freeze whole fresh strawberries. When I post about strawberry jam on my blog, I’m going to put a link to this page.

Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Our Table

Joy of Cooking app

A new tool for the kitchen

The latest in our collection of cooking apps.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice