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Freezing Strawberries {How to Freeze Strawberries}

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Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing strawberries to extend the harvest. Freezing fresh strawberries is a great way to preserve this wonderful summer fruit without needing to know any special kitchen skills (like canning). If you have a freezer and a knife, you too can learn the best way to freeze strawberries!

A strainer full of fresh strawberries and a cutting board

True strawberry season, where local berries are ripe, juicy, and amazing, is so very short. They’re not the sad berries that come in plastic from your grocery store. These berries taste like summer and unicorn tears. 

Local berries are to be celebrated, enjoyed, and savored. But when you can’t eat one more fresh berry (blasphemy!), have already made Low-Sugar Strawberry Jam and Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream, it’s time to learn how to freeze strawberries!

Unlike jam making, freezing fresh strawberries doesn’t require any special kitchen skills or equipment. If you have a baking sheet, a knife, and 15 minutes, you too can stock your freezer with this delicious seasonal fruit.

This post has a kitchen hack in it that you won’t find anywhere else! It cuts down on time and helps you freeze more berries at once, and is perfect for anyone with a small freezer.

Ever needed just one handful of frozen berries, but everything is in a giant clump? If you don’t want to spend time chiseling off frozen strawberries just for a smoothie, read on!

If you love the idea of preserving your own produce, check out this post on Freezing Peas.

How Do You Prepare Strawberries For Freezing?

This is the best part – there is nothing special you need to do! Unlike fruits that brown (apples, apricots, etc.), freezing fresh strawberries is very straightforward.

  • Rinse (don’t submerge in water)
  • Remove tops
  • Leave whole, cut into halves, or slices

Some people choose to use a bit of sugar with their frozen berries. It’s totally optional but unnecessary.

a bowl and two canning jars with frozen strawberries

How to Use Frozen Strawberries

Frozen strawberries truly shine when you need their flavor but not appearance. When frozen strawberries thaw, they will be soft, a bit mushy, and definitely darker than their “fresh” color. With that in mind, I wouldn’t use them for anything where appearance matters, like a cake or candies.

I love to use frozen strawberries in things like:

How to Freeze Strawberries

Rinse your strawberries in colander/strainer. You don’t want to submerge them in water because it can cause them to become waterlogged, which makes them more challenging to work with.

Remove the tops either with a strawberry corer, this multipurpose tool, or a sharp paring knife. I generally just use a knife because it’s faster and my backyard chickens LOVE strawberry tops!

Decide how you want to use your frozen berries – whole, halved, sliced, or macerated.

Place a piece of parchment on a rimmed baking sheet and lay strawberries cut-side down on the tray. Use the space efficiently, but try not to let them touch too much.

A baking tray with strawberries on parchment for freezing strawberries

Now, here is the best freezing strawberries kitchen hack ever! Lay another piece of parchment on top of the berries and top with an additional layer of berries. You can do up to three layers of berries on the same baking sheet before it becomes precarious. Pre-berrious?

A baking sheet with two layers of parchment and strawberries for freezing

This trick works so well because you don’t need to find space for multiple trays of berries in your freezer. And, you don’t have to wait for a single layer of berries to freeze before you can start your next batch.

Allow the strawberries to freeze through (about 3 hours, but if you’re like me, you’ll forget about them and leave them overnight…) and then transfer to a freezer-proof storage container. See list below for great storage options!

If you’re using Ziploc-style bags, removing additional air from the bag will keep your berries safe from freezer burn. Sure, there are expensive machines to remove air from freezer storage containers, but with a simple straw, you can achieve similar results.

Place a straw in the corner of a freezer bag and close the bag as tightly as possible. Suck the air out through the straw 1-2 times and quickly remove the straw and seal the bag. It will take you a few times to get the hang of it, but it’s solid gold once you master this FREE technique.

A plastic bag full of strawberries with a straw sticking out

How to Freeze Macerated Strawberries

Let’s say you decided you want a ready supply of strawberries to use for strawberry shortcake. This makes you a genius. It’s best to make macerated strawberries and freeze them in small quantities so you’re not later hacking at a clump of berry puree.

Slice your strawberries and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sugar or honey per 2 pounds of strawberries. Allow the bowl to sit uncovered overnight in the fridge. Stir occasionally. The next morning you’ll have a delicious strawberry stew that will be amazing poured over ice cream or shortcake.

Pour into quart-sized freezer bags (use the straw trick explained above) or wide-mouth canning jars leaving 1 inch of space between the top of the strawberries and the top of the jar. This will allow for the berries to expand while freezing without cracking your jars.

How to Store Frozen Strawberries

  • Freezer-safe plastic bags
  • Reusable silicone Ziploc-style bags
  • Wide-mouth canning jars:
    • 8 oz jam jars = 1 cup berries
    • 16 oz pint jars = 2 cups berries
    • 32 oz quart jars = 4 cups berries
  • Freezer-safe reusable snap-tight containers 

How Long Can You Freeze Strawberries?

Strawberries will last for 6-12 months in the freezer. If you have a deep freeze, storing your frozen berries in there would be most effective and they will last longer than in a fridge/freezer combo.

How Do You Thaw Frozen Strawberries?

It depends on how you want to use them. For things like jam or overnight oats, or yogurt cups, it’s great to allow them to thaw in their own juices.

For quick thawing – place the (sealed) freezer bag in a large mixing bowl filled with warm water. Replace the water every 20 minutes when it cools.

For basic thawing – place the freezer bag in a large mixing bowl and allow it to sit at room temperature or in the fridge. For a 1 gallon bag of strawberries, it will take up to 24 hours in the fridge, or 12 hours at room temperature to completely thaw.

Pro tip: no matter how well you sealed the bag, some juice will likely leak out during the thawing process. Always place the freezer bag in a bowl, or on a deep plate to prevent a mess.

If any recipe calls for the juices to be drained from the frozen berries, reserve and add to sparkling water for a refreshing drink. Or, mix with a little honey simple syrup and mint and create a strawberry mojito! You could also refreeze in ice cube trays to add to drinks.

a bowl of frozen strawberries

More Kitchen Tricks Like Freezing Strawberries:

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A strainer full of fresh strawberries and a cutting board
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5 from 1 vote
Freezing Strawberries {How to Freeze Strawberries}
Prep Time
15 mins
 

Learn all the tips and tricks for freezing strawberries to extend the harvest. You can freeze fresh strawberries without knowing any special kitchen skills (like canning).

Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Keyword: freezing berries, Freezing strawberries, how to freeze strawberries
Calories: 49 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
Freezing Whole, Halved, or Sliced Strawberries
  1. Rinse your strawberries in colander/strainer.

  2. Remove the tops either with a strawberry corer, this multipurpose tool, or a sharp paring knife. Decide how you want to use your frozen berries - whole, halved, sliced, or macerated.

  3. Place a piece of parchment on a rimmed baking sheet and lay strawberries cut-side down on the tray. Use the space efficiently, but try not to let them touch too much.

  4. Optional: Lay another piece of parchment on top of the berries and top with an additional layer of berries. You can do up to three layers of berries on the same baking sheet before it becomes precarious.

  5. Allow the strawberries to freeze through and then transfer to a freezer-proof storage container.

  6. If you're using Ziploc-style bags, removing additional air out of the bag will keep your berries safe from freezer burn. Place a straw in the corner of a freezer bag and close the bag as tightly as possible. Suck the air out through the straw 1-2 times and quickly remove the straw and seal the bag.

How to Freeze Macerated Strawberries
  1. Slice your strawberries and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of sugar or honey per 2 pounds of strawberries.

  2. Allow the bowl to sit uncovered overnight in the fridge. Stir occasionally.

  3. Pour into quart-sized freezer bags (use the straw trick explained above) or wide-mouth canning jars leaving 1 inch of space between the top of the strawberries and the top of the jar. This will allow for the berries to expand while freezing without cracking your jars.

Nutrition Facts
Freezing Strawberries {How to Freeze Strawberries}
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 49 Calories from Fat 5
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5g 1%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Potassium 233mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 11.7g 4%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 7.4g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin C 149%
Calcium 2%
Iron 3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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2 comments on “Freezing Strawberries {How to Freeze Strawberries}”

  1. Such a good resource. I have definitely googled “how to freeze strawberries” a few years back when I had 2 punnets and not enough time to eat them all. I love using them in smoothies. I haven’t been cutting mine in half so going to try that next time! 

    • I think whole works well for certain things, but even really good blenders don’t love giant globs of frozen berries. Hence the slicing!