Fresh berries are the most delicious during the summer, so haul in the bounty! They're one of the most perishable fruits, so it pays to know how to store them.
Related: Easy Summer Berry Dessert Recipes
Remove fresh berries from their container and sort them as soon as you can. Eat any gently bruised ones right away—they're super-ripe and the tastiest. Compost any that show signs of mold.
Skip washing until you're ready to use them. Washed too soon and berries absorb the moisture and start to rot.
Then, decide how long you want to store them, so you can pick where to store them.
1 day: Keep at room temperature
If you're planning to use all your berries in a day, just keep them in a shallow container on the counter—room-temperature berries have the best flavor.
5 days: Store in the refrigerator
Berries will stay fresh for about 5 days when stored at temperatures between 36° and 40°F. Returning them to their original packaging after sorting is fine, but they'll stay fresh longer if moved to a shallow container where they can be spread into a single layer instead of stacked; loosely cover with a clean towel.
1 year: Go for the freezer
When you have a lot of berries, they'll last the longest in the freezer. Lightly rinse and gently but thoroughly pat dry. (For strawberries, remove the hulls.) Place on a tray and freeze in a single layer until solid; then transfer to airtight containers.
Related: How To Freeze Fruits And Vegetables