In the midst of New England summer, it has been amazing how fresh the berries taste! The produce in the USA is so juicy and freshly picked, and biting into a strawberry is a mind-blowing revelation. But the super-sized packages in the US mean that we are often getting two pounds of berries at a time… and even for a family of four, that’s a lot of strawberries to eat before they begin to spoil! So I wondered: What’s the best method for storing strawberries for a week in the fridge?

How best to store strawberries is a popular question! Just google it and you’ll see plenty of opinions and techniques. Being a comparative political scientist, I appreciate the articles from reputable culinary sites that take a scientific approach and test several possible methods, such as The Kitchn and Taste of Home. The only problem: Each site’s “scientific experiment” came up with a different result! The Kitchn swears by the vinegar-wash method, while Taste of Home loves the airtight mason jar method. Clearly, different strawberries—and different refrigerators—may produce different results. 

So I decided to run my own Great Strawberry Experiment with the three methods that seemed to work best. First, I kept one-third of the strawberries in their original container in the crisper bin of the refrigerator (set to the low-humidity fruit setting). Second, I rinsed one-third of the strawberries in a white vinegar and water mixture (1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water), completely dried (the Kitchn recommends a paper-towel-lined salad spinner!), and refrigerated in a paper-towel-lined container with a loose cover. Finally, the last one-third of the strawberries were transferred directly from their original container to an airtight mason jar and popped in the fridge. 


Test 1: Original Container in the Crisper

This method got the worst results! After just a few days, the strawberries were markedly softer and darker than the other two groups. This trend continued throughout the week. Even with the benefit of the low-humidity drawer (the other two groups were on different shelves), this was the worst method. Never again! 


Test 2: White Vinegar and Water Rinse

This method ended up producing better results than the original container, but worse results than the mason jar. These strawberries were in better shape by the end of the week than the original container strawberries, but they were still soft in spots and darker than the mason jar. This method was also the most intensive in terms of time and effort, with a vinegar-and-water rinse and the use of multiple bowls, salad spinners, and containers. Final verdict: meh.


Test 3: Airtight Mason Jar

Hooray! The easiest (and prettiest) method is the best one! The strawberries kept beautifully in this jar. They remained fresh, firm, bright red, and looked like they had just been picked. As the days went on, the difference became clearer and clearer. Considering it is incredibly easy to put strawberries into a mason jar (and actually saves some space in the fridge), I’m thrilled that this method will become my go-to way to store strawberries for a week or more. 


The Results, in Picture Form

From left to right: Test 1, Test 2, and Test 3 (the winner!)