Fresh grapes can be a great addition to any meal or the perfect snack on a hot day. They are healthy, juicy, and can satisfy that sweet tooth without all of the bad sugars from cookies and candy. If you find a sale on grapes, you may find yourself with a ton of grapes and wondering how to store them well.
Do grapes need to be refrigerated? Grapes should be refrigerated unless you plan to eat all of them the same day you purchase them. Grapes can last in the fridge for up to three weeks when stored properly. This makes them a great option for healthy fruit for a long time.
We are going to take some time to look at how to store your grapes so you can keep them fresh and good in the fridge for a long time. Storage is so important to ensure the grapes will last this long in the fridge. The right environment, the right location in the fridge, and the right temperature will influence how well the groups last. Let’s take a look at how to get started.
How to Properly Store Grapes in the Fridge
Unless you plan to consume the grapes the same day you bring them home from the store, they need to be placed in the fridge for storage. A temperature around 32 degrees is the best.
Storing them in the right location in the fridge is also important too. You need to avoid having them too close to the front of the fridge or in the door because these areas have a bigger increase in temperature changes and are not as cool. You may find the vegetable crisper is the best place.
Some steps to consider when storing grapes in the fridge include:
Wash the Grapes
Our first step is to wash the grapes. Any produce, including grapes, that you purchase will have some residue on them from soil or pesticides. You may notice a waxy, white film on the grapes when you bring them home.
The best way to wash the grapes is to use a fruit wash solution. You can prepare one of your own with three parts water and one part vinegar or purchase a commercial wash. Add the grapes to the solution and let them sit for a minute or less. Soaking for any longer can soften the skin and reduces the shelf life of the grapes.
While the grapes sit in the solution, use your fingers to gently rub the grapes and remove that wax. After sixty seconds, place the grapes in a bowl or colander and rinse with some tap water. Add to paper towels and let sit out to dry completely to finish up. Do not pat the grapes dry because this can cause the skin to blister.
Sort Out the Grapes
While the grapes are drying, you can sort them out a bit. You want to make sure that only the best grapes stay in the mix. If there are some already ruined, they will not get better in the fridge and could potentially damage some of the other grapes too. Check through your bunch of grapes and get rid of the ones that are not in the best condition.
Some of the things to look for when sorting the grapes includes:
- Soft grapes
- Mold that is visible on the flesh or stem
- Loose, brown stems
- Bruised skin
Throw out any of the grapes in your bunch that have some of these signs that they are no longer doing well.
Storing the Grapes
Once you are certain the grapes are dry and you have sorted them out, you can get them ready for storage. Airtight containers are a good choice because they will keep moisture, contaminants, and air off the grapes. You do not want to over stack the grapes in that container. Squeezing them can cause bruising and spoilage. Place them in, without packing them in.
Consider ways to keep the grapes ventilated too. When you purchase the grapes from the store, you may notice that the bags have little perforations in them. This helps air circulate so they do not get stale. If you plan to keep the grapes in the container for a long time, this may be something you can do as well.
Keep the Grapes Dry
When you wash the grapes is the only time that they should come in contact with water. You can add a bit of paper towels into the container to gather any moisture that may show up once you add the grapes to the fridge and then check on them every few days. This can keep the grapes in good shape without any potential moisture making them get moldy and old.
Picking the Right Location in the Fridge
The right location in the fridge will matter too. Do not place the grapes in the door or right at the front of the fridge. These locations may provide easy access to the grapes. But they will have too big of temperature changes that will ruin the grapes. Choose a place further back in the fridge to help the grapes stay nice and cool. The crisper is a good choice as well for a steady temperature.
How to Store Grapes For Longer Periods
Freezing your grapes is also possible if you need them to last longer than the two to three weeks. The method is similar to doing the work in the fridge. Remember not to wash the grapes before you store or you may cause freezer burn on the fruit. You can wash the grapes when they defrost before eating.
Simply take the grapes you would like to use and place them in an airtight container and into the freezer. To defrost the grapes when you are ready to eat them, just move the container from the freezer to the fridge so the defrosting can happen slowly. This will help them to keep their natural textures and flavors intact the whole time. Some enjoy the grapes completely frozen too.