How To Store Grapes So They Stay Crisp

Learning the best way to store grapes ensures you’ll be able to enjoy the fresh bunch before the fruit turns.

Whether you prefer to eat your grapes by the bunch, as part of a cheese and charcuterie board, or in smoothie form, the key to getting the best flavor and texture from the fruit all comes down to proper storage.

Grapes aren’t the most inexpensive grocery store item, which is all the more reason to maintain their freshness for as long as possible to avoid wasting spoiled fruit.

Before we get into the dos and don’ts of caring for grapes, bear in mind, good grape eating starts in the grocery store. Be careful when selecting grapes as you want to look for bunches that are relatively intact. A few stray grapes at the bottom of the bag is ok, but if more grapes are off the stem than on it, it’s best to move onto another bag as too many loose grapes indicates the grapes may not be super fresh. And, while fine to eat immediately, if you want to get more than a few days out of the produce, avoid bags containing lots of loose fruit.

Grapes in Bowl

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The Best Way To Store Grapes

A bowl of countertop grapes may look pretty and inviting, but, in fact, leaving grapes out on the counter is not a good way to keep the fruit fresh. 

For crisp and tasty grapes (read: not mushy), you’ll want to store them in a container in your fridge’s crisper drawer

After washing the bunches and gently patting the grapes dry, place them in a well ventilated container such as a colander or a reusable plastic container with vents, and then put this in the back of the crisper drawer. Plastic bags or airtight containers with no ventilation aren’t a good idea because in order for the grapes to maintain their freshness, they need to be exposed to the cool air of your fridge.

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Fruit in Crisper Drawer

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Do Grapes Need To Be Refrigerated?

According to the California Table Grape Commission, grapes should be refrigerated immediately. The thin-skinned fruit does best in 30 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit , with 90 to 95 percent relative humidity. Since grapes will pick up odors from stronger-smelling items such as leeks, scallions, and ramps, it’s best to keep them in a different area of your fridge.

How Long Do Grapes Last?

Grapes stored in well ventilated containers that are kept in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator can last up to three weeks. 

Grapes that have been cut have a much shorter shelf life though, and you can expect to get just a couple of days of fresh grapes after they’ve been split.

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Can You Freeze Grapes?

Frozen grapes are a delectable summer treat, though they can also be enjoyed year round. Freezing grapes is so easy too! 

All you need to do is wash and dry your grapes and remove them from the stems. Lay individual grapes out on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Pop the tray in the freezer for several hours or overnight, and once they are fully frozen, you can transfer them to another container to save space in your freezer.

Eat by the frozen handful or sprinkle on ice cream for an extra special treat.

Tips For Keeping Grapes Fresh Longer

If bought at optimal freshness, grapes will last up to three weeks in the refrigerator. Remember: Counter storage is the quickest way for the fruit to spoil. 

Frozen grapes can be enjoyed for about a year after freezing. Much longer than that and you risk losing all or most of the fruit’s flavor.

Moldy grapes or brown, mushy grapes should be discarded. If your grapes start to feel quite soft and not at all firm to the touch, they may also have turned even if their color and outward appearance look fine.

Make sure you are using the proper storage vessel for the grapes. Not only do they need to be kept in a high humidity crisper drawer with other fruits requiring high humidity for maximum freshness (e.g. strawberries, melons, and unripe bananas), but they need to have air circulating around them. 

Since grapes are typically packaged in ventilated bags, it’s perfectly fine to return the bunches to their original packaging and place the bag in the fruit crisper drawer after washing.

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