How Long Do Blueberries Last | Best Storage Tips

Last updated: 02/02/20

Blueberries are touted as being one of the wonderful fruits of our times, packed with vitamins C and K and antioxidants for vibrant health, blueberries are so vital we should really be asking ourselves, “How Long Do Blueberries Last”.

Blueberries shelf life has many factors that come into play. 

The shelf life is dependant on how your prepare and store them:. 

  • Freshly harvested blueberries will last for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
  • Properly stored blueberries will last 2-3 days at room temperature.  
  • Cooked blueberries will last for approximately 4-5 days in the fridge.
  • Frozen blueberries will last for 6-12 months in the freezer.  
  • Pickled blueberries lasts for about 1-3 weeks if pickled, canned, and stored in a refrigerator properly.

You will learn all about just how long blueberries last, plus some tips on how to preserve blueberries to last longer.

Our suggestions are based on the premise that you properly follow the practices of food preservation.

As always, use your best judgment when trying to determine when something is no longer edible or safe to eat. 

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1 – Shelf Life of Blueberries at Room Temperature

At their very best blueberries and other berries for that matter can only stay fresh at room temperature for up to 2 – 3 days maximum.

It’s really not advisable to store your blueberries at room temperature because they are just too perishable.

They are only safe to store on your kitchen counter at room temperature when you use them on the same day.

Blueberries don’t ripen when they’re picked as avocados do so you need to pick them when they are actually ripe and at their peak.

However, in this situation, they’re great fun when you share and enjoy them with family or friends.

That way you won’t have any blueberries to worry about once you’ve picked them off the tree because they’d all be eaten in a short time.

how long do blueberries last

2- How Long Do Blueberries Last in the Fridge | Shelf Life of Blueberries in the Fridge

Properly storing blueberries is very important if you want to make them stay fresh for up to 1 – 2 weeks in the fridge.

To properly store them means to either to store the blueberries in a deep tightly sealed container or you use only a plastic wrap to protect your fruit.  

Follow these tips below will help extend their shelf life in the refrigerator:

Step 1: Pick the Good ones – Carefully remove the stems and leaves to infuse more shelf life into your fruit not forgetting to discard the soft, damaged or moldy fruits.

Step 2: Clean container – Use either a ceramic bowl or a basket-like container with small slits. Never use a metal container because discoloration or staining may damage your berries.

Step 3: Paper towels – Line the bottom and sides of your container with paper towels for absorbing moisture and avoid mold formation.Step 4: Avoid colder spaces – The two fridge areas to avoid are crisper and freezer compartments of the fridge should be avoided as they are too dry and can damage the blueberries. Opt for the mid or bottom sections of the fridge to store your blueberries.

3- Shelf Life of Blueberries in the Freezer | How Long Do Blueberries Last in the Freezer

Storing your berries in a freezer will add up to 6 – 12 months of shelf life to your blueberries.

You must follow a strict procedure for preparing your blueberries for freezing like the very steps shown below:

Step 1: Preparing the berries – discard the stems and leaves plus the damaged or moldy berries followed by laying out the berries using a single layer tray to prevent the berries from clumping or sticking together. Parchment paper should line the top of the tray to protect the berries.

Step 2: Place tray in the freezer – only 2 – 3 hours is needed to completely freeze the blueberries on the tray.

Step 3: Transfer to storage container – the tray is removed from the freezer and its contents are transferred to a resealable bag and taken back to the freezer.

4- Cooked Blueberries Shelf Life | How Long Do Cooked Blueberries Last

Berries are generally used as an ingredient in baking pancakes, bread and just as often, for concocting smoothies.  For this reason, the shelf life of cooked blueberries will vary, but generally they will last up 4-5 days.

Blueberries add a zest and fruity flavor to these cooked items and drinks while adding their healing properties to them and those who eat them.

When blueberries have been in the freezer for the maximum of 2 months, taking them out and using them in cooking will add extra shelf life to their preservation.

how long do blueberries last

In baking, berries are normally chopped up and it’s during confectionary baking that berries release their truly unique flavor.

Putting leftovers of baked food in the fridge would only increase their shelf life.

5- How to Properly Store Blueberries | Best Ways to Store Blueberries

The storing process is critical when it comes to prolonging the freshness and usability of your blueberries. 

Here are 5 of our best tips for storing blueberries:

  1. Daily cleansing – It’s imperative that the spread of mold is actively prevented from the start. The best way to do so is by regular inspections and discarding of damaged and moldy berries on a daily basis.
  2. Delay washing the berries – Many are tempted to wash their blueberries immediately after picking them and remove their stems. This idea is a good one if you plan to eat them on the same day. But leaving them unwashed and leaving their stems intact prolongs their natural life.
  3. Leave on the counter – it’s perfectly fine to leave your blueberries on the counter if you intend to eat them straight away the day you bought them.
  4. Store in the fridge – the fridge is the perfect storage place if they are going to be left outside for the next two or three days after they’ve been picked or purchased.
  5. The crisper drawer – like other berries the dry interior of the crisper is a perfect storage niche for blueberries but make sure you empty them into a plastic container with sides and bottom lined with paper towels for absorbing any moisture.

6- How to Know if Blueberries are Bad or Spoiled

Blueberries should have some spring and density to them if you give them a gentle squeeze. 

They typically become softer as they age.  

Here are some other signs to tell if blueberries have gone bad:

  • Mold – white or grey mold on the blueberries betray spoiled blueberries and should be discarded.  
  • Damaged and soft – these indicate the fruit is overripe and should be discarded.
  • Pungent smell – A strange smell that indicates that fruit should be thrown away.
  • General appearance – a soft, wilted, moldy, or shriveled blueberry is fit only for the rubbish bin
  • Color – once the color of blueberries that turn deep purple or dark red throw them away.
  • Skin – when the skin of blueberries crack and issue liquid they are overripe and should be thrown away; pierced or cut blueberries permit bacteria to infiltrate and spread to other blueberries leading to whole scale spoilage of blueberries.
  • Touch – Your blueberries should be plump and firm. If you touch a blueberry and it is not firm, it is overripe. Also, shriveled blueberries are rotten.
  • Frozen spoilage – Even frozen blueberries can succumb to discolorations and dryness indicating the onslaught of freezer burn which, although not unsafe to eat, will definitely affect taste and texture.

6- How to Know if Blueberries are Bad or Spoiled

Blueberries should have some spring and density to them if you give them a gentle squeeze. 

They typically become softer as they age.  

Here are some other signs to tell if blueberries have gone bad:

  • Mold – white or grey mold on the blueberries betray spoiled blueberries and should be discarded.  
  • Damaged and soft – these indicate the fruit is overripe and should be discarded.
  • Pungent smell – A strange smell that indicates that a fruit should be thrown away.
  • General appearance – a soft, wilted, moldy or shriveled blueberry is fit only for the rubbish bin
  • Color – once the color of blueberries that turn deep purple or dark red throw them away.
  • Skin – when the skin of blueberries crack and issue liquid they are overripe and should be thrown away; pierced or cut blueberries permit bacteria to infiltrate and spread to other blueberries leading to a whole scale spoilage of blueberries.
  • Touch – Your blueberries should be plump and firm. If you touch a blueberry and it is not firm, it is overripe. Also, shriveled blueberries are rotten.
  • Frozen spoilage – Even frozen blueberries can succumb to discolorations and dryness indicating the onslaught of freezer burn which, although not unsafe to eat, will definitely affect taste and texture.

Other Methods To Make Blueberries Last

You can also dehydrate blueberries to then store or use in your baking later.  

You would need to use some type of food dehydrate it and cook it at 140°F until dried.

Dehydrating basically dries the blueberries of 90-95% of its water content. 

This slows down the rate at which blueberries spoils. 

Drying or Dehydrating Blueberries

Below are listed the steps in drying blueberries:

Step 1: Boil the blueberries – before placing in the oven, wash the blueberries with a general bath of cold water in a steamer placing a medium sized pot in the steamer and add water halfway to the top.

Add the blueberries when after the water boils and let them boil for about a minute.

Step 2: Cool the berries – remove the steamer and douse water over the berries to cool them and   halt the effect of boiling.

Step 3: Dry the berries – place the berries on paper towels to dry off for about 20 minutes

Step 4: Transfer berries – move about 1- 2 pounds of berries from paper towels to baking sheets on the baking trays making sure the blueberries form a single layer on one tray.

Step 5: Add trays to oven – Preheat the oven to 140°F and place the trays in the oven at 1-inch intervals from one another.

Step 6: Cook berries – cook the berries for 4-6 hours rotating the baking sheets and stirring the berries with a spatula every 30 minutes.

Step 7: Remove berries from oven – transfer the berries to the racks for cooling off to room temperature and then put berries into airtight containers for storing your blueberries.

Drying them still requires additional storage. You still need to store it in an airtight container to maximize its shelf life.

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Keep in mind that the information that we provided is based on recommendations from the FDA, our own observations, and the data from other sources such as the Ball guide we mentioned above.

Please do your own due diligence in determining your own set of guidelines.

This information provided is at your own risk.  Use your best judgment.  We did our best to present you with the best information we had available at the time of this writing.

The shelf lifetimes are based on the following conditions of your storage area:

  • Room temperature of 60°- 70°F
  • Refrigerator temperature of 35° – 40° F
  • Freezer temperature of 0°F or lower.

Check out our guide on ways of preserving food for more information on some of the techniques.

Related Questions

  • How long do frozen blueberries last after thawed? – Thawed blueberries will last for about 1 week if left covered in your fridge. It is best to use them right away once thawed.
  • How long do blueberries last out of the fridge? – Blueberries will not last more than 1-2 days out of the fridge.  It is best to sue them immediately if you are unable to keep them in your fridge longer.
Green Thumb Gardener
how long do blueberries last
Jeremy Starke

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