Grapes make a perfect snack. But just when you think you have enough of them in your fridge to eat between meals for a week, you find all those delicious berries squishy, discolored, and moldy.
Are you doing something wrong or is it the grapes that spoil so fast?
How long do grapes last? Grapes stored at room temperature keep well for 3 to 5 days. It is best to store grapes in the fridge for maximum freshness and shelf life. Grapes stored in the fridge keep well for up to 14 days.
In this article, we have covered everything you need to know about the storage conditions and shelf life of this delicious and healthy fruit.
You will also learn some tips and tricks for extending the shelf life of grapes and what you can do if you have large amounts of grapes you don’t know what to do with.
Do Grapes Go Bad?
Grapes are highly perishable. They don’t last as long as apples, pears, and oranges. The reason why grapes spoil quickly is that they are very sensitive to moisture and heat.
As grapes go bad quickly, we recommend buying them in smaller amounts so that you don’t end up wasting any of your products. The first and most important step to ensure that your grapes have the longest shelf life is picking the best bunch.
There are four things to look for when buying grapes:
- Grapes should be firm and plump.
- They should be firmly attached to the stem.
- The overall color on the cluster of grapes should be even. For green grapes, a yellow hue is what you should be looking for. For purple grapes, a green hue is what you should avoid.
- The stem should be green rather than brown and dried out. Dried-out stems indicate that the grapes have been harvested long ago and they will go bad within a couple of days when you bring them home.
If you see a white powdery layer on the grapes, don’t worry. It is called blooming. This waxy, naturally-occurring substance protects the fruit from losing moisture. It is also a barrier between the fruit and insects.
Blooming is also a sign of freshness. So, when you see good grapes with a silver-white coating, you can surely grab a cluster or two.
Aside from mastering the art of picking good grapes, it is also important to learn about the proper storage condition of these fruits.
If you fail to store grapes properly, even the freshest ones right from your local market will spoil in a matter of days.
How to Store Grapes?
You can store grapes at room temperature in the pantry, or in the fridge depending on how long you want to make them last. No matter which storage method you use, there are two things to keep in mind when storing grapes.
Firstly, you shouldn’t wash the grapes all at once. Wash as many grapes as you will be eating. Leave the rest unwashed as leaving water droplets in-between the grapes will cause them to go bad sooner.
And secondly, keep the grapes well-ventilated. Airflow is key when you are trying to maintain the maximum freshness of your grapes.
Grapes from the supermarkets often come in plastic bags with holes. If you happen to buy grapes in such bags, you can leave them there.
Should You Store Grapes in the Fridge?
The perfect temperature for storing grapes is 32°F, which means the fridge is an ideal storage location for grapes.
The crisper drawer in the fridge is exactly where the grapes should go as soon as you bring them home. The humidity level in this drawer is perfect for grapes.
If the grapes you have bought come in a perforated plastic bag, don’t transfer them into another container or bag. Simply check the clusters for mushy or discolored grapes and remove them.
If the bag the grapes come in is not perforated, close it loosely to provide ventilation. Store the grapes in the crisper drawer and wash them only when you are ready to eat them.
How Do You Make Grapes Last Longer in the Fridge?
Here are a few tips you can use to keep grapes stored in the fridge fresh.
1. Never Leave Bad Grapes on the Stem
Never leave bad grapes with your fresh grapes, whether they are stored in the pantry or the fridge. Inspect the clusters of grapes every other day and remove the bad ones.
Doing this is more important than you think. Removing molded or rotten grapes before they manage to affect the rest in the bunch will help you maintain their freshness much longer.
2. Store the Grapes in the Back of the Fridge
Storing grapes on the fridge door is a mistake you should avoid making. The temperature on the door is higher compared to other spots in the fridge.
Keeping the grapes in the coolest spot of the fridge, such as the back of the refrigerator, is certainly a better option.
The crisper drawer is an ideal place for storing grapes. However, it is often full of other fruits and vegetables. Knowing where else you can store grapes is important.
3. Store Grapes Separately from Strong-Smelling Products
Grapes tend to absorb odors. Whether it’s in the pantry or the fridge, you should always keep grapes away from foods with a distinctive and strong smell, such as garlic or cheese.
How to Store Grapes Without a Fridge?
If you don’t like cold grapes or there is no room in your fridge, you can store grapes at room temperature.
You can leave grapes at room temperature only when you know you will be eating them throughout the day. In this case, however, you should make sure that the fruit is out of direct sunlight and heat sources.
Additionally, before you put the grapes into a bowl to display them beautifully on your kitchen counter, make sure to thoroughly dry them.
Should You Leave Grapes on the Stem?
It is recommended to leave unwashed grapes on the stem. Grapes firmly attached to the stem will maintain their freshness longer.
However, if you want to have grapes washed prepared in advance so that you can grab a jar of grapes and go about your day, here is what you can do:
- Place grapes in a bowl filled with water.
- Add 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar to the water.
- Soak the grapes in this solution for around 10 minutes. The vinegar will kill the mold spores on the grapes.
- While the grapes are soaking, you can start removing them from the stem. As soon as you remove the grapes from the stem, the ripening process is ceased. If you come across any discolored or soft grapes, discard them.
- Thoroughly rinse the grapes under running cold water.
- Transfer the grapes onto a paper towel and let them dry.
- Once the grapes are dry, transfer them into your favorite jar, preferably made of glass.
- Store the grapes in the fridge and grab a jar of this delicious fruit to snack on throughout the day.
Putting your grapes in a jar or another airtight container is very important to sealing in all that freshness. Don’t put your grapes back into the bag they came from.
How Long Do Grapes Last?
The shelf life of grapes largely depends on two factors. First, how good the grapes were when you bought them. And second, whether you have been storing grapes properly or not.
Fresh grapes stored at room temperature will keep well for 3-5 days. The shelf life of grapes stored in the fridge is much longer. Refrigerated grapes keep well for 7-14 days depending on how fresh they were when you bought them.
You can easily tell whether grapes are good or they have already gone bad.
Here the signs of bad grapes:
- Texture Changes -As they sit in the fridge or kitchen counter, grapes lose their plumpness. While the slight softness of the grapes that you have had for a few days is okay, overly soft and mushy grapes should be discarded.
- Color Changes – Discoloration is another indicator of spoiled grapes. If you notice lots of browning on the grapes, toss them out.
- Off-Putting Smell – If the grapes smell fermented or have a vinegary smell, don’t assume they’re aging like fine wine. It is time for them to go.
- Mold – Mold is a serious alarm bell that it is high time you discarded those grapes.
It is important to always practice food safety and not eat grapes that are going bad. If there are no signs of spoilage in your cluster of grapes, you can go ahead and give them a try.
How Can You Make Grapes Last Longer?
If you grow grapes yourself or buy too many of them when you see those fresh plump-looking fruits at your local market, you may often encounter the problem of large amounts of grapes going bad.
What can you do with these grapes to make them last longer?
1. Freeze Grapes
If you have too many clusters of grapes and know you won’t be able to eat them before they go bad, your best bet is to freeze them. Freezing grapes doesn’t take much time and effort.
Here’s how to freeze grapes:
- Remove the grapes from the stem and wash them.
- Pat them dry.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the grapes on a baking tray in a single layer. Doing this is important if you want to prevent the grapes from sticking to one another.
- Transfer the baking tray with grapes into the freezer.
- Once the grapes are all frozen and don’t stick to each other, transfer them into sealable plastic bags and store them in the freezer.
- Use within 3 to 5 months for best flavor. You can keep grapes in the freezer for up to a year.
There is no need to thaw frozen grapes. In fact, they are much better frozen, as thawing will cause them to soften.
Frozen grapes are an ideal snack. You can also use them to make cold shakes and smoothies.
You can chill juices and even alcoholic beverages like wine with the help of frozen grapes. Frozen grapes will act as delicious edible ice cubes that won’t water down your drinks!
2. Make Grape Jam
If you have lots of grapes that are about to go bad and you don’t know what to do with them, you can make jam. Making grape jam is easy and doesn’t require too many ingredients.
You will only need to add some sugar and lemon juice to the grapes to turn them into a delicious preserve.
Here’s how to make grape jam:
- Remove the grapes from the stem and put them in a saucepan.
- Add sugar and lemon juice to the grapes, cooking on low heat. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice and 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of seedless grapes.
- Crush the grapes until you reach your desired consistency.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and stir it occasionally.
- Let the jam cook for 30-45 minutes. The more water there is in the grapes, the longer it will take the mixture to thicken.
- Once the jam has thickened and holds well, turn off the heat. Let the jam cool down and transfer it into sterilized jars.
- Keep your homemade grape jam in the fridge and eat it within a month.
If you want your homemade grape jam to last longer, use the water bath canning method. This extends the shelf life of homemade jams to 5 to 6 months. You can also freeze the jam to make it last up to 12 months.
If you like, you can even freeze your grapes now and make jelly later!
3. Make Raisins
Dehydrating grapes to make raisings extends the shelf life of grapes to up to 2 years. But this is only if you have left no moisture in the grapes and stored them properly.
There are three methods for dehydrating grapes, including using the dehydrator, the oven, and a sun-drying method.
If you have a dehydrator, the directions are quite straightforward. All you have to do is to wash and arrange the grapes evenly on the tray.
Turn on the fruit setting and leave the grapes in the dehydrator for 1-2 days. Check the grapes every 7 hours to see how they are drying.
Sun-drying grapes is very easy too. Arrange the grapes in a single layer on a baking tray, cover them with a kitchen towel, and sun-dry the fruit for around 3 days.
This method of making raisins is suitable for those living in areas with a warm and dry climate. A method that can be used by nearly anyone is dehydrating grapes in the oven.
Here’s how to dehydrate grapes in the oven:
- Set the oven to 140°F.
- While the oven is preheating, prepare the grapes by removing them from the stem, washing and pat dry.
- Put the grapes on the baking tray in a single layer.
- Put the tray in the oven and leave the door slightly open. Air circulation is key when dehydrating grapes.
- Leave the grapes in the oven for around 4 hours until they are completely dehydrated. If you like your raisins plump, take them out of the oven sooner.
Note that plumper grapes have a shorter shelf life. Raisins that are still juicy inside should be refrigerated and eaten within 20 days.
Always remember, the dryer are the grapes the longer they keep.
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