We may know better than to shop when we’re hungry but we all do it anyway.
There are worse things that could happen than finding yourself with 20 kiwis after a hunger-shop, especially if you know how to store them properly so they don’t go bad before you can enjoy every last one.
How do you store kiwi? The best way to store kiwi is at room temperature, although not exposed to any direct sunlight or significant temperature fluctuations. They will stay fresh for up to a week this way. You can also store kiwis in the fridge, which is recommended once they are ripe.
Throughout this article, you’ll learn all the possible ways to store kiwi so that you can enjoy this juicy fruit in many different ways. We’ll also cover some related questions like how to cut kiwi and whether you can freeze it.
What is a Kiwi?
Kiwis are small, egg-sized fruits with fuzzy brown skin and bright green, juicy flesh.
Originally grown in China, they’re now primarily cultivated in either New Zealand or California, and they’re in high demand year-round.
The brown outer skin of kiwi fruit may be relatively non-descript, but inside they’re bright green with a decorative white or pale green center and a black starburst of tiny edible seeds.
Depending on how ripe the fruit is, they’re mainly sweet but they can also have a surprisingly tart bite.
The nutrition you can get from a kiwi fruit is impressive. These small powerhouses are packed with enough Vitamin C to make lemons and oranges look pale in comparison.
They also have plenty of fiber and many other vitamins and minerals.
How to Choose Kiwi
The best secret to storing kiwi fruit begins by choosing the right fruits to begin with. If your kiwi is nearing the end of its lifespan when you leave the store with it, your storage options are limited.
However, if you choose kiwis that aren’t even quite ripe yet, you’ll be able to store them for up to a week or more, as long as you follow our easy recommendations.
If you’re buying in bulk, try to find kiwi fruits that are still firm as they’ll be slightly unripe still. They’ll stay fresh for longer and will continue to ripen over time.
However, make sure you choose a few that are soft and ripe so you can eat them right away.
If you are buying just a few to eat soon, choose kiwi that are already soft, and therefore ripe, to enjoy quickly.
While size doesn’t change the flavor or quality of kiwi fruit, you always want to make sure the skin is unblemished and test gently for bruises. Wrinkles are a sign of an old kiwi and are best avoided.
How to Tell if Kiwi is Ripe
To test your kiwi for ripeness, press the center of the fruit with your thumb. The fruit should be firm, but with some give, similar to a peach or a mango.
Kiwis will be more ripe towards the top of the fruit, where it was connected to the stem. Avoid pressing this area if possible so that you don’t bruise it.
When kiwis are ripe they’ll also be nicely fragrant, smelling sweet and fruity. If your kiwi smells too syrupy, it may be overripe.
How to Store Kiwi Fruit at Home
Once you get your kiwi fruit home, how you store them depends on two things:
- How ripe your kiwi is
- How you want to use it
Ripe and unripe fruit should be stored differently, as should whole and cut fruit.
The Best Way to Store Kiwi
Ideally, you’re kiwi will be just short of perfectly ripe, in which case the best way to store the fruit is at room temperature, away from any direct exposure to sunlight or major temperature fluctuations.
A fruit bowl or basket on your countertop, away from the stovetop and windows would be perfect.
Kiwis are sturdy when they’re slightly unripe, but as they ripen they become more delicate.
Avoid layering too many fruits on top of each other and always put kiwi fruit on top of any heavier items in your fruit bowl, like apples or oranges, to avoid bruising and squishing.
If your kiwis are sharing their bowl with other fruit, keep in mind that some fruit emits ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process.
Apples, bananas, and pears are common examples, so keep an eye on all your fruit daily to be sure it’s not getting too ripe.
Do Kiwis Need to Be Refrigerated?
Should you refrigerate kiwi? Yes, if the fruit is already ripe and you don’t want it to ripen any further or do not plan to eat it for a couple of days, you should refrigerate your kiwi.
Kiwi will continue to ripen as long as it’s at room temperature or warmer, so once your fruit is ripe, it should be transferred to the fridge to keep it from getting overripe before you can eat it.
How to Store Kiwi in Fridge
If you’re storing kiwi in the fridge you will want to protect them from getting knocked around, so it can be useful to store them in your fruit crisper as long as it’s not too full.
Store them with lettuce, tomatoes, or other lighter and somewhat fragile items to lower the probability that anything will get crushed.
You can also store your kiwi in an air-tight container to keep them safe. This may take up more space in your fridge but it will also prevent your fruit from accidentally getting ruined or spoiling.
How to Store Kiwi After Cutting
After a kiwi has been cut it won’t last long. You can store it in your fridge for up to 2 days but be sure to eat it as soon as possible before it gets slimy.
There are two risks to storing cut kiwi, exposure to air, and getting crushed by other items.
To prevent both of these things from happening, first transfer your cut or sliced kiwi fruit pieces to an airtight bag. Gently press and release as much air as you can from the bag before sealing.
This will protect your fruit from exposure to the air, which will dry it out and allow odd flavors from your fridge to contaminate the pure sweetness of the fruit.
Next, you’ll also want to place the sealed bag of fruit into an airtight container. This will protect it from getting crushed in your fridge.
If you have enough kiwi to fill up a container with little air left inside, you can skip the first step and not use a bag. The bag adds an extra layer of protection, but it’s not mandatory if you’ve got a tight-sealing container.
Can you Freeze Kiwi?
If you have more kiwi than you know what to do with you may be asking yourself, can I freeze whole kiwi or even kiwi with the skin on?
Unfortunately, freezing kiwi in any form is not recommended.
Kiwi is a very juicy fruit that is delicious when eaten fresh, but can be significantly damaged by freezing. All the water content inside the fruit turns into ice crystals, breaking down the fibers and proteins that make up the structure of the fruit.
If frozen whole, or even sliced or cubed, it will be extremely mushy when it is thawed.
How to Store Kiwi Fruit in Freezer
If you really want to freeze kiwi, it’s best to puree it first. You can do this with or without the skin.
Once the fruit is well blended, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing it.
The best way to do this is to mostly seal the bag and then lay it flat on your counter. Press the kiwi puree out towards all four edges of the bag, removing all air bubbles. Seal it when the kiwi is evenly distributed and the bag is mostly flat.
Place the flat bag filled with your fruit on a baking sheet and place it into your freezer like this for 1–3 hours, until it’s frozen solid. At this point, you can remove the baking sheet and stand the bag up to save space in your freezer.
We also have a full article on freezing kiwi berries, which are slightly different, in case you have related kiwi freezing questions.
How Long Does Kiwi Last?
Kiwi can last anywhere from a few days to a month, depending on how ripe they are when you buy them.
An unripe kiwi placed in the fridge will last the longest but the quality and sweetness of fruit that has been stored in the fridge for so long will not be as nice since the ripening process is so unnatural.
Fruit is best when allowed to ripen naturally on a tree and picked only when it’s ready to eat, immediately. Unless you’re lucky enough to have your own producing kiwi tree, however, this is an unrealistic situation!
In most cases, kiwi will stay fresh for about 1 week at room temperature, though their lifespan can be nearly doubled by placing them in the fridge.
Once kiwis are cut, however, they will only last a day or two at most and they must be refrigerated.
As mentioned, you can also freeze kiwi puree, though it’s best to eat it within 3 months of freezing. Beyond that the fruit slowly loses its flavor, getting washed out by the water content.
Here’s a chart summarizing how long kiwi lasts by type and storage situation – whole or cut, ripe or unripe, at room temperature or in the fridge (or freezer):
|Kiwi Condition||How Long Does Kiwi Last|
|Whole, unripe, room temperature||Up to 1 week|
|Whole, ripe, room temperature||Up to 3 days, depending|
|Whole, unripe, refrigerated||Up to 10 days|
|Whole, ripe, refrigerated||Up to 1 month|
|Cut or sliced, refrigerated||Up to 2 days|
|Pureed, frozen||Up to 3 months|
How to Ripen Kiwi
If you’re excited to eat your kiwi fruit but it isn’t ripening fast enough, you can try to place it in a slightly warmer location, or give it some fresh sunlight. This will speed up the ripening process naturally.
If you don’t have any sunny windowsills you can also place a kiwi or two into a brown paper bag along with a banana, apple, or pear. All of these fruits emit ethylene gas which makes fruit ripen more quickly.
Loosely close the bag and your kiwi should be ready to eat within a day, depending on how firm it is when you place it in the bag.
Be aware, however, that the other fruit in the bag will also ripen more quickly! Apples and pears are fairly long-lived, but bananas will start to turn brown quickly.
How to Eat a Kiwi
Kiwi fruits are most commonly eaten raw, when perfectly ripe. Aside from this minor requirement, you can eat your kiwi in many ways.
They can be sliced, quartered, or diced and added to fruit salad or salsa, or you can simply scoop the fruit out with a spoon and dig in. Of course, you can eat a kiwi fruit like an apple, including the skin, but most people prefer to avoid the skin.
Kiwi is also a very tasty addition to homemade juice or smoothies and it can be easily pureed to use as a topping for granola, ice cream, or pancakes, to name just a few.
How to Peel a Kiwi
There are two common ways to peel a kiwi, using a knife or a spoon:
1. Peeling Kiwi With a Knife
If you’re serving your kiwi or not eating it immediately yourself, peeling it with a knife is the best option.
Start by removing the very top and the very bottom in even slices. Using a sharp paring knife, carefully peel the very surface of the fruit like you might peel a potato. Be very careful because as you peel the juice released will make the fruit slippery to handle.
2. Peeling Kiwi With a Spoon
You can also use a spoon to peel your kiwi, which is particularly useful for children.
You can either cut the top and bottom as in the first example or simply cut the fruit in half so that the top and bottom are separate pieces.
Take your spoon and gently press it into the kiwi between the skin and the flesh. Using consistent pressure, work your spoon all the way around the kiwi until the fruit slides away from the skin effortlessly.
Are Kiwi Skins Edible?
Yes, kiwi skins are edible, though most people discard them because of the texture. They have a papery, rough feeling if you get a large piece. They are nutritious, however.
If you’d like to try eating the skin, try slicing your kiwi fruit into thin slices so that you don’t get a large chunk of skin all at once. You can also add them whole to a smoothie or puree them with the skin on to get the nutrition without the texture.
What Does a Kiwi Taste Like?
Kiwis are a unique fruit that defies many norms of classification, including when it comes to describing how they taste.
Kiwi is a slightly acidic fruit but it is not a citrus fruit. If it’s eaten before it’s ripe, it will have a tangy, sourness to it that is similar to citrus fruit though.
A ripe kiwi will be mostly sweet and, if you didn’t know otherwise, you would swear it came from the tropics. The flavor is a cross between strawberry, pineapple, and a hint of banana.
Can You Cook Kiwi?
It is safe to cook kiwi, but it’s not the best preparation method by any means. Heat will destroy the flavor, color, and most of the nutritional value as well.
It’s much better to eat kiwi raw, but if you’re interested in learning how kiwi can be used to tenderize meat or how best to use kiwi in desserts, you can read more on the topic in our related article, listed below.
Up Next: Can You Cook Kiwi? – Is It Safe?