Carrots are one of the most popular vegetable choices in the U.S.
It seems like when it comes to convincing your kids and maybe even yourself to eat your vegetables, carrots are a top choice and one of the easier vegetables to spread in your household.
Carrots are versatile and they have a lot of health benefits. You can cook them or eat them raw and crisp. They have a light flavor and can be used in so many different ways.
This isn’t even taking into account the different sizes and types of carrots that you can choose as well.
How do you store carrots? There are many ways to store carrots in the fridge. You can store them whole, peeled, or cut in dry, sealed containers, or you can store peeled/cut carrots in a sealed container with water. Carrots will typically last between 2 weeks and 3 months in the fridge.
In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about how to store carrots in the fridge. We will walk you through all of the tips as well as the different scenarios you might face when it comes to storing carrots.
Keep reading to learn how to store carrots in the fridge and more.
The Ultimate Guide to Storing Carrots in the Fridge
Storing carrots can easily vary based on whether or not your carrots or fresh or whether you’ve peeled them, sliced them, or cooked them.
While storage for carrots isn’t overly complicated, there are still a few things you should know in order to keep your carrots as fresh and tasty as possible when you store them in the fridge.
There are a lot of different things you can do with carrots so it stands to reason that you can come across a large variety of carrot options.
Whether you use baby carrots, grow your own carrots or anything in between, it’s important to know and understand your options.
If you’re not very familiar with carrots, let’s do a quick overview.
Carrots are considered root vegetables. The most common color of a carrot is orange but it is possible to find them in black, whet, purple, red, and yellow color variations as well. The different colors can have slightly different flavors.
Carrots offer several health benefits and are packed full of nutrients. They have beta carotene, fiber, potassium, Vitamin K1, and several antioxidants.
They are known for benefitting weight loss and eye health as well as cholesterol levels.
Now, let’s talk about various storage methods and things to know about storing your carrots in the fridge.
How to Store Carrots in the Fridge
In this section, we are going to give you a set of basic instructions for storing carrots in the fridge. In the following sections, we will cover a variety of circumstances that could apply to your carrots.
This instructional section is based primarily on fresh carrots that have not been cut, peeled, or cooked. However, if you feel like none of the other sections cover your needs, we want to point you back to this section as your basic go-to.
When refrigerated properly, your carrots should last quite some time. It is possible that carrots will last in the fridge for up to 3 months.
However, this is an extended timeframe that is nearly unheard of with any other type of vegetable or even food in general.
The key to storing carrots in the fridge for longer is to remove any green stubble or leaves from the carrot (if there is any). Your carrots may or may not have leaves left when you have them.
Here are your steps and best practices when storing carrots in the refrigerator:
- We recommend that you don’t wash the carrot until you’re ready to use it. Once you wash it, it could cause it to dry out in the fridge. Or extra moisture could also cause them to spoil.
- Take your unwashed carrots and cut off any leaves or greenery from the head of the carrot.
- Place your carrots into a plastic bag and seal it tightly. You can sometimes use the bag that they come in from the store but we recommend using a Ziploc or storage bag of some sort to be sure. Remove excess air from the bag before sealing.
- Place the bag of carrots in the coolest part of your fridge. This will vary from fridge to fridge. You might try the vegetable drawer or somewhere near the fan or freezer.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. But you should plan on eating them within a few weeks, just in case.
One of the keys to storing carrots for longer in the fridge is to keep them sealed in an airtight manner. It is the subjection to air that could cause your carrots to dry out.
Storing Carrots in the Fridge – Pros and Cons
Here is a quick list of the pros and cons of storing carrots for your reference.
Pros of Storing Carrots in the Fridge:
- Carrots could be preserved for up to 3 months.
- The process is pretty simple.
- There are no strict or challenging rules to follow.
- You just need a storage bag or airtight container.
- Carrots preserve longer in the fridge than almost any other food.
- You can store them unwashed and uncut.
Cons of Storing Carrots in the Fridge:
- It is possible that the carrots will dry out a bit.
- There is no guarantee they will last quite as long as 3 months.
- You should store them unwashed.
- Might require some prep work to remove greens and leaves.
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to determining whether or not you want to store your carrots in the fridge.
It is possible to store carrots outside of the fridge in a cool and dark location. Think of a cellar or something similar. There are freezing and canning options as well, but we don’t need to get into those in this guide.
However, we recommend using the fridge for the best and longest results as far as storing your fresh carrots.
Now, let’s talk about some carrot situations you might find yourself in. You never know when you need a solution to a carrot predicament.
How to Store Peeled Carrots
Let’s be fair here, not everyone raises homegrown carrots and not everyone realizes they don’t need that entire bag of carrots. Some of us peel them all at one time because it is simple and well, we’re already peeling.
Then, there is the fact that you can purchase unpeeled carrots as well. So, how does working with a peeled carrot affect the overall storage requirements and information?
You can use the information we already shared for storing peeled carrots but what you will find is that peeled carrots will dry out much faster and may even go bad.
Once you’ve peeled your carrots, we actually recommend an altered storage process for the best results.
Once you’ve peeled your carrots, they probably won’t last as long in the fridge. Peeled carrots are probably only going to last you 2-3 weeks as opposed to 2-3 months.
For this reason, we recommend that you only peel them when you are going to use them within a reasonable time frame.
Steps to Store Peeled Carrots
These directions are also suitable for baby carrots as well.
Here are our steps for storing peeled carrots:
- Go ahead and wash and rinse your peeled carrots. The best way to store peeled carrots is in water so get them clean beforehand to avoid them sitting in unnecessary germs and bacteria.
- Place clean water in a clean dish or container that will seal tightly. Submerge the carrots in the water and cover or seal tightly.
- Place the dish in a stable and cold area in your fridge.
- You should rinse and replace your water every 4-5 days to prevent bacteria or spoilage.
- Before you eat the carrots, give them a quick rinse.
- Store peeled carrots in this manner for up to a month.
This seems slightly more complicated than the typical storage methods but it is still a simple process.
Still, it is important that you remember to change your water every few days. The water could cause mold and bacteria growth so you will want to refresh it to prevent that. There’s no point storing carrots if you’re just going to let them get moldy after all.
Set yourself a reminder or whatever you need to do in order to properly preserve your peeled carrots.
If you aren’t a fan of the water storage method, you can use alternative options to store your peeled carrots. Here is another option for you:
- Be sure carrots are dry and clean.
- Wrap carrots in foil or plastic wrap.
- Place the wrapped carrots in a dry container or a sealing plastic bag.
- Storing peeled carrots like this will preserve your carrots for up to 2-3 weeks.
When you store peeled carrots like this, they probably will not last as long but they should last a decent amount of time.
There is one other really simple tip here that you may want to keep in your head: try not to store peeled carrots near peaches, bananas, pears, apples, or melons.
This is a USDA recommendation. The reason is that these fruits produce some gases that could cause other things near them to ripen more quickly. This will reduce the storage time of your carrots.
How to Keep Carrots Fresh After Cutting
Just as with peeled carrots, storing carrots that have been cut is a slightly different process from whole and unpeeled carrots. These again are a variety that could cause them to dry out. On the same note, storing cut carrots is quite similar to storing peeled carrots.
With them being cut, there are some slight differences but nothing too complicated.
Here are your steps for keeping carrots fresh after cutting them:
- Wrap cut carrots in moist paper towels or store them in cold water.
- Do not use an airtight container for water storage. Instead, cover the container lightly with plastic wrap or even paper towels.
- Store in the fridge in this manner for up to 1 month.
The most notable difference here is that you are not making your container airtight. This is because the airtight container mixed with the water could lead to stale water or bacteria growth.
As with storing peeled carrots, you will want to change your water every 4-5 days to keep it fresh. You should also rinse the carrots before using or eating them.
After carrots have been cut or peeled, the most common issue that people combat is the fact that they sometimes dry out. If you just toss the carrots in a dish or a plastic bag with no care, they probably will dry out within just a few days. You may get 2 weeks out of them.
The key here is to try to combat the dryness that comes with storage. We recommend fighting that using either water or moist paper towels. Which one you choose is totally up to you.
Storing Carrots in Water
You will notice that we had more than one process that recommended storing carrots in water. We’ve mostly explained and justified that throughout this guide but we wanted to circle back just a bit.
When carrots are uncut and unpeeled, don’t use water. In fact, in this case, the water could reduce the shelf life of your carrots. However, that’s where the line ends. If your carrots are cut or peeled in any way, you should use water for storage.
You can skip the water part but for the best results and the longest storage, we always recommend using water.
There are also some tricks for water storage in order to ensure that your carrots don’t go bad in the water. Here are some things to keep in mind when storing carrots:
- Are the carrots cut or peeled?
- Don’t seal cut carrots into an airtight container with water.
- Use cool water.
- Clean your carrots before putting them in water.
- Change your water frequently, preferably every 4-5 days.
- Rinse carrots before using or eating them.
- Store them in water for up to 1 month.
What does water do for your carrots? Well, it maintains the moisture balance that carrots need and helps prevent them from drying out.
You can eat carrots even when they’ve dried out but there’s just something about a fresh crisp carrot that makes it so much more appealing to our taste buds.
We also recommend using the water storage method for baby carrots to keep them fresh and prevent them from drying out. While they are not peeled or sliced by design, this method works much better for their preservation in the end.
We hope that you have found this guide to storing carrots in the fridge to be an all-encompassing guide that will be easy to use for your carrot storage purposes. Overall, storing carrots is simple and they last a really long time!
We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that could be of interest to you.
Is it Safe to Eat Carrots Every Day?
It is safe to eat carrots every day, unless you are truly eating them in excess. If you eat them in excess, the beta carotene levels in them can raise the carotene in your blood and cause your skin to discolor.
This is rare and unlikely. You would have to eat almost a whole cup of carrots every day for several months consecutively to get to this extreme level.
What is the Healthiest Way to Eat Carrots?
In order to get the most out of the nutrients that carrots contain, we recommend cooking them. Cooking them releases the nutrients in different ways into your body. At the same time, eating carrots in any form will provide numerous health benefits.