Storing grapes may seem easy but requires a bit of consideration. As with every fruit, moisture is what causes food to go bad.
This is why it is important that you either not wash the grapes until consumption or only wash them in a certain way to prolong their life.
How do you store grapes after washing? Wet grapes must be dried using a paper towel before they are stored in a food-grade plastic bag. The grapes will remain fresh for up to 3-5 days but may not last for that long if they have even a bit of moisture on them.
Read below to learn the best way to store grapes, how to wash them and how to prolong their shelf life for later use!
Picking The Right Grapes
Before we discuss the best method of washing the grapes, you must pick grapes that are fresh from the store!
Picking a bunch at random is fine but taking the extra time to pick through the freshest bunch will get you way farther in your pursuit of storing fruit for longer.
Make sure that you pick grapes that are plump and securely attached to the stem. Loose grapes can be a bit too ripe and may start to oxidize sooner than the ones that are attached to the main stem.
A great way to tell if the bunch is fresh is by using two methods:
The shake test is a simple and definitive way of determining the quality of the grapes. Pick a bunch that looks fresh (it does not contain any markings, discoloration, overly ripe pieces, etc.).
Now hold the bunch from the stem and give it a gentle shake and see if any grapes fall off.
If they don’t or if only one or two fall down then you may continue with the rest of the guide. If a lot of the grapes fall then the bunch may not be fit for storage.
Visual And Taste Test
Inspect the bunch from every corner to see if you can find any deflated or blackened grapes. This will indicate that the grapes have begun spoiling and will last for no more than 1-2 days.
If the grapes look fine then you may proceed to taste one or two grapes to see if they are sour or sweet.
Sour grapes may indicate that they are still not ripe and may be suitable for long-term storage while sweet grapes may be consumed within 5 days.
Washing And Storing
When you bring the grapes home, you will have two options. You can either wash them and store them in the fridge, or you can shift them to a clean plastic bag and store them in the fridge.
The first scenario, where you wash the grapes as soon as you bring them home should only be done when you intend to eat the grapes the same day or if there is considerable dirt on the grapes.
As stated, moisture will promote bacterial growth and if you want to wash them, then you will also have to make sure that they are completely dry before they are stored in the fridge.
The second scenario is suitable when you want to maximize the storage life of the grapes. Keep in mind, fresh grapes under optimal conditions will last up to 3-5 days in the fridge.
So, if you want to store them for later, just leave them in the packaging they came in or shift them into a clean bag.
Steps For Washing Grapes
Here are a few crucial steps for washing grapes the right way:
- Pick the best bunch using the guide above then take the grapes out of their packaging and place them in a strainer.
- Rinse them under clean, cool water until they are free of dirt. You can also gently massage the grapes with your fingers to wash them more effectively. Just make sure that you don’t break them off the stem.
- Let the grapes drain through the strainer for at least 3-5 minutes or until they are free of excess water. A great way to quickly drain them would be to softly shake the strainer to force the water out of the grapes.
- Lay the bunch on top of a clean paper towel and let them sit for 2-3 minutes under the fan. Then with another dry paper towel, pat the grapes dry and make sure that you get every corner of the bunch. Repeat this step until the grapes are dry.
- Move the grapes into a plastic or air-tight zip lock bag and keep it at the back of the fridge.
Please keep in mind, that while the grapes may remain fresh for up to 3-5 days, you should consume them within 48 hours to get the most out of their flavor. This is especially true for grapes that have been washed.
A much better way to store them for longer is to not initially wash them and to just store them as it is in the fridge at 40°F.
When you want to eat a few of them, then just simply break off the stem or individual grapes as required and rinse a portion of the grapes.
If there is dirt on the bunch then it would be a great idea to cut off the stem above the affected area and to wash only the dirty portion before storing the rest as stated above.
Alternate Means Of Storage
Storing washed grapes in the fridge is not the only way to preserve this food! Here are a few additional ways to lengthen the freshness of this fruit:
Grapes, like every other food, can be frozen. This is the quickest and easiest way to prolong the shelf life of the fruit by up to several weeks.
However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind:
- The grapes must not be washed and should be completely dry before they are stored in an airtight container or bag and kept in the freezer. Failing to do so may promote freezer burn which will ruin their texture and flavor.
- The grapes must be just adequately ripe or underripe. Overly ripe grapes may not be suitable for freezing purposes as their skins might develop blemishes and may also tear. Freezing the grapes at their prime will keep them fresh for longer!
- Ideally, you should let the grapes remain attached to the stem when freezing them.
- Put the container on a ceramic plate so that the packaging or the grapes don’t stick to the freezer tray.
The grapes will take around 8-12 hours to completely freeze. Once they are frozen, they can stay in the freezer for up to 2-3 weeks.
In most cases, the grapes will be able to last much longer than that but if you want them to be at their freshest, then you must eat them within 3 weeks.
Thawing the grapes is easy as all you would need to do is move the container to the fridge and let them thaw overnight. You may also then rinse the grapes as indicated in our guide above before consumption.
Dehydrating grapes is another great way of storing them for the long term. This method involves washing and adding the grapes to any dehydrator and processing them for at least 8-12 hours.
This will turn the grapes into fresh raisins that you can then use in multiple ways. The grapes may even be able to rehydrate if you allow them to soak in clean water in the fridge overnight!
Both rehydrated and hydrated grapes can be stored the same way.
If you’re interested in trying out this method but don’t have a dehydrator yet, we’d definitely recommend this brand!
Washing grapes before storage may seem like the logical thing to do but in some cases, it may shorten their expiration date by a few days!
Now that you know how to properly store and wash the grapes before consumption, here are a few interesting related questions.
Do green and red grapes require washing and are they stored the same way?
Yes, the guide above is for all types of grapes. You can use the same strategy for a range of berries and other fruits too.
Also, in some cases, you might not even need to clean the grapes yourself! Inquire about the cleanliness of the grapes with a representative at the supermarket to confirm whether they have been washed before being put on sale.
Can I use a fruit wash solution to wash the grapes?
Yes, you can use a homemade or commercial fruit wash solution to clean the grapes but you will have to follow the same protocol before washing them.
If you plan to store them for longer then only rinse them just before consumption. Otherwise, it’s best to store them as it is.
Can frozen grapes be used without thawing?
Yes, frozen grapes can be washed as usual and then be used in many ways. For example, a great way to use multiple frozen grapes is to treat them like ice cubes.
Make your favorite fruity beverage and add a few frozen grapes to chill and add flavor to the drink!
Up Next: Sopa De Salchichon