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How To Thaw Frozen Fruit – The Ultimate Guide

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If you are someone that likes freezing seasonal fruits to enjoy them year-round you have probably encountered issues with defrosting them. 

How can you thaw frozen fruit? The best way to thaw frozen fruit depends on the type of fruit, but there are three general ways to defrost fruit. You can thaw fruit in the refrigerator, in cold water, and sometimes even in the microwave.

These options range from taking hours to minutes, but not all methods will work for every fruit. Defrosting times will vary by the type of fruit you have, as well.

Fortunately, we’ve aimed for the ultimate guide to thawing fruit in this article. Read on for step-by-step instructions for defrosting different types of fruit in ways that work best for them. 

How to Thaw Different Types of Fruit

Different types of fruit may require different ways of defrosting. Here are the best thawing methods for berries, citrus, tropical, and stone fruits, as well as apples and pears. 

How to Thaw Berries

Freezing berries is a great way to extend the shelf life of these delicate fruits. You can use them frozen to make juices or smoothies. But when it comes to making salads with berries or using them as a topping on your morning oatmeal, you don’t want to deal with icy berries. 

There are a few methods to choose from when it comes to thawing frozen berries. Pick one depending on how much time you have and what you are planning to use the fruit for. 

Thawing in the Fridge 

Defrosting berries in the fridge is easy. However, this method is only good if you have the time.

To defrost berries in the fridge, follow these steps:

  1. Transfer the required amount of frozen berries into a bowl or a plastic container. 
  2. If you are using a bowl, make sure to cover it with food wrap. 
  3. Check the berries in five hours. If you need the berries to be firmer, take them out. You can leave berries to thaw in the fridge overnight if you don’t mind them being softer. 

Thawing in Cold Water

If you have only a few minutes to thaw frozen berries, this method is the quickest to go for when you need the fruit to not become soggy.  

  1. Measure how many berries you need to defrost and put them in a bowl.
  2. Fill the bowl with cold water so that it covers the berries. 
  3. Wait a few minutes until the berries have defrosted, then drain and use. 

Thawing berries with cold water is also easy when you want to defrost the fruit in a plastic bag. Submerge the bag with berries into a bowl of cold water. However, you should expect to spend more time defrosting berries this way. 

Thawing in the Microwave

Microwaving berries to defrost them is quick and easy. However, keep in mind that this method may leave the berries slightly mushy. If this doesn’t bother you with the way you are going to use the berries, then follow these instructions to thaw berries in the microwave. 

  1. Line a microwave-safe plate with two layers of paper towel. 
  2. Spread the berries evenly on the plate. 
  3. Defrost for 30 seconds and check. 
  4. Defrost for another 30 seconds and repeat for up to 2 minutes until the fruit is completely defrosted. 
  5. Don’t leave the berries in the microwave any longer than necessary or you will overcook them. 
  6. Take the plate out and remove the berries from the paper towel. 

How to Thaw Citrus Fruit

Depending on how you have frozen your citrus fruits, including limes, lemons, and oranges, you might consider defrosting them in different ways. 

Defrosting Whole Citrus Fruit

Throwing whole lemons or limes in the freezer for later use requires no time and effort. And it is equally easy to defrost these whole fruits in the microwave following the process below:

  1. Place the frozen fruit on a microwave-safe plate. 
  2. Microwave for around 30 seconds and use. 

If you don’t have access to a microwave, you can leave the fruit to thaw at room temperature. Doing this, however, will take a few hours. 

Defrosting Citrus Fruit Wedges and Slices

You can thaw citrus fruit wedges, slices, or cubes in cold water in no time with these steps:

  1. Place the citrus slices or wedges in a plastic bag. 
  2. Fill a bowl with cold water and submerge the bag into it for around 15 minutes. 
  3. Alternatively, you can hold the bag with cut citrus fruit under cold running water. 

How to Thaw Tropical Fruit

Fruits that grow in warm climates are a favorite for many. They are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and are easy to store in the freezer. 

Tropical fruits, such as bananas, pineapples, mangoes, coconut, and kiwis, are generally frozen in chunks. 

Some tropical fruits are better when frozen whole, such as figs and dates

No matter how you freeze tropical fruits, the thawing method that will work best for them is either refrigerator thawing or cold water thawing. Microwave thawing might work in specific cases, but be sure to check exactly which fruits are suitable for this.

Thawing in the Refrigerator

Refrigerator thawing takes hours but it is the easiest way to thaw frozen tropical fruit. Just follow these steps:

  1. Transfer the required amount of fruit from the freezer into the refrigerator. 
  2. Put the fruit in a bowl and cover it with food wrap
  3. Leave the fruit in the fridge for a few hours until it is defrosted enough for your liking. It usually takes around an hour or two for 100 grams of fruit to thaw. 
  4. If the fruit is in a plastic bag, turn the bag over from time to time to accelerate the thawing process. 

Thawing in Cold Water

Cold water thawing is ideal if you have your fruit chunks frozen in a plastic bag. Here is how to quickly thaw frozen tropical fruit with the help of cold water:

  1. Place the plastic bag with fruits in a bowl. 
  2. Put the bowl in the sink and let cold water run over the bag. You can also simply leave the bag in cold water. Running water, however, will thaw the fruit quicker. 
  3. Turn the bag over every few minutes and try to spread the fruit chunks out so that they are better exposed to water. 
  4. Take the fruit of the plastic bag once it has defrosted. 

Thawing in the Microwave 

Microwave thawing is suitable only for a few types of tropical fruits, such as whole-frozen bananas or dates. 

  1. Place the fruit on a microwave-safe plate.
  2. Set the microwave on Low. 
  3. Microwave for 30 seconds. Check to see if the fruit is defrosted enough. If not, repeat for another 30 seconds or until you are satisfied with the result. 

How to Thaw Melons

If you decide to freeze melons, such as cantaloupe or honeydew, do it in moderately-sized chunks to make the thawing process easy.  

The best way to defrost melons is by letting them thaw in the fridge. 

Thawing Melons in the Fridge 

Follow these steps to thaw melon chunks in the refrigerator:

  1. Transfer your desired amount of fruit into a bowl and put it in the fridge.
  2. Or, if you are thawing the melons in the container (plastic bag) they have been frozen in, put a plate under it to avoid water leaking everywhere. 
  3. Let the melon thaw until it is soft enough to eat. If you have a big container of melon chunks, it may take them a day or longer to completely defrost. Check on the fruit occasionally to see in what state it is. 

How long the fruit takes to defrost depends on the size of the chunks and the melon types. Watermelon, for example, thaws much quicker than a cantaloupe. 

A cold water bath at room temperature will accelerate the defrosting process of melons. 

How to Thaw Stone Fruit

Stone fruits, i.e. fruits with pits, such as cherries, peaches, plums, etc., are generally frozen after removing the pits and cutting into chunks or wedges. You can freeze these fruits whole too. However, they will take much longer to thaw. 

Defrosting stone fruits isn’t different from defrosting other types of fruit. 

Thawing in the Refrigerator 

Here is how you can defrost stone fruit in the refrigerator:

  1. Transfer the fruit in a container or plastic bag into the fridge. 
  2. Make sure to keep it covered to avoid the fruit absorbing any odors form other products in the fridge. 
  3. Let the fruit thaw for a few hours. The bigger are the fruit chunks the longer it will take them to soften. 

Thawing in Cold Water 

Thawing stone fruit in cold water is much faster than in the refrigerator and will work just as well. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Put the fruit in a sealable plastic bag
  2. Submerge the bag into a bowl filled cold water. 
  3. Change the water every 20 minutes or leave the bowl in the sink under running water until the fruit is fully defrosted. 

How to Thaw Apples and Pears

Apples and pears are the most widely eaten pome fruits that can be frozen both whole or cut into smaller pieces. 

When defrosting apples, you need to keep in mind that they are not the type of fruit to be defrosted quickly. A quick defrosting process will make your fruit, either whole or sliced, soggier and more watery. 

To keep your apples and pears in good shape, you should defrost them in the refrigerator like this:

  1. Transfer as much fruit as you need to use into the fridge. 
  2. Let it sit in the fridge overnight until fully defrosted. Whole frozen apples as well as whole frozen peeled pears will take longer to thaw. 

There you have it! A complete guide to thawing frozen fruit.

Up Next: Can You Refreeze Frozen Fruit? – How To Do It Safely

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