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These days mason jars are used for much more than canning. It’s not uncommon to see them being used as drinking glasses, for craft projects or even just as decorations. But the idea of using mason jars to keep berries fresh for longer was new to me.
The flimsy plastic containers you typically purchase berries in may not be the best way to store fruit and mason jars may prove to be a superior alternative.
The lifestyle site Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons shared a commenter’s hack that involved storing fruit in mason jars in her fridge, which she said “keeps the fruit fresh foreverrrrr.”
Gardening with Creations by DX and Co tested out this hack as well. She found that storing fruit in a mason jar seemed to keep raspberries fresh the longest but also pointed out that storing the berries on her top fridge shelf seemed to make a big impact, too. When storing her berries in the bottom drawers, they went bad faster.
I decided to try storing berries in mason jars (versus in their original container) myself. I bought blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. I then rinsed them and put a comparable amount of the first three berries in a mason jar and in a plastic “berry keeper” box I already had. I also kept some of the berries in the original plastic container they came in. I split the strawberries between the original store container and a mason jar. I stored all of these on the top shelf of my fridge and checked on them after three days, five days and seven days.
The below photo shows the berries on Day 1:
I should note that when I did this “experiment” it was February, which is not the best season to get fresh local berries in most of the country. Here in Hawaii, almost all berries are imported, so they don’t start off super fresh at any time of the year.
After three days, I could tell the strawberries in their original plastic container were starting to get soft and a few had squishy brown spots. The berries in the mason jar were doing better, with a little softening but not as much as those in the original container, and there were no brown spots.
These are the strawberries in the plastic container from the store on Day 1 and Day 3:
Here are the mason jar strawberries at Day 1 and 3:
By Day 5, both sets of strawberries were showing serious wear and tear. The mason jar strawberries were slightly better, but both were moldy and browning.
These are the plastic container strawberries and mason jar strawberries (bottom) on Day 5:
The berry trios I had in the original container, mason jar and berry keeper container seemed to be progressing at pretty much the same rate each time I checked them and they would stay at a comparable decomposition rate for the entire week.
Here are the berries after several days of storage:
Maybe the berry keeper container slowed the decomposition a bit, and maybe the mason jar helped a bit, too, but the difference wasn’t that noticeable for either.
It seems that the best way to keep berries fresh the longest is still to soak them in a vinegar wash to get rid of bacteria before you store them. But this can be hard to do consistently if you’re pressed for time or have kids who want to grab fruit as soon as it gets back from the store.
Some argue that you shouldn’t rinse your fruit until just before eating as it can absorb water from rinsing and go bad faster. This may be true, but my kids will grab any fruit from the fridge and eat it without thinking, so I try and pre-rinse everything after coming home from the store.
Have you ever tried this mason jar fruit storage hack and noticed it kept your fruit better for longer?