Pineapple is such an amazing fruit, especially when it is in season. But what if you have too much pineapple to eat before it goes bad? Can you freeze it?
You can freeze pineapple for up to one year, however, for the best flavor and quality, eat within the first four months. Pineapple should be sliced or pureed prior to freezing and stored in a plastic freezer container. Freezing pineapple is a great way to preserve and enjoy the fruit year-round.
We looked at all the different ways you can freeze pineapple to find the absolute best method. Here is a rundown of exactly how you should be freezing your pineapple.
How long can Pineapple stay in the Freezer?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, if you are freezing your food properly it can theoretically last forever. Food stored in an airtight container in a freezer that is always kept at zero degrees Fahrenheit will always be safe to consume, including pineapple.
However, it can be difficult to guarantee the temperature of your freezer, compromising safety. Additionally, even if the pineapple is technically safe to eat, it does lose some flavor and texture quality over time.
With these considerations, it is best to eat high-acidity foods like pineapple within the first year after it was frozen. This timeframe will give you a good quality pineapple, very similar to the quality before you froze it.
To enjoy the pineapple in its freshest, juiciest state, you will want to thaw and eat it even sooner. Enjoying the pineapple within the first 3 or 4 months gives you the best quality.
How to Package Pineapple for the Freezer
The key to ensuring your pineapple lasts as long as possible is the packaging. Airtight plastic freezer containers are best. This could be zipper freezer storage bags (please check out these great storage bags – Amazon Affiliate Link) or deli-style containers (please take a look at these containers – Amazon Affiliate Link).
When choosing your container, you want to minimize the amount of air that the pineapple will be exposed to. Choose a size that will just barely fit all the pineapple, so there is not as much room for air. If you are using a bag, make sure to push all of the extra air out before sealing and freezing.
Why Freeze Pineapple?
It’s no secret that pineapple tastes way better when it is in season, usually during early summer. It is often the cheapest during this time as well. Take advantage of the low prices and sweeter fruit to stock up on the best quality pineapple.
Freezing pineapple during its peak season allows you to preserve the summer sweetness to enjoy during the rest of the year as well.
Thaw and eat the pineapple months later to enjoy summertime pineapple flavor and nutrients during the winter as well.
Freezing Pineapple in Chunks or Slices
Slicing your pineapple before freezing is one of the best techniques. Remove the spikey top, rough outside, and tough core whenever the pineapple is perfectly ripe. Cut up the pineapple however you prefer to enjoy it. This could be in rings, chunks, or tidbits.
Store the pieces in a freezer bag or container and it is ready to be frozen!
Freezing sliced pineapple is the most versatile method. You can add the pineapple to a smoothie while still frozen, or thaw it out so you can add it to add to recipes or simply enjoy it on its own.
If you plan to enjoy the pineapple on its own, you will want to eat it sooner rather than later. Sauces or smoothies can hide the effects of long-term freezing, but you may be able to tell a difference when eating the pineapple plain. The texture of the whole pineapple pieces will change over time, so try to eat it within four months unless you are blending it.
You might want to check out our article: How To Ripen A Pineapple to help you choose a good ripe pineapple and the best way to cut your fresh pineapple with video footage.
Freezing Pineapple Puree
If you plan to mostly use your frozen pineapples in smoothies, freezing it as a puree is a great option! Pineapple puree freezes faster, thaws faster, and blends easier than slices or chunks.
Add your fresh, sliced pineapple to a blender with a little bit of juice or water as needed. Blend until smooth, then store in the freezer. It can be helpful to portion out the puree into individual smoothie servings and freeze each portion in its own container or bag.
You can add the puree to your smoothie frozen or thawed, depending on what your preferred smoothie texture is.
With the pineapple puree, you will not notice much of a difference between short-term and long-term freezer storage. You will not have to worry about the texture holding up since it is already blended. You can enjoy frozen pineapple puree for a whole year after it is first frozen, and maybe longer.
Freezing Pineapple Whole
You can definitely freeze a pineapple whole, but we do not recommend it. This method takes up a lot of freezer space and takes forever to thaw.
After thawing, you may find it more difficult to cut than it would have been when it was fresh. Freezing will slightly soften the fruit and leave it covered in juice.
It is best to cut up your pineapple completely before freezing.
How to Thaw Pineapple
The USDA recommends three safe techniques for thawing out frozen food. You can thaw your frozen pineapple (slices or puree) in the fridge, in a bowl of cold water, or in the microwave.
Thawing in the fridge is the slowest, but safest option. It will likely take 24 to 48 hours to thaw completely, depending on how big your container of pineapple is.
Putting the container or bag of pineapple in a bowl of cold water will be much faster. To keep the food safe from bacteria growth, make sure the water stays cold by replacing it every 30 minutes or so. This can take less than an hour for a small bag, or a few hours for a large container. Freezer bags will thaw much quicker because the plastic layer is thinner.
If you are planning to cook the pineapple immediately, the microwave is a very fast option. It can be difficult to get all of the fruit evenly defrosted without heating up other parts, so we only recommend this method if you are going to cook pineapple as part of a recipe.
Can you Refreeze Pineapple?
You can refreeze previously frozen pineapple as long as it was thawed in the fridge. It is safe to refreeze, but there is definitely a loss of quality.
The thawing process can cause the pineapple to lose a lot of its original moisture. Freezing it again without this moisture results in a dry and stringy texture. It is best to use or eat the pineapple the first time your thaw it.
Its always fun to grow and eat your own fruit and pineapples are no exception. Please take a look at our article: How To Grow Pineapple to see how easy it is to grow your very own pineapple at home.
if you happen to have a picked pineapple that is still unripe you might want to check out this article: Do Pineapples Ripen After Picking? for three basic ways to ripen your pineapple.
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