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With the cost of food as high as it is, and to preserve the taste and nutritional benefit of vegetables and fruits, it is important to know how long food will keep its taste, texture and nutritional value using the available storage methods at home: the refrigerator, freezer, on the counter or canned. The table below lists the estimated storage life, for best quality, for various fruits, vegetables and products from these for each of the home storage methods. Canned and frozen fruit, vegetables and products may be safe beyond these dates if their packaging is intact and the temperatures were maintained; but they are likely to show degradation in text, appearance and texture.
This chart assumes that you started with ripe, but not over fruit fruit and vegetables that were not bruised, moldy, cut open or otherwise damaged. See the explanation at the bottom of the page, following the chart for more details of assumed storage conditions.
Finally, this chart is a work in progress; it is constantly being tweaked and refined, as new varieties of fruit and vegetables enter the marketplace, bring enhanced storage properties. The chart is a combination of research and my own 50 years of experience with home preserving... and there are a LOT of fruits, vegetables and forms of storage here!
|Fruit, vegetable or product||Form||Best storage method(s)||Optimal storage temperature (and other conditions, if applicable||Optimal humidity||Typical Useful Storage Life with Various Storage Methods||Best case, at optimal storage temperature and humidity||Comments|
|At room temperature on the counter||
Basement, or other cool, dark storage area
(40 - 65 F)
(35 - 40 F)
(commercial or properly home canned)
|Apples||fresh||Fridge, fruit drawer||30-40||-1-4||90-95||1 week||3 weeks to 3 months||3 weeks to 3 months||1 year||1 year||1-12 months||Chill sensitive stored at 35-40 F (2-4 C) It really depends on the variety. Hard, drietr apples, like Fuji's can store for months. SOft, sweet, moist apples, like Gals sppoin within weeks.|
|Applesauce||canned||fridge or cool basement||40 - 60||not applicable||2 weeks||18 months||2 years||
|Apple butter||canned||not applicable||6 weeks||2 years||5 years|
|Apple jelly||canned||not applicable||6 weeks||not suitable||1 year|
|Artichokes||fresh||32-35||0-2||90-95||2-5 months||2-5 months
|Artichokes, Jerusalem||fresh||31-32||0-2||90-95||2-3 weeks||4-5 months|
Stand cut end in a glass of water in the fridge to keep it fresher
|Avocados, unripe||fresh||45-50||7-10||85-95||Keep away from ethylene producing fruits|
|Beans, dry||fresh||40-50||40-50||6-10 months|
|Beans, green or snap||fresh||40-45||95||7-10 days|
|Beans, sprouts||fresh||32||0||95-100||7-9 days|
|Beans. Lima||fresh||37-41||0||95||5-7 days|
|Beets, bunched||fresh||32||0||98-100||10-14 days|
|Beets, topped||fresh||32||0||98-100||4-6 months|
|Blueberries||fresh||32-35||0-2||90-95||do not wash before storing in fridge, rinse just before using|
|Brussels Sprouts||fresh||32||0||90-95||3-5 weeks|
|Bunched Greens||fresh||32||0||90-95||Beets, Chard, Green Onions, Mustard, Parsley, Radish, Spinach, Turnip|
|Cabbage, Chinese||fresh||32||0||95-100||2-3 months|
|Cabbage, early||fresh||32||0||98-100||3-6 weeks|
|Cabbage, late||fresh||32||0||98-100||5-6 months|
|Carrots, bunched||fresh||32||0||95-100||4-6 weeks||4-6 weeks||4-6 weeks||Ethylene may cause a bitter flavor,trim the tops to 1/2 inch.|
|Carrots, immature||fresh||32||0||98-100||4-6 weeks||4-6 weeks||4-6 weeks||Ethylene may cause a bitter flavor,trim the tops to 1/2 inch.|
|Carrots, mature||fresh||32||0||98-100||4-8 weeks||7-9 months||7-9 months||Ethylene may cause a bitter flavor,trim the tops to 1/2 inch.|
|Cherries, sour||fresh||32||0||90-95||3-7 days||do not wash before storing in fridge (unless freezing), rinse just before using|
|Cherries, sweet||fresh||30-31||90-95||2-3 weeks||do not wash before storing in fridge (unless freezing), rinse just before using|
|Chicory, witloof||fresh||32||0||95-100||2-4 weeks|
|Chinese Pea Pods||fresh||32-35||0-2||90-95|
|Coconuts||fresh||55-60||13-16||80-85||Extended storage 32-35 F (0-2 C)|
|Corn, sweet||fresh||32||0||95-98||5-8 days|
|Garlic||fresh||32||0||65-70||6-7 months||May be stored at 55-70 F (13-21 C) for shorter periods|
do not remove skins
|Greens, leafy||fresh||32||0||95-100||10-14 days|
|Melons, Casaba/Persian||fresh||50-55||10-13||85-95||Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)|
|Melons, Crenshaw||fresh||50-55||10-13||85-95||Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)|
|Melons, Honey Dew||fresh||50-55||10-13||85-95||Riper melons may be stored at 45-50 F (7-10 C)|
|Onions||fresh||32-35||0-2||65-75||May be stored at 55-70 F (13-21 C) for shorter period|
|Peas, green||fresh||32||0||95-98||1-2 weeks|
|Peas, southern||fresh||40-41||95||6-8 days|
|Peppers, hot chili||fresh||32-50||60-70||6 months|
|Peppers, sweet||fresh||45-55||7-10||90-95||2-3 weeks|
|Pineapples||fresh||50-55||10-13||85-95||Odor may influence avacados|
|Radishes, spring||fresh||32||0||95-100||3-4 weeks|
|Radishes, winter||fresh||32||95-100||2-4 months|
|Squashes, summer||fresh||41-50||95||1-2 weeks|
|Squashes, winter||fresh||50||50-70||1-6 months|
|Strawberries||fresh||32||0||90-95||3-7 days||do not wash before storing in fridge (unless freezing), rinse just before using|
|Sweet Potatoes||fresh||55-60||85-90||4-7 months|
|Tomatoes, mature green||fresh||55-70||90-95||1-3 weeks||Riping can be delayed by storing at 55-60 F (13-16 C)|
|Tomatoes, ripe||fresh||55-70||90-95||4-7 days|
|Turnip greens||fresh||32||95-100||10-14 days|
|Watermelon||fresh||45- 50||13-21||85-95||2-3 weeks||Keep away from ethylene producing fruits|
These are my favorite essential canning tools, books and supplies. I've been using many of these for over 50 years of canning! The ones below on this page are just the sampling of. my preferred tools. but you can find much more detailed and extensive selections on the pages that are linked below.
This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child.; It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.
If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)The New Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving
Canning and Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward
This is another popular canning book. Click here for more information, reviews, prices for Canning and Preserving For Dummies
Of course, you do not need to buy ANY canning book as I have about 500 canning, freezing, dehydrating and more recipes all online for free, just see Easy Home Canning Directions.
I have several canners, and my favorite is the stainless steel one at right. It is easy to clean and seems like it will last forever. Mine is 10 years old and looks like new.
The black ones are the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce.
This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, Jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. It's only missing the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book.
You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)!
The complete list of canners is on these pages:
If you plan on canning non-acidic foods and low acid foods that are not pickled - this means: meats, seafood, soups, green beans corn, most vegetables, etc., then you ABSOLUTELY must use a Pressure Canner.
Of course, you can use a pressure canner as a water bath canner as well - just don't seal it up, so it does not pressurize. This means a Pressure Canner is a 2-in-1 device. With it, you can can almost ANYTHING.
There are also other supplies, accessories, tools and more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
From left to right:
Don't spend money on books. that you don't need to. Almost everything you can find in some book sold online or in a store is on my website here for free. Start with theEasy Home Canning Directions below. That is a master list of canning directions which are all based upon the Ball Bblue book, the National Center for Home Food Preservation and other reputable lab tested recipes. Almost every recipe I present in addition to being lab tested com. is in a step by step format with photos for each step and complete. explanations. that tell you how to do it, where to get the supplies and pretty much everything you need to know. In addition, there almost always in a PDF format so you can print them out and use them while you cook.
most recent version of
the Ball Blue Book