What is the shelf life of cherries? 

Cherries are a popular fruit, and they are available year-round. They are also very perishable, so it’s important to know how long you can keep them before they spoil. This guide will tell you how to store your cherries properly, as well as how long they should last in storage. We will explore the shelf life of fresh cherries, frozen cherries, canned cherries, and dried cherries.

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Storage time shown is for best quality only – after that, the cherries’ texture, color, or flavor may change, but in most cases, they will still be safe to consume if they have been stored properly.

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    How Long Do Cherries Last In Storage?

    The shelf life of cherries depends on many factors: where they were grown, when they were picked, what variety they are, how ripe they are, and how much sugar they contain.

    Another factor that affects their shelf life is whether they are bought fresh, dried, or frozen. Fresh cherries have the shortest shelf life, followed by frozen cherries, then canned cherries, and finally dried cherries.

    Let us take a look at each type of cherry separately.

    Fresh cherries 

    Fresh cherries
    • Room temperature: 1 to 2 days
    • Refrigerator: 4 to 10 days
    • Freezer: 10 to 12 months (best quality) 

    Fresh cherries have the shortest shelf life because they are not processed at all. The only thing that happens to them is picking them from the tree and packing them into containers.

    The best way to preserve fresh cherries is by freezing them. You can freeze cherries whole or cut them into halves or quarters. If you want to use cherries for pies, jams, jellies, or preserves, then you need to remove the pits first.

    What is the shelf life of fresh cherries? 

    Depends largely on the storage conditions. Cherries stored in a refrigerator will be good for up to 10 days. If stored in a freezer, they’ll stay good for about one year. At room temperature, fresh cherries have the shortest lifespan of up to 2 days. 

    For maximum shelf life, it is recommended to always store cherries in the refrigerator or freezer. 

    How long do cherries keep at room temperature? 

    Cherries should only be stored at room temperature if eaten the same day, as they are highly perishable and do not ripen after being picked. They can at most be kept for 2 days depending on how ripe they were when harvested.

    Refrigerate the cherries in a plastic bag. Discard bruised or moldy cherries before storing them in the refrigerator. Also, make sure you wash them only before eating or using them.

    How long do cherries keep in the fridge? 

    Cherries will generally last up to 4 to 10 days if stored properly in the refrigerator.

    Can you freeze cherries? 

    Yes. Cherries are great for freezing. They can be frozen in their own juice or syrup.

    To do this, Wash, stem, and pit the cherries. Then add 150 grams of sugar per 300 grams of cherries and stir well until the sugar has dissolved completely.

    Store cherries in the freezer in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.

    How long do cherries keep in the freezer? 

    If stored properly, cherries will maintain optimum quality for about 10 to 12 months in the freezer but will remain safe to eat beyond this period. 

    How do you know if cherries are stale? 

    Cherries that spoil usually become soft and deteriorate in color. Discard cherries if mold appears or if they smell or look unusual. 

    Frozen cherries 

    Frozen cherries
    • Freezer: 12 months (best quality)

    If you’re looking for an easy way to preserve your cherries, you might consider freezing them. Frozen cherries have a longer shelf life than fresh ones because of the low temperature. It’s also easier to thaw frozen cherries than fresh ones.

    You can also buy frozen cherries from the supermarket. If you choose to freeze your cherries, make sure to follow these guidelines:

    • Freeze cherries whole, not pitted. Pitted cherries tend to lose flavor faster than unpeeled ones.
    • Use only quality cherries. Don’t use any cherries with bruises or moldy spots.
    • Make sure to remove the stems before freezing. Stems add moisture to the cherries, which makes them more susceptible to spoiling.
    • Keep frozen cherries in the freezer until ready to eat. Once thawed, they need to be eaten within three days.
    • If you buy frozen cherries, you’ll need to check the expiration date on the package.

    What is the shelf life of frozen cherries? 

    Depending on the storage conditions, frozen cherries maintain their quality for up to one year in the freezer, although usually, they’re fine to eat after this time.

    Always store frozen cherries in the freezer and use them within a year.

    Are frozen cherries safe to eat after the “best before” date on the package? 

    Yes, if stored correctly. Frozen cherries usually have a “best before” date, but this is not an expiry date. This is the manufacturer’s estimate of how long frozen cherries will maintain optimum quality.

    How long do frozen cherries stay safe to eat? 

    Cherries frozen in their original packaging and kept in the freezer at – 18°C will keep for an indefinite period if they have been stored properly and the package has not been damaged.

    How do you thaw frozen cherries?

    Thawing frozen cherries is very simple. Just place them in a bowl filled with cold water and let them sit for 5 minutes. Drain the cherries and serve immediately.

    How do you know if frozen cherries are no longer good? 

    If any spots or discolorations have developed on frozen cherries, freezer burn has occurred. This won’t make frozen cherries unsafe to eat, but it will harm their texture and taste. 

    Dried cherries 

    Dried cherries

    Dried cherries are another good choice for preserving your cherries. You can find dried cherries in bags or jars. When purchasing dried cherries, check the expiration date on the package. It is recommended that you purchase dried cherries that are no older than one year.

    • Room temperature: 6 to 10 months
    • Refrigerator: 8 to 12 months
    • Freezer: 12 to 18 months (best quality) 

    What is the shelf life of dried cherries? 

    Dried cherries’ shelf life depends largely on the storage conditions. When stored in the pantry or at room temperature, dried cherries should last for about 6 to 10 months. When stored in the refrigerator, dried cherries can last for as much as 8 to 12 months.

    Frozen dried cherries have the longest shelf life, lasting up to 18 months at optimum quality. They can keep indefinitely if stored properly. 

    How do you store dried cherries?

    Dried cherries should be stored away from heat sources such as radiators, ovens, microwaves, etc., and out of direct sunlight. They should also be protected from humidity.

    To maximize the shelf life of dried cherries after opening the package, store them in an airtight container or heavy-duty plastic bag. In the pantry, store dried cherries in a cool, dry place. 

    How long do dried cherries keep at room temperature? 

    Stored in the right conditions, dried cherries will keep for around 6 to 12 months at room temperature (around 20°C). 

    Should I put dried cherries in the fridge? 

    In a warm and humid environment, dried cherries should be stored in the refrigerator. 

    How long do dried cherries keep in the fridge? 

    Dried cherries will keep for 6 to 12 months in the refrigerator. 

    Can you freeze dried cherries? 

    Yes. Freeze dried cherries in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. 

    How long do dried cherries keep in the freezer? 

    Stored in the right conditions, dried cherries maintain optimum quality for about 12 to 18 months in the freezer, but remain suitable for consumption beyond this period. 

    How do you know if dried cherries are expired? 

    The best way is to smell and examine the dried cherries. Throw them out if they smell or look unusual, or if mold appears. 

    Is dried fruit safe to eat after the “best before” date on the package?

    Yes, as long as it hasn’t spoiled. Dried fruits are best used within one year of purchase.

    Do I need to wash dried cherries before eating them?

    No, dried cherries don’t require washing before consumption. However, it is advisable to rinse them under running water just before serving.

    Canned Cherries

    Canned cherries

    Canned cherries are another great option if you want to preserve your cherries. Canned cherries come in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties. Sweetened canned cherries have sugar added during processing. Unsweetened canned cherries contain no added sugar. The taste of canned cherries varies depending on the variety. Some varieties may be more tart than others.

    It is better to choose canned cherries without added sugar as it causes cherries to turn brown easily. Also, avoid canned cherries with dented or bulged seams because it may be an indication that they have been exposed to too much heat during processing.

    If you want to make your own canned cherries, see our cherry compote recipe

    How long do unopened canned cherries last?

    Properly stored, an unopened can of cherries will generally stay at its best quality for about 18 to 24 months, although it will usually remain safe to use after that. An opened can of cherries will lose its freshness faster. It’s recommended to consume canned cherries within two years of opening.

    How do you store canned cherries?

    Store canned cherries in a cool, dry area. Avoid storing them near other foods like meats or vegetables. Do not refrigerate canned cherries.

    Are unopened canned cherries safe to use after the “expiration” date on the can or package?

    Yes, provided they’re properly stored and the can isn’t damaged, commercially packaged canned cherries usually carry a ‘best by’, ‘best before’ or ‘best when used by’ date. However, this is not a safety dating, it’s just an estimate from the manufacturer of how long the canned cherry will be at its best quality.

    How can you tell if canned cherries are bad or spoiled?

    The best way to check whether canned cherries are good is by smelling them and looking at their color and shape. If they develop any kind of bad odor, taste, or appearance, they should be thrown away.

    Mold is also a sign that canned cherries are spoiled. Moldy canned cherries should be discarded immediately.

    Also, if there are any leaks, rust, bulges, or dents in the cans or packages, discard them.

    How to Store Cherries

    Below are some tips on how to store cherries:

    • When storing fresh cherries, keep them in a cool, dry place where they won’t get wet. Make sure that they don’t touch each other or anything else. Try to avoid moisture, which can cause them to darken and rot quickly.
    • When storing them in the refrigerator or freezer, make sure they aren’t touching anything else. They should also be kept in airtight containers.
    • If you plan to freeze cherries, first remove the stems and pits. Then, cut them into halves or quarters. Place them in single layers in a large zip-top bag or container. Freeze them until solid, then transfer them to smaller bags or containers.
    • Dried cherries should be stored in a cool, dry location. You can either buy dried cherries in bulk or purchase them individually. Dried cherries can be stored in jars or plastic containers.
    • If you buy canned cherries in jars, make sure that they are tightly sealed. Don’t open them unless you need to use them right away. Once opened, they’ll start losing their flavor and nutrients.

    For more information on how to store cherries, visit our article here.

    Cherries are delicious fruits that come in many varieties. There are so many ways to enjoy them, including eating them raw, baking, making pies, jams, jellies, candies, sauces, and more. So, no matter what type of cherry you prefer, you’ll find something delicious to eat!

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