How to Freeze Berries: Freezing Raspberries, Blackberries, and more

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There are so many reasons why someone would want to know how to freeze berries. Maybe you have some extra fruit from the grocery store you don’t want to waste (this is a great tip for a zero waste kitchen)! Or, maybe your store had a wild sale on berries and you stocked up. Maybe you’re like me and you harvest berries on a farm and need an easy way to preserve the harvest. However you ended up with these berries, learn everything you need to know about freezing raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and more!

Tips from a real berry picker

In 2014, I emailed my local farmers market and offered to volunteer every Saturday for the whole season.

I’d actually never been to that market…I just assumed it would be a nice one.

And I had no idea it was a 9-month market spanning from April to mid-December.

Yes, mid-December in a parking lot.

how to freeze blueberries

Fortunately, my willingness as a volunteer was never tested as the market needed an assistant manager right away. I applied and after one market, I was hired!

I continued in the assistant manager position for 2 years and then became the manager myself for another 2 years before I entered graduated school to become a teacher.

At this point in my life, I look back at those 4 years managing a market pretty much every Saturday and am so thankful for the hard work, the deep connection to community, and the AMAZING food.

Honestly, I accept that I’m probably a produce snob now. Although I love heirloom plant varieties and unusual crops, it’s more about eating truly fresh and nutritious produce. Freshness has a huge affect on flavor!

Even though I no longer manage the market, I still harvest on at least one farm each summer, especially during berry season! It’s such a great way to renew those connections to my friends and local food community and a reminder to live seasonally.

It’s also an excellent way to end up with lots of berries.

Between strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and marionberries, I generally need to store berries in some way, shape, or form. When you work on a berry farm, you need to know how to freeze berries!

how to freeze berries

Ways to Preserve Excess Berries

I do love to can and make jams, but I’m usually trying to eat less sugar. Also, canning is hot and after a long day of harvesting, I generally do not want to stand over a boiling pot for a long time.

I don’t have a dehydrator, but you can certainly dry berries for natural fruit candy. Lots of folks like to make fruit leather, too!

Personally, I prefer to freeze berries because it:

  • Is THE easiest way to store berries long-term
  • Stores the fruit perfectly for however long I need
  • Doesn’t require a water bath canner, jars, lids, etc.

Can you freeze fresh raspberries?

Absolutely! You can very easily freeze fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, and more! It is so easy and you’ll have plenty of berries for later!

How to Freeze Berries (Raspberries, Blackberries, and more!)

Freezing berries is so, so simple! Follow these easy steps to freeze raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and basically any type of berry out there.

  1. Rinse and fully dry your berries (this part is important).
  2. Put a piece of parchment paper on a half sheet tray and pour the berries into a single layer on the pan.
  3. Place the entire tray in the freezer and freeze until completely frozen (a few hours or just leave overnight).
  4. Pour into a gallon-sized bag, silicone bag, store in freezer-safe mason jars, old yogurt tubs, etc. You can even vacuum seal the bags to last for years and years!
how to freeze raspberries how to freeze blackberries
Spread fresh berries in a single layer on your sheet tray.
how to freeze berries on a sheet tray
Allow berries to freeze until completely frozen (I just leave mine overnight).
can you freeze raspberries
Stare at your berries and their little icy jackets.
freezing raspberries
Bag up your frozen berries in a freezer-safe bag! See more storage options below.

Sheet trays are a must!

If you don’t already have half sheet trays in your house, I highly recommend that you get some!

I use them for everything: baking cookies, pizza, roasting vegetables, freezing berries, etc. They are the perfect size for standard ovens and last forever.

Just use parchment paper for easy clean-up every time! We switched to using silicone tray liners with ours for zero waste baking.

See my other favorite cooking tools that make cooking from scratch everyday easy!

freezing raspberries on parchment paper
Fold the parchment paper like this with one hand on either side to funnel the berries into your bag.

One half sheet pan can generally fit one half-flat of berry boxes, or 6 half-pint cups, with space for the berries to freeze well.

Alternative Ways to Store Frozen Berries

I’ve heard you can even freeze and store berries in Mason jars, but I’ve never tried this technique. It’d be a great way to reduce plastic waste! I just wash and reuse my plastic bags.

For fruit that comes in plastic clamshells, especially blueberries, just put the whole clamshell in the freezer! They freeze really well this way.

On the farm, we harvest berries into half pint cups in cardboard boxes that hold 6 of those cups. My farmer friend says she puts the entire cardboard box of berry cups in the freezer and they froze great that way, too!

freezing raspberries

How long can you freeze raspberries?

The answer to this question depends on your storage container.

Gallon freezer bag ~ 1 year

In a gallon freezer bag, I tend to find berries store well for about a year.

Around that point, I start to notice ice crystals forming inside the bags.

These Shuksan strawberries are just over a year old.

freezing strawberries
Mason jars & plastic tubs ~ 1 year

Although I have not tried this solution for freezing berries, I anticipate they’d last around the same amount of time as the gallon bags.

The mason jars should last a little longer as they lock the air out. Plastic tubs are not sealed in the same way and will likely start to get ice crystals sooner.

Vacuum seal bags ~ 2-3 years

For longer storage, use vacuum seal bags.

If you use vacuum bags, freeze the berries first or they will be crushed. Notice how these marionberries from last year show no sign of ice crystals forming in the bag.

Recently, I used a bag of vacuum-sealed blackberries from over 5 years ago! They were still delicious and made a wonderful blackberry crisp.

How long can you freeze raspberries or other berries?

Here’s the thing: you can freeze berries for years. The only issue is the freezer burn and taste.

I’ve frozen so many different types of fruits usually in plastic gallon bags. They store for about a year in those before they get ice crystals forming from freezer burn.

But, I’ve gone back and used up those old bags of frozen fruits even 5-6 years later. Yes, they have a slight freezer taste, but they were totally fine for baking!

They might not be ideal for fresh eating, but they are just fine for making a berry crisp or whipping up a jar of jam.

freezing blackberries

How to Prepare Fruit for Freezing

This technique also works great for stone fruits like cherries, apricots, plums, and even peaches! If you process a lot of cherries, don’t forget a pitter!

  • Berries without pits or stems (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, etc): freeze directly on sheet tray
  • Strawberries: remove stems before freezing for easier use
  • Cherries: pit and freeze whole
  • Medium-sized stone fruits (apricots, plums, etc.): pit and slice in half. Freeze with the cut side up for easy removal
  • Large stone fruits (peaches, nectarines): pit, and slice at least in half, if not more

You can even use this tip for other fruits like pineapple! I had a pineapple ripening too quickly recently so I cut it into small pieces, frozen them on a tray, and had a bag of frozen pineapple for whenever I wanted. It was perfect for making water kefir!

Use this same technique to freeze excess cherry tomatoes, too!

freezing cherry tomatoes
Frozen cherry tomatoes

TIP: If you are planning to freeze or even can stone fruits at all, ask for “freestone” varieties. The pits come out smoothly unlike “cling” varieties.

Do you wash raspberries before freezing?

This is where two sides emerge. Technically, you probably should wash your fruit before freezing. Without even considering germs, there’s dust, pollen, and other things on berries just from growing outside.

However, if you wash berries before freezing, they will generally just stick to the parchment paper instead of rolling off smoothly unless you allow them to dry all the way. This is easy for berries like blueberries, but can take a little longer for blackberries and raspberries.

I often do not wash my berries before freezing. That’s probably gross, I know. You’re welcome to judge me about this.

If you want to wash your berries before freezing, I would recommend laying them out on kitchen towels to dry a bit before putting them on the freezer tray. This should reduce how much they stick to each other and the parchment paper.

can fresh raspberries be frozen

How Ways to Use Your Frozen Berries

I love having frozen fruit around all year round! It’s so handy. I typically use it in these ways:

  • Add to chia pudding for a pop of sweetness
  • Use to flavor water kefir
  • Eat frozen to cool down on a hot day
  • Add to smoothies
  • Make jam in cooler months
  • Bake crisps, tarts, and crumbles (just be sure to THAW your berries before baking or your dish will be too wet)

Like I said, this is an incredibly easy process! Now that you know how to freeze berries, I hope you freeze a bag or two!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I freeze blackberries?

Yep! Easy peasy. Follow the same steps above. Wash and dry your berries, freeze them on a tray, and store them in your favorite container.

Can you freeze black raspberries?

Absolutely! All berries can be frozen using the strategies above. You can also freeze huckleberry, thimbleberry, salmon berry, dew berry, and more.

Can you freeze cranberries?

Yes! This is one of my favorite berries to freeze. They freeze incredibly well, probably due to the low moisture content.

I’ve been known to stick those plastic bags of fresh cranberries directly into the freezer. This isn’t necessarily an ideal long-term storage as there’s no protection to limit freezer burn.

Instead, wash, dry, and freeze on your tray before storing in your favorite container.

Freeze fresh cranberries to make cranberry muffins and holiday desserts any time of the year!

How long do blueberries last in the freezer?

I picked over 11 pounds of blueberries last summer and stored every single one in the future. We ate them within a year and turned them into these blueberry crumble bars!

Depending on your storage container, your blueberries will typically last one year. In this time frame, they’re ideal for making smoothies, jams, etc.

After that, they may develop some slight freezer burn. We prefer to bake with them at this point.

Do I need to thaw raspberries before baking?

You can typically bake with raspberries even when they’re totally frozen! The same goes for baking with frozen cranberries. We’ve also baked with frozen blueberries and had successes.

Other berries, like blackberries and strawberries, should be thawed before using. Simply place your container in a bowl or dish in the fridge. Allow to thaw completely. Drain the fruit from the juice for your recipe.

Feel freeze to save the juice for something else. We like to mix powdered sugar into the extra juice to make a berry glaze to put on top of our breads, cakes, and bars.

How to Freeze Raspberries

Learn how to freeze raspberries, blackberries, and more! They'll last a long time in your freezer so you can make jams, cakes, and anything you'd like long after berry season is over!
Prep Time1 hr
Active Time10 mins
2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Keyword: can you freeze fresh berries, freezing berries, freezing blackberries, freezing blueberries, freezing raspberries, how to freeze berries

Equipment

  • 1 Half sheet tray
  • 1 tray liner (parchment paper or silicone mat)
  • 1 towel (for drying your berries)
  • 2 freezer bags (see post for a variety of storage containers)

Materials

  • 1 flat berries (you can freeze any amount of berries)

Instructions

  • Rinse berries and allow to dry fully on kitchen towels.
  • Place clean berries on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Allow to freeze until solid (several hours to overnight).
  • Lift up the edges of the parchment paper or liner to funnel your berries directly into your freezer bags or other containers.

Notes

These instructions are great for all berries, not just raspberries!
Do I need to wash raspberries before freezing?
Ideally, yes. You’ll remove any pollen, insects, or dirt. However, I’ve frozen “dirty” berries for years. The freezer will kill any insects and in the summer, sometimes we’re too busy to wash and dry berries before processing! 
How long do frozen raspberries last in the freezer?
Typically 1 year. After 1 year, you may notice a slight freezer taste, but they will still be great for baking!
If you want your frozen raspberries to last a long time, consider storing them in vacuum bags after they are frozen.
freezing raspberries
Can I freeze blackberries

Have you tried freezing raspberries?

What’s your favorite berry? Do you freeze berries or eat them fresh? How do you store them? Tell us below!

Linking to:

The Simple Homestead Blog Hop at 15 Acre Homestead
Pin Junkie Link Party at The Pin Junkie
Friday at the Fire Station at The Fireman’s Wife
Thursday Favorite Things at The Eclectic Red Barn
Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook
Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home
A Morning Cup of Joe at The Cottage Market
Create, Bake, Grow, Gather at The Shabby Art Boutique
Embracing Home and Family at The Everyday Farmhouse
Saturday Sparks at Pieced Pastimes
Dare to Share at Pam’s Party & Practical Tips
Silver Pennies Sundays at Finding Silver Pennies
Sundays on Silverado at The House on Silverado
Hearth and Soul at April J Harris
Farm Fresh Tuesdays at The Self-Sufficient Homeacre
Centerpiece Wednesday at Karin’s Kottage

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14 Comments

  1. Pinning this for later! Thanks for the tutorial. We have new blueberry bushes this year, and I’m hoping they’ll produce enough to freeze some in the next year or 2!

    1. Oh, that sounds so fun! We bought new ones this year and our friendly neighborhood birds devoured them. We’ll cover them next year, but then I’m hoping we both get a nice harvest! Thanks so much for your visit. 🙂

  2. This is great advice! In June we picked 17 pounds of strawberries from a local patch. In July, I brought home 40 pounds of Georgia Peaches from a farm stand, and recently, 10 pounds of Michigan Blueberries. I have them all nicely tucked away in our deep-freeze now, and love being able to pull them out all year long for smoothies, desserts, cocktails and more!
    Thanks for sharing at my new Sundays on Silverado Link Party, Rachael!
    -Niky @ The House on Silverado

    1. Amazing! You’re a powerhouse! Honestly, I don’t think I could handle preserving so much food if it wasn’t for the freezer. And I love that you’ll be able to pull out that produce in the winter and still bake cobblers or make jams, etc! The deep freezer is THE BEST. Thanks so much for visiting! Glad to have you, Niky!

    1. Hi, Karin! Thanks for your message! I hadn’t heard about your party until now and just shuffled over to join. Added you to my linky party page so I can be sure to join weekly. Good luck with those strawberries! Crossing my fingers for next year!

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