How to Freeze Blackberries & Marionberries

Find the best way to freeze blackberries and marionberries. With these simple tips, you can preserve these delicious berries to enjoy all year!

tray of frozen blackberries.

One of my fondest childhood memories was running late to a school open house because my family stopped at a blackberry patch to pick some wild blackberries. We showed up covered in bruise-colored stains and little pricks from the sharp brambles, but our bellies were full, and the whole car smelled like candy!

I always remembered Washington as a land of abundance, and as soon as I moved back in 2013, I quickly returned to my wild blackberry-picking roots. Each summer, my husband and I generally pick at least 10-15 pounds of wild berries during blackberry season, which we freeze to add to smoothies, oatmeal, scones, muffins, and so much more. It’s basically free food and actually helps to slow down the spread of the invasive brambles!

Can you freeze blackberries?

Absolutely! Freezing blackberries is a convenient and easy way to store seasonal fruits for later use. It’s also a must-have for smoothie recipes! 

Unlike other home food preservation methods, like canning and dehydrating, the freezing process requires no special equipment (if you happen to have a vacuum sealer, you could use it for longer-term storage, but it’s not necessary). It’s one of my favorite ways to preserve fresh fruits!

frozen blackberries.

Why you’ll love freezing blackberries


  • PRESERVE THE HARVEST – Whether the grocery store is having a major sale or your own berries are taking over the bushes, in-season blackberries always taste the best! So go ahead and stock up at the perfect time, then preserve the rest for later.
  • REDUCE FOOD WASTE – Juicy blackberries are so tasty and flavorful, but they don’t last long. Freezing is a great way to keep any delicious blackberries from going to waste!
  • MAKE THE BEST SMOOTHIES & SHAKES – It’s hard to go wrong with fruit smoothies, and blackberries are a wonderful way to bring a rich and tart sweetness (and rich color!) to your creamy shakes.

Equipment

To freeze your own blackberries, you’ll need:

  • A half sheet baking tray (or cookie sheet with a lip)
  • Silicone mat or parchment paper
  • Strainer or fine mesh sieve
  • Clean kitchen towels
  • Freezer-safe containers
fresh blackberries on a wooden surface.

Ingredients

  • Fresh blackberries – I usually try to use the plumpest, freshest berries to keep this process as mess-free as possible, but this is also a great way to preserve imperfect berries. If the berries are already really soft or the white center has liquefied, just compost them.

You can also use these tips to freeze marionberries, tayberries, loganberries, boysenberries, and more!

How to Freeze Blackberries – Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Rinse your fresh berries thoroughly with cold water and let them dry completely on clean kitchen towels (paper towels work too).
  2. Place the dried berries in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or silicone.
  3. Flash freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Transfer the frozen berries to your storage container (freezer-safe bag, mason jar, vacuum seal bag, etc).
  5. Freeze for 6 months to 1 year and use as desired!

Storing

Here are a few simple methods for storing your frozen blackberries.

  • Gallon freezer bag ~ 1 year – This method tends to work for at most one year, sometimes less.
  • Mason jars & plastic tubs ~ 6 months to 1 year – Although this method is low waste, it’s not the best for long-term storage. Try to use the berries within 3-6 months.
  • Vacuum seal bags ~ 2 years – Vacuum sealed berries will stay fresh for the longest period of time. Make sure they are frozen before sealing or they’ll be crushed!
  • Reusable silicone bags ~ 6 months to 1 year – I’ve tried this method several times, and it works well, but the berries do begin to grow ice pretty quickly.

How to Use Frozen Blackberries

There are a variety of ways to enjoy these frozen blackberries and marionberries! Here are some of my favorites:

jar of frozen blackberries.

Tips & Variations

  • Try different berries! This method works for any summer berries, honestly, including fresh blueberries, salmonberries, olympic berries, etc.
  • Ensure that your berries have dried completely. That way, you will have whole blackberries. If there’s a lot of liquid from the water or berry juice, you’ll end up with one solid block. Simple steps like this make a huge difference.
  • Thaw your berries in the fridge overnight. If you want your berries to be softened up for easier use, place some in a small bowl in the fridge overnight.
  • You can thaw at room temperature if you intend to use the berries immediately. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, you should only thaw as much as you need at one time. Running cool water over the bag can also speed up the thawing process.
  • Increase baking time. When baking with frozen berries, you will generally need to add 10-15 minutes to your bake time.

FAQs

Can you freeze blackberries without washing them?

You can do all kinds of things. Your kitchen is your domain, right? I’ll be honest that I didn’t rinse my berries for YEARS, but I eventually decided that all the dust, pollen, insects, dander, and anything else stuck to those berries might not be that hygienic. Rinsing and drying your fresh produce is pretty easy, so it’s worth the effort and definitely recommended by any local health department!

What are the best containers for storing frozen blackberries?

That depends on what matters more: convenience or freshness. Vacuum seal bags preserve your frozen marionberries and blackberries the longest. I can typically get at least one full year with no freezer burn and sometimes up to 2 years! The most convenient containers are stasher bags or plastic freezer bags. They’re easy to open and use, but the berries will crystallize over with ice in just a few months.

How long can you freeze blackberries?

I’d generally say about 6 months to 2 years, depending on your container. Vacuum seal bags will give you the longest lifespan of up to 2 years, while regular freezer bags or plastic clamshells will work for about 3 months. Freezer-safe bags are good for about 6 months.

Related Recipes

tray of frozen blackberries.
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tray of freezing blackberries.

How to Freeze Blackberries

Discover the best way to freeze blackberries and marionberries. With these simple tips, you can preserve these delicious berries to enjoy year-round!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Freezing Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Baking, Breakfast

Equipment

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

Ingredients
  

  • 1 flat fresh blackberries, (you can freeze any amount & type of berries)

Instructions
 

  • Rinse your fresh berries thoroughly with cold water and let them dry completely on clean kitchen towels (paper towels work too).
  • Place the dried berries in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
  • Flash freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • Transfer the frozen berries to your storage container (freezer-safe bag, mason jar, vacuum seal bag, etc). Freeze for 6 months to 1 year and use as desired!

Notes

The best method for freezing is vacuum sealing, which tends to keep the berries fresh for up to 2 years. Other methods will generally last 6 months to 1 year before the berries begin to taste freezer burned.
Keyword freezing blackberries, how to freeze blackberries, jam with marionberries
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