How to Thaw Frozen Strawberries

Strawberries can be delightful. Especially when in season, they are a plump, juicy fruit that works eaten alone, with cream, in a salad or in numerous dishes. Strawberries are can be frozen in the freezer for a period of time.

Once you are ready to use your strawberries you certainly want them as much like the original as possible. For strawberries in particular, this can be a bit of a challenge. Strawberries are a bit delicate and could use a slow defrost to make them the best they can be.

Thawing strawberries can be done in a few ways. We have a few suggestions including simply laying them on the counter in a way that retains juices, in addition to using warm water. We will go into further detail about how to thaw your favorite fruit.

Thawing frozen strawberries on the counter

Strawberry eaters can thaw strawberries directly from the freezer to the countertop. 

How do you do it? First, you’ll need a plate or tray.

  1. Remove the strawberries from the freezer.
  2. Put a plate on the counter.
  3. Remove the strawberries from the container and place them individually on the plate. Place them in a single layer.
  4. Leave the strawberries on the plate on the counter for several hours.
  5. You’ll know the strawberries are thawed when they are closer to room temperature. Touching a strawberry should also more pliable – touch gently so you don’t damage the berries.
  6. When thawed, remove the strawberries from the plate.
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Do not put a paper towel or anything under the strawberries. Putting anything absorbent could remove some of the juice from the strawberries – which is half the reason why strawberries are delicious.

Thawing frozen strawberries in the fridge

Thawing frozen strawberries in the fridge is very easy. Assuming you put the strawberries in a freeze proof container initially, you should just keep them in that container. 

  1. Remove the container of strawberries from the freezer
  2. Place them in the fridge
  3. First, ensure your fridge is both running and the temperature isn’t too low or high. Your strawberries should be able to handle the entire range of your temperatures your fridge can normally produce.
  4. This process could take several hours, and probably overnight to fully thaw.
  5. You can check the strawberries to see if they are thawed by opening the container. Check the temperature by touching them. Touching the strawberries will help indicate if they are still frozen.
  6. When the strawberries are done, remove them from the fridge and used them.

You can keep the strawberries in the fridge for a long period of time like a normal strawberry. The fridge is one of the best methods of thawing strawberries as it involves keeping the fruit cool while slowly thawing. The frige also offers the most control as you’ll have days to use your fruit after thawing it.

Thawing frozen strawberries in water

Thawing frozen strawberries in water is also pretty easy. Using water can also help speed up the process compared to either the fridge of the counter.

You’ll need a bowl or container that is sealed

  1. Remove the frozen strawberries from the freezer. 
  2. If you need, place the strawberries in a waterproof container. It might already be in one.
  3. Place the container of strawberries in the sink, preferably on a grate or something raised.
  4. Turn on the cold water and gently run it over the waterproof container.
  5. Let the water run continuously and go into the drain
  6. The strawberries should thaw relatively quickly compared to either the fridge or the counter. 
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There are a couple more options here. You can remove the strawberries from the container and place them in a bowl of cool water. The only difference is not doing step number 2 and filling the bowl itself with water.

Thawing in water is the second safest method for maintaining quality while also thawing quickly. 

Thawing strawberries in the microwave

We put this explanation last because we don’t suggest using this particular method unless you don’t care about the quality or texture.

  1. Remove the frozen strawberries from the freezer
  2. Put them in a microwave safe container or on a plate
  3. We suggest turning the the microwave to lower power, roughly half. The microwave can readily heat up very quickly and dry strawberries of their juice very quickly.
  4. Microwave for about 30 seconds at a time, Check the strawberries between heatings. The instructions for knowing if strawberries are ready or not are above, but check their temperature or give them a touch.
  5. If they aren’t thawed enough, consider trying to put them in the microwave for longer and see how it works.

Does thawing have any impact on quality?

It can. Strawberries are rather delicate even compared to other fruits. We suggest you use the slowest method possible to get the best possible results. While microwaving is the fastest method, it’s also most likely to make strawberries soft and mushy.

Freezing any kind of fruit will have at least a small impact on its quality and taste. Keep in mind we are comparing this to the fresh fruit you buy at the grocery store. The quality has to start there first.

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What’s the best method?

For the highest quality, cold water or leaving the fruit out to thaw slowly are the best. They change the frozen cells of the fruit the slowest and leave the best opportunity for plump, juicy fruit. 

Conclusion

Thawing frozen fruit doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. By gradually raising the strawberries to room temperature you can enjoy your fruit, recipe, or pie in the way it was meant to be. You can also buy in season fruit and prepare it in the off season if you want, with careful thawing. 

Go find your bowl or a container to place the strawberries in. Keep an eye on them to make sure they aren’t going soft or getting dry.