Can You Freeze Cherries? Yes, Express & No-Mess

Can you freeze cherries? Yes, and they make such a great frozen summertime snack! This how-to guide shows you how fast and easy it is to freeze them.

When they’re in season, buy them in bulk and store them in the freezer for sumptuous cherries all year round.


Freeze-ability Index
Freezability Index of Four

How Long in Freezer
6 to 12 months

Best Stored In…
Freezer bag

How to Thaw
Refrigerator


How To Freeze Fresh Cherries

Aim to freeze cherries as soon as possible—no later than 10 days after picking or buying them. The fresher, the better.

I like to pop a few into my favorite fruity drink or make a clafoutis (my hubby loves this classic French dessert.) Get creative with this versatile, beloved berry.

Plastic freezer bag

How To Freeze Fresh Cherries

Aim to freeze your cherries as soon as possible—no later than 10 days after picking or buying them. The fresher, the better.
Prep Time 1 hr
Freezing Time 6 hrs
Total Time 7 hrs

Equipment

  • A strainer/colander
  • Kitchen towel
  • Important: A cherry pitter*
  • Waxed paper or parchment paper
  • A baking sheet
  • Resealable, plastic freezer bags
  • A straw (optional)
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Put the cherries in a strainer/colander and run them under tap water to clean them.
  • Spread out a towel on a flat space. Shake the strainer to remove excess water, pour the cherries onto the towel, and pat them dry.
  • Use a cherry pitter like this one from OXO to remove the pits from the cherries. You can also use a skewer, toothpick, chopstick, or knife to pit the cherries, but this is messy. Do yourself a big favor and buy a cherry pitter. I can't recommend it enough.
  • Place a sheet of waxed or parchment paper on a baking sheet, and cover the tray with a single layer of cherries. Don't overcrowd the tray. If you have a lot of cherries to freeze, lay a sheet of waxed/parchment paper onto the first layer of cherries, then prepare another tray of cherries and stack the second tray on top of the first.
  • Slide the tray(s) of cherries into the freezer and allow them to freeze for at least 6 hours. Or, just leave them to freeze overnight.
  • Take the baking tray(s) with the cherries out of the freezer and put the cherries into a resealable freezer bag.
  • Gently press the air out of the freezer bag(s) and seal them.
  • Straw "vacuum seal" trick (optional): Slide a straw into the bag and suck out the air so the bag "shrinks" around the blackberries. Slide the bag down the straw as you inhale, and quickly seal the bag while you remove the straw.
  • Write today's date on a freezer label, stick it to the bag, and place the bag in the back of your freezer.
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The Best Cherry Pitter (OXO)

• Over 3,600 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars

This cherry pitter is affordable, dishwasher safe, easy to clean and hold, it stops splatter, and stores easily. Long story short: this tool rules and will save you a lot of headache.


Can You Freeze Fresh Cherries With The Pits In Them?

Yes. Freezing cherries with the pits still inside doesn’t change how they freeze or thaw. But, it’s a lot messier to remove cherry pits after they’ve been frozen.

It’s wiser to pit the cherries before freezing them. You’ll need to remove the pits eventually.

Can You Freeze Fresh Picked Cherries?

Of course, you can freeze fresh-picked cherries! Whether your cherries are store-bought or fresh-picked, follow these steps to freeze them with no mess or fuss.

How Long Can cherries Be Frozen?

You can keep cherries in the freezer for up to 12 months. The cherries’ flavor will begin to degrade after 6 months.

Can you freeze fresh cherries?
Frozen cherries are so versatile. Place cherries, mint, and other berries in an ice cube tray. Add water and freeze for your next summer sangria.

Equipment Shopping List

I made this quick list for you in case you noticed that you were low on freezer bags or could use an extra baking sheet (I mean, you do deserve a present after all!)

I’ve either used these tools or added them to my own shopping list because they’re affordable and they get great reviews. Add them to your next Amazon order!


The Best Baking Sheet (Nordic Ware)

• Over 9,300 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Durable; will never rust

The Ultimate Freezer Bags (Hefty)

• Over 2,000 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Tough and easy to fill

The World’s Best Colander (Bellemain)

• Over 3,500 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Amazon’s Choice

The Best Wax Paper (Reynolds)

• Hundreds of Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Amazon’s Choice


How To Thaw Frozen cherries

The best way to thaw frozen cherries is in the refrigerator because a slow thaw helps the cherries retain their flavor and texture.

If you’re in a hurry, you can also defrost cherries in the microwave or in cold water.

Fridge

How To Thaw Frozen Cherries In The Fridge

This is the best way to defrost frozen cherries because it helps to retain the cherries' texture and flavor.
Defrost Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs

Equipment

  • A bowl (optional)
  • Plastic wrap (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Put the freezer bag(s) of frozen cherries into the refrigerator. Or, pour some cherries into a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it into the fridge.
  • Leave the cherries to thaw in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
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Microwave

How To Thaw Frozen Cherries In The Microwave

This is the fastest way to defrost frozen cherries. Aim to defrost the cherries enough that they're soft but still have that frozen sheen on them. But, if you over-microwave them, it isn't the end of the world.
Prep Time 1 min
Defrost Time 1 min
Total Time 2 mins

Equipment

  • A microwavable plate
  • A paper towel

Instructions
 

  • Place a sheet of paper towel on a microwavable plate.
  • Spread out 1 cup (a handful or so) of cherries on the paper towel. Leave space between the cherries.
  • Microwave the cherries for 15 seconds on 100% power.
  • Try a cherry. If it’s still frozen, microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and try another cherry.
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Defrosting in cold water

How To Thaw Frozen Cherries In Cold Water

This is a good option if you want to defrost the frozen cherries in less time, but you don't want to accidentally over-nuke them in the microwave.
Prep Time 5 mins
Defrost Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • A bowl
  • Cold water

Instructions
 

  • Fill a bowl with the frozen cherries, but leave room for water.
  • Fill the rest of the bowl with cold water (not warm or hot.)
  • Set a timer to go off in 5 minutes.
  • After the 5 minutes is up, squeeze a cherry to feel if it’s still frozen. If so, replace the water with more cold water and set another timer to go off in 5 minutes.
  • When the cherries have thawed, drain the water.
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What to Expect After Defrosting Cherries

Here’s what to expect in terms of taste and texture after you’ve defrosted cherries:

  • The taste will not change.
  • Defrosted cherries are very soft, mushy, and juicy.

Can You Re-Freeze cherries?

As long as you keep the thawed cherries chilled in the fridge at 40 degrees F or lower, you can re-freeze them within the same day as defrosting them. The cherries’ texture will worsen every time you freeze and defrost them.


Ok, But What About…

Do you know a better way to freeze cherries? Or are you looking for info on something else? Leave a comment below or email us—we’d love to hear from you!


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