How To Freeze Blackberries The Right Way

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you how to freeze blackberries without needing to clean them first or thaw them later (unbelievably easy, right?)


Freeze-ability Index
Freezability Four

How Long in Freezer
6 to 8 months (dry frozen)
9 to 12 months (sweetened pack)

Best Stored In…
Airtight container or freezer bag

How to Thaw
Typically not needed

What to Expect
Soft and squishy

Can I Re-Freeze?
Yes, but not recommended


Can You Freeze Fresh blackberries?

Can you freeze fresh blackberries? Yes, and they’re much easier to freeze than you think.

Aim to freeze the berries as soon as possible—no more than 6 days after picking or buying them. The fresher, the better.

When it comes to freezing, you’ve got two choices. You can either:

  • Dry freeze the blackberries. This will give you frozen berries that don’t clump together. You don’t need to clean the berries before you freeze them.
  • Turn the blackberries into a sweetened pack. This means mixing blackberries and sugar together to stop them from sticking together. This is a better method for desserts that call for added sugar, like pies. By the way, you need to clean the blackberries for this one.

How to Freeze Fresh blackberries Properly: The Dry Freezing Method

Here’s the great thing about freezing blackberries: you don’t need to clean them before freezing. I’m serious! Before using the frozen blackberries in smoothies or recipes, just rinse them under cold water. Boom, you’ve saved time with less effort.

If you really want to clean the berries beforehand, I included this how-to guide on cleaning blackberries with a natural vinegar solution. Remember: the berries must be dry before freezing them to avoid freezer burn. So, if you do clean them, dry them thoroughly.

Plastic freezer bag

How to Freeze Blackberries: Dry Freeze Method

This method is fast and easy. You don't need to clean the blackberries before freezing them.
Prep Time 5 mins
Freezing Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins

Equipment

  • A baking sheet
  • Waxed paper or parchment paper
  • Resealable, plastic freezer bags
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • A straw (optional)
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Check the berries and remove any mushed, discolored, underripe or overripe berries before you freeze them.
  • Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper. Cover the tray with a single layer of blackberries, but don't overcrowd them:
    How to freeze blackberries: take unwashed blackberries, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and pop it into the freezer for a few hours. Transfer the berries to a plastic freezer bag, label it with today's date and store the bag in the freezer.
  • Slide the tray(s) of blackberries into the freezer and allow them to freeze for at least 3 hours. Or, just leave them to freeze overnight.
  • Take the baking tray with the blackberries out of the freezer. Put the blackberries 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.
Keyword can I freeze blackberries, can you freeze blackberries, freeze blackberries, freezing blackberries, how to freeze blackberries

Equipment Shopping list

I made this quick list for you in case you noticed that you were low on freezer bags or realized it was time to replace that old baking sheet (RIP).

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 Handiest Freezer Labels (Chinco)

• Hundreds of Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars
• Water-resistant, easy to remove, no residue

The Best Mixing Bowls (OXO)

• Over 1,500 Reviews
• 5 out of 5 Stars
• 3-piece dishwasher safe & BPA-free set
• No skidding or wobbling


How To Freeze Blackberries For Pie (Sweetened Pack)

A “sweetened pack” is when you mix in sugar with the berries before freezing them. Use this method if you plan on using your frozen blackberries for desserts like pies or muffins.

How To Freeze Blackberries For Pie (Sweetened Pack)
A “sweetened pack” is when you freeze berries coated in granulated sugar in an airtight, freezer-safe container.

Use This Common Household Item To Clean Blackberries

You need to clean the berries first before adding any sugar, so let’s take care of that first:

Cleaning

The Best Way To Clean Blackberries

Using vinegar and water to wash blackberries is the best way to get rid of bacteria and dirt.
Prep Time 10 mins
Drying Time 45 mins
Total Time 55 mins

Equipment

  • A strainer/colander
  • A bowl large enough to fit the strainer/colander
  • 2 dark towels OR paper towel
  • White OR apple cider vinegar
  • A measuring cup (1 cup)
  • Water

Instructions
 

  • Pour 3 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar into a large bowl (this natural cleaning solution always uses 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar — see the image below.) If you have a lot of blackberries, use the sink instead.
  • Put the blackberries in the strainer/colander and submerge them in the cleaning solution. Use your hand to mix the berries around in the water/vinegar for 1 minute.
  • Lift up the colander/strainer with the berries out of the cleaning solution.
  • Rinse the blackberries under a gentle stream of cold tap water for about 1 minute.
  • Pour the cleaned berries onto a dark towel or a paper towel. Use another dark towel or paper towel to gently pat the blackberries dry. Being gentle with the blackberries is really important. Avoid crushing or damaging the berries.
  • Allow the berries to air-dry for at least 45 minutes.
Keyword how to clean blackberries using vinegar, the best way to clean blackberries, vinegar cleaning solution, vinegar solution

After you’ve cleaned the blackberries, follow these steps to freeze them as a sweetened pack:

Airtight, freezer-friendly containers

How To Freeze Blackberries For Pie (Sweetened Pack)

Use this method if you plan on using your frozen blackberries for desserts like pies or muffins.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • Clean, dry blackberries
  • A mixing spoon
  • A measuring cup (1/2 cup)
  • A medium-sized bowl
  • Granulated sugar
  • A clean, airtight freezer-friendly container
  • Freezer labels
  • A permanent marker
  • Space at the back of your freezer

Instructions
 

  • Pour the clean, dry blackberries into a bowl. Sprinkle sugar over the blackberries—you'll need 1/4 cup of sugar for every 2 cups of blackberries.
  • With your mixing spoon, gently mix the blackberries and the sugar together until the berries are evenly coated in sugar. Do not crush the berries.
  • Gently spoon the sugared blackberries into an airtight, freezer-friendly container. Important: don't crush or pack the berries down, and leave about 1/2 inch (or less) of room at the top of the container for expansion.
  • Write today's date on a freezer label, stick it to the container, and place it in the back of your freezer.
Keyword can I freeze blackberries, can you freeze blackberries, freeze blackberries, freezing blackberries, frozen blackberries, frozen fruit, how to freeze blackberries, how to freeze blackberries for pie, sweetened pack

The Best Airtight Containers (Glasslock)

• Over 3,700 Reviews
• 4.5 out of 5 Stars

These airtight glass containers from Glasslock don’t leak or absorb food smells, they’re oven-safe, freezer-safe, microwavable, and affordable.


Best Practices for Freezing blackberries

  • You don’t need to wash blackberries before you freeze them. Any bugs will die in the freezer, and you can rinse them under cold water before you use them.
  • You can use a freezer bag instead of a container for the sweetened pack blackberries, but we don’t recommend it because it can make a mess.
  • Don’t crush, smush, or pack the blackberries. Always handle them gently before freezing. If they are damaged, they won’t freeze well.

How Long Can You Freeze blackberries?

You can freeze fresh blackberries (no sugar added) for 6 to 8 months.

You can freeze sweetened blackberries (sugar added) for 9 to 12 months.

How To Thaw Frozen blackberries

Did you know you don’t usually need to defrost blackberries after freezing them? However, it does depend on what you plan to do with the blackberries.

Baking or Making A Smoothie? Then You (Probably) Don’t Need to Defrost

Check your recipe to see if you need to defrost the blackberries. Cooks prefer frozen blackberries in their baking because defrosted ones add too much liquid to desserts. If you froze the blackberries using the dry freezing method, you’ll need to rinse them first.

It kinda goes without saying that you don’t need to defrost blackberries for smoothies. Just rinse them under cold water before popping them into the blender.

Cleaning

How To Thaw Frozen Blackberries

This method doesn't require any defrosting—just a quick rinse.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • A colander/strainer

Instructions
 

  • Open the freezer bag and take out as many berries as you need.
  • Place the berries in a colander/strainer.
  • Rinse the blackberries thoroughly under cold tap water. Now, they're ready to use.
Keyword Defrost blackberries, Defrost frozen blackberries, How to defrost frozen blackberries, How to thaw frozen blackberries, Thaw blackberries, Thaw frozen blackberries, Thawing blackberries

Making A Blackberry Jam Or Sauce? You Probably Need To Defrost

If you’re making a blackberry a jam or sauce, thaw your frozen blackberries in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water.

The fridge is the best option if you want to eat the defrosted blackberries (on their own, added to oatmeal, etc.) and have them retain their shape.

Microwaving is fastest, but you risk over-nuking and making the berries really soft, which isn’t a problem if you’re turning the berries into a jam or sauce. You can also quickly thaw blackberries in a cold water bath.

Fridge

How To Thaw Frozen Blackberries in the Fridge

This method is best if you want to eat the blackberries whole. They will be softer and juicier than before they were frozen, but their taste will not change. You can also use this method to defrost a sweetened pack.
Prep Time 5 mins
Defrosting Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 5 mins

Equipment

  • A colander/strainer
  • A towel OR paper towel
  • A bowl
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions
 

  • Place the berries in a colander/strainer and rinse them thoroughly under cold tap water. Shake off as much excess water as you can.
  • Pat the blackberries dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
  • Pour the cleaned blackberries in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge.
    You can take the sweetened pack container and put it directly in the fridge, too.
  • Leave the blackberries to thaw in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Alternatively, you can leave them in the fridge to defrost overnight.
Keyword How to defrost frozen blackberries in the fridge, How to thaw frozen blackberries in the fridge
How to freeze blackberries
A little frost on your blackberries is what you’re aiming for when defrosting them in the microwave (but don’t worry if you over-nuked them—you can still eat them or cook with them!)
Microwave

How To Thaw Frozen Blackberries In The Microwave

This is the fastest way to defrost frozen blackberries.
Prep Time 5 mins
Microwave Time 1 min
Total Time 6 mins

Equipment

  • A colander/strainer
  • Microwave-safe plate
  • Paper towel

Instructions
 

  • Place the berries in a colander/strainer and rinse them thoroughly under cold tap water. Shake off as much excess water as you can.
  • Pat the blackberries dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
  • Place a sheet of paper towel on a microwavable plate.
  • Spread out 1 cup (or less) of blackberries on the paper towel. Leave space between the blackberries.
  • Microwave the blackberries for 15 seconds on 100% power.
  • Try a blackberry—if it's still frozen, microwave for 5 to 10 seconds and try another blackberry. They should still have a little frost on them (if not, it's not the end of the world.)
Keyword Defrost blackberries microwave, How to defrost frozen blackberries in the microwave, How to thaw frozen blackberries in the microwave, Thaw blackberries microwave
Defrosting in cold water

How To Thaw Frozen Blackberries In Cold Water

Here's an alternative method to defrosting in the microwave that's faster than the fridge. If you don't feel confident about thawing the blackberries in the microwave, try this out instead.
Be sure to rinse your blackberries before you defrost them in cold water.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • A strainer/colander
  • A bowl
  • Cold water
  • A towel OR paper towel

Instructions
 

  • Place the berries in a colander/strainer and rinse them thoroughly under cold tap water. Shake off as much excess water as you can.
  • Fill a bowl with the cleaned frozen blackberries, but leave some room for water.
  • Fill the rest of the bowl with cold water (not warm or hot water.)
  • Set a timer to go off in 5 minutes.
  • Gently squeeze a blackberry to feel if it's still frozen. If not, replace the water with more cold water and set another timer to go off in 5 minutes.
  • When the blackberries have thawed, drain the water.
  • Gently pat the berries dry with a dark towel or a paper towel.
Keyword Cold water defrosting, Defrost blackberries in cold water, How to defrost blackberries in cold water, How to thaw blackberries in cold water, Thaw blackberries in cold water

What to Expect After Defrosting Blackberries

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

  • The taste will not change.
  • Defrosted blackberries are very soft, mushy, and juicy.
How to freeze blackberries
If your blackberries are covered in ice crystals, compost them. Ice crystals means the blackberries were exposed to air, have freezer burn and will be dried out when you thaw them. Yuck.

If you notice any of the following, toss the blackberries out:

  • They’re covered in ice crystals;
  • They’re noticeably lighter in color;
  • They seem dry; or
  • There was air in the freezer bag.

Can You Re-Freeze blackberries?

As long as you keep the thawed blackberries chilled in the fridge at 40 degrees F or lower, you can technically re-freeze them within the same day.

Remember, the blackberries’ texture will worsen every time you freeze and defrost them, so they’ll be even mushier the 2nd time you defrost them. If I were you, I wouldn’t re-freeze them.


Ok, But What About…

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

Pin This Guide


Sources

Leave a Reply

Guide Rating