Enjoying fresh grapes is one of the underappreciated pleasures of the summer. If you love grapes as much as I do, you would surely be happy to enjoy fresh grapes year-around. Is freezing grapes possible? Yes, grapes actually freeze fairly well. Here is how to do it:
How To Freeze Grapes
When freezing grapes, you’ll want to choose ripe (but not overripe) and healthy fruits. Grapes with small blemishes are perfectly edible, but we recommend you eat those fresh and save the healthiest berries for freezing.
When freezing grapes, (see also Can You Freeze Raisins) you want to choose plump fruits that are still attached to the stem. The stem should also look ‘alive’; it shouldn’t be wilted and should have an even color. Our favorites for freezing are white grapes as they are usually meaty and sweet. These taste the best after thawing, although that might depend on personal preferences. Any kind of grape can be frozen!
The first step when freezing grapes is washing them. Don’t skip this step. It’s better to wash the grapes before freezing than after. To do this, you can go ahead and remove the berries from the stems. Gently wash the grapes in cold water. It’s easiest to submerge them in a large bowl of cold water.
Next, you’ll want to dry the grapes. You’ll want to remove as much water as possible. Water on the grapes would turn to ice which would cause them to stick together. It’s usually recommended to spread out your grapes on a paper towel. However, a kitchen towel might be more effective, or even a clean bath towel. Just make sure they are lint-free. Gently pat the grapes dry and perhaps let air-dry for 10 minutes or so for best results.
Now, if you want your grapes to come out perfect out of the freezer, we recommend you use the pre-freezing trick. What you’ll need to do is spread out the grapes on a baking sheet or any large tray that will fit into your freezer in such a way that the berries are not touching each other. Placing the grapes on parchment paper or a silicone tray to make transferring grapes later easier. Place the tray with the grapes inside the freezer and let it sit for a couple of hours. You want the grapes to be completely frozen.
Once the grapes are frozen, you’ll want to transfer them into an air-tight container. Grapes are prone to freezer burn, but one thing that can help with this is vacuum sealing. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can also simply use a freezer bag. Try to squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag before closing (but be careful not to bruise the grapes). You can also use a drinking straw to suck the air out of the freezer bag. Simply close the bag almost to the end, but leave space to place your drinking straw inside. Draw the air out and close the beg quickly.
Freezing Grapes For Jellies, Jams, And Purees
If you want to use your grapes for making jellies, jams, or anything else similar to that, we recommend you puree your grapes before freezing. This will make the grapes less susceptible to freezer burn, and overall, the text of the puree will be better when you freeze the puree, rather than pureeing defrosted grapes (although that is certainly possible).
To prepare the puree, you can use any method you are used to. We like to chop up the grapes ina food processor until the skins are broken down and the mass is smooth. Grape puree prepared in this way can be simply transferred into a freezer-safe container or even a freezer bag if you don’t have anything else laying around. Lasts about a year in the freezer.
How to Defrost Grapes
The best method for defrosting grapes is overnight in the refrigerator. Simply move the container with the grapes into the fridge and let sit until thawed. This could take up to 12 hours. It does require thinking ahead, but we really don’t recommend trying to speed up the process if you want to enjoy the fresh grapes. Adding heat can make the texture and the flavor deteriorate.