Pears are delicious, there’s no denying that. However, they can be incredibly tricky to store because of how finicky they can be! One day they are wonderfully ripe and perfect, and the next they are a step above mush.
No one wants to waste food (especially when it tastes so good), so what can you do about it? Well, the number one thing to know is how to store your pears properly!
Lucky for you, I’ve done all the hard work, so all you need to do is read this and implement the changes! Hopefully, once you know about the tips and tricks to storing pears, you will be able to enjoy them for a much longer time.
European vs Asian Pears
Before I jump into the good stuff, I should cover something: European vs Asian pears! These are very different pears, and they have completely different princesses. We will briefly go through the basics of these two pear types below:
- European pears – the most common variety and they save soft flesh with delicate skin. These should always be kept in cold storage (unless you have Bartlett pears) and can be further split into winter and summer varieties. European pears do not have a long shelf life, and should always be refrigerated for the best results.
- Asian pears – these are more similar to apples and have firmer flesh and tougher skin. These can be enjoyed straight off the tree rather than being refrigerated to ripen like European pears. No cold storage is required, but it will help to make these pears last longer (up to three months).
How Should You Store Pears?
You have two main options when it comes to storing pears: refrigerating or freezing. Sure, you could also leave them out on the counter, but this is now recommended unless you are actively trying to ripen them.
You might also choose to leave your pears out on the counter if you know that you will get through them quickly. Generally, however, it is always recommended to refrigerate your pears, whether they are European or Asian pears.
Besides, who doesn’t want to bite into a nice, cold pear in the heat of summer? It just makes sense, doesn’t it?
Refrigerating your pears really is as easy as it sounds. You could also keep your pears in another cool place (such as a cellar), but a fridge is usually the most accessible (better make space!)
Keep the pears in a plastic bag with holes in it, or even a paper bag if you like. Place your fruit in the crisper drawer in the fridge (that’s the bottom drawer where all the other vegetables and fruits should go) to make sure they keep for as long as possible.
Winter European pears (as well as Bartletts) can last for up to two months in the fridge, but summer pears only last one week. If your pears are bruised, mushy, or blemished in any way, it would be better not to store them as they will rot very quickly.
Two Freezing Options
Alternatively, you could freeze your pears! There are two options that you could try out, which we will briefly cover in the sections below. The one you choose may depend on what you intend to use the pears for, or simply what you prefer!
Dry Pack Freezing
This is also called flash freezing and simply refers to the pears being frozen quickly. To do this, you will need to rinse and prep (chop, slice, or whatever you would like), and freeze them on a baking sheet.
Make sure you line your tray with something like wax paper to prevent sticking and make sure to place them on a single layer. Stick the sheet into the freezer until the pears are solid, then transfer everything to a freezer-safe bag.
This will prevent them all from sticking to one another, and you can fish slices out individually. Frozen pears will last up to 10 months, but try to use them within 3–4 months.
The longer food is kept frozen, the more it will deteriorate, even if it is technically safe to eat individually while frozen!
Syrup Pack Freezing
You could also try the syrup pack freezing method. This one will sweeten the fruit slightly, and make them a delightful treat whether you want to enjoy them as-is or in a recipe.
To do this, you will need to wash, peel, core, and half your pears before slicing them however you like. You can prevent any discoloration from occurring by allowing the fruit spices to soak in water and lemon juice or citric acid for a few minutes.
Drain the fruit, then start on your sugar syrup. To make your sugar syrup, all you need to do is combine water and sugar (amounts will vary depending on how sweet you want it, start with four cups of water and 1 ⅔ cups of sugar).
Heat the mixture up to create the syrup, then allow it to cool down. Combine the fruit with the cooled-down syrup and put everything in freezer-safe containers or bags. Freeze everything, and store it for 8–10 months.
How Long Will Pears Be Good For?
European pears will be good for between 3–5 days when they are kept in the refrigerator. However, if they are left out on the counter, they will begin to rot in no time if they are already fully ripe.
Asian pears, however, can last for up to three months if they are stored in the refrigerator. These pears don’t mess around!
Pears do best when they are stored in the fridge. However, you can also freeze them if you need to – either flash freezing (dry freezing) or freezing them in syrup. Either way, the frozen pears will last up to 10 months, and can be used for whatever you like.
When it comes to storing pears on countertops, you could get away with keeping Asian pears out for a while, but European pears will quickly go off and rot – so bear this in mind when out searching for pears!