Got a bunch of pineapples and no way to eat them all? Here’s all you need to know about how to freeze pineapple.
Sure, pineapple tastes great. But you don’t have to force yourself to eat it all if you can’t handle it anymore. Just freeze it!
Freezing pineapple is as easy as one, two, three!
There is nothing quite like fresh, juicy, and fabulously sweet pineapple. Unfortunately, it’s only in season for a short time. Unless, you’re in Hawaii… but many of us aren’t that fortunate.
And even then, the harvesting season is usually March through July.
So, that means you need to make the most of it when it’s perfect. That’s why it’s super important to know how to freeze pineapple.
Luckily, you only need some basic equipment (that you probably already have) and time. Oh, and pineapples of course! Let’s get started.
How to Choose a Ripe Pineapple
So, first thing’s first… you have to choose a ripe pineapple. Thankfully, there are a few tricks to help you get it right, right away.
It’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But judging a pineapple by its shell is actually pretty helpful.
Ripe pineapples should be golden, with bright green fronds. However, some ripe pineapples still have a green shell, so this method isn’t totally foolproof.
Weight and Feel
Like watermelon, a ripe pineapple should be heavy for its size. More weight means more juice. More juice means more sugar… and that means your taste buds will be happy!
Also, the shell should be soft, but not mushy when you apply a little pressure. If it’s hard, it’s probably not as ripe. If it’s mushy, it’s on its way to fermentation-town.
Some people swear by the frond method, which is very simple. Just pull on one of the fronds. If it comes away easily, the pineapple should be ripe.
If they don’t, that pineapple won’t be quite as sweet.
The Sniff Method
Smell your pineapple. Literally. Does it smell like sweet, sweet pineapple?
Then, it’s definitely going to be delicious. I swear by this method and it has never steered me wrong.
If you find a pineapple that checks all of the boxes, you’re golden. Put that baby in your cart immediately!
How to Freeze Pineapple
Step One: Cut Your Pineapple
- Start by cutting off the top and the bottom of the pineapple. This gives you more stability.
- Next you’ll cut the shell away from the sides. Try to keep these pieces as thin as possible, so you preserve the most fruit.
- Cut the fruit away from the core. Usually, you get four big slices of pineapple during this step.
- If you have a pineapple-corer, you only have to cut off the top and bottom. The corer will separate the shell and the core from the fruit. It’s very handy!
- Chop the fruit into whatever size you prefer.
Step Two: Flash-Freeze Your Pineapple
- Lay all of your pineapple pieces on a parchment or Silpat-lined sheet tray. If you don’t have a sheet tray, you can use any flat dish.
- Try to keep the pieces separated. This will help you later on.
- Freeze for 2 to 3 hours. You’re only par-freezing initially, so the pineapple doesn’t stick together when it’s packaged.
Step Three: Freeze Your Pineapple
- Take the sheet pans out of the freezer and transfer the pineapple to a storage container.
- Put it back in the freezer. The fruit will be fully frozen in 18-24 hours.
Tips and Tricks for Freezing Pineapple
- Pick a ripe pineapple: Many fruits continue to ripen after they’ve been picked. Sadly, pineapples don’t. You want to pick a good one, so it stays sweet.
- Have the right tools: To freeze pineapple, you need a sharp knife, cutting board, sheet pan, and parchment paper. You’ll also need some freezer safe containers.
- If you’re not going to eat fresh pineapple, freeze it right away.
- Freeze on a flat surface: You can use a baking sheet or even a plate. This just ensures you don’t get really large clumps of pineapple chunks.
- You don’t have to do this step, but your blender will thank you for it.
- If you don’t want diced pineapple, you can cut it into strips or rings. Diced pieces/chunks just work really well for most of your pineapple needs.
How to Store Frozen Pineapple
After at least 2 hours in the freezer, it’s time to transfer your pineapple. There are a few ways you can do this. You can use plastic zip bags, an airtight container, or vacuum-seal bags.
If you use plastic bags, like Ziploc, you can expect your pineapple to last 6-12 months. However, they’re best used within 3-4 months. The same goes for an airtight container.
If you have the option of vacuum sealing your pineapple pieces, they’ll last 2-3 years.
Just make sure to label your bag or container with its contents and the date.
How to Thaw Frozen Pineapple
If you don’t plan to use your pineapple while it’s frozen, you can thaw it. You have a few thawing options and your choice depends on when you need it. Or your patience…
If you want to use your frozen pineapple right away, put it in the microwave. Microwave it in one-minute bursts until it’s no longer frozen. You can also use the thaw setting.
If you need your pineapple for a recipe later you can do two things. If you don’t need it until the next day, put it in a bowl in the fridge. If you need it sooner, let it thaw in a bowl of water.
What Can Frozen Pineapple Be Used For?
So, now that your freezer is full of frozen pineapple, what do you do with it? Well, there are a bunch of ways you can use it up!
Below are a few ideas, but feel free to let your imagination run wild.
- Eat it frozen (or slightly thawed) as a cool and refreshing snack.
- Make a pineapple salsa.
- Cook it down with a cup of sugar to make a cake filling. It’s also great on pancakes.
- Use the frozen chunks like ice cubes in your favorite fruity drinks or water.
- Add it to a savory dish for a fun burst of sweetness and acid.
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