You’ve purchased a lot of rhubarb stalks to make rhubarb pie. It was discovered that your baking project has to be postponed. How do you keep fresh rhubarb and how long does it remain good for?
This article is meant for you if this is your first time purchasing rhubarb, or if you’ve always bought it and kept it immediately, and now you want to store it for more than a few days.
How To Store Rhubarb
When you get home with the stalks, trim and remove any leaves that weren’t previously trimmed. They’re hazardous and take up precious storage space, so it’s best to get rid of them right away.
The rhubarb petioles can be kept in the refrigerator, freezer, or even room temperature.
Storing Rhubarb on the Counter
You can keep the rhubarb stalks at room temperature if you intend on using them within a few days of purchase. The problem is that, although this isn’t a problem when preserving fruits and veggies in their natural form, it’s very important to wrap the stems of strawberries or raspberries used for liqueurs.
The moisture is trapped in the stalks after they are wrapped. The problem is that when there’s too much moisture and a warm environment, germs begin to develop rapidly.
I’d rather let the stalks dry out a bit instead of risking developing moldy rhubarb, given that this is an issue.
Rhubarb Storing in the Refrigerator
Rhubarb should be kept in the refrigerator. The stalks should be placed unwashed and wrapped in plastic.
Let us begin with the container. Rhubarb, like many other plants, creates and is sensitive to ethylene gas. This is the gas that causes fruits and veggies to mature.
There needs to be some air circulation for the stalks in order for them to keep their quality for longer. If yours are kept in a plastic bag, poke several holes so that the ripening hormone may escape. Alternatively, use a perforated bag.
The petioles should also be covered. Rhubarb thrives best in a high relative humidity, and the plastic bag prevents it from drying out.
When it comes to cutting rhubarb, choose between a perforated bag or an airtight container. If you use the former, the rhubarb might mature faster.
If you have some rhubarb left after using it, you may freeze it to use later.
How To Freeze Rhubarb?
Selecting high-quality specimens, as with freezing any meal, is critical. Choose firm, fresh, and crimson red stalks for rhubarb. To ensure the taste is perfect, eat a piece ahead of time.
It’s straightforward to freeze the process of stalks. It takes around 10 minutes (if you omit blanching) or 40 minutes (if you blanch the vegetable) for a bunch of stalks. Here’s how to do it:
- Prep. Remove the outer leaves from the stalks and cut off their tips. Then, using a knife or scissors, cut them into lengths that will fit inside your bag or container. If you have a specific recipe in mind, make sure they’re long enough to use it.
- (Optional) Blanching. After you’ve washed the rhubarb, drop it into a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow it to cool in cold water right afterward. This helps the vegetable retain its color and taste. Let the rhubarb dry fully before proceeding.
- (Optional) Pre-freeze. In a single layer, place the pieces on a cookie sheet (lined with a silicone mat to make removing the tray easier) and freeze. Frozen vegetables will be ready in about two hours. You can pack as many as you like in one container and still just grab one or two if that’s all you need by doing it this way.
- Packaging. Depending on your tastes, use airtight containers or freezer bags. If you wish, put a label on it. Stick isn’t an issue if you fill each container with the correct amount of rhubarb for a single recipe before freezing it.
- Freeze. Freeze all of your ingredients for later.
That’s all there is to it. If you need your rhubarb to last for months, this is the way to go. The method is the same as I utilized when freezing watermelon if you don’t blanch it first.
You may also freeze rhubarb using the sugar-pack technique; however, it requires more time and adds extra sugar to the vegetables. Because of this, I cannot utilize it.
PRO TIP: Instead of freezing fresh rhubarb, consider making rhubarb pie and freezing it for later!
How Long Does Rhubarb Last?
It’s now time to discuss how long rhubarb lasts after you’ve learned everything there is to know about preserving it.
If you leave it at room temperature, it should keep for a week. It all depends on the stalks’ quality and the actual temperature where they’re kept (lower is preferable).
Even after only a day or two, they can begin to get moldy, so I wouldn’t keep them in a cupboard for more than three to four days.
Rhubarb petioles should keep for up to three weeks when kept in the fridge. If you follow the proper storage technique, this is true. They’ll go off if you place them near any fruits or vegetables that produce ethylene.
If you don’t keep the rhubarb in the refrigerator section at the supermarket, don’t anticipate it to last three weeks.
Maintain an ambient temperature of 22 to 25 degrees F in the refrigerator. Rhubarb (whole stalks) will last anywhere from 3 to 7 days in the fridge, depending on how fresh they are. 2 – 3 weeks if kept whole; 2 – 4 days if cut Stalks should be washed thoroughly before being cooked.
The times above are only approximations.
How To Tell If Rhubarb Is Bad?
The stems go moldy quickly, especially if they’re left at room temperature.
They get brittle and fall off. The leaves dry out quickly as well, and occasionally mold develops.
It’s not unusual for a little amount of mold to be harmless. If you’re a purist, go ahead and chuck this stalk.
I just chop it off (and a little more), and I’ve got myself some veggies. Mold may appear on the portions of the vegetable that you would normally throw away anyhow.
Look for the following indications that suggest you should throw your rhubarb away:
- Mushiness. Rhubarb is a very hard fruit. If yours isn’t, it’s well past ripe. It should be thrown away.
- Large black or brown spots.
- Mold. Discard the stalk if there is a lot of mold on it (as well as not just a little quantity like in the images above).
Off smell. There’s something wrong with it if it smells strange.
If you’re not sure whether the vegetable is edible, assume it isn’t. When in doubt, toss it out.
Now you know everything there is to storing rhubarb so it lasts longer. You can also freeze it for later use in recipes. Pay attention to the signs that tell you it’s time to discard the vegetable. As a general rule, if something doesn’t look or smell right, don’t eat it!