Freezing Blackberries for Months of Good Eating

Can you freeze blackberries? You certainly can, and should. Why? Wherever they grow in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9, ripe blackberries stay at their peak for only two or three days. Your choices are to lose those you can’t quickly eat or preserve, or to freeze them for months of enjoyment. If that decision sounds like a no-brainer, continue reading for easy blackberry freezing instructions!


Getting Started

Like all straight-from-the-garden produce, freshly picked blackberries are no strangers to dust, dirt and assorted debris. They may also be hosting invisible mold spores or bacteria. So a pre-freezing bath is essential.

Because they’re so delicate, the best way to wash ripened blackberries is to place a few at a time in a colander under cool running water. After letting them drain, set them on paper towels to dry.

Expert gardener’s tip: For the driest berries, use a small-basket berry spinner. Just spin slowly so they don’t get crushed.

Preliminary Freezing

The goal of this round of freezing is to prevent your blackberries from forming a solid, frozen clump that’s impossible to use without thawing completely.

Things you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Plastic wrap
  1. Cut pieces of parchment paper to fit your baking sheets.
  2. Spread berries over the parchment-lined sheets so they aren’t touching.
  3. Drape each sheet loosely with plastic wrap.
  4. Freeze the berries overnight.

Long-Term Freezing

To keep them long term, remove the frozen berries from the baking sheets and transfer them to sealable plastic containers or freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible from them before sealing.

Label the bags or containers with their contents and the date. Frozen blackberries in dry, airtight containers or bags should keep for up to a year.

Thawing Frozen Blackberries

Thaw your berries at room temperature. If you’re in a rush, use a microwave oven:

  • Line a microwave-safe plate with paper towels.
  • Spread 1 cup (144g) of frozen blackberries over the plate so they aren’t touching.
  • Microwave the berries on “Defrost” for 30 seconds.
  • Check the berries. They should still look lightly frosted, but give slightly under mild pressure. If they’re still hard, microwave up to 30 seconds longer.

When Not to Thaw Your Blackberries

Much of the time, thawing your blackberries won’t be necessary. If they’re going into baked goods, preserves or a sauce, cooking will do the job. And if you’re into fruit smoothies, you already know that as banana substitutes, frozen berries make fantastic thickening ingredients!