How To Freeze Fresh & Canned Pineapple For Later Use
Got too much pineapple on your hands? Freezing fresh pineapple is a quick and easy way to save it for future use and avoid unnecessary waste.
Pineapple is delicious and nutritious. They taste great on their own or used in smoothies, salads, desserts, and more. Unfortunately, pineapple has a short lifespan, and it can go bad in as little as two days. Luckily, there’s an easy way to freeze pineapple that will make it last for months! You’ll be able to enjoy pineapple all year long without having to worry about spoilage.
Can you Freeze Pineapple?
Yes! It’s actually possible to freeze most fruits and vegetables. The key is keeping them from spoiling while they’re frozen. This means you need to keep the fruit away from air and light exposure. If you don’t do this, then bacteria will grow quickly and cause the food to rot before you get around to eating it.
Does Pineapple Freeze Well?
Pineapple does freeze well because of its high water content. Water makes up almost 80% of the weight of a ripe pineapple. When you freeze something with lots of water inside, like pineapples, ice crystals form. These tiny crystals are what give foods such as bread, cakes, and other baked goods their texture after thawing, which isn’t always pleasant. Because pineapples have a high water content already freezing doesn’t affect how good the food tastes or change the texture dramatically. In fact, some people even prefer the crunchy texture of frozen pineapple over fresh pineapple.
How Do I Know When Pineapple is Ripe and Ready to Freeze?
A pineapple is ripe when the stem feels soft but not mushy. A fully ripened pineapple should have dark green leaves still attached at the top. It should have a little give when you squeeze it. The biggest indicator that a pineapple is ready to eat or be frozen is if the bottom smells sweet/fruity. If you notice that the bottom gives off a strange pungent smile similar to vinegar, it may be bad. It is extremely hard to tell when a pineapple is ripe; it’s a game of cut and roulette. That’s the only way to know for sure!
How to Freeze a Pineapple?
Depending on what you’re trying to freeze (fresh vs. canned vs. juice), there are a couple of different ways to freeze pineapple. This post goes through the process of freezing fresh pineapple slices, chunks, and juice, as well as freezing any leftover canned pineapple you may have on hand. But first, a question I know you’re dying to know…
Can you Freeze a Whole Pineapple?
You can, but you don’t want to. Due to the high water content, it can split, and it may be harder to cut and work with. Plus, it will take up a lot of freezer space. Instead, try cutting into smaller pieces so you can easily remove each piece individually later. But, if you’re really in a rush and just don’t feel like peeling and cutting it, you can try freezing a whole pineapple better than letting it sit on the counter and spoiling.
What You’ll Need to Freeze Pineapple
All you really need to freeze pineapple is a good sharp knife, a large cutting board, a baking or sheet pan, and some freezer-safe reusable storage bags. If you have a vacuum sealer, even better as you will be able to increase the shelf life of the pineapple and avoid freezer burn!
How to Freeze Fresh Pineapple Slices & Chunks
You will follow the same procedure to freeze pineapple slices or chunks minus how you cut the fruit. Follow the instructions below and then choose which step 3 (freezing pineapple slices or freezing pineapple chunks) you’d like to follow and then continue on to step 4.
Freezing Fresh Pineapple Step #1:
Cut Off Both Ends of the pineapple.
Freezing Fresh Pineapple Step #2:
Peel off the pineapple skin. A good way to do this is to stand it up and carefully run a knife between the rind and the flesh in a downward motion. Once you’ve got it started, start rotating the pineapple and finish peeling the skin from around the whole piece.
Step #3 (Freezing Fresh Pineapple Slices):
Core the pineapple with a pineapple corer to keep the slices intact. Cut the pineapple slices into even pieces.
A slicer is also nice to have but not required. A mandolin will be even better, and it’ll give you perfect uniform slices that are much easier to work with in the long run. You can use whatever type of knife or cutting board you like if you do not have a mandolin at home.
Step #3 (Freezing Fresh Pineapple Chunks):
Core pineapple with a corer, or you can slice it in half length-wise and then slice it in half again, so you end up with 4 long pieces. Cut the core from each piece on a diagonal to remove it, and then cut the pineapple to the desired size chunks. The thicker you cut the chunks, the longer it’s going to take to freeze.
Freezing Fresh Pineapple Step #4:
Place the chunks on a lined (Wax or parchment) cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once frozen solid (3-4 hours, depending on how cold your freezer is), they can be moved to a freezer bag for long-term storage.
Freezing Fresh Pineapple Step #5:
Once frozen, use a spatula to release the frozen pineapple from the cookie sheet and store it in freezer bags or containers.
How to Freeze Canned Pineapple
Freezing canned pineapple is extremely easy and just as healthy. If you’re looking for a way to ensure that your canned pineapple doesn’t go bad, this is it!
Freezing Canned Pineapple Step #1:
Open the can of pineapple and drain off any juice it may have come with into a separate container or bowl. There should be about 1 cup worth of juice. You can reserve this juice and use it in smoothies or similar. Or you can discard it.
Freezing Canned Pineapple Step #2:
Pour the canned pineapple out on a lined (Wax or parchment) cookie sheet and place it in the freezer until frozen solid. This should take about 2-3 hours, depending on your freezer temperature.
Freezing Canned Pineapple Step #3:
Remove the frozen pineapple from the lined cookie sheet and place it into a freezer bag or containers.
Freezing Canned Pineapple Step #4:
Label and date the bags or containers and place them in the freezer.
How to Freeze Fresh Pineapple Juice
Freezing Pineapple Juice is easy. One thing you want to do before freezing pineapple juice is strain it so that you remove any sediment. The easiest way to do make fresh pineapple juice is with a fruit juicer. If you want to freeze leftover canned pineapple juice or if you bought some from the store, you can skip steps 1 and 2 and go directly to step 3.
Freezing Pineapple Juice Step #1:
Cut off the top and bottom of your pineapple and peel it. Cut the pineapple into chunks make sure they can fit in your juicer (you do not have to remove the core).
Freezing Pineapple Juice Step #2:
Juice the pineapple. Strain the juice through a fine strainer or cheesecloth. Squeeze the juice into a bowl and discard the pulp
Freezing Pineapple Juice Step #3:
Once you have the juice from your pineapple, place it in a freezer-safe container or reusable freezer bag and freeze until solid.
What is the Best way to Freeze Fresh Pineapple?
There isn’t any one best way to freeze pineapple. A lot of it depends on how much freezer space you have and what you’re going to use it for. For instance, if you’re going to make pineapple upside-down cakes, you’ll want to freeze slices. If you just want to freeze your pineapple for smoothies, chunks will work just fine too!
Freezing Pineapple FAQS
Does freezing pineapple destroy bromelain?
No. Freezing does not destroy bromelain or any other enzymes present in pineapple. Freezing does, however, kill the enzymes’ ability to remain active once defrosted.
How Long Can You Keep Frozen Pineapple?
Frozen pineapple will last for 3 to 4 months. Just make sure you label and date the containers or bags before putting them in the freezer to avoid losing track of the dates. It can last even longer if you use a vacuum seal to help fight off freezer burn.
How to Defrost Frozen Pineapple?
To defrost frozen pineapple, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight. If you need to defrost it faster than that, place your zip lock bag containing your frozen pineapple in water (the water should come up just above the level of the pineapple). This will help speed up the defrost process.
How To Use Frozen Or Thawed Pineapple?
You can use frozen pineapple in any recipe that calls for frozen or fresh pineapple. Frozen pineapple can be used in smoothies, pies, cakes, and more.
Can You Refreeze Pineapple?
Once thawed you should avoid refreezing pineapple. Additionally, it is best to use your thawed frozen pineapple within 24 hours of defrosting it.
Is frozen pineapple healthy?
Yes. Frozen pineapple is just as healthy, if not more so than fresh or canned pineapple. Freezing it in airtight containers or bags allows pineapple to retain its vitamins and enzymes which are sensitive to oxygen and light exposure.
Freezer Tips: If you’re going to freeze a lot of food at once, leave space between each item so you can stack them neatly in your freezer; this will allow for quicker freezing and thawing. Label each item with the name, date, and quantity so that you’ll remember what’s inside and when to use it. Also, make sure to close the lid of your freezer tightly to avoid losing any cold air–keeping it frozen is important. Finally, freeze your items as quickly as possible to retain the highest amount of nutrients.
Is frozen pineapple anti-inflammatory?
The bromelain in frozen pineapple is anti-inflammatory, but whether or not it’s a good enough source to make much of a difference for your inflammation levels will depend on how much you consume. If you often eat frozen pineapple in smoothies then yes, it can be a helpful way to reduce your inflammation.
Freezing Pineapple is a Quick & Easy Way to Keep from Wasting Unused Pineapple
If you enjoy the flavor of pineapple but don’t always use it all, then freezing pineapple is a great way to avoid wasting it. Frozen pineapple can be used in just about any recipe that calls for fresh or canned pineapple. It’s easy to prepare, and best of all it will save you time and money! For any additional questions on how to freeze pineapple, leave a comment to get your question answered!
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How To Freeze Fresh Pineapple
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- Pineapple Corer (Optional)
- Cut Off Both Ends of the pineapple. Peel off the pineapple skin. A good way to do this is to stand it up and carefully run a knife between the rind and the flesh in a downward motion. Once you’ve got it started start rotating the pineapple and finish peeling the skin from around the whole piece.
- Core pineapple with a corer, or you can slice it in half length-wise and then slice it in half again so you end up with 4 long pieces. Cut the core from each piece on a diagonal to remove it, and then cut the pineapple to the desired size chunks. The thicker you cut the chunks the longer it’s going to take to freeze.To Freeze slices use a corer, turn the pineapple on it's side and cut desired thickness.
- Place the pineapple chunks or slices on a lined (Wax or parchment) cookie sheet in a single layer and put in the freezer. Once frozen solid (3-4 hours depending on how cold your freezer is) they can be moved to a freezer bag for long-term storage.
- Once frozen, use a spatula to release the frozen pineapple from the cookie sheet and store in freezer bags or containers.
- Place the bag in the freezer for long-term storage.
Great article, very thorough. I tried this with my home grown pineapple and it was perfect. Normally I would have just tossed in a plastic freezer bag without step 3. It keeps the chucnks nice and not stuck together. Duh!
When I’ve needed to freeze canned pineapple, instead of throwing away the juice, I blend with a teaspoon of raw coconut oil and freeze in a little silicone ice cube mold. I toss a couple into a green smoothie that might need a touch of sweetness.!
Thanks for the great info! TwJ