Do Cherries Go Bad? How Long Do Cherries Last?

The ripe ruby color of a container of cherries is what catches the eye and the plump taught skin is what urges the purchase. Once home, you wonder how long do these last or should I leave them out or refrigerate them? Can these be frozen?

Quick Answer

Cherries are picked and put out on the market at their peak. Cherries can be enjoyed for up to 7 days if housed in the fridge and 2-3 days if left out on the counter. Freeze your cherries to get the most life out of them. These should be consumed within 12 months; the texture of the skin will likely be altered. Though, this isn’t an issue as they can still be used in a merit of recipes.


Let’s have a further understanding of how best to store and freeze cherries. We will also explore a few frequent questions and how to tell if your cherries are still fresh.

Do Cherries Go Bad? How Long Do Cherries Last?

Cherries are ripe when picked, thus they do have a shelf life. This shelf life depends on if they’ve been purchased from a grocery store or from an orchard. However, on average cherries last 7 days in the fridge. If you want them to last longer, there is a way!

How Long Do Cherries Last Outside

This storage option should only be considered if you plan on consuming them quickly. Cherries are put out on the market at their ripest. This is a type of fruit that does not continue to ripen when left in warm temperatures.

The invariable air temperature will encourage the cherries to spoil faster.

Cherries left at room temperature should be eaten within 48 hours after purchase.

How Long Do Cherries Last in the Fridge

If you’ve grabbed a container of cherries from your local grocer, you can store these in the fridge up to 7 days. If you have picked cherries from an orchard, they can last up to 10 days. The quality is higher, and these have been exposed to less environmental changes.

It’s advisable to eat the cherries in 5 days for the sake of quality and plumpness, but as long as there are no visible signs of spoilage, they can be eaten at the 7 to 10 day mark.

How Long Do Cherries Last in the Freezer

If you want the most out of your cherries, they can safe be frozen. The process of freezing them is simple and effective.

When you choose to freeze them, the taste and texture of the cherry will change. For this reason, it is best to use frozen cherries in smoothies, jams, jellies, or mixed in ice creams.

After you have properly prepared and frozen the cherries, expect them to last 12 months.


The best way to store your cherries are in the refrigerator. You will get quality tasting cherries as the cold temperature is preserving their freshness.

How to Tell If Cherries Have Gone Bad / How to Know If Cherries are Fresh

There are a few items to check off before buying and eating cherries. You want to check the container for any moldy fruit, if you find one that has mold, it’s best to find another container. Try finding a container of vibrant red cherries. When you’re ready to eat them, again check for mold, texture, and color.

Mold: Fresh cherries are dry, clean, and are without the presence of mold. If you have housed your cherries and they have gotten wet from air moisture, or they were all have been prematurely washed and not dried, mold will grow. Once mold has grown, this is an indictor to toss them.

Texture and taste: When cherries are fresh, the texture of their skin is plump, taught, and firm. When you bite into a cherry, you’ll hear a snap of the skin and the sweet and sour insides explode in your mouth. Once the quality of a cherry degrades, it will feel mushy and the taste will dull.

Color and sheen: Ripe cherries have a glossy reddened skin and the stem is a hardy green. After they are past their prime, the red color becomes flat and dull. The stem shrivels, the green becoming dark and brown. The stem may also fall of the cherry on its own.

How to Store Cherries?

There are three ways cherries can be stored, in the fridge, freezer, or left on the counter. The best is keeping them in the fridge!

Cherries can be stored in the fridge: Overall, the most optimal way to store ripe cherries are in the refrigerator and they should be placed in the coldest part. Avoid placing them near odorous items, instead store them in the veggie and fruit crisper. Make sure the cherries remain dry, they do not need to be washed until you are ready to eat them.

Cherries can be stored in the freezer: If you feel that the 7 to 10 day window of consumption is not possible, cherries can be stored in the freezer. This step takes a little preparation.

Cherries can be stored on the counter: You can store cherries on your counter for 2 days if you know that you will eat them within this time frame.

Can You Freeze Cherries? How?

Cherries can be frozen; the decision to freeze cherries can be made if you feel consumption is not possible within 7 days. Keep in mind that opting to freeze cherries will change the texture of the skin when thawed. Frozen cherries are best to be used in smoothies, jams, or in ice-creams. Here is how to freeze cherries:

Prepare the cherries: Sort the cherries, checking for any moldy fruit. Toss any you may find. Remove the cherry’s stem, wash then dry them. It’s wise to pit the cherries now, rather than after they’ve thawed. Though, this is optional.

Flash freeze: On a baking sheet, lay the cherries in single layers, making sure they are not touching each other. Slide the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for few hours or overnight.

Store in a freezer safe container: Once flash frozen, transfer the cherries to a freeze safe container. You can also store them in a freezer bag. Make sure to write the date on the container or bag.

How to Thaw Cherries?

Thawing cherries is simple, there are two easy ways to thaw cherries:

Thaw cherries in room temperature water: If you are in a rush and plan on using the cherries immediately, place the frozen bag in room temperature water. Allow 2 hours.

Thaw cherries in the fridge: Remove the bag of frozen cherries from the freezer and place the bag in fridge overnight. To avoid a melted mess of water, you can place the bag in a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Cherry’s Shelf Life

Cherries are purchased at their peak and because of this their shelf life is usually limited to 7 days. For this reason, there are questions that are most often asked to understand before consuming this fruit. Here are two questions and answers:

Is it safe to eat spoiled cherries? It is not safe to eat or use spoiled cherries. Cherries that are spoiled usually grow mold, taste sore, and have a mushy texture. This should be off putting enough. Moreover, if you eat a moldy cherry, the bacteria in the mold can release mycotoxins.

Can I store cherries in sunlight? Cherries are very sensitive to sunlight. Cherries are a non-climacteric fruit; they do not continue to ripen if left out in a warm environment. To preserve ripe cherries, they are best in the coldest part of the fridge.

Wrap Up

Cherries are a delicious snack to have on the go or in deserts, eat them within 5 days to consume the best fruit or freeze them for up to 12 months.

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