Have lots of pears? Store them the right way and they'll stay fresh for months and months.
Time Required: Minimal
- Winter pear varieties are best suited to long-term storage. If you intend to store your pears for more than a couple of weeks, choose a winter pear like Anjou, Bosch, Comice or Winter Nelis. Bartletts, while not a winter variety, can be stored for long periods, too.
Pick your pears when they are mature, but not yet ripe. They'll do their ripening after they've been picked.
Tip: If the pears are easy to remove from the tree, they're probably ready to be picked.
Store your pears at 30 degrees (and at 85-90% humidity), or as close to it as you can get. Any colder than this, and the fruit will be damaged; any warmer, and it'll ripen faster than you want. If you have a spare fridge (or can spare space in your regular fridge), this is the ideal spot to stash your fruit.
Bartletts will keep at this temperature for 2-3 months. Winter pears for 3-5 months.
- Pears actually need to spend time in cold storage to ripen properly, so give your Bartlett pears at least 1-2 days in the fridge and your winter pears 2-6 weeks, before you even think about pulling any out.
- Once the proper chill time has passed, ripen your pears by taking out as many as you need and allowing them to sit at room temperature for several days – 4-5 days for Bartletts, 5-7 for Bosch and Comice, 7-10 for Anjou.
The longer pears have been in cold storage, the faster they'll ripen once they're taken out.
Need to speed up the ripening process? Stick your pears in a paper bag with a ripe apple or banana.
- Test for ripeness by pressing at the neck of the pear with your thumb. If it gives under the pressure, the pear is ripe and ready for eating.
- Not sure what kind of pear you have? Use this guide to figure it out.
- Prefer to freeze your pears? Here are instructions.
- Ready to make something with your pears? Try homemade pear butter, pear freezer jam, pear sauce or one of these other tasty pear recipes.
- Have ripe pears from the store or farmer's market, and not ready to use them yet? Toss them in the fridge, and they'll keep for another 3-5 days
What You Need:
- A refrigerator or cold storage area