Grapes are the perfect snack, especially if you have sweet tooth. Juicy, sugary, and filled with antioxidants, table grapes make a great choice for almost any snacking occasion.
These days you'll find table grapes in lots of different shapes sizes and flavors. From classic red concord, or green grapes, to newer varieties like "cotton candy", "bebop" or "witch fingers", there are more grapes available in the produce section today than I can remember at any point in my life!
While every grape is going to have a slightly different shelf life, if you are wondering "How long do grapes last?" the answer is anywhere from 3-5 days when stored correctly, and sometimes for up to a week if you have optimal storage conditions.
How long do grapes last in the refrigerator?
Storing grapes in the fridge is the best way to increase their shelf life outside of extreme methods like freezing or dehydrating. In general, when stored in the refrigerator grapes will last an average of 3-5 days before showing any signs of quality decline. Sometimes, this can stretch to up to 7 days depending on how fresh the grapes were when purchased.
One other benefit of storing grapes in the refrigerator is they are nice and chilled when you eat them. Cool, sweet grapes on a hot summer afternoon is a really special combination, and it wouldn't be as refreshing if the grapes are kept at room temperature. So go ahead and store your grapes in the refrigerator especially if you plan on storing them for more than a few days.
Where to store your grapes in the refrigerator?
When storing grapes in your refrigerator there are two important factors to keep under consideration, Air flow and Humidity.
In general, keeping grapes in airtight containers like a zip lock bag or Tupperware will create an environment that is less than ideal for storing grapes. If you look at the plastic bag most grapes come in when purchased at the grocery store you'll notice small vent holes around the bottom of the bag. These are there to allow excess moisture to drain away from the grapes but also to allow air to circulate around the grapes keeping them fresher longer.
Personally, I keep my grapes and fruits in general, in the bag they were purchased in, inside my crisper drawer. Most modern refrigerators come equipped with a humidity selector on the crisper drawer and this can help give your grapes the longest shelf life possible. I like to keep my humidity selector set to medium, but make sure to experiment with a few different settings and figure out which works best for your grapes or fruits in general.
What is the shelf life of grapes at room temperature?
While I love the flavor and refreshing qualities of refrigerated grapes, some people enjoy room-temperature grapes and will store them on their kitchen counter. This works just fine, but it will shorten the lifespan of your grapes overall. Because of the warmer temperature and higher water content of grapes, you may find they will begin to break down quicker at room temperature and begin to mold faster.
This won't be a problem if plan on eating your grapes quickly. On the other hand, if you want to get the longest possible shelf life out of your grapes, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator.
How to tell if grapes have gone bad.
As grapes age, their skin will begin to wrinkle and the fruit will start to lose its firmness. As this happens your grapes will still be edible, but not quite as enjoyable as they were when fresh. If you see white mold start to form between the clusters of grapes you'll know it's time to toss the grapes into the trash or your compost heap.
If you catch the grapes before they start to decline in flavor/texture you can use a number of different methods to extend the shelf life of your grapes before they go bad.
3 Ways to use up your excess grapes.
Now that we've figured out "how long do grapes last" let's discuss a few ways to use up any extra grapes you might have lying around the house.
When using up your extra grapes you want to think about how quickly you'll be able to consume whatever product your making and decide which method is going to be the best for you. If you are able to eat the grapes immediately, a fruit salad or a sauce might be the best option. On the other hand, if you aren't sure you'll be able to eat them before they go bad, freezing the grapes or making jelly might be a better choice.
- Freeze Those Grapes! Frozen grapes taste great as ice cubes for iced tea or in cocktails, especially during the summertime. While I wouldn't use frozen grapes as an ingredient in anything other than a jam or sauce, frozen grapes work perfectly for a drink garnish as well. To freeze grapes, remove the berries from the stems, then arrange the individual berries on a cookie sheet and place them in your freezer until frozen. Once frozen transfer the grapes to an airtight container where they will last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
- Make A Fruit Salad! Fruit salad is a delicious way to use up extra grapes. It works well as a healthy breakfast option or an awesome lunch box side if you've got school-aged children. During the summer I like to make a light salad from arugula, lemon dressing, grilled shrimp, and some fresh fruit salad with grapes for an awesome heart-healthy lunch.
- Make Grape Jam. Grape jelly or jam is incredibly easy to make and it will last for months if stored correctly. Simply find a recipe from a source you trust to use up your grapes, follow the instructions and you'll be eating homemade peanut butter and jelly in no time!
- Turn Them Into Grape Juice. If you have access to a masticating juicer, making delicious cold-pressed grape juice is a great way to use up excess grapes. If you plan on keeping the grape juice for more than a day or two make sure to mix in a little lemon juice to help keep the flavor fresher longer.
Whether you like classic red seedless grapes or newer more novel varieties like "witch fingers" or "cotton candy", making sure you know how long grapes last is key to ensuring you get the best possible shelf life from your fruits at home.
When kept refrigerated you can plan on being able to store your grapes for up to 5 days, while that figure is more like 3 days when kept at room temperature on your kitchen counter. To get the best possible lifespan from your grapes followed these steps!
- Keep your grapes refrigerated.
- Store grapes in a container that allows for airflow.
- Store grapes in the crisper drawer in your fridge.
- Don't store grapes in an airtight container
- Keep an eye out for mold or wrinkled berry skin.