Learn how to store carrots the right way by using these simple, proven techniques! Whether you have extras from stir-fries or you’ve stocked up for a big stew, this guide will show you how to keep them fresh for months.
Carrots are one of the most healthy and adaptable and versatile vegetables in the kitchen. From savory soups and stews to sweet carrot cakes, this vibrant orange veggie is there to save the day!
Okay, we all know how great they are, but do you really know how to store carrots? There is nothing worse than having to compost perfectly good food because you aren’t following the necessary steps!
So let’s walk through the best ways to store carrots so they stay fresh until you’re ready to enjoy them!
How long do carrots last?
Carrots can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year in the freezer, depending on the method you choose. They can be kept fresh or cut in both the fridge and freezer. I’ll take you through each method so you can become a carrot-storing pro.
How to store carrots
There are a number of ways to store carrots — whole, cut, in the fridge, or frozen. Keep reading for tips on the best ways to maintain their freshness.
The main culprit that leads to soft, wrinkly carrots is moisture loss. To prevent this, store whole unpeeled, unwashed carrots in a container, large jar, or sealable bag full of fresh water.
Once submerged, carrots remain extra crispy and crunchy for up to 4 weeks in the fridge. Don’t forget to change out the water about every 4-5 days as it becomes murky and dirty.
Carrot Storage Tip
Pro tip: If your carrots come with the greens still attached, trim them and store them in the fridge like you would other fresh herbs (wrapped in a damp paper towel in the crisper drawer). If you leave the green tops attached, they pull more moisture out of the carrots themselves.
Similarly to whole carrots, keep already cut carrots submerged in a container, jar, or bag of fresh water. If kept this way, they will last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
To extend the life of your carrots past a few weeks, it’s best to pop them in the freezer. Grated carrots can be stored straight from fresh for later use in baking and salads.
For other cuts (diced, sliced, julienned), you may want to blanch them first. This technique preserves their color and reduces the overall cooking time when you’re ready to use them.
How to blanch carrots for freezing
- Cut the tops off of the carrots, peel them, and wash them in water.
- Chop them the way you would like to eat them later (diced, sliced, julienned).
- Boil water in a pot, and fill another bowl with ice water. Once the water is boiling, cook the carrots for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the carrots from the water and immediately transfer them to the ice water bath for 3-4 minutes to stop the cooking process.
- Place the carrots on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze them for about 1-2 hours.
- Once frozen, add them to a freezer-safe bag or container with a label.
If you’re looking for tips on dicing, slicing, and julienning, we happen to have a detailed post on how to cut carrots!
How to tell when carrots have gone bad
Even if you store carrots the right way, there’s always a risk of them spoiling. Here are some telltale signs of bad carrots:
- Color: Dark spots and discoloration.
- Firmness: Soft, soggy, or slimy carrots.
- Odor: Anything that smells moldy or “off.”
If you catch any of the above, those carrots need to be thrown in the compost!
How to use carrots in recipes
Carrots make a bright addition to all sorts of different carrot recipes! Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Carrot storage FAQ
No, you should not wash carrots before storing them. In fact, they are coated in a waxy layer that helps them last longer. If you scrub it off, it may reduce their storage life. The only time you need to wash them is if you are blanching them for the freezer.
Carrots are best kept in a root cellar surrounded by leaves, sawdust, and mulch. If you don’t have access to a root cellar, don’t worry! Keep them unpeeled and whole submerged in a container of water in the fridge.
You can store carrots in a bag in the crisper drawer, but they will lose moisture more quickly than if kept in water. Whenever possible, store carrots submerged in water. If they turn soft, you can still use them in soups and stews.
- 1 Carrot
- Store: Store carrots (whole unpeeled or already cut) in a container, large jar, or sealable bag full of fresh water.
- Maintain: Change out the water about every 4-5 days as it becomes murky and dirty. Once submerged, carrots remain extra crispy and crunchy for up to 4 weeks in the fridge.
- Freeze: Grated carrots can be stored straight from fresh in a labeled freezer bag or container. For other cuts (diced, coins, julienned), blanch them first.
- Cut: Cut the tops of the carrots, peel them, and wash them in water. Chop them the way you would like to eat them later (diced, coins, julienned).
- Boil: Boil water in a pot, and fill another bowl with ice water. Line a pan with parchment paper. Once the water is boiling, add the carrots for 3-4 minutes.
- Ice Bath: Remove the carrots from the water and immediately transfer them to the ice water for 3-4 minutes to stop the cooking process.
- Freeze: Place the carrots on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze them for about 1-2 hours.
- Store: Once frozen, add them to a freezer-safe bag or container.