How To Store Eggplant – Grow Your Pantry

How To Store Eggplant

by Susan Grey on September 08, 2019

how_to_store_eggplant_illustration

 

Eggplants, just like other fruits have a short shelf-life; in fact, most eggplants will only remain fresh for up to a week. However, there are various ways to prolong their freshness. 
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How Long Does An Eggplant Last Before Going Bad?

eggplant_in_wooden_tray

 

When stored at room temperature, eggplants will stay fresh for up to 5 days. The optimal storage temperature for eggplants is from 40 to 50 degrees F (4 to 10 degrees C). If the temperature exceeds this limit, the eggplants are likely to rot. They will also rot much faster if the humidity level is above 85 percent. It's, therefore, recommended to store eggplants in low humidity drawers.

How Do You Store Half An Eggplant?

half_eggplant

 

Cut eggplants can be wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. It's important to remember that freshly cut eggplants will oxidize and turn blackish when exposed to the air for too long. 

How:

If storing in plastic: 
1. Treat with water and milk to prevent oxidizing: Dunk half cut eggplant in a bowl of water and 1 tbsp of milk to avoid oxidizing which happens typically within 30 minutes of cutting open the fruit.
2. Wrap the eggplant in plastic: After dunking the eggplant use paper towels to wipe the skin dry but don't wipe the exposed flesh. Cover the eggplant in plastic. This airtight storage keeps out fresh air which would otherwise oxidize the exposed eggplant flesh. Place the wrapped eggplants in the warmest area of the fridge to best preserve the texture and taste.
If storing in a container:
1. Drizzle with lemon: Make sure that the entire eggplant flesh is well coated. Generally, 2 tbsp are enough to cover a half eggplant. 
2. Place in a glass container: Once in the airtight container, place in the least cool area of the refrigerator to retain the most amount of color and flavor.

Storage Methods

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At Room Temperature
In The Fridge
In The Freezer
Pickled
How Long Will Eggplant Last?
5 days
6 days
9 months
2 weeks (once opened)

Room Temperature

Freshly picked eggplants can be stored between 50 and 54 degrees F (10 and 12 degrees C), for up to 5 days. Bruised fruits and those with damaged spots serve as an indication of internal decay. Inspect them for any soft, slimy or brown discolorations and throw them away. 
How:
1. Wrap eggplants in a paper bag: Paper bags absorb the moisture, keeping the eggplants fresh with excellent air circulation.
2. Store the wrapped eggplants in a vented bowl: This provides free movement of air. This also serves to slow down the loss of freshness, making it possible to preserve whole eggplants for up to 5 days.
Top Tips:
  • Store your eggplants away from bananas, melons, plums, pears, peaches, or tomatoes - These fruits produce ethylene gas which is responsible for inducing the ripening process and can, therefore, lead to early spoilage.
  • Use paper towels to cover the eggplants - When storing multiple eggplants, you can use paper towels to wrap individual fruits to prevent them from touching during storage. This is because the skins are likely to sweat when in contact, which leads to rotting.

Fridge

Eggplants can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 6 days. After this, they quickly lose their flavor and texture due to the cold temperatures. 
How:
1. Coat the eggplants with paper towels: This reduces the amount of moisture coming into contact with the eggplants.
2. Place the wrapped eggplants in a perforated plastic bag: The wrapped eggplants should then be placed in a plastic bag or an open plastic container.
3. Store the eggplants in the least cold part of your fridge: This reduces the damage caused by cold temperatures. The eggplants will remain fresh for up to 6 days in the fridge.
Top Tips:
  • Do not seal the bags or containers - A sealed plastic bag without any perforations restricts the airflow leading to moisture condensation within the bag. As a result, the eggplants lose freshness at a much faster rate. The same happens to any containers which are airtight.
  • Store your eggplants in humidity-controlled drawers - These drawers are equipped with controls to help in regulating the amount of humidity circulating within the drawer. This makes it possible to keep produce, such as eggplants fresh for longer. 

    Because not all fridge manufacturers usually include crisper drawers it's worth mentioning that the eggplants can be stored on the shelves inside your fridge, however, they will spoil at a much faster rate.
  • Consume as soon as possible - Due to the cold temperatures in the refrigerator, eggplants lose their natural color and flavor quickly. It's, therefore, recommended to consume them as soon as possible before they lose their freshness.
  • Do not store the eggplants with bananas, melons, plums, pears, peaches, or tomatoes - As we saw earlier eggplants are adversely affected by any exposure to ethylene gas. For this reason, store other fruits separately.

Freezer

Eggplants can be frozen and stored in a freezer for up to 9 months. This makes it much easier to store eggplants for longer. However, these fruits usually lose texture and shape once they have been thawed. 
How:
1. Prepare the eggplants: Rinse the eggplants and then cut off both edges. Proceed to peel the eggplants using a peeler or a knife unless you are dealing with small varieties which are hard to peel. Slice the eggplants into half-inch-thick slices.
2. Soak the sliced eggplants in a bowl of water: To draw out the bitter taste that's often common in mature eggplants it is advisable to soak them in a bowl of water (2 oz). Add 4 tbsp of salt and stir for up to 2 minutes. Set the bowl aside for at least 15 minutes to allow the salt to draw out the bitter taste.  
3. Blanch the eggplants: Drop the cut eggplant in a stockpot of boiling water and blanch for at least 2 to 3 minutes. It's recommended to add 1 tbsp of salt to ensure that the eggplants are submerged during the boiling process.
4. Cool the blanched eggplants: Remove the eggplants from the water and place them in a bowl of ice water. This instantly cools the eggplant slices and enhances the flavor. Drain the slices using a colander.
5. Divide with wax paper or plastic wrap: Separate the slices using wax paper or plastic wrap. This prevents them from sticking to each other and making it much easier to defrost a particular amount.
6. Place the eggplants in freezer bags: The slices can be placed in plastic freezer bags to keep out the air. The eggplants should last for up to 9 months.
To defrost: Take out the number of eggplants that you want to cook from your freezer and thaw them. The eggplant can then prepared as per the recipe directions or add the frozen slices directly into the dish while still cooking.

Pickling

Pickled eggplants have a shelf life of up to 2 weeks in the fridge once the sealed jar is opened. The pickling process gives the eggplants a delicious, rustic flavor.
How:
1. Prepare the eggplants: Rinse the eggplants with tap water and slice them into quarter-inch thick slices. There's no need to peel the skin.
2. Layer the slices with salt: Place the slices in a colander and sprinkle 5 tbsp kosher salt on them, layer more slices with salt and place a weighted plate on top. This exerts pressure onto the eggplant slices forcing out excess liquid from the fleshy interior.
3. Boil the pressed eggplant slices in vinegar: Add half a liter of water into a small pot and mix in 50ml of vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil and drop in the pressed eggplant slices. Blanch for at least 3 minutes before draining and squeezing them once more. Remove them from the pot and allow to cool.
4. Season the pickled eggplants: In a bowl add the pickled eggplant slices and 100ml olive oil, oregano, and garlic.
5. Pack the pickled eggplants into clean, dry mason jars: Pack the slices in tightly and use a fork to squeeze them in. Seal the jar and store in the pantry. Once opened, keep in the refrigerator.
 

FAQs

eggplants

 

How long does eggplant keep in the refrigerator?
Fresh eggplants can be stored in the refrigerator for 6 days.
How do you store eggplant from the garden?
Eggplants that have just been harvested are best stored in the pantry , preferably on the kitchen counter away from direct sunlight and other ripening fruits.
How do you store eggplant in the freezer?
Store in freezer-safe containers or plastic bags. Vacuum sealed freezer bags are actually the best option for long term freezing.
How do you store cooked eggplant?
Cooked eggplants can be refrigerated in airtight and resealable bags for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze eggplant parmesan?
Yes, eggplant parmesan is best frozen after baking and will retain the flavor for up to 3 months.
How do you keep eggplants fresh while in the fridge?
Eggplants can be kept fresh in the fridge by storing them in a humidity-controlled drawer. This will help to prolong their flavor and texture.
How do you store half an eggplant?
Cut, or half eggplants can be wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

 

Interested in learning more about eggplants?
Check these out:
20 Types of Eggplant
What Does Eggplant Taste Like?

 

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