Can You Freeze Pears? Yes, and Here’s How

Although they are not quite as popular today, pears were once considered the premium fruit and widely thought of as a gift from the gods. They originated in Europe and as cultivation practices have improved, they have begun to be grown all around the world.

Kept on the counter, it’s unlikely that your pear will stay fresh for more than a week. To keep fresh pears on hand even out of season, it’s a good idea to freeze them. Freezing them will slow down the spoiling process, letting you enjoy fresh pears all year long.

Freezing pears is a good way of making sure that they don’t spoil too quickly. To freeze pears just make sure to prepare them properly by peeling them and chopping them into pieces before placing them in the freezer. This will make them easier to work with once they’ve been thawed.

How Long Do Pears Last in the Freezer?

When stored in the freezer, pears will last anywhere from 8-10 months as long as they stay completely frozen the entire time. This is a huge contrast to how long they last when kept outside of the freezer.

If pears are stored in the refrigerator, they can last anywhere from 3 days to several weeks. This depends on how ripe the pears were when you put them in the freezer.

The same goes for countertop storage. Ripe pears will go bad very quickly within 1-2 days whereas unripe pears will typically last for 1-2 weeks as they gradually ripen before spoiling.

This is why if you need fresh pears out of season, it is the best idea to freeze them. That way you can make a delicious frozen apple pie substitute with your frozen pears that can be enjoyed all year long. 

Can Pears Spoil in the Freezer?

For the most part, pears cannot spoil while they are in the freezer. This is because the freezing temperatures completely stop bacteria from developing which is what causes the fruit to spoil. 

The one instance that they could spoil is if there’s a power outage and the pears begin to thaw. In order for the freezer to keep bacteria at bay, it needs to remain solidly frozen the entire time the pears are in it. 

If the freezer lost power and it stayed off for more than a couple of hours, the pears were likely exposed to temperatures above freezing and could have begun to spoil. 

Freezer Burn

Although this is not technically spoilage, many people place it in the same category. Over time, food that is stored in the freezer can develop something called freezer burn.

Freezer burn tends to happen when a moisture-rich food is stored in the freezer for several months. Over the months it’s in the freezer, the outer layers will become dehydrated by the dry air inside the freezer. This can cause the outer layers of the food to become chewy and lose their flavor. It can also make the food have a grayish appearance.

Although freezer burn can make the food unpleasant, it is not technically dangerous and the food can still be eaten safely.

The best way to avoid freezer burn is to properly package your pears and follow instructions on how to freeze pears. This will help to keep them from drying out and maintain the fruit’s texture.

What is the Best Way to Freeze Pears?

There are two ways to freeze pears, in syrup and flash freezing. Each of these methods will create slightly different results and you’ll want to pick the option that works best for your recipes. 

Pears in syrup tend to be best if you plan on using the pears in a dessert like a pear pie or cobbler. Flash freezing your pears is best if you’d like to eat them plain and don’t plan on cooking them.

Freezing in Syrup

Freezing your pears in syrup is a great choice if you have to freeze pears that aren’t perfectly ripe. The syrup will soak into them a little bit and help them to have a slightly sweeter flavor when thawed. This is why you’ll often see canned pears sold in syrup or light syrup.

  1. Prep Pears

First, you’ll want to prepare your pears. You’ll do this by peeling, coring, and finally slicing them. You should also place them on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture that accumulates.

  1. Make the Syrup

Now you’ll want to make the syrup. Do this by mixing sugar and water and then boiling it down until you achieve a syrup consistency. The exact ratio of sugar to water will depend on how strong you want your syrup to be.

Allow the syrup to cool before packaging it with the pears.

  1. Combine Pears and Syrup

Once the syrup is cool it’s time to package the pears. Fill your containers about ⅔ of the way with pears then put enough syrup in to cover the pears and fill in all the gaps. 

Leave about an inch of space at the top of the container. This will allow the water in the syrup to expand without breaking the container. 

Flash Freezing

If your pears are already ripe and you don’t want to add in any extra sugar, flash freezing them is the best method. When you flash freeze pears it helps to keep them from sticking together when stored in a bag.

  1. Prep Pears

For flash freezing, you will want to prepare your pears the same way you would with syrup. Make sure they are clean then remove the skin, core them, and slice them into pieces. Lay them on paper towels to dry them off the best you can.

  1. Prep Baking Sheet

Pull out one or two baking sheets and line each with parchment paper.

  1. Place Pears on the Baking Sheet

Lay all your pear slices out on the baking sheet. Make sure that they are not touching.

  1. Freeze Overnight

Place the pan uncovered in the freezer overnight. This will let the pears freeze without them freezing together.

In the morning you can transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and store them in the freezer for 8-10 months.

Final Thoughts

Next time you take a trip to the farmer’s market and see a pile of juicy, ripe pears, go ahead and grab the entire basket. By freezing the pears, you will be able to enjoy a ripe pear all year round without worrying about them rotting after a few days on your counter.

If you do it correctly, pears can be frozen and stay good for almost a year in your freezer. This allows you to enjoy delicious, juicy pears all year long, even if there’s snow on the ground.