Here’s all about freezing fresh pineapple. Learn how to freeze pineapple, what to expect after defrosting it, and what are the best ways to use it.
Got too much pineapple on hand and want to freeze some of it? Can you freeze pineapple?
Pineapple freezes okay. It turns soft and loses some water in the process, so it works best in smoothies and cooked or baked dishes. Cut the pineapple into chunks, pre-freeze on a cookie sheet, transfer to a freezer bag, and put back in the freezer.
That’s the gist of it.
Want to learn more? Here’s what we cover below:
- what to expect after freezing and defrosting pineapple
- freezing pineapple step-by-step
- defrosting the fruit
- ways to use a frozen pineapple
- extra questions about the freezing process
Interested? Read on.
Does Pineapple Freeze Well?
Pineapples freeze okay. Like other fruit, they lose some water and turn noticeably softer after defrosting.
(There’s a photo of what that looks like later in the article.)
Because of the texture change, defrosted pineapple doesn’t work that well in fruit salads, salsas, and other dishes that require the fruit to be firm. For those, fresh (or canned) pineapple is a much better choice.
But there’s also a whole lot of recipes in which you can use frozen and defrosted pineapple. These include not only smoothies but also most baked goods and even cooked dishes where the fruit is part of the sauce.
Whenever pineapple is cooked or baked, it loses its firmness anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you use a nice and firm fresh pineapple or a defrosted and soft one. The resulting dish will, in most cases, taste pretty much the same.
And that’s why I recommend using frozen pineapple only in those types of dishes.
Long story short, you can easily find a way to use up any pineapple that you freeze. And if you’re looking for concrete ideas, there’s a list of recipes later in the article to get you started.
Last but not least, pineapples don’t last that long, so the sooner you freeze them, the better.
Related: How long does pineapple last?
Now, let’s talk about the whole process.
How to Freeze Pineapple
Here’s a quick and versatile process to freeze pineapple:
- Prep. Cut off the crown and base, peel the skin and remove the core. Then slice the pineapple and cut it into chunks or whatever makes sense for you. If you don’t know how you’ll use the pineapple yet, I suggest cutting each slice into 5 to 6 chunks. If the pineapple is wet (e.g., you have leftovers from a can), let them dry or use paper towels to pat them (reasonably) dry.
- Pre-freeze. Line a cookie sheet with a silicone mat or baking paper, and spread out the chunks in a single layer. Make sure the pieces don’t freeze together (i.e., some touching is okay, but no big lumps). Then place the cookie tray in the freezer for 2 to 4 hours, or until the chunks are frozen solid.
- Transfer into a freezer bag. Take the cookie sheet from the freezer, break apart any chunks that froze together, and transfer the fruit into a freezer bag. Remember to squeeze out the air before sealing it tight. Feel free to add a label with the name and date if you find that helpful.
- Freeze. Put the freezer bag in the freezer.
That’s it. The whole process shouldn’t take you more than 10 to 15 minutes, not including the time you wait until the pineapple chunks freeze.
Now, you might have some follow-up questions about the process. Let’s cover those.
How Long Can You Freeze Pineapple?
I recommend using your frozen pineapple within three months of freezing it for best quality.
As you probably know, the longer any food sits in the freezer, the worse its quality is. And that’s why I think giving a specific period to shoot for is useful.
Of course, if your pineapple sits in the freezer for a month (or five) longer, it won’t go bad. The worst that could happen is that its quality will be a tad bit worse. And if you throw it into a smoothie, you will never know.
Do You Have to Pre-freeze It?
No, you don’t.
Pre-freezing is great because it allows you to store all the chunks together and still grab as many as you need when needed. That helps a lot if you don’t have any specific plans for the frozen pineapple and want to grab it as you go.
But if you already know how much pineapple you’ll use for a specific recipe, feel free to skip pre-freezing. Instead, measure the portion into a separate freezer bag, squeeze out the air, and freeze it.
In that scenario, pre-freezing doesn’t help, so there’s no point in doing it.
How to Defrost Pineapple
Defrost pineapple overnight in the fridge. Transfer as many chunks as you need into a freezer bag or airtight container, and leave it in the refrigerator for 6+ hours.
There will be some water after the pineapple thaws, so if you’re using a bag to defrost it, make sure it’s leakproof. Otherwise, you’ll end up with the water spilled on a fridge shelf. Alternatively, you can put that bag on a plate, just to be sure.
Next, remember that the more fruit you’re defrosting, the more time you need. So if you’re thawing a whole bag that you need the following morning, start the process early to give the pineapple ample time to warm up.
As I mentioned, after you defrost the pineapple, you’ll see a bunch of pineapple chunks and some water in the container or bag. Here’s what mine looked like:
For most dishes, you can drain that water and follow the recipe as if you were using fresh pineapple.
Last but not least, you can sometimes skip defrosting.
In smoothies, for instance, frozen fruit works perfectly fine, assuming that your blender can handle it. The same is true for many dishes cooked on the stove, where you simply need to cook them for a few extra minutes to allow the pineapple to thaw and warm up.
Knowing all of that, let’s talk about how you can use frozen pineapple.
Ways to Use Frozen Pineapple
Here are a few types of dishes in which frozen pineapples work well:
- Smoothies. There are hundreds of recipes online – use Google if you don’t have a favorite one already.
- Muffins. Muffins are probably my favorite way to use up frozen fruit. Here’s a recipe to get you started.
- Pineapple pie. Pies are also an excellent choice for frozen fruit and (sometimes) veggies. Here’s one recipe for you to check out. As an extra, many pies freeze well, e.g., pumpkin pie freezes just fine.
- Other baked goods. The two options above are only the tip of the iceberg, as there are hundreds of options for baked goods with pineapple. Here’s one more recipe.
- Pork chops. Pineapples aren’t only used in sweet baked goods – they work in savory dishes too.
- Chicken stir-fries. Here’s another example of something you might make for dinner and use up that frozen pineapple.
Of course, the above list isn’t complete by any means. In fact, it’s a relatively short one with only a handful of examples to get you going.
If you’re looking for more, you can find hundreds of recipes after a bit of googling around.
FAQ About Freezing Pineapples
Can You Freeze a Whole Pineapple?
Yes, in theory, but it’s a much worse method than freezing it in chunks. Here’s why it’s bad:
- the crown takes up a lot of space in the freezer (unless you cut it off)
- cutting and peeling the pineapple after thawing is a pain because the whole thing is soft
- you have to defrost the entire thing in one go instead of thawing only as much as you need
- defrosting would take 12+ hours (if not more) for a large pineapple
As you can tell, the recommended method is a much better option, and I strongly suggest going with it.
If you don’t have the time to cut up and freeze the pineapple today, you can always do that tomorrow. Just make sure the fruit sits in the fridge.
Related: How to store pineapple?
Can You Freeze Canned Pineapple?
You can freeze leftovers from a pineapple can following the same method I outlined earlier in the article. But if you’re considering freezing an unopened pineapple can, know that that doesn’t make much sense.
First of all, most canned food lasts months if not years past the best-by date printed on the label, so yours nearing its date isn’t an issue. You still have a lot of time to use it.
Second, since pineapples are always in water, juice, or syrup, you risk that the can will burst in the freezer if you freeze it whole. And you probably don’t want to clean up that mess.
If you feel like you must freeze that canned pineapple, open it up, remove the liquid (or freeze it separately if you need it for a recipe), and go with the recommended freezing method.
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