How to Store Grapefruit to Keep It Fresh?

Not sure whether you should store grapefruits in the fridge or how to keep them fresh? If so, you’re probably wondering: how to store grapefruit?

The Short Answer

You can leave grapefruit at room temperature if it’s firm, and you’re going to eat it in a day or two. Otherwise, it’s better to refrigerate the fruit. That’s because grapefruits can last 2 to 3 weeks in the fridge, but only a few days on the counter.

That’s the quick answer.

Want to learn a bit more? Here’s what we cover below:

  • how to store a whole grapefruit so that it stays fresh
  • when to refrigerate grapefruits
  • dealing with cut-up grapefruits
  • choosing best grapefruits at the grocery store

Let’s jump right in.

Note

While grapefruits are available in a few varieties (red-, white-, and pink-fleshed are the most popular), all of the info in this article applies to all of them.

Two grapefruits
Two grapefruits

How to Store Whole Grapefruit

Store your whole grapefruit at room temperature if you’re going to eat it soon. Otherwise, place the fruit in the crisper drawer in the fridge, where it can last up to two to three weeks.

To keep your grapefruit fresh for a long time, you want to slow down moisture loss as much as you can.

For starters, grapefruits are washed and waxed after harvesting. That helps a lot with water retention, and that’s why citrus fruits last quite a long time compared to others.

To help them retain quality for even longer, you can keep grapefruits in a humid environment (the optimum relative humidity is 90% to 95%).

One way to do that is to store them in the crisper drawer, which is typically the most humid place in the fridge. Another way to keep humidity high is to place the fruit in a resealable bag. The bag traps any moisture, reducing moisture loss.

(The resealable bag method is also recommended for storing lemons, and works for storing tangerines too.)

When it comes to washing grapefruits, postpone that until you’re ready to eat the fruit.

Peeling grapefruit: work in progress
Peeling grapefruit: work in progress

Do Grapefruits Need to Be Refrigerated?

Grapefruits don’t require refrigeration, but storing them in the fridge helps them last much longer than at room temperature. Because of that, refrigeration after buying is recommended by pretty much everyone.

As I mentioned above, if the fruit is still fresh and firm, leaving it on the counter is okay if you’ll use it within a couple of days. Otherwise, stick to refrigeration.

In other words, both storage options are viable depending on your circumstances.

Also, there’s no need to worry that keeping a firm grapefruit in the fridge won’t allow it to ripen properly. That’s not the case at all.

Firm grapefruits are already ripe and ready for eating, plus grapefruits don’t continue to ripen after being harvested.

That said, if you’ve already cut open your grapefruit, you should store it in the fridge. Let’s talk about that.

Defrosted grapefruit added to a smoothie
Defrosted grapefruit added to a smoothie

How to Store Cut Grapefruit

Cut, halved, or sectioned grapefruits require refrigeration. Place them in an airtight container or a freezer bag and in the fridge. They will last for about 4 to 5 days when refrigerated.

Sealing the fruit in a container or bag is important because it prevents it from drying and picking up any smells or microorganisms from the fridge. In other words, it helps retain quality for longer.

If you have your grapefruit prepped for eating (peeled, pith and membranes removed), but you can’t consume it within the next couple of days, you can freeze it. The same works for oranges, too.

Related: Can you freeze grapefruit?
Related: Can you freeze oranges?

Peeled grapefruit on a plate
Peeled grapefruit on a plate

How to Select Grapefruits at the Grocery Store

When selecting grapefruits, look for ones that are firm to the touch, feel heavy for their size, and are blemish-free.

Of course, some minor skin flaws are perfectly fine, but you should avoid grapefruits that are bruised or with soft spots.

If you plan on eating or cooking with those grapefruits soon, like the day you buy them or the day after, getting ones that are a bit on the softer side is fine. They shouldn’t be super soft, mind you, but it’s okay for them to have some give when you gently squeeze them.

If you need yours to last as long as possible, choose super firm ones.

Related: How long do grapefruits last?

As you can tell, selecting grapefruits is like picking lemons, oranges, or other popular citrus fruits. There’s not much new material to learn here.