Learn how to properly store fresh rhubarb AND how to freeze it for using later. Take advantage of the glorious rhubarb season and don’t let any of these precious stalks go to waste!
It’s no secret I love rhubarb season, from my rhubarb curd and my rhubarb-lemon tart, to this buckwheat rhubarb bread and this boozy rhubarb ice, I can’t get enough of the tart stalk.
Because the thing is, I don’t mind running around the Farmers’ Markets searching for those ruby-red stalks, or calling every grocery store I can think of to ask when they expect to get some in. What really pains me is when I finally get ahold of this gloriously tart vegetable and I don’t have a plan. So it starts to wilt, go limp, and eventually go to waste.
One could argue I should just be prepared and know what I’m going to do with it. And, yes, you’re right, I should be prepared. But when life get’s in the way rhubarb should have the graciousness to wait for me, because well, I waited long enough for it!
So whether you’re lucky enough to grow rhubarb in your yard, or you rely on the local Farmers’ Market to get these ruby stalks, it’s important to store rhubarb correctly so it lasts until you need it. So let’s dive in and talk about how to store rhubarb and how to freeze rhubarb!
How to store rhubarb for 1–2 days:
The jar method:
Simply fill a glass jar halfway with water and place rhubarb stalks, bottom end down, in water. Cover with a plastic bag (such as a produce bag) and refrigerate until ready to use. Rhubarb stored this way is intended to be used within a few days. If you don’t have room to store stalks upright, you can also store rhubarb stalks loosely wrapped in a plastic produce bag.
How to store rhubarb for a few weeks or up to a month:
The foil method:
Arrange rhubarb stalks on a large piece of foil. Loosely, yet snuggly, wrap foil around rhubarb stalks, gently crimping the ends (you don’t want it air tight) and place in the refrigerator until needed. Rhubarb should keep this way for at least a month, sometimes longer.
How to freeze rhubarb to use it months from now:
When I have leftover fresh rhubarb that I’m not going to get to, I like to freeze it!
- Rinse rhubarb stalks with water and wipe dry.
- Cut washed rhubarb into 1-inch pieces and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet; freeze until solid, about 3–4 hours.
- Transfer frozen rhubarb pieces to resealable plastic freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to a year.
How to use fresh rhubarb
A collection of recipes that showcase fresh tart rhubarb!
Sweet, tart and perfectly refreshing, this summer marg recipe is the idea patio cocktail
A fun take on a classic recipe! This rhubarb curd is gorgeously hued, naturally sweetened and delicious in a variety of recipes. Try it in a tart, on shortcakes, swirled into yogurt and more.
Sparkling Rhubarb – Lemon Ice
Think adult slushy. This sparkling ice recipe is sweet, tart and boozy. It's perfect for hot summer days!
Lemon Rhubarb Curd Tart
There's no denying this is a show-stopping dessert! Featuring a cookie-like crust and layers of lemon curd and rhubarb curd. Gorgeous and delicious!
Buckwheat Rhubarb Bread
A healthy quick-bread studded with rhubarb and spiced with ginger and cardamom. You can use fresh or frozen rhubarb for this recipe!
Blueberry Rhubarb Pie
The essence of summer stuffed between pie crust. This pie is heaven on earth and just might surprise you at how easy it is to make.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits with Honey & Almond Granola
The strawberry-rhubarb compote in these parfaits is addictive. Serve it with some creamy greek yogurt and a simple homemade honey granola and you'll be a brunch hero!
Thanks for these great tips! I rarely buy rhubarb because it always goes bad before I know what I’m going to do with it! I will have to check out your recipes, too!
Thanks Rachel! I completely agree, I do that too, hopefully these tips will help!
I tried the foil method and a mere 4 days later my rhubarb was covered in fuzzy mold!!
What did I do wrong? Should I wash the mold off or toss it?
oh no! I’ve never seen that happen with this method, I’m sorry to hear this. I know how treasured rhubarb is during the season!
Were the stalks damp when they were wrapped up? Excess moisture would be my best guess. Secondly, I find the ideal way to wrap the stalks is to lightly pack the foil, if it’s too tightly packed natural gases cannot escape, cause degradation and wilt (but not usually mold which is the confusing part). I did a bit of research on this and found that the mold could have also originated in the plant and then it continued to grow post-harvest and become visible during storage.
I hope some of these ideas help, this should absolutely not have happened and I am sorry to hear that. Most other well-known cooking sources also recommend storing rhubarb this way, so I’m a bit stumped!
Do you have a recommended method for mailing fresh rhubarb stalks?
Hi Bill, I responded to your email but thought this answer could help other readers too, so I’m posting my answer here as well.
I’ve given this some thought and the following method is what I would do:
– Wrap the unwashed rhubarb stalks ever so snuggly in a large piece of foil. The rhubarb should breathe a bit, so make sure it’s not tightly crimped around the rhubarb.
– Place the wrapped rhubarb in a styrofoam cooler or insulated box with some dry ice (make sure the dry ice is in a plastic bag).
– Then make sure to expedite the package to ensure it’s only traveling for 3 days or so.