Freezing Rhubarb involves a very quick and easy process, and is well worth the effort!
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Rhubarb freezes extremely well, and, having a supply in the freezer is a great idea for storing your crimson red rhubarb so you can enjoy this amazingly versatile vegetable all year long!
When you have an urge to make a cobbler, a crisp, a pie, muffins, or whatever ... you only need to go as far as your freezer where you have
a convenient supply of summer's goodness!
I have grown rhubarb for more than 30 years, and each year I usually make 3 large harvests of rhubarb between early spring and fall.
In addition to these times when I harvest almost all the rhubarb, I also take regularly from my rhubarb patch whenever I want to bake or cook rhubarb for my family or friends.
Now that most of our children are married, and have started families of their own, we have not "downsized" our rhubarb patch, but, instead, I freeze it as I always have, and the children are invited to take home what they need from my freezer to create their own delectable creations.
After all rhubarb is so very easy to grow...and freezing rhubarb is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3!
To store rhubarb for several days, you can keep the rhubarb in the refrigerator.
If you do not have space in your freezer to freeze your rhubarb, or you prefer to preserve your rhubarb by canning it, here are instructions for canning rhubarb.
It is also possible to preserve rhubarb by dehydrating (drying) rhubarb.
How long can you store Rhubarb in the freezer?
I store my Frozen Rhubarb in the freezer for as long as 12 months.
What are the different methods used for Freezing Rhubarb?
Much literature regarding the freezing of rhubarb suggests using Method #1 or Method #2 (below).
However, the only way I have EVER frozen rhubarb is the method I describe, (with pictures), in the steps below (Method #3).
I have frozen rhubarb using this quick and simple No cook! No syrup! method (which my mother taught me :) for 30 years with perfect success.
Method #1 - cut and wash rhubarb and chop into small pieces. Blanch for 1 1/2 minutes in steam or boiling water and pack into freezer containers or plastic bags. Freeze.
Method #2 - cut and wash rhubarb and chop into small pieces. Prepare a syrup mixing one part sugar with two parts water, bringing the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar, then refrigerate the mixture until chilled. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cold sugar syrup to a 2-cup container packed with rhubarb, allowing 1/2 inch of head-space. Freeze.
Method #3 - cut and wash rhubarb and chop into small pieces.
This (Method #3) is the method I always use - SEE BELOW for step-by-step instructions for how to freeze your rhubarb harvest.
Do I need to thaw my Rhubarb before using it in a recipe?
If you are planning to stew your frozen rhubarb, or make a rhubarb sauce, you can use your rhubarb as it is, frozen. When you begin to stew it, heat it on low heat at first, until it is thawed.
If you are planning on baking with your frozen rhubarb, thaw it first.
I thaw my frozen rhubarb on the kitchen counter, the evening before, using a sieve set over a bowl, and I discard the excess liquid. Or, better still, add it to a punch or other beverage! (Since rhubarb tends to "shrink" after thawing it, be sure to start off with enough frozen rhubarb.)
Choose stalks that are firm, crisp, and blemish free. If the leaves are a bit blemished, but the stalks are fine, I include those stalks as well. (Many rhubarb plants have leaves that have holes, etc., but the stalks are fine.)
Remove the leaves. If you are planning to freeze the rhubarb immediately after harvesting it, remove the whole leaf, if you are not going to freeze the rhubarb the same day, then leave about 2 - 3 inches of leaf on (to help keep the moisture in the stalk so it will stay fresh and crisp longer).
It is preferable to freeze your rhubarb the day you harvest it, however, if you cannot freeze the rhubarb the same day you harvest it, keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in a plastic bag.
Using a cutting board, chop the rhubarb stalk into approximately 1 inch pieces.
Wash the rhubarb with water and place the rhubarb in a colander to dry (for approximately 20 minutes).
The rhubarb does not have to be totally dry ... just not dripping wet.
Transfer the chopped rhubarb to freezer containers or freezer bags.
To keep track of when you froze this rhubarb, date (label) the containers or bags and freeze.
Hint: I like to freeze the chopped rhubarb in measured portions to make it easier to decide how much rhubarb to defrost when making a rhubarb recipe.
★ Note: If you prefer, you can wash the rhubarb stalks first and allow them to dry for about 20 minutes (they do not have to be totally dry, just not dripping wet), then chop the stalks into pieces and package the cut up rhubarb into bags or containers. (Also see the pictures below.)
I like to use this method of washing the rhubarb stalks before chopping it when I am just processing small amounts to freeze.
Perhaps you have been freezing rhubarb for many years, and you are interested in new recipes, using the rhubarb you have stored.
I have included many recipes which can be made with frozen rhubarb, and I am constantly adding more.
Use the navigation bars at the left-hand side of this website for links to over 250 amazing recipe ideas ... frozen rhubarb can be used for many of them!
Take a look and I am sure you will find something to inspire you!
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