Think about celery, and you might think about a stalk of crunchy, refreshing vegetable goodness that is perfect for snacking on. However, it can quickly wilt and go bad if you don’t store celery properly.
To store celery so that it stays fresh for as long as possible, it should be kept in a cold, humid environment. Place in the fridge in a sealed container with a vent to help release the buildup of ethylene gas as it spoils. You can keep your celery for up to two weeks when stored with this method.
Below are more tips and steps on how to store celery and keep it fresh.
How To Store Celery
Storing celery whole from the grocery store is certainly a good option, but I like to trim the bottoms, separate the stalks and clean it before doing so.
That way, it’s ready to go when I’m cooking up a recipe or looking for a quick snack with cheese or peanut butter or Asian stir-fry for dinner.
You’ll need celery, a sharp knife, and a long container that will be able to hold your celery, such as the PrepWorks Long Produce Keeper over on Amazon.
This celery keeper is great because it has airflow to help separate ethylene gas that comes from celery as it ages and helps slow down spoilage.
Clean And Rinse Your Celery
Make sure that you clean your workspace before getting started. Then rinse the celery under cool water. You can fill your sink and give it a water bath if you wish.
Cut Off An Inch From The Bottom
Next, cut off the bottom inch or so of the celery bunch. If you clean it well, you can save the bottom to use in soups or stocks if you’d like. If not, compost it or throw it away.
Separate Stalks And Place In Container
Separate your celery stalks and give them a quick rinse.
Shake off excess moisture and place your celery in your container. I like to lay them so that the cut ends are evenly on the same side.
If your container has a bottom rack, that is excellent! If not, line your container with a couple sheets of paper towels.
Seal The Lid And Store
Once your container is packed, seal the lid and place it in the crisper. You will need to check on your celery every few days to make sure that it is still fresh and not wilting or worse.
Check On Your Celery
You’ll need to check on it the following day to see if the paper towels have absorbed moisture from your celery.
If it looks dry, consider using a single damp sheet to add a little extra moisture. And change the paper towels every few days to keep things fresh.
On the other hand, while celery has a habit of dehydrating quickly, it’s best to remove excess moisture before placing it in your container. This will help ensure that water doesn’t sit in one particular area and damage your celery.
Damaged celery will produce extra ethylene and spoil the whole container more quickly.
If you see any celery that is starting to wilt, remove it immediately and use it up.
You could also allow it to soak in a bath of cold water for 20 minutes to help rehydrate it before storing again. It should crisp right up! This won’t make it last forever, but it should help extend its shelf life.
With proper storage, your celery stalks should stay fresh for up to two weeks with this method.
Date a piece of tape and stick it to the lid so that you know when it was first stored. At some point, it’s best to use it up in soups or chuck it when you see your celery has signs of spoilage.
How To Store Cut Celery
Another way to keep celery fresh is to cut and store it in water.
This will help keep it crisp, and you won’t need to worry about paper towels. Simply replace the water with fresh cold water every few days.
Place Cut Pieces In A Sealable Container
You’ll need a container with a good seal that can hold your celery and have space to cover the cut pieces with water.
Once I’ve cut and washed my celery, I’ll place them into my container about 3/4 of the way up. You can cut your celery into any size that you wish. I cut them into about 3 to 4 inches in length.
Fill Container With Cold Water
I then pour cold water over the top of the celery but still leave room between the water line and the top of the container. This will help prevent spills and water from creeping up to the seal as it sits in the fridge.
Place In The Refrigerator
It might be difficult to place your container in your crisper, so I’ll often put it on the second lowest shelf. That way, when I’m storing meat on the bottom shelf, there is no chance of contaminating my celery.
It’s handy to have your celery pre-washed and ready to eat, whether you like to snack on it or use it in salads or other recipes.
This method should keep your celery fresh for up to two weeks if kept cold and water changes maintained.
If you notice anything funky with the color or smell of the water, it’s probably best to say goodbye to the celery to be on the safe side.
How To Store Celery In The Fridge
- 1 Knife
- 1 Cutting board
- 1 Sealable Container
- 2 Sheets Of Paper Towels
- 8 Whole Celery Sticks (1 Bunch)
- 3 Cups Water
- Clean And Rinse Your Celery.
- Cut Off An Inch From The Bottom.
- Separate Stalks And Place In Container (with water or on paper towels, not both).
- Seal The Lid And Store.
- Check On Your Celery Every 2 Days (up to 2 weeks).