How to Store Eggplant

Unlike many other veggies, the eggplant does not keep best if you store it in the fridge. Instead, you should keep it at around room temperature, which will ensure that it has the longest possible shelf-life you could wish for.

If you’ve already checked out our cucumber guide, you’ll know that some vegetables just don’t handle the fridge all that well. The humble cucumber may not be related to the eggplant, but the two veggies do share a bunch of good storage principles between them.

In practice, though, keeping eggplants around for long(er) stretches of time is going to be way easier for you once you learn the tricks of the trade. Find them all in the next couple of sections!

How to Store Eggplant

How to Store Eggplant Properly

According to experts, eggplant is best stored in a dry and dark temperature-controlled room, and at a temperature of about 55°F (12°C). Since your fridge will usually be a bit colder than that, you may wish to forego it in lieu of a pantry or basement. Either of these would work, really.

In fact, if you like your home cool instead of toasty, you could even keep your eggplants on the kitchen counter. This does, however, mean that it won’t handle the summer heat all that well.

Naturally, not everyone has the chance to cool down a room to such a relatively low temperature. If you live in one of the hotter climates, you’re going to have to rely on the fridge after all, which means that they will spoil faster than they otherwise would.

Keeping all of the above in mind, though, eggplant generally won’t stay crispy and plump for very long no matter what you do. Even if you follow all our advice to the tiniest detail, you still shouldn’t expect top-notch shelf-life compared to some other veggies on the market.

Why Does Eggplant Spoil Faster in the Fridge?

Eggplant handles chilling injuries really badly. Refrigerating this particular vegetable will inevitably decrease its quality, though it’s worth mentioning that eggplant would spoil more quickly if kept in a hot and humid environment than it would in the fridge.

The situation is a bit of a give and take, but we’d say that having slightly worse eggplant is better than not having eggplant at all.

Is Eggplant Resistant to Ethylene?

Another point of contention when it comes to eggplant shelf-life is its exposure to ethylene-rich fruits and vegetables. Generally, you’re going to want to keep your eggplants well away from the following produce:

  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Figs
  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Pears

As well as virtually any other fruit that is closely related to the ones mentioned above. Eggplant is extremely susceptible to ethylene, and if you keep it near, say, an apple, both of them will spoil way faster than they otherwise would have.

How to Store Eggplant

How Long Can Eggplant be Safely Stored?

If kept on the counter under ideal conditions, eggplant will begin to spoil after 4-5 days. If you do end up refrigerating it, it’s going to be less tasty, but it should survive in the fridge for 2 or 3 weeks.

You’ll need to decide for yourself if it’s more important for you to keep your eggplant around for longer, or if you want to make it as delicious as it possibly can get. Naturally, if you need your eggplants to stick around for a while longer, refrigerating them may be your only option.

Can I Freeze Eggplant?

While refrigeration is clearly not ideal for eggplant, freezing it raw won’t do the trick, either. However, if you blanch your eggplant and then place it in an airtight plastic container before freezing, it should be kept from spoiling for up to a full year! Just make sure your container is deep enough for your eggplants. These are a good option.

Sale
Rubbermaid Brilliance BPA Free Food Storage Containers with Lids, Airtight, for Lunch, Meal Prep,...
  • Splatter-resistant microwaving with built-in vents under latches; resists stains and odors for long-lasting use
  • Stacks perfectly to one another to save space and stay organized in the pantry or fridge
  • International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions

It goes without saying, however, that blanching eggplant will inevitably limit what you can do with it after it’s unfrozen. Another balancing act when it comes to meal prep, we’re sorry to report.

How Will I Know if My Eggplant Has Expired?

You can recognize an eggplant that’s gone bad by keeping an eye out for shriveled up or wrinkled skin, as well as by its excessive softness when touched. Healthy, ready-to-eat eggplant will be tight, firm, and plump, instead.

Generally speaking, unless eggplant is kept at near-perfect conditions, it’s bound to start developing soft spots after just a couple of days of storage. It’s hard to prevent this from happening, and your best bet will usually be to cut off the suspect parts if they started developing early on.

Eggplant Storage Mistakes to Avoid

An early and easily preventable eggplant storage mistake is that, in many cases, we end up buying less-than-ideal examples of the veggie. This might sound obvious, but keep a close eye on the eggplant you’re buying. Try to avoid any eggplants that show signs of shriveling or pitting – go for the healthiest-looking veg you can.

Further, if you want your eggplant to stay in the best possible condition for the longest possible amount of time, try not to cut it before you have to. Cut eggplant will spoil faster than it otherwise would, and you’ll see it oxidize at a rapid pace.

We’ve also recommended against washing certain kinds of vegetables before you’re ready to use them – like lettuce – and a similar principle applies to eggplant. The washing of the veg isn’t the problem in and of itself, but given how perishable eggplant is, it’s all too easy to damage its skin and accidentally cause undue spoilage.

Store Your Eggplants & Enjoy Them Longer!

Eggplant might look hardier than some other vegetables do, but it’s actually quite the sissy. This beautiful vegetable won’t keep for very long no matter how well you treat it, and it’s best used within a couple of days after picking it up.

This is one of those cases where having a temperature-controlled pantry comes in incredibly handy. If you’re considering investing in such a room, it’s going to be useful for way more than just eggplants, and we definitely recommend having it for optimal storage conditions for a wide variety of veggies and other perishables.