How to Store Celery in the Fridge: Fresh, Crisp, and Easy!

Sep 17, 2018 | Blog

When we buy celery from the grocery store, we hardly use all of them at once. Most of the recipes only require one or more ribs, and by the time we get to the rest of them, they get damaged beyond use. You know how it feels when you have to dump them unused. It’s not pretty at all, especially when you have a nagging wife like mine. It’s plainly annoying, to say the least.

Fortunately, there are quite a few things that can be done to make celery last longer.

Get to Know Celery

Humans have been planting celery for thousands of years. It’s a tasty, diet-friendly vegetable made of primarily water. While celery is a tasty vegetable, it can go bad and wilt rather quickly. This is because celery contains the hormone ethylene. This hormone is responsible for the aging and ripening of plants. Often times people will only buy as much celery as they need for a specific meal and plan to use it because it can decay and wilt rather quickly.

If you’re like my mom, you’ll find a way to use all the celery. Whether that means your meal is getting more celery, or you’re putting the celery ribs into a glass of water and munching on them while you cook.

Some people aren’t like my mom though and that’s totally fine. Storing celery is rather easy once you know what to do and what not to do.

Wrapping Celery in Tinfoil

This process is fairly straightforward.

  1. Grab your celery and trim off the ends and the attached leaves.
  2. Next, chop the celery ribs in half to make them easier to store.
  3. Grab your tinfoil and loosely wrap the celery in aluminum foil.

Fairly simple right? There are reasons to use tinfoil rather than something like a plastic sandwich baggie. If you were to use a plastic baggie, the ethylene would be trapped inside and make the ribs limp. The tinfoil is able to let the ethylene escape at a controlled rate. It’s also better than storing it with nothing at all. You risk having the water molecules freezing and ruin the celery.

This method will keep your celery fresh for up to three to four weeks.

Damp Paper Towels?

Remember, celery is almost entirely made of water. Like most things (people included) that are made of water, over time they will start to “dehydrate.”  As I mentioned above, my mom likes to cut up the remaining pieces of celery and put them into a glass of water while she cooks. This process keeps the celery hydrated and crisp.

You can use this as a supplement to the tinfoil method. The tinfoil will allow the ethylene to escape and the damp paper towel will keep the celery hydrated. Something to be wary of is the temperature inside the refrigerator. If you aren’t careful you may freeze the water molecules making the celery worse than if you did nothing.

Signs that Celery Has Gone Bad

When celery is fresh they are crisp and stiff. If you go to bend them they will snap. When celery goes bad it will become rather “sad” and limp. The rib will feel like rubber and have very little stiffness.

The next thing to look for is discoloration. When celery is fresh the stalk is bright green throughout. As celery starts to age it will develop brown spots and star to turn white.


Billy Stewart

Chef and Reviewer for

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