Raisins are one of the best things to keep on hand in both your short and long-term supply. They can liven up any diet, and since they are already dried fruit, storing them correctly is fairly straightforward.
Raisins should be stored in a cool, dry, and dark area like your kitchen pantry, cabinet, cellar, or freezer. You can use mason jars, vacuum-sealed jars, Mylar bags, or freezer bags. It is NOT safe to include oxygen absorbers since raisins have moisture that is high and can cause botulism bacteria to grow.
My favorite way to store raisins is in bags like this type, which can be found on Amazon. They can be heat-sealable and ziplock resealable as well.
This article will cover everything you need to know about storing raisins so that you can make the best decisions for your personal storage needs.
How To Store Raisins
Whether your raisins are store-bought or homemade, you probably want them to last as long as possible. Luckily, there are several ways to maximize your raisins’ freshness in storage.
To store raisins, use any of the following methods:
- Put your raisins in a vacuum-sealed container.
- Keep your raisins in a mason jar.
- Store your raisins in Mylar bags.
- Use freezer bags to preserve your raisins.
In the next section, I’ll elaborate on each method for storing raisins. If applicable, I’ll also mention the pros and cons of each.
1. Storing Raisins in a Vacuum-Sealed Container
When you preserve raisins, there are three things you want to avoid: excess oxygen, moisture, and humidity. This is because all three encourage the growth of decomposers (i.e., living things that cause spoilage like mold, bacteria, and fungi).
For example, an airtight container like these from Amazon can work wonders for your raisins. Keeping oxygen from getting into the container is crucial. These containers are BPA-free, making them easy on the environment and your body. Just make sure not to put the lids in the dishwasher, as the silicon seal can be damaged. You will want to wash them by hand.
2. Storing Raisins in a Mason Jar
A mason jar, like the type I recommend, is a highly-flexible food storage item. Its glass body, classic shape, and airtight lid make it both stylish and practical.
Warning: Oxygen absorbers should not be included in the bags for storage. This can lead to botulism and is not worth the risk. If you are an expert at the process and don’t mind risking it, then further drying may work in making it safe. Survival Freedom nor its writers will not be held liable for any consequences that might be experienced as a result of the information in this article. It was obtained mainly through research.
To store raisins in a mason jar:
- Pour just enough raisins to leave a one-inch space between the fruits and the jar’s lid.
- Put your desiccant on top of the raisins.
- Close the jar as tightly as you can.
The one downside of mason jars is their glass material. If you drop them, you can kiss your raisin storage container goodbye.
3. Storing Raisins in Mylar Bags
Also known as foil bags, Mylar bags are highly functional. They can protect against oxygen, moisture, and light. Even though their primary material is aluminum, you don’t have to worry about contamination since their lining consists of food-grade plastic.
Ideally, your Mylar bag should have a ziplock seal. I recommend these resealable bags, which are made of safe materials and has a see-through back so you can check the bag’s contents. I prefer the portion-sized bags, but they offer several sizes depending on your preference.
While oxygen absorbers should not normally be included, if you further dry the raisins out in a dehydrator, they can become safe for O2 absorbers if they are further processed and dried out even more. This is often done in a dehydrator. I actually recommend not even trying it, unless you are willing to assume the risk and need them stored ultra long-term.
To boost your Mylar bag’s ability to preserve raisins, add the following:
- Extra heat seal. Over time, a Mylar bag’s ziplock lining will degrade and cause oxygen to enter the bag. For additional protection, use a heat sealer like this one. It’s energy-efficient, easy to use, and safe for household purposes.
For more information on storing dried fruits in Mylar Bags, watch the YouTube video below:
4. Using Freezer Bags To Preserve Your Raisins
The simplest way to store raisins is to plop them into your freezer in the original box. There’s one problem with that, though: If you’re keeping other things in the freezer, their smell could permeate your raisins and vice versa.
That’s where freezer bags come in handy. I recommend these freezer-safe food-grade bags. They are resealable, extra thick, and designed specifically to prevent freezer burn and preserve the quality of your raisins. Plus, the plastic is BPA-free.
How To Store Homemade Raisins
Storing homemade raisins is simple. You can use any of the above methods to prolong your raisins’ shelf life and keep them fresh for as long as possible.
However, you should keep in mind that a lot of store-bought raisins are processed and include a lot of preservatives. While this isn’t the best for your health, it does make the food last longer. This is why you shouldn’t hold homemade raisins to the same shelf-life standards as store-bought raisins.
Here are some tips you can incorporate into your raisin storage process to make your homemade raisins last longer.
Use a Bag Sealer
Over time, a Mylar bag’s ziplock lining will degrade and cause oxygen to enter the bag. For additional protection, use a heat sealer like this nifty hand-held one. It’s energy-efficient, easy to use, and safe for household purposes.
Can I Store Raisins in a Jar?
It’s okay to put dried fruits in jars under certain conditions.
You can store raisins in a jar as long as that jar is tightly sealed and free of moisture. Mason and vacuum-sealed jars work best for that purpose. You can put the jar in the fridge, kitchen pantry, or cellar. If you put raisins in the refrigerator, they can last for about six more months.
Can Raisins Be Freeze-Dried?
Raisins can be freeze-dried with the correct process. The difference between freeze-dried grapes and raisins are the levels of removed moisture. Raisins have a lot more moisture, so if you want to freeze-dry them, that moisture must be removed.
How Long Can Raisins Be Stored?
Since raisins are dried grapes, they last longer than fresh grapes. However, they still spoil after a specific time.
Raisins can be stored for about six months when they’re store-bought, but storing them in the fridge will make them last even longer. Raisins stored in the fridge can last another six months due to the lack of oxygen and moisture.
In other words, your raisins can last for about half a year to one year, assuming you don’t open your raisin container. But what if you’ve already opened the jar or bag containing the raisins?
How Long Do Raisins Last After Opening?
Raisins last three to five months after opening if you keep them in the pantry. If you store them in the fridge, they can last for up to six months because it’s a less desirable environment for mold than a pantry due to its low temperature, lack of light, and low moisture levels.
The section below will dive deeper into why raisins last longer in the fridge.
Do Raisins Last Longer in the Fridge?
Generally, food in the fridge lasts longer than food at room temperature. For raisins, it’s no different.
Raisins last longer in the fridge because there is less light and moisture in a refrigerator. There is also less oxygen available, and the cold temperature prolongs mold growth. Properly-stored raisins can last an additional six months when stored in the refrigerator.
While raisins typically last for a long time, they do go bad eventually. The next section will dive into deeper detail about raisin spoilage.
Do Raisins Ever Go Bad?
While raisins do last a very long time, they’re not immune to spoilage.
Raisins go bad eventually. Signs of spoiled raisins include white powder (unless the raisins came with white sugar) and a rotten smell. Once raisins go bad, they become inedible and lose their texture and flavor.
How To Soften Hardened Raisins
Raisins harden after a long time in storage. When that happens, you need to soften them up to make them easier to eat.
Here are some tips for softening hardened raisins:
- Soak the raisins in fruit juice, liquor, or eggs for 30 minutes
- Boil your raisins for 10 to 15 minutes
- Microwave your raisins
Let’s expand upon these different methods.
Soaking Your Raisins
One of the best ways to rehydrate raisins is to soak them in a flavored liquid like fruit juice or liquor for half an hour. This will restore the raisins’ softness and enhance their flavor at the same time.
You can also soak your hardened raisins in eggs. This method is handy if you’re using raisins for baking since most pastries use eggs anyway. However, take care not to let raw eggs sit at room temperature for two hours or more. Otherwise, the eggs might spoil.
Boil Your Raisins
Boiling your raisins can be a great way to restore them to a soft, edible state. There are two main ways to boil raisins.
Here is the first method:
- Put your raisins in a heatproof bowl.
- Pour boiling water over the raisins.
- Soak the raisins for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Drain the boiling water carefully.
- Check if the raisins have your desired texture.
Here is the second method:
- Mix the raisins with the soaking liquid (e.g., fruit juice or liquor) in a saucepan.
- Heat the mixture over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the raisins plump up.
- Let the mixture cool.
- Put the raisins in a jar, and seal tightly.
Both of these methods are excellent for restoring softness to your hardened raisins. After this, you can store them using the tips I mentioned earlier.
Microwave Your Raisins
Microwaving your raisins is another great way to make your raisins soft again. Here’s how you can go about doing this:
- Put the raisins in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Pour the soaking liquid until you cover the raisins by about half an inch.
- Microwave for about two to three minutes.
- Take the raisins out of the microwave and soak for another 10 to 15 minutes.
You should keep in mind that microwaving your raisins can make them a bit soggy. To avoid this, microwave them for the shortest amount of time possible.
Check out this video that shows how to rehydrate dried fruit correctly:
If you love raisins, you’ll agree that they’re incredible foods. They can add that extra oomph to any dish, and they can last for a long time under the right conditions. And if you know how to provide said conditions for your raisins, you can enjoy their sweet, tangy, and chewy texture for a while longer.
However, keep in mind that raisins won’t stay as fresh as they did when you purchased them, even with careful storage. Buy only as many raisins as you need, and consume them as quickly as possible.
For more, don’t miss 10 Ways To Prolong The Shelf Life Of Cookies.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.