The Best Way to Store Celery Might Totally Surprise You

updated Jun 6, 2019
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(Image credit: Oriana Koren)

Celery is a real workhorse in the kitchen, but rarely do we use the whole bunch in one cooking session. Most recipes require only one or two ribs, and by the time we get to the rest, it’s often limp and mushy. Here is the best way to store celery to keep it fresh and crisp for as long as possible.

The 3 Keys to Storing a Head of Celery

To help celery keep its crispness and last as long as possible, you’re going to want to ditch the plastic bag it came in as soon as you get home from the store. While it’s convenient, it turns out that it’s not the best way to store celery.

Instead, there are three key elements when it comes to the best way to store celery: Keep it whole, wrap it in aluminum foil, and store it in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The vegetable will lose less moisture when kept whole for as long as possible, and the foil should be tight enough that moisture can’t escape, but not so tight that it crumples the stalks.

Why This Method Works

Like many other fruits and vegetables, celery naturally releases ethylene gas. When stored in a plastic bag, the gas is trapped and accelerates moisture loss and spoilage. According to an old issue of Cook’s Illustrated, foil, on the other hand, allows the ethylene to escape (while keeping moisture in) and slows spoilage.

The Best Way to Store Cut Celery

Now, if the stalks of celery are already cut, there is a better method for storage. Once cut, the stalks will lose moisture at a faster rate, so they are best stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container, submerged in water. This keeps the stalks hydrated and crisp.

More Celery Tips

Do you have any other tips for storing celery?