25-30 min
8 quarts frozen berries
When you need to freeze berries, do it quickly! Take a hint from Alton Brown, and use dry ice to flash-freeze at home. It's the easiest way I know to freeze whole berries: no mess, no fuss, and no freezer burn! 
  • 8 quarts strawberries
  • 5-10 pounds dry ice

When you don’t want to add sugar or honey to your berries for the freezer, you can flash freeze strawberries with dry ice! You’ll need the ice (a local grocery store will often stock this), a big pot or clean cooler, a flat wide metal baking pan, and a hammer.

 

prepare the strawberries

First, wash and hull the strawberries, and lay them out on towels in a single layer. You want clean, dry berries to freeze – water drops can result in freezer burnt fruit.

 

prepare the dry ice

If your dry ice comes in small pieces, you’re all set. If your supplier gives you large chunks, break them up: put them in clean paper bags on a wood cutting board and whack the outside of the bag with a hammer.

 

layer dry ice and berries

Pour a layer of dry ice into a large metal stockpot or a clean cooler. Add a layer of berries, then more dry ice. Be gentle! You don’t want to crush the strawberries. Continue until all the berries have been added, making sure to end with ice. Cover the container loosely, and wait 10 to 15 minutes.

 

pick out the berries and bag them

After 15 minutes, the berries will be frozen solid. Carefully pour out the icy mixture into large baking pans, and pick out the frozen berries. Put them into quart-sized zip bags, label and date them, and store them in the freezer for later use.

 

dispose of the dry ice properly

Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide, and at -109˚F, it’s much much colder than water ice. You must be careful to dispose of it properly. The best way is to unwrap it and put it in a well ventilated area that is out of the reach of children, pets, and the general public.

  • do not put it in your sink or toilet; it can damage plumbing
  • don’t dispose of dry ice in garage cans or chutes
  • do not leave dry ice in an unventilated room
  • do not place dry ice on a tile or laminate countertop because the cold may damage it. A solid surface wood cutting board, or piece of plywood, is best
  • do not store dry ice in a glass or air-tight container

NOTE: be very careful when handling dry ice. Always use insulated gloves (oven mitts will do) 

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