When in season, I buy fresh strawberries at least once a week from a local grower called Terry Berries in Ventura. They shared this valuable information with me on how to store your fresh strawberries so I thought I would pass it on to the rest of you.
Using them within a couple of hours
If you plan to use strawberries the day you bring them home, you can leave them at room temperature on the kitchen counter if it isn't too hot. Never leave strawberries in your hot car.
Using them tomorrow
If you don't plan to eat your strawberries the day you bring them home, the best place for them is in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator or a "Tupperware" type container in the refrigerator.
Remove the berries from their original container, and store them whole and UNWASHED in a container lined with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, preferable in a single layer so they don't get crushed. Depending on the time of year, they can last up to five to seven days.
Using them later this year
If you don't have plans to use strawberries within a few days of bringing them home, your best bet is to freeze them. Remove the stems, halve or slice them if you like, then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet until solid. Then store them in an airtight container or Ziploc-type freezer bag.
Wash as you go
Wash strawberries only before eating them. This is important for two reasons. Strawberries are like sponges, so once wet, they soak up every bit of moisture, making them more likely to get mushy and spoil faster. Also, wet berries are more likely to get moldy.
Leave the stems on as long as possible
Keeping the stems on until you're ready to eat the strawberries will prolong their shelf life.
Don't let one berry spoil all of them
If you notice any moldy berries in the container, remove them immediately. Mold spreads easily, so it's best to remove any spoiled berries before they ruin the rest of the bunch.
Now that you know how to store fresh strawberries check out these delicious recipes that call for fresh strawberries: