How To Store Lettuce In The Fridge (Simple Tips)

The best way to keep your lettuce fresh is to wrap them with moist paper towels and put them into the fridge in a cooling compartment.

Lettuces are crispy, healthy, and fresh vegetables we usually use in a salad or for decoration.

But if preserved incorrectly, they could lose their crunchy texture and refreshing flavor in a snap of a finger. Thus, knowing how to store them in the fridge is critical knowledge for any homemaker.

If you want to go into further details, check out the below sections. We have covered some vital notes below.

Related: List of vegetables from A to Z

Best Ways To Store Lettuce

There are plenty of methods one could apply to preserve their lettuce, yet the 2 most popular approaches are water and the fridge. However, the latter one is our go-to solution.

While putting your lettuce into a bowl of cool water only helps extend its lifespan to 2-3 more days, using the fridge can maintain your lettuce’s initial quality for up to 10 days.

If you’re curious how to do so effectively, follow our step-by-step guide below:

  • First, remove the stem’s tip and segregate the greens.
  • Then, dip the greens in cold water using your sink (or a very deep basin). Jiggle the leaves under the water lightly. Any dirt in the lettuce will end up at the bottom. Repeat this step a few times to make sure your lettuce is clean.
  • Afterward, use a salad spinner to drain away from the excess water. However, make sure that the leaves are still a little moist.
  • Finally, remove the leaves from the spinner and wrap them with moist towel sheets before placing them in the refrigerator. Also, it’s advisable to have a dish or platter below to collect extra runoff. However, using bowls is a big NO as you need ventilation for the best result.

Notably, check your wraps several times a week and moist the paper towels again if there is any sign of dehydration.

Keeping Shredded Lettuce Fresh

If you wish to keep your shredded lettuce as good as possible, try the method described below.

  • First, cast aside the shredded leaves for a few minutes before putting them in the airtight packaging.
  • Then, take a handful of moist paper towels and insert them in the package before adding in the lettuce. Before closing the container, lightly push on it to remove any excess air.
  • After that, place your package in the fresh cool compartment.

Also, ensure the compartment is clean and that other veggies are in good condition before putting your package of lettuce in the refrigerator. Any leftovers or smells sticking to the cabinet will almost certainly affect the shredded lettuce, no matter how airtight the cabinet is.

Moreover, stay updated on the paper towels you put in the ziplock pouches and change them once a few days for the best results, helping to extend the life of your shredded lettuce.

How Long Does Lettuce Last?

Its shelf life differs based on how fresh it is at the date of purchase and how properly you preserve it.

Mostly, loose-leaf varieties and separated heads usually last 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. In contrast, whole-headed ones stay fresh for a bit longer, usually 7 to 10 days. However, regardless of varieties and conditions, the exterior greens will begin to wilt quicker.

How Can You Tell If Lettuce Has Gone Bad?

When it starts to become rotten, it wilts and becomes mushy and wrinkled. Beginning at the rims and the root of the greens nearby, it also gets dark and loses hydration quickly.

It’s still acceptable to consume if it is just happening, you’re craving a salad, and it’s the only thing you possess. However, it will be of lower condition, losing taste and having a less crunchy mouthfeel.

Typically, though, it’s rotting and therefore should be out of the kitchen, especially when it shows these signs:

  • It emits a horrible smell.
  • It develops a gooey or sticky cover.

Furthermore, if you find brown or other darkened dots, floppy, and white specks, no matter how nice the lettuce might appear, don’t consume it. In such cases, throw away the entire packet.

What Causes Lettuce To Turn Brown?

The enzymes and polyphenols are typically apart within a unit. Still, when tissues get injured, such as the slicing or ripping of vegetables or fruits, their composition seeps and results in mixing polyphenols and enzymes.

The above leads to an oxidizing response of the polyphenols, which makes the dark pigments appear. As a result, several cells become injured when stems of lettuce get ripped, and oxidation occurs.

Even when there’s no ripping, and we possess an entire head of lettuce, the vegetable still becomes darker if you don’t preserve it properly. Again, it’s due to aged cells, which cause the polyphenols to undergo damages and combine with the enzyme.

How Long Does Washed Lettuce Last In The Fridge?

After you head back home from the supermarket or grocery, you should rinse and preserve your lettuce as quickly as you can. The fresh lettuce can survive anywhere between 4 days to 2 weeks with a practical approach, relying on external conditions.

How Do Restaurants Keep Their Lettuce So Crisp?

Lettuce requires a good level of ventilation and a little volume of humidity to remain the crisps. It’s the reason why restaurants keep this vegetable in perforated containers that enable air to circulate while it’s in the refrigerator.

Should Lettuce Be Stored Airtight?

Yes, you should wrap it in an airtight wrap and store it in a cool compartment of your fridge. At the same time, moisture is also critical regarding preserving the crunches, so we recommend covering your vegetable in slightly moist layers of towel paper and sealing them tightly.

How Do You Properly Wash Lettuce?

Most of the time, there would be dirt, grimes, and even little bugs hidden among the leaves. Thus, it’s critical to rinse the vegetable thoroughly, especially when you want to have a salad with this raw lettuce.

  • The first thing is to prepare the leaves, whether it involves plucking the greens from the head, cutting them, or slicing them to your desired pieces.
  • Then, pour ice water into the big bowl. Dip the greens entirely under the water, then swirl them softly so that you can remove all the dirt. The debris and grimes will head down while the leaves float above.
  • Take the lettuce out of the water, and next, entirely and carefully dry the greens using paper towels or a salad spinner.

How Do You Keep Lettuce From Turning Brown In The Refrigerator?

There are several methods to avoid discoloration in lettuce. One approach is to ensure it is dry and refrigerated far from fruits that release ethylene, such as apples, peaches, and tomatoes.

Another technique to prevent darkening is to get it cleaned and cut correctly, which helps preserve your vegetables for up to 7 days in your fridge.

For their optimal shelf life, the storing process involves:

  • Selecting and rinsing healthy and crunchy lettuces.
  • Drying them properly to prevent damages to any leaves.
  • Putting them in a sealed package to shield them from environmental factors.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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